New Delhi: The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy recently unveiled the Briefing Book — Strengthening Communities and Building Systems, a list of recommended reforms in Karnataka. The recommendations focus on reforms that will create the most widespread, on-the-ground change for the citizens of Karnataka, while also creating and improving avenues that enable them to excel.

The recommendations primarily focus on issues encountered by citizens in spheres of education, empowerment, technology, transportation, property, etc., all of which can be countered by effective governance.

In order to do so, the policies of the government need to be centred around its people by building communities on the bedrock of strong and efficient systems and institutions.

Some of the recommendations and findings include creating a safe and sustained environment for children, extending the ‘good touch bad touch’ concept to all schools, promoting early education, regulating private university education and funding public libraries across Karnataka.

The lack of legal institutions to help reach the goal of women empowerment leads to ineffectiveness of policies for women by the state government. Existing mechanisms such as the Karnataka State Commission for Women Act need to be reassessed to ensure independence and enforceability.

Additionally, the image of the female farmer needs to be acknowledged and propagated to fight systematic patriarchy, by substantially achieving equal land and job status.

The growth of urbanisation has to be countered by the growth of technology. However, the increased use of technology has created the problem of unregulated dissemination of data and lack of accountability in the system.

According to the 2011 task force report, the Karnataka government owns 1.09 out of 4.84 crore acres in the state. The surplus land owned by the state due to the lack of inventory requires better government property management in Karnataka.

Legislations such as the Consumer Protection Act were promulgated to benefit the citizens through speedier disposal of cases. However, only 38% of cases filed between 2013 and 2017 have been disposed as of 2018. These figures depict the prolonged nature of the judiciary in Karnataka, which needs to be tackled by filling up the vacancies in judicial positions.

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