Skip to main content

Influencing Policy on Education and Development

As a regular reader of various blogs that discuss the issues surrounding Indian education, development, and venture capital, I some times wonder whether most of the time, we bloggers are preaching to converts.

Let me explain this a bit.

There seems to be a broad consensus among many bloggers on the following issues:

1. The Indian education system needs a radical overhaul if we are to achieve universal primary literacy, and provide equal opportunities to all in improving their lives.

2. The Government should be a facilitator of change and not the implementor. Implementation is best left to the market dynamics.

3. It is becoming increasingly obvious that it may never be possible to develop rural areas. But it is possible to develop rural population, by 'planned' urbanization. By planned I don't mean, the five year plans of the Government with their socialistic baggage. But the kind of business plans that get approved by financial institutions for mega projects.

4. To solve the infrastructure bottlenecks in India, we need to revitalize the railway network and improve connectivity, train speeds and so on. Better still, plan to privatize the railways.

5.A billion-plus population needs at least a hundred IITs and IIMs. Instead of constricting the supply of seats at these places, and creating quota fights, we need to make quality higher education available for all citizens with the necessary intellectual calibre.

6.Primary health care and availability of safe drinking water and shelter - these issues need to be tackled through public-private partnerships similar to the solutions being outlined for primary education. The Government should only lay down the guidelines (drafted by experts and not politicians and bureaucrats), and leave it to the market forces. A certain amount of required regulation must be the only government involvement.

And so on and so forth..

There could be disagreements among various thinkers, bloggers on the specifics surrounding the implementation. But there is a consensus that these issues need to be tackled urgently and that there is a dire need to change government policy in all these areas, radically.

But, how many policy makers and enforcers (politicians, their aides, big business leaders, bureuacrats etc) actually subscribe to this consensus in the blogging world? How many of them are willing to debate these issues openly?

Can the bloggers (arm chair intellectuals) actually influence public policy this way? Okay, a good number of the bloggers are also activists, and they are trying to make some difference in their respective areas. But is that enough? Will a thousand drops form a wave?

These and other such questions are troubling me. For my part, I am trying to learn as much as I can about some specific issues and plan my response in whatever small way I can. What about you, dear reader? Please share your thoughts.


Priya said…
hey thanks Kumar.... i gave a cursory look to your blog page... looks really neat. I will surely revisit and may be post a comment or two...happy blogging...

and thanks for your views on my blog.
Kumar Narasimha said…
Thank you, Priya. I visited the iDiscoveri site you mentioned. Looks neat.

Keep in touch.

Popular posts from this blog

General Elections 2009 - Analysis of AP Results

Caution: Long post :)

The newspapers, the blogworld, and the electronic media are full of election results analysis this week. With the amazing victory of Indian National Congress (INC) led UPA in the Lok Sabha elections, and the INC's successful defense of its citadel in Andhra Pradesh (AP), hopes have been raised because of assured stability at both centre and state for the next five years.

Even though I am not a supporter of Congress politics, I find it hard not to feel happy about the results because: 1.The Left has been routed in its strongholds and 2.Indian electorate has decisively voted for a National party(though for the wrong one !) ; except for Bihar and Orissa, INC has fared well wherever it was pitted against the regional parties. This bodes well for our polity. I will have another post where I am going to look at the short, medium and long term possibilities for inclusive growth and economic policy under the new dispensation.

For now, I would like to indulge in some ana…

How I (could have) made Rs.100,000 from Rs.25,000 investment in 4 months..

Note:This may read like a story.But it is not. I actually want to talk about an investment idea.But as I can never get to the point quickly, you, my reader, has to read through my 'sonta dabba' (trans: blowing one's trumpet) first.

I have a friend called Srinivas who directed a critically acclaimed, but commercially not very successful Telugu movie. This was a few years ago. Srinivas and I worked on a script last year, and we were ready to meet producers around March of this year. We did meet a couple of producers who showed interest.And then the farming bug bit Srinivas big time.

Actually, Srinivas was always interested in rural development and leveraging traditional knowledge systems along with modern technology.We both had many conversations around how, by creating a database of traditional farming techniques, we could make the knowledge available to every one. We would discuss the script for a while, and then drift into a discussion on farming stories. We both have come …

Kasi Yatra - Part 4

We are back. So, the autos sped through some fairly narrow lanes of Varanasi and deposited us in front of a street with a door at its entrance (yes, a door !). The board read 'Sri Rama Taraka Andhra Ashram'. The place where we had accommodation (Karivena Brahmana Satram) was supposed to be in the vicinity. I called the Karivena Satram manager on the cell and he gave me directions. Apparently, the Satram (travelers lodge) is some 150 m from where we were. The autos wouldn't /couldn't go beyond the spot where we got down. So, I went first through the street-door and after a couple of turns, found my self in an area full of pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh, and a few restaurants doing brisk business in Idli, Dosa, Vada, Coffee and Tea. (Great ! Food won't be an issue in this area, I thought). I found the Andhra Ashram too, and a shop keeper there guided me towards the Karivena Satram.
Thirty minutes later, we were all checked in at Karivena Satram. We took four rooms and e…