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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bangaloreing voters' list review

text of the letter sent to TOI:

I was quite excited to read the caption 'Voters' list review Bangalored' in your columns this morning (23rd Jan). However, on going through the text, I was disappointed to find that what was proposed hardly amounted to 'Bangaloreing', going by the general understanding of the term. What is proposed is a review by another set of babu's, but from different states, which can have a limited impact, at best.

Indeed, what needs to be done is the proper Bangaloreing of not just the review, but the preparation and maintenance of the voters' list itself. Now, supposing the likes of say an Infosys, Wipro or TCS is entrusted with the job, within a matter of a few months, they will work to ensure an accuracy of even upto 99%, from the less than 50% as existing (as admitted by the State Election Commision itself), contributing greatly to the strengthening of our democratic process.

Organised private sector companies are today being entrusted with far more sensitive jobs, and one fails to see how much more sensitive these kinds of jobs are. Besides, the general public today has far greater faith and confidence in the abilities and integrity of these kinds of companies than they have in most of the government organisations.

In fact, I expect it will not be far off in the future before the equivalents of Election Commissions in the UK and US actually start Bangaloreing these jobs.

Monday, January 21, 2008

missing the point

Last evening, I happened to watch the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ programme on CNN-IBN, where Karan Thapar was interviewing Sunita Narayan (of CSE). The subject of discussion was TATA motor’s NANO. And, contrary to the norm, both were generally agreed on many of the points that came up.

An important point that they both stressed on was the need for the likes of TATA to be making world-class buses, even as they have begun making world-class cars. But, the even more important aspect that they, and everyone else, seem to miss out on is the need for the likes of TATA’s to get into providing public bus transport services. These services are too vital for the nation to be left in the hands of government-run monopoly organizations. The present regime does not allow for their entry. If facilitated, their entry will change the entire dimensions of the problem, and solutions to many of the current ones will become automatic, contributing significantly to improved quality of life, both of the poor as well as the rich.

Besides, this does not require a single paisa investment from the government side. Perhaps, that’s where the problem lies, since it will mean the drying up of another source of making money underhand.