Tag Archives: civil services

NREGA – read FrontLine magazine for ..

4 Jan

NREGA ( National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) started by the UPA govt in 2006-2007 was unprecedented in its scale and scope.

According to the Act ,anyone who is willing to do manual labour at the statutory minimum wage is entitled to being employed on local public works within 15 days, subject to a limit of 100 days a household a year.

The Act itself made great sense in terms of its coverage and consequent economic development and social equity. A crown Jewel in the UPA’s reign indeed.

The act however had its own skepticism from noted economists , activists and the likes

Where is the money going to come from ? The govt had to dish out money for both public spending and the payment of wages for the laborers . It was no brainer that the money would be channelized from the tax collection. Fair enough!

but ….

What about the implementation?  Corruption will be rampant. Crores of common man’s money will be redirected to politician’s Swiss bank accounts etc…

In fact , if you pick up the current FRONTLINE magazine you will see how the NREGA act has progressed sinc inception.

The cover story by JEAN DREZE AND REETIKA KHERA is been extremely well researched and very insightful in presenting the facts and stats ( note : please follow the links to know more about the authors ).

You will read how the scheme has progressed in the past 2 years since inception and what are the problems the laborers are facing , the crimes committed against the backdrop of this scheme and what has to be done to improvise.

Kudos to the journalists and the students who helped them in the survey  for bringing out such a great article on the most important rural development scheme in modern India.

I therefore implore all the readers of this  blog post to buy latest copy FrontLine magazine to read more on the same.

alternatively, you can read the article on the web- The battle of employment guarantee. But, what is the fun in reading such important articles using the electronic media when you can do it the old fashioned way?

About FrontLine :

Coming from the stables of  The Hindu publishers , Frontline as always been considered the best magazine in the country for serious journalism and insightful articles and in depth surveys .

The magazine has always been considered ideal for preparation for Civil Service aspirants and other govt exams.

That is exactly the problem as well. Why only Civil Service servants ? why not regular college U.G and P.G students of management and media studies? why is it considered that only “old men” read Frontline otherwise?

Frontline is one the best magazines around to give you a complete no-nonsense ( refreshingly without too many print ads) information of whats happening in India and across the world. It is one of the best magazines you can read to improve your English language. A great magazine to quote from without worrying about its authenticity .

Tell you what ? Why don’t you guys go in for an annual subscription? It is gonna cost only Rs 265. You wont regret the investment. Just sacrifice on some outside food and direct it to the magazine. And it has  its own perks …

  • People who otherwise don’t give a hoot about you, will definitely start noticing you with raised eyebrows .
  • Chicks love it when a guy is serious about his reading choice. And I am serious!
  • Your parents for once will really appreciate what you reading and you can almost hear them whisper, ” Hamara beta sudargaya .. ”

Seriously .. go for it

Budgets are boring – How can we make it simple and efffective

13 Dec


Just a random thought…

Have you ever wondered why your friends never sit down to watch the budget when presented in the parliament?
Because it is too long , too boring and with lots of technical economic jargon.

The budget is for the common man. And most probably the common man of India will fall in the bracket of 21 years – 35years. Unless he is married , a young college going or just-started-working guy wont bother to watch it.

Wondering why FM’s have to give us long and boring budget speeches and waste time?

Here is what he can do :

  • Give a ppt presentation covering the important points. He can just give the Income and Expenditure of the Year, then move on to point out what was the amount collected last year and what is to be allocated for each department in the forthcoming year. Simple one point and the amount highlighted. This should not go more than 30-45 min.
  • Start a website dedicated for Indian budgets alone ( with archives) and make it web 2.0 friendly . which means, make it interactive using RSS feeds, forums , blogs etc . The site content can be moderated by a young techie guy. He should be completed briefed thoroughly on what to be said and what not to be said in the website. You can find numerous such talented tech/management guys via civil services exam . Make sure you pay them good.
  • The minute the Budget gets over, digitize the entire contents online for everyone to read. Make sure the language is clear and simple to follow. The website can also have pop up tabs over technical words so that a 21 year old arts student can understand what the budget means to him.
  • Open tabs to give info like this ” what the budget means to students” , ” what the budget means to the senior citizens” .. one can work out the modalities later.
  • Let the government invite people from Finance Ministry, Planning Commission etc to contribute articles on what they think about the budget. This will ensure a dialogue between the common man and the ministers.
  • Use twitter ( profile created by the govt) to send real time info to everyone in the web. use other micro blogging tools as well.
  • Most of the Babus in the cabinet are not exactly net savvy. No problem. Once the Budget is done, distribute copies of the entire budget with the intricate details to the opposition parties and all other concerned parties and one copy to the press.
  • Budget can be made less boring, more informative, reach more audience and entirely fun and hence more effective and accountable if we can combine knowledge and technology .

what are your thoughts ?

If you like this post , I would like you to spread the word by link back to this blog or bookmark it.