Sunday, February 20, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Feb.13-19

1. What happens when you dole out free stuff without studying it's long term implications? By long term, I don't mean 10-20 years. Just 3-4 years of free stuff, and how easily the government runs out of ideas! Here's a claassic example. The Andhra Pradesh government, then headed by YSR, announced full fee reimbursement for engineering, MBA, MCA students, whose families have an income of less than 1 lakh per annum. Buoyed by the goodwill it bought in, this scheme was extended to unknown limits. More courses were added, even intermediate fees was included in this! An allocation of Rs. 2000 crore was made in 2009 and now an allocation of Rs. 3500 crore has been made for 2011. So what is the problem? The government does not have the money to distribute! This article in The Hindu explains how reforms that were sought to be introduced (like minimum 75% attendance, passing all subjects) were scuttled (by opportunists politicians ofcourse!). Is it so unreasonable to ask students to maintain a decent level of attendance, when you are paying their whole fees? The politicians think otherwise! Last year, the govt. could release only Rs.1000 crore. The college managements have threatened to close their institutions from the 24th of Feb. (can't blame them - how will they run colleges without the money?). And the saviour of the people of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Jagan Mohan Reddy is now on a 7-day fast, demanding that the Congress government immediately release all the required Rs.5900 crores (actually, if he shares a small part of his wealth, he can help solve this problem!). Just 4 years into this "free" scheme, a curosry look at how badly this was handled is indicator enough for the short sightedness of our leaders. Sadly, the menance of "free" stuff doesn't seem to go away anytime in the near future.

2. Last Wednesday, the district collector of Malkangiri (Odisha) and a junior engineer travelling with him were abducted by Maoists. They set a 48 hour deadline to the government, with demands including stopping of Operation "Green Hunt", releasing of innocent tribals languishing in jails, etc etc. They even suggested the names of two people (Prof. Haragopal and R. Someswara Rao) with whom they are willing to negotiate. They have even demanded the release of some of their counterparts. The Odisha government looks inclined to release some of them. The negotiations have just begun and the Maoists have extended their deadline further. They even blocked the roads, by felling trees, so that the police will find it difficult to carry out search and rescue operations! Fellow tweeter, Dubash bought it to the public notice that the collector was travelling on a bike with no security at all, when this incident happened. This is a very big security lapse and hope the governments learn something from this. This incident has bought back the focus on this whole menace of naxalism and their terror acts. Sadly, given the dormant policy of government, this menace doesn't seem to go away anytime in the near future!

3. Post that disastrous press conference by the Prime Minister, two significant things happened. The Antrix-Devas deal was scrapped by the Cabinet Committee on Security. So the S-band is back in our hands now (though no mention of how it went out of our hands in the first place, who was responsible etc etc). And your honour, Shri A. Raja was arrested by the CBI, and will be in Tihar jail till the 4th of March! Let's hope that this is just the beginning of his political end (though that possibility is remote!). That's all, your honour!


Feroze said...

Hi Sudhir,
Commendable article, to the point and precise. It is really tough to get in touch with you. I could not find any email listed on your profile and so the comment. Could you send me a mail at
We are looking for bloggers and individuals who can not just hold a thought but express it with clarity.
Feroze Qureshi

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