I recently gave an interview to One India One People magazine. Here is an excerpt on what I think are the three main reforms that need to be taken up on a urgent basis to bring about a positive impact on society:

Education reforms: As you may know majority spending on public education is done through government schools. I would propose an alternative model of funding allocation on a ‘per child’ basis which would ensure an equitable distribution of resources and invariably result in better outcomes. Greater autonomy to state school authorities, performance pay that encourage better teaching and learning outcomes, giving failing schools on learning achievement contracts to third parties are some other necessary reforms. The higher education sector should be completely opened up for entry and competition with the requirements of transparency and accountability from the providers.

Define and enforce property rights: We also need reforms to ensure property right in India—for land, tangible and intangible property. Even proper legal title for land and houses are not easily available giving rise to unfair exchange in these assets. The poor and marginalised people like tribals, small farmers and informal sector workers often lack clearly defined property rights and are therefore open to abuse by the state and the corporates. A street vendor’s basket of goods is taken away by the police because the state believes that she has no property right in her basket of goods.

Economic reforms II: The reforms that were started in 1991 need to be taken forward by limiting government involvement in activities that people can undertake themselves. We need to question the relevance of some of the Public Sector Units and also some ministries such as the Ministry of Steel which has become defunct since the liberalisation of the corresponding sectors. Do we need the government to run hotels, jute mills and bicycle factories?”

I hope you enjoy the rest of it: http://www.oneindiaonepeople.com/ They have a poor linking system, so go to current issue (Dec 2009) then Face to Face.

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.