Republic Day 2018- some thoughts


On the Republic day, it is appropriate to think of the vast development that has taken place in the country since independence. It is also not out of place to think of the missed opportunities and the ways to move forward faster. It is also useful to compare the development in India with the development that has taken place in other countries, particularly with countries like South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia etc. More important is the comparisons of per capita income, per capita availability of consumption items, medical services, educational services, transport services etc, While India has the third largest economy in the world, in per capita GDP it ranks below 100, lower than the countries to whom India extends economic assistance. Investment in research in science and technology is very low and the country looks for foreign technology and money. While importing technology on a short term basis is not harmful, looking for foreign funds is not only not necessary but also strikes at the root of self reliance. While countries with low population should seek foreign technology, India which is larger than some continents in population should aim at developing technology.

Bilateral relationship with other countries particularly with developing countries should not be based only on extending technical and economic assistance but also on receiving for Indian establishments and individuals concessions, facilities etc for their development. For example, India should make efforts to obtain permissions for Indian banks, insurance companies, educational institutes, hospitals, audit firms etc to freely operate in foreign countries. India should also seek agreement with Sri Lanka for Indian fishermen to fish in Sri Lankan waters and Sri Lankan fishermen to fish in Indian waters.


Cyclone Ockhi 2017- points to need for Ministry of Disaster Prevention and Management


Elsewhere in this blog, the need for Ministries of Disaster Prevention and Management at the centre and in the states has been stressed. The huge loss of lives and properties in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu could have been minimized if such ministries had been established. This is a very important work which should not be left to be dealt on ad hoc basis by revenue and other departments most of which have not expertise or experience to handle . the disaster problems. Systems should be established which should jump into action as soon as disaster is anticipated or starts happening. The Ministry should have regular annual budget and it should also have large contingent fund from which amounts can be drawn without waiting for sanctions from concerned authorities. There should be offices of this Ministry in every district and places vulnerable to calamities like cyclones, floods, landslides, forest fires, droughts, accidents etc.

States should have power to levy and collect income tax


According to the Constitution of India, income tax is a central subject. The Central Govt has only a few offices in states that too in cities and large towns. On the other hand state governments have offices even in remote villages. For example Village Administrative offices (VAO) which issue various certificates like income certificates, Community Certificates, Nativity Certificates etc, are located in all revenue villages. So, it is easy for state governments to know if any particular individual or company may have taxable income. The VAOs can maintain and update data on those having taxable income. This will minimize and almost eliminate the need for raids by income tax officers.

Further, instead of the central government collecting income tax and transferring part of the same to states, the state governments themselves can levy and collect the same. In order that the people are not taxed too much, the Finance Commission can suggest maximum central and state tax rates which together should not exceed the current or reasonable level. This is similar to the central and state GST.

In this context, it will be appropriate to state that the income which is invested for productive purposes like establishment of factories, transport organizations, commercial farming, service industries etc. which generate considerable employment, should be exempted from tax. After all the governments which collect taxes, are expected to use the money mostly for employment generating activities.

It may be added that in United States, most of the states levy income tax in addition to the Federal Government.

Keeping India Clean


To keep India clean, garbage collection from homes and streets, transportation and disposal of garbage should be mechanized as in developed countries.
machines should be used for sucking plastic and paper sheets and bags. There should be no plastic papers flying in the wind.
machines should be used for sucking dry leaves also.
Green plants and grass along the roads should be cut using machines.
The following steps may make people conscious of cleanliness and dignity of keeping the places of work, residence, entertainment etc and surroundings clean
children in schools and colleges should be made to clean the schools/colleges, their lunch boxes etc.
there should be no posts of cleaner/sweeper in offices. The other staff should keep the offices and surroundings clean
Similarly business establishments should be made to keep their places and surroundings clean
In villages and towns, Volunteers for Cleanliness should be organized. These volunteers may devote about an hour in the mornings/evenings to keep the places clean. Their services should be recognized by giving awards carrying special privileges.

Ministry for Disaster Prevention and Management


Elsewhere in this Blog, the need for separate full fledged ministries for Disaster Prevention and Management at the centre and the states has been stressed. The recent suffering of the people on account of heavy rainfall, water logging, floods etc underline the importance of the above suggestion. The work to be undertaken to prevent and manage the above mentioned disasters is so huge that existing arrangements are not sufficient. Even during this heavy rainfall season, while several lakes and dams are full and overflowing, several other lakes and dams are not full even to one third of the total height of the lakes and dams according to TV news reports. This shows that the lakes and dams need to be connected with each other. The water bodies need to be desilted every year. This is a huge task and if undertaken fully, the Ministry would be one of the largest spending ministries.

The suggested ministry should handle not only floods and waterlogging, but also drought, artificial rains, fires, winds, earthquakes, landslides and other disasters

heavy rainfall, floods, waterlogging and measures to reduce suffering of the people


Due to north-east mansoon there is heavy rain in Chennai city and coastal areas leading to floods, waterlogging etc causing suffering to the people. This is time for opposition parties, NGOs etc to offer constructive actionable suggestions and to avoid criticism of the government. Criticism is to be avoided as it will divert the attention and focus of the government leaders from urget action that they are required to take, to redress the suffering of the people.

In Indonesia, as had been reported in this blog earlier, most of the rain is made to fall over sea by cloud seeding over sea. The clouds moving after cloud seeding will have less or no rain to fall over the coastal cities and coastal places. However cloud seeding should be resorted to, after the water reservoirs are full so that there is no water shortage in the later period.

Making society safe for people


All over the world, including developed countries, crimes are increasing in numbers as also in seriousness. In most cases criminals are traced and punished. But the crimes continue to take place.

It is easier to punish a criminal, but it is more important to prevent a crime taking place. For preventing crimes criminal minds of the people should be changed. For this, fear should be instilled in the minds of the people about serious consequences of committing crime not only in this birth but also in life after death( as believed in Hinduism ,Islam, Christianity, etc). Course in moral science for students should be designed in such a way that people will be afraid of to not only harm but even think of harming people. This may not be easy but attempts should be made in this direction.

Police authorities already have lists(though not exhaustive) of people involved in repeated crimes. These people should be exposed yoga, meditation, religious lectures etc. Spiritual leaders of all religions should be requested to take interest in these activities. Spiritual leaders should be given places of honour in the society, so that they take interest in social issues of the people.

These yoga etc activities should also be organized in prisons which should become places of reformation

Vigilant Committees should be organized in all areas which will report their suspicions, views and ideas to the Police authorities. Members of these committees should be selected mostly from retired people,(to keep expenditure to the minimum) after careful considerations. In order to make them committed to their task, they should be given awards, honours and honororiums. They should be posted at busy places like bus stands, busy shops, markets, educational institutes, hospitals, banks, ATMs, govt.offices, temples, churches, mosques etc. where surveillance cameras should also be installed.

Most importantly, all able bodied persons should be given full time employment with decent salaries.

The question of giving one or two years military and police training to all people before they go for regular jobs should also be considered. This is to instill sense of discipline.

The above measures may lead to reduction of incidence of crime.