Monday, June 8, 2009

Can India Wash The Blackspot Of Being Asia’s Most Corrupt Administration

Indian politicians and civil servants are rated to be the most corrupt persons according to the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) released by Transparency International, (TI) the global body monitoring corruption in governance. Although the political and bureaucratic circles in India may not feel happy with this finding yet there is no doubt about the correctness of this finding. The question arises "can India wash the blackspot of being Asia’s most corrupt administration"? Also does the proposed statutory protection to the bureaucrats would make any difference in the absence of well defined responsibilities and accountabilities?

A well reported news item has also raised a very pertinent question regarding guaranteeing public service. It claims that while the idea of protecting bureaucrats seem to be worthwhile, it seem designed more to protect civil servants than to make sure that they do their job properly. Accountability to the public has to be ensured, in a measurable manner, with proper feedback systems do that bureaucratic incompetencies can be minimised.

Congress Previous Bad Policies Haunting It Now

Samajwadi Party and BSP, which are extending outside support to UPA government, on Monday attacked Congress and said its policies and programmes since independence had failed because of which India could not become a developed nation.

Participating in a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav specified agriculture, education, employment, healthcare, naxalism and foreign policy as the areas of failure under Congress rule.

He said even if 20 per cent of the programmes announced by the Congress governments during the last five decades had been implemented, the country would have become developed.


Government Plans To Scrap UGC, AICTE

The government plans to scrap the top two regulators of higher education in line with the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC), the advisory body to the Prime Minister that has repeatedly called for the abolition of the regulatory regime in the education sector. A senior official of the ministry of human resource development said on condition of anonymity that the government will soon scrap the University Grants Commission, or UGC, and the All India Council for Technical Education, or AICTE. The two regulators, which oversee the functioning of universities and engineering and business schools in India, have often received flak for restrictive policies and sometimes opaque functioning.


Educational Reforms In India Unlikely

The government of India has announced major educational reforms in India. However, in a “corruption ailed environment” this seems to be a dream alone. Before bringing any educational reforms the government must curb the increasing corruption levels at the school, university and UGC level. Without that it is like beating wind with a stick. If the HRD Ministry is really serious it must start taking stringent actions at all the level that is presently missing. This means educational reforms in India are unlikely to happen.

India's education sector is heating up -- to scalding point. But the cash-strapped Indian government, which far overshot its budget in the last fiscal year to March, is more likely to spend on basic infrastructure such as school buildings and not on advanced facilities like e-learning and computer services in schools.

As for reforms, they remain a distant possibility. Current rules bar private investment in primary and secondary schools, whether government-owned or private, because education is designated as a not-for-profit sector. In this context, betting on education isn't such a good thing.