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(Daily Information Capsules for all those who want to fathom learning in all its depths)
Date 10th September'10
(To be used by faculty members AND A copy to be kept for students’ reference in the Library too)
The following pages contain
India's disappointing government
(4) of (4)
And it has done no more in other pressing areas. Athletics is not cricket. When Mr Singh’s government. Stagnant monsoon water. Yet it puts India back in its wished-for realm of 9% growth. Mr Singh and Sonia Gandhi. than its predecessor. the prime minister. That may depend on how you define “best”. but the Congress-led coalition is squandering an opportunity to improve India The weightlifting auditorium has a leaky roof. abuzz with dengue-carrying mosquitoes. which are due to begin on October 3rd. This shambles. are highly regarded. came to power in May last year it was considered to be in a strong position to improve matters. This figure was made especially rosy by the relative gloom of a year earlier. a coalition dominated by the Congress party. who dogged its outgoing coalition administration. are shot to pieces because of 24-hour processions of workmen at most venues. Manmohan Singh. On August 31st it said that output had grown by 8. Its main opposition. in terrorism-stricken India. like infrastructure and health care. the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. sapping bureaucracy and shoddy workmanship are all to blame. The government has at least managed the economy steadily.8% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter last year. That may well deter them. the party chief. letting it shake off a few of the troublesome partners. The athletes’ village has no kitchen. And Congress’s leaders. collects at most of the stadiums being hurriedly built for the Delhi Commonwealth games. including Communist parties. And few know much about their country’s image abroad. not least because it mirrors how large parts of India are run. was deflated by electoral defeat. Yet it is depressing. feuding ministries. and it is based on strong growth in jobcreating manufacturing. reiterates the official line that these will be the “best games ever”. a civil nuclear co-operation deal with America that was expected to lead to big investments in nuclear energy. On August 30th India’s upper house passed a nuclear-liability law that will make suppliers of nuclear fuels and related gear liable for 80 years in the event of any malfunction. It may even have jeopardised one of that government’s biggest achievements.India's disappointing government The economy is powering on.4%. Drishti (4) of (4) . But almost everywhere else the results are disappointing. Congress had won a general election convincingly. which increased by 12. The security arrangements. does not matter to many Indians. for which corruption. The government has brought almost none of the economic reform India needs.
From her central Delhi bungalow. These include violent separatist protests in Kashmir. Kamal Nath. Another. an able minister. Kapil Sibal. it has moved. to scrap a petrol subsidy. In education. The government’s inability to make itself work better is a more basic failing—richly evident in the games’ foul-up—for which Congress. road-building. an effort to prune the country’s dreadful thicket of indirect taxes into a tidier form. was appointed. State governments are against any change that the centre will not fund. an all-India Goods and Services Tax. That explains why the America-India nuclear deal was passed by the previous government. Mr Singh’s power is limited. The education minister. at 10 Janpath. another priority. has promised an array of improvements. which has cost almost 900 lives this year. which suggests they are not yet free. Despite hopes bandied about by businessmen. To address a big weakness of the previous government. announced in June to many loud public protests. He promised to build an average of 20km a day. Mrs Gandhi controls the government. to April 2012. The man at the wheel A lack of strong leadership underlies that. and its negotiating skills are poor. yet its implementation is bogged down. becoming the 65th victim of the year. This has been enshrined in law. is especially guilty.Worse. But even when the government has tried bits of reform it has often got stuck. Drishti (4) of (4) . including universal primary education. Yet on the rare occasions when Mr Singh has decided to put his shoulder to the wheel. her 40-year-old son Rahul. has been followed by only one rise in petrol prices. The biggest. but this looks unlikely. there never was much prospect of this leftist government bringing economic reform to India’s statist financial sector or protected retail industry. The easy response to this disappointment is to blame unrealistic expectations. Ministers also pay more heed to the man expected to be the next prime minister. despite much hostility to it. has been pushed back by a year. and a worsening Maoist insurgency in east India. partly provided for through private schooling. in charge of the Delhi state government. early progress has slowed. the government’s poor management of several crises makes it seem incompetent. where an 11-year-old boy was killed by police on August 30th. than to the current one.
an urgent need. meanwhile shows little interest in the tough business of policy. on August 26th. as their “soldier in Delhi”. by contrast. After the government forbade a big mining company. forthcoming state elections. India Today. He is devoted to rebuilding Congress. This ambition also explains Mr Gandhi’s single recent policy statement. about 8% of the total. According to Newsweek he is the world leader “other leaders love”. Indeed they need one. will be important tests of his progress. in a poor. But his reluctance to act more vigorously explains why he is rated less highly at home than abroad. Vedanta. Drishti (4) of (4) . has not tried to do more—especially to calm the crises in Kashmir and the east—is baffling. crowded country. found that 1% of Indians consider him their first choice for prime minister. would certainly be helpful to Congress. Mr Gandhi.Why Mr Singh. he rushed to present himself to them. a formidable economist and liberal. in Bihar in October and West Bengal next year. a late-developer. But it would be more useful for India if Mr Gandhi could get a long-stalled land-acquisition bill through parliament. to extract bauxite from a mountain in Orissa sacred to local tribes. especially in populous north India. And the tribal vote. It would redefine the terms under which the government can acquire land for industry.