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When shutting down means success

When shutting down means success
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First Published: Mon, May 12 2008. 11 49 PM IST
Updated: Mon, May 12 2008. 11 49 PM IST
This refers to The Wall Street Journal article (Mint, 5 May) on the future of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ultimate goal of a development organization such as ADB should be to eventually shut down its development-oriented units. In other words, development organizations are set up to assist in the development of a region and, ideally, that level of development should be reached at some point of time. I am yet to see any organization claiming to have successfully achieved its desired goal and either winding up its operations or moving on to more capitalistic ways. This article is the first proof I have seen of how development agencies will need to restructure themselves.
—Gaurav Agarwal
Kudos to Gulzar Natarajan for raising a vital issue: rating non-government organizations, or NGOs (Mint, 6 May).
The last decade and a half has seen the proliferation of NGOs professing to serve various causes. Barring a few well-known large NGOs, known for their rectitude and quality of service, nothing much is known about most of the others. In fact, running an NGO has become a very profitable business for some.
There have been instances of how, under the cover of an NGO status, personal interests were being served at the cost of gullible donors and the exchequer. There can be no two views about this. There is an urgent need to have ratings done for the NGOs.
However, the million-rupee questions are: “Do we have the agencies to carry out such an exercise?” and “who will pay the agencies for the rating job?”
At the same time, ratings cannot be used as a shield by unscrupulous NGOs to hoodwink donors, government and the public at large.
Hence, there is an urgent need for a greater debate. At the same time, steps should be taken by rating agencies to equip themselves and carry out trial exercises to understand the issues that could arise when conducting such a task.
- S.D. Irani
This refers to the thought- provoking article, “Is it a happy mother’s day?” by S. Mitra Kalita (Mint, 9 May). She touched upon a very sensitive issue for today’s working couples, who work day in, day out and spend very less time with their kids. Whatever time that these parents do get to spend is not enough to understand their children. The kids, too, shy away from sharing their good or bad moments of the day with their working parents.
Recent survey findings are really alarming. In the race to earn fat incomes for their own and their children’s future, parents are forgetting that the initial years are very critical for the overall development of a child’s personality.
So, it is better if one of the two can spend more time with them, to understand their needs better and just to give them a sense of belonging. And all those women who does not want to leave their career behind, or do not want to stay at home, can always opt for working from home or at part-time jobs, which will serve both purposes—having time to spend with their kids and earning that extra money as well.
- Bal Govind
Pokhran II was a delayed expression of India’s self- reliant identity.The emphasis on self-reliance has been a part of New India’s identity. We should embrace this identity through research of fast breeder reactor technology using thorium.
The nuclear deal with the US would have taken a much different course if the powers that be here in India had done their homework to produce a positive resonance among our politicians.
- M.M. Kapur
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First Published: Mon, May 12 2008. 11 49 PM IST