Answer the following:

What is one of the three largest residences on earth;

costs the national exchequer over Rs 60 crores per annum (with a private school monthly school fees of Rs 800 per month, about 60,000 children can be schooled);

one man is served by 150 gardeners, 110 sweepers, 35 butlers, 18 cooks, 10 bakers, 16 drivers, five mechanics, 180 bodygaurds and 60 horses – in total about 1000 aides for him;

1,000 armed Delhi Police personnel;

electricity bill of Rs 31 lakh per month and a water bill of Rs 2 lakh;

the list goes on…

Welcome to the 360 acre, 340 room Rashtrapati Bhavan, that monumental colonial legacy maintained through the public exchequer! Information is courtesy Tehelka.

Do we need this? Can not the post (anyways the post has become a figure head!) be less costly to maintain? Can not Mr Abdul Kalam Azad do something about it? Apparently he hasn’t visited most of the rooms even after three years! I have tried to rack my head to find one sound argument for their continuance but yet to find one. If there is one person who can do it, it is perhaps Mr Abdul Kalam Azad only himself who can set an example of the classic conundrum: how do you get a government to limit itself? Can this be his vision, mission and legacy?

The P-Residency!

Any way out? I offer a solution.


Post Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.

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Naveen Mandava

Naveen is Co-Founder at XamCheck, an organization that partners with schools, supporting them in processes they follow, with learning materials and processes that are all crafted to work together as an interconnected system to drive learning. He is a Doctoral Fellow from RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, United States of America. He has worked extensively on assessment based decision support for governments, non-profit organizations and schools chains in India and the USA for over 10 years. He has been a Lead Consultant with the World Bank’s Innovations for Poverty Action Consortium, a Policy Analyst with RAND Corporation and a Research Manager at Centre for Civil Society.