As Narendra Modi government is rolling out various initiatives to accelerate growth and ameliorate the standard of living of the 1.2 billion people, Sameer Kochhar's new book titled Defeating Poverty: Jan Dhan and Beyond should be an eye-opener for policymakers of yesteryears as well as those at the helm right now. While poverty eradication has been a national priority since the day India attained Independence, the country still has about 300 million people surviving on subsistence income.
When we talk of government services, the image of long queues, unending delays, chaotic offices and piles of paper, automatically crops in our mind. This was true for all levels of government - the Centre, the states as well as the local bodies. However, things are changing gradually for better with the use of information and communication technology. Some of the organisations have successfully transformed their way of functioning and service delivery system with the help of modern technology.
Acquisition of land by government and corporates has lately drawn resistance in many cases due to inadequate compensation and loss of livelihoods of the affected people, as well as for involuntary displacement without proper rehabilitation. NC Saxena analyses the issues related to land acquisition in respect of the new laws and its impact on infrastructure and industry
Vinod Rai is not just accountant - he is an impulsive writer too who writes diary to keep the conscience of the nation, as confirmed by him through the title of his truly sensational book.
Inheriting a legacy of jobless growth is not a very happy situation for any new government. But Narendra Modi took up this daunting challenge as an opportunity to unleash some of the radical labour reforms - one that not only would please labourers but also meet the needs of India Inc, steps that remove irritants in doing business and help in reducing compliance time and cost.
Whenever I meet senior bureaucrats at the centre, I always ask one question. So what has changed with the Modi Government? Almost in unison the single biggest change that they talk about is that all crony capitalist pulls and pressures are off and now they actually feel that they are working for India and not for a person. There is a new - found sense of empowerment and most believe that the government will stand behind their decisions and they would not be hauled over hot coals for bona fide mistakes.
Even a decade back, Madhya Pradesh was counted as one of the backward or "bimaru" states along with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. But Shivraj Singh Chouhan seems to turn the disadvantage in opportunity -- MP now ranks among fastest growing states and may be a trendsetter for social and inclusive development.
To be or not to be is a question being posed in context of NIC for long. When Secretary, DeitY says that NIC does not have even a fraction of capacity to implement 'Digital India' as envisaged by the Prime Minister, the statement can either be read as a criticism of NIC or a prelude to unleashing an NIC invigoration plan this may help NIC to evolve as a formidable information systems organisation that any country would be proud of.