The election of a member of the parliament who is of opposition party can be seen as a mark of dawn of the democracy shining on the western horizon of the country. The victory for Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, in the by-elections recently held in Myanmar has confirmed deep faith of people in the institution of democracy. The military rule has done more harm than benefits to the people and country as a whole. The world community is strongly in the support of the democratisation of the governance world over which aims to give supremacy of public in the affairs of the governance and an outcome of which will be free and open economy which the western economies are trying hard to achieve in disguise of democracy. The world will welcome every step in the direction of democratisation of the society. The western countries will surely loosen the sanctions if they feel that the government is ready to adopt changes and modifications in the present governance.
The High Level Expert Group (HLEG) of the Planning Commission on Universal Health Coverage has given very good reasoning how the availability of free medicines will relieve the general public. The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) should be integrated in the existing National Rural Health Mission and such other health related drives and mission. An expanded National Essential Drug List is badly needed for the elimination of irrational drugs from prescriptions by government doctors, priority for generic medicines and, crucially, a good centralised procurement system should be developed at national level. Government should promote indigenous drugs and medicine companies should be given incentive so that we can become self dependent for medicines as a good percentage of high quality drugs are imported from other countries or the foreign companies deliver in India. The percentage of GDP expenditure on medicine need a review. Creating a healthy environment is also necessary for all citizens.
The whole process seems to be a political drama taking place in the name of appointing enquiry committee to silence the uproar and media’s criticism and comments. It is sad that instead of doing justice the committee has proved to a tool in the hand of the politician to supress matters. The recommendations of the committee in the case of ‘viewing of pornography by three prominent Bharatiya Janata Party Ministers during a session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on February 7’ is not a rational and seems highly inluenced by the political powers. The recommendation for penalising the media for such coverage and banning the private channels from recording and publishing Legislative Assembly proceeding is a clear violation of the ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression’. The recommendations of the committee has opended up new avenues for media attention and criticism which will further expose their nature and intentions of protecting the erring politician. People and press must come forward
The tobacco products production and marking is a big business in today’s world. In spite of strong legal provisions and general consent of public for banning such products, menace of the tobacco products is going on unabated in the world. From various studies conducted so far it is well proved that consumption of tobacco products in any form is injurious to health. Sometimes the written warnings are misinterpreted by youths e.g., on Gutkha (packed in tobacco product in small pouches) have a warning like ‘Tobacco is injurious to health. Not for young’. When we combine the two statements the message get distorted and reversed. It has been seen that the advertisement of bad effects of tobacco like oral and lung cancers deter youths and more to the rural people as the visual messages have strong effects on the mind of the people. Many tobacco products manufacturer don’t follow the guidelines provided in the Tobacco Product (Control and Regulatory) Act, 2011 enacted by Government of India
— Shashikant Nishant Sharma School of Planning and Architecture,* (under the Ministry of HR&D, Govt. of India), New Delhi-110002
Our Election Commission(EC) has been doing a good job in upholding the values of democracy in India. We have seen the commendable jobs done by the Election Commission in past during the assembly elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It is another praiseworthy step taken by the EC to countermand an election to the Rajya Sabha: in Jharkhand, following ‘incidents of horse-trading’ and attempts to influence the electors – Members of the Legislative Assembly – by offering cash for votes. This will surely go a long way in paving the smooth way for the future of Indian Democracy. Our society is blessed to have a rational and educated middle class and well trained civil servants who are heading such esteemed positions as the secretaries and commissioners and steering the governance in the right direction. Corruption and malpractices are prevalent in our society and it is our responsibility not to accept then and whatever,however and wherever we must oppose them and with due rationality.
If we raise our children the right way, with respect and ma n n e r s , t h e r e wi l l n e v e r be a need to put hands on t h e m . S c h o o l s t a f f g e t a b u s e d b y s t u d e n t s , a n d w h e n p a r e n t s a r e c a l l e d t h e y s a y t h e y w i l l h a n d l e i t . N e x t d a y , t h e s a m e student comes and laughs at the staff member, calling t h em n ame s , t e l l i n g t h em thei r parents did nothing. Parents do their children a great disservice when they p r e v e n t t h e m f r o m b e i n g p u n i s h e d a t s c h o o l f o r misbehaving. There must be a balance between affection and punishment .
Shashikant Nishant Sharma School of Planning and Architecture New Delhi
There are two sides to the c o i n . O n t h e o n e h a n d , t e c h n o l o g y h a s s u b v e r t e d u s t o a g r e a t e x t e n t , s o much so that for many of us, our lifestyle has become s e d e n t a r y g i v i n g r i s e t o m a n y d i s e a s e s . O n t h e other hand, there are social networking sites that have c e r t a i n l y m a d e i t m o r e convenient to get in touch with people with whom we have lost contact. They have also have helped business, e s p e c i a l l y s m a l l b u s i n e s s e s . T h e y c a n b e h e l p f u l i n n e t w o r k i n g f o r employment purposes also. Of course, the decrease i n f a c e – t o – f a c e c o m m u n i c a t i o n i s o f t e n l i s t e d a s t h e m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t c o n , a n d i t certainly is one; but I have a l s o e n c o u n t e r e d s e v e r a l s i t u a t i o n s w h e r e p e o p l e have initiated contact with o t h e r s t h r o u g h s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n g s i t e s b e c a u s e t h e y p r o v i d e p r i v a c y a n d o p p o r t u n i t y t h a t w o u l d normally be unavailable to them. S c i e n c e h a s g i v e n u s many sophisticated gadgets and tools. It depends on us h o w w e a r e g o i n g t o u s e them. We can enjoy social life if we minimize the time s p e n t o n n e t f o r s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n g a n d t r y t o s o c i a l i z e wi t h f r i e n d s a n d neighbours. Shashikant Nishant Sharma Bachelor of Planning School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
I don’t find any reason why Vodafone should not be taxed for capital gains no matter where is deal is fianalised but the true impact is in India so the Indian government must have right to tax. Many pseudo outsourcing companies based in Mauritius evade tax on account the treaty signed with Govt. of Mauritius which seeks to avoid double taxation and companies will have to pay taxes to domicile county.
I think it is high time our policy framers should devise more rational taxing policy to plug the existing loopholes in the current tax system or legislation.
The proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre in India is an ambitious programme and it will boost not our intelligence system but also make the terrorism response mechanism more proactive. The lack of coordination among the different agencies dealing with the counter terror and internal peace and security is very alarming and many terrorist or insurgent groups operating in India get away easily. Very often we hear that that a particular agency took the responsibility of a terror attack and the news fade away. Why this is happening in India? If you see for example the stand of USA against the terror is clear and quite appreciable. They nuke down the terror infrastructure even in foreign land and here in India we even can’t uproot their training camps running in various parts of the country either known or unknown to the intelligence agencies. The state government should cooperate with the initiative of the Home Ministry and NCTC a great success and example for the rest of the world. Very often the intelligence is able to collect informations but there is no agency responsible for acting on it. This can be either due to the lack of skilled personnel and the training of the state police department or the lack of coordination between various law enforcing agencies.
The negative point that I have thought out are as follows. First, the state consensus must be taken into account. This can be done either through persuation of effective high level meeting between the official of different states. Seconly, I would try to draw attention to the lack of upgradation of the existing agencies and state police departments. Thirsly, there is perception that giving intelligence and law enforcing powers in same hands will make them more powerful and they might be puppet in the hand of Centre to weild more power and intimidate state police power.
My suggestion would be that it is not yet late to initiate a copprehensive discussion and debate in parliament or in a meeting of all state Chief Ministers and high level bureaucrats.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma School of Planning and Architecture,* (under the Ministry of HR&D, Govt. of India), New Delhi-110002
There can be many parameter to decide the best investment opportunity but so far as I think investing in service industries give you more dividend in short term than in manufacturing sector. The service industry don’t have to produce goods but make his reach to more customers and improving the quality of services. There is very low risk of making losses as investment has been made and only revenue expenditure is needed to keep the service delivery and expansion moving. Shashikant Nishant Sharma Urban Planner and Consultant New Delhi