My Views

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Our real interests

This blog is for my IIMA Batch mates.

This is second day after  Diwali. I am  in Delhi and struggling with pollution. The  air quality is bad, classified as severe.

I have  been  experiencing itching largely  on my face, neck and  shoulder area. This is allergic  reaction to the pollutants in the air.

Last  Diwali  we were  in Dubai and I escaped the pollution  of Delhi.

Last to last  year on Diwali night, it was quite bad. I had perceptible difficulty in breathing. In The earlier  years I did not  feel it troubling me.

Like me every one else  also  needs fresh air. This is our basic physiological need.

Who would  fulfil this need?

Clean air is a public good. I cannot have a private chamber where  I  have my own  oxygen cylinders  providing me fresh air.
At least  not in immediate future. And that scenario  severely restricts my mobility and quality of life.

I expect this to  be taken  care by the Government.

Our elected governments  have failed in this. All three - UPA, NDA & AAP.

Both  Executive and Legislature  have failed. Fifteen years ago Delhi air quality had gone very  bad. In some areas during evening I had   experienced burning sensation in my eyes.

Then Supreme  Court mandated  change over  to CNG for  public  transport.  We heaved a sigh of  relief. And for nearly  a  decade Delhi could claim as Green Delhi Clean Delhi. However  now we have gone back to same pitiable situation.

This  time also  Supreme  Court banned  cracker sale.
Though it had  some effect, it was not enough.

As a group what are our interests. Most of us have  earned  large amount  of  money and materially we can take  care of  our families  quite well.
In fact most of  our children are also  grown into  adults.

The entire batch has gone beyond 50 years of age. For us health  is emerging as a  key concern. Some of us have  health issues and are likely to face them more frequently.

At this  point our main  need  from the Government is clean  air. We can take care of water  by purchasing 10 to 15 litres of mineral water every day.

Do you  agree? If yes,  what are the solutions?
Can we  develop a new agenda for action?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Curbing Private practice in UP Medical colleges

Dated 14 August 2017.

News channels are  reporting today regarding rampant private  practice being indulged in by Doctors in Medical  Colleges  of UP. This  is  a corrupt  practice. It  has  to  be  curbed. However  it has  been  going on  for  a  long time. Hence  it will  not  be  easy. You  require  drastic  action. I have  outlined below the steps.

1. Appoint an IAS officer  as Principal of each Medical college with  a  clear  mandate to curb the practice. Period  3 years.

2. Give an offer  of VRS to  Doctors àbove the  age  of  40 years.

3. Make transfer  of doctors from one medical  college  to  another after  every  5 years  compulsory.

4. In order  to  achieve the above a UP Medical  Education Service may be created as Medical colleges are  autonomous. Some changes will be  required in the structure of  the  colleges. (Current Medical Service consists of  doctors who are posted  in Government  hospitals. )

5. Similarly for the staff also.

6. To achieve  coordination a council  of all medical colleges  to be  created  (if not there already. )

7. Anybody found indulging in private practice to be terminated forthwith.

8. After 3 years the IAS  officers to be  withdrawn. 
Appointment of  Principals to be  centralized.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Aadhar number should eliminate all other numbers for individuals.

Aadhar  number  is being  linked to PAN, Bank Accounts and many other  numbers.

Why not just  eliminate all other  numbers?

One by  one.

Eliminate  PAN for individuals. You file your return using your Aadhar number. For other  legal entities  having economic  identity, let  PAN continue.

You want to  open a bank account. You apply with your documents. Your account number is Bank branch code plus your Aadhar number. Last character is added to denote the nature of  your account - savings, current etc.

You are registered as a voter. No separate Voter  ID number.  Before the  election you  are just  informed about your polling booth number and its location.

You need  a  driving license. You pass the  test and your license has only your Aadhar number and your photo  and other details plus  the  type of  vehicle you are allowed to drive.

If you  are  a student and are appearing in CBSE exam,  your Aadhar number is your roll number.  You will be  given location of your exam  centre. When the result is announced you can check your result by punching your Aadhar number and a password which  you  may have created.

Similarly for Passport, LPG and host of other numbers which create confusion.

For  that matter  why should we have a sepearate GST number for individuals who are carrying on business as sole proprietorship.

All these  suggestions are for individuals.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Olympics in the need for reinventing itself

Sports events have lost the fan following in past two decades. Opening and closing ceremonies used to be spectacular displays leaving the viewers wonderstruck. These were also demonstration of the prowess of the host country.
These spectacular displays no longer impress the people because they have seen similar or much better than those on TV and videos received through WhatsApp. And any country with money to spend can get the event management agencies to do this task for them.
Too many events happen together. It is difficult to follow. Too much information is available. It is bewildering. And that makes it uninteresting.
Despite vigorous arguments from the organisers an honest appraisal leads us to the conclusion that money spent on these is largely a waste.
The largest beneficiary of such an event are the contractors and corrupt officials.
Before such an event, large sums of  money are spent on improving infrastructure. Some of it is useful like better airport, train stations, roads, bridges, flyovers and better housing  (in a limited way)
Hotels are encouraged to increase their capacity. These hotels find their occupancy rates quite low after the event is over. And that makes the investment a loss.
Investment in sports facilities suffers from low utilization after the event. Evidence is at hand. Look at the facilities created in Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi. Barring Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium other facilities are not even utilised for 10 % of the time. We saw the same plight of Beijing Sports facilities created during 2008 Olympics.
So what is the solution?
I have following suggestions:
1. Olympics should not be given to a City but to a country. Today a city hardly has ability to host such a big event. High time that Olympic Association recognises this basic fact. After all who are the members of Olympic Association?  Countries - some 200 odd and not 2000 cities.
2. All games need not be hosted by same city. Let the host country distribute the game sites within say a 500 km radius. (USA, Canada, Russia, China, Australia have such wide geographies that such a restriction would be needed ) This would mean even growth of that area.
3. The schedule of the total event should be more spread out. Instead of 2 weeks it should be spread out to 8 weeks.
4. Sports facilities largely should be created in the vicinity of a University or a big educational institution like IIT and handed over to the institution after the games are over. This would lead to better utilization of the facility after the event is over.
5. Sports persons should be allowed to stay back in the country for one to two weeks to travel around after their individual games are over.

Friday, January 22, 2016

NPAs in Banks

There is a provision that if some loans are declared as NPA, the loan can be restructured. I propose that if a big loan is restructured, the management  of the company should be changed. Remove the Chairman, MD and CEO as also the original promotors. You will see the cleaning of the industry because of this one move. Perform or perish.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Radical thoughts on how to handle festival rush

This year Dussehra is on 22nd October Thursday and Diwali is on 11 November Wednesday. Without doubt the airfares will zoom up around this time and rail tickets will not be available.

Government should allow two Boeing 747 Jumbo aircrafts to be operated for domestic flights two days before and two days after the main festival providing huge capacity and reasonable prices for the benefit of travelling public. Say from 20th October to 24th October for Dussehra and likewise for Diwali. These aircrafts can be leased from foreign airlines and flights can be 'no frills'. Don't you want a large number of young persons living away from the family to be back with their families to celebrate the festivals and connect well with the culture?

While the above will take away some load from the Railway System, I have another suggestion for Railways. While Railways run extra trains to handle the festival rush, which is commendable, they should reduce the Fare for these days by 10% as the trains are running on full capacity and operational efficiencies achieved by them do provide for excess revenue. After all, Railways are a public service and they should pass on the benefit of higher operational efficiency to the travelling public.

Both these are radical thoughts and will be resisted by vested interests. However, these are well founded ideas.

Request Civil Aviation Ministry and Railways Ministry to act on these suggestions.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Six day week (2)

At current stage of development, our country requires to work six days a week.  5 day week is a luxury and privilege which is available to only a small percentage of population. People in Central Government, big Corporates and city schools. Even state government employees work six days a week in most of the states with second Saturday being off. In fact people who enjoy 5 day week are less than 5 percent of the working population.

Shopkeepers work six days a week. In fact seventh day is used by them to purchase the items from wholesalers. All daily wage workers want to work every day.  However they may not be lucky to get the work every day. Auto rickshaw drivers come out on road on Sundays also and are happy to get even if afew trips are available on that day. Farmers and village people do not know what is a weekly holiday. Maids and domestic helps take two holidays in a month.

Look around and you will find that 5 day week is a luxury that is available to only a minority of population. This minority is also most pampered. India at this stage of development cannot and should not keep pampering a privileged minority. We should revert to six day week. However one weekly holiday should be given without fail. (Remember. Our PM works 7 days a week.)