gfiles magazine

October 15, 2015

A step towards ‘minimum government’?

bureaucracy prabhat kumar

Rumour is the grist of bureaucracy. It breaks bureaucratic monotony and adds a little excitement in the otherwise drab world of contributing to policymaking and helping in implementing policies on the ground. It is hotly debated in the lunch clubs of government offices and then spreads out into the news-hungry media. Not to be left behind, the social media adds spice to the broth. Points are scored and conclusions arrived at. No one knows where these rumours originate, but they amuse or scare while they are alive.

India’s ‘Development’ Model Driving on the wrong side?

politics mg devasahayam

Following the global recession, the Indian economy is possibly heading towards a tail-spin. Responding to this crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited top industrialists and businessmen to discuss ways and means to revive the economy. Their panacea was the Goods and Services Tax (GST), easy land acquisition, reduction in interest rates and labour reforms. Viewed practically, these suggestions cannot stand objective scrutiny. Implementing GST would equalise the tax rates on goods consumed by the rich and the poor.

Skilling India: Old wine in new bottle

education skills
by Urmila Rao
The intention and attention to skilling India is welcome. However, the ‘Skill India’ initiative that Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out on July 15 with a Rs. 5,040-crore budget is old wine in a new bottle. The new strategies to impart skill training to youth are but a revamp of the old approaches; equally ambitious and, well, elusive in the face of existing anomalies. Scaling down the Congress government’s goal of skilling 500 million youth by 2022, the BJP has revised the target to 402 million people. “We have strategically opened a war against poverty, and we must win this fight,” declared Prime Minister Modi during the ‘Skill India’ launch  as he laid emphasis on youth skills’ training to make children from poor and middle class families  “stand on their feet”. 

After Aurangzeb, who?

religion mk kaw

A small news item tweeted that Aurangzeb Road in Lutyens’ Delhi which houses some of the richest men in India has been renamed by the New Delhi Municipal Council as “A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road”. This is not the first time that Aurangzeb has been targeted by Hindutva enthusiasts or Sikh leaders. Typical of the reaction was a comment by a friend close to the RSS, “Imagine naming a prominent avenue after Aurangzeb, the butcher of Islam. It is like naming Wall Street after Hitler. If they had to honour one of the sons of Shah Jahan, why not choose Dara Shikoh who translated the Upanishads into Persian?”

Captain of the people

brijesh kumar gupta

it was like yesterday. Brijesh Kumar Gupta had just entered Niranjan Talkies in Allahabad to watch a movie when he heard shouts of “Kaptan sahib aa rahen hain (The SSP is coming)”. Gupta, then in his early 20s, a student of MA (History) in Allahabad University, got pushed around in the melee. He, obviously, did not like being shoved around. But after the 1971 incident, an idea—‘Why shouldn’t I become a Kaptan?’—took root in Gupta’s mind. The posting of BS Bedi and Ajayraj Sharma, 1961- and 1966-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, respectively, as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Allahabad further steeled his resolve to be part of the steel frame.