D-Sector for Development Community

   Thursday, November 22, 2018
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Glamour Quotient
By D-Sector Team


As courtesan and nautch girls from the cinema world enter the mecca of democracy in the country, glamour not only moves centre-stage but takes precedence over 'substance' in nominating members of the parliament as well. Given the current state of governance, nothing better could have reflected ensuing democratic decadence in the six decades since the august body of peoples' representatives has been in session. Will self-serving celebrities help serve any public-interest?

Other than refurbishing their brand image, celebrities are unlikely to influence any political discourse. None of the celebrities have made any lasting impact on parliamentary work in the last six decades and it is unlikely if it would ever be. Amitabh, Rajesh, Vinod, Dharmendra, Hema, Jaya, Lata and Govinda have only availed official perks and retirement benefits at an enormous cost to the exchequer. But if significant number of members with criminal track record can be given retirement benefits, why not celebrities who live in a bubble?



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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
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