Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mutually incompatible inclusion, expansion and excellence

Home > Edits & Columns > Let’s plan nano-towns P.V. Indiresan Indian Express: Monday, January 14, 2008
‘Inclusion, Expansion, Excellence’ is the three-part motto of the XI Five Year Plan. It is a good way too to define the social engineering issues of modernisation and globalisation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to maximise all these three simultaneously:
  • Inclusion of everyone will not lead to excellence; it will retard expansion too.
  • Rapid expansion will necessarily place a premium on the competent, exclude the less able and increase disparities. Due to paucity of skilled manpower, rapid expansion will have to sacrifice excellence too.
  • Likewise, maximising excellence will adversely affect both inclusion and rapid expansion.

The challenge of social engineering lies in putting together the mutually incompatible inclusion, expansion and excellence in such a manner that it causes least offence. The solution is not easy. Compromises will be necessary, and no compromise will satisfy everyone. The writer is a former director of IIT, Chennai indiresan@gmail.com


Home > Edits & Columns > Track every rupee Jaithirth Rao Indian Express: Monday, January 14, 2008

Over the years, we have developed excellent think-tanks in Public Policy. The Centre for Policy Research is a good example. As a result, we have a broad consensus on policy issues. Everyone is agreed that inclusive growth is a must. Leaving the majority of the country abysmally poor (in absolute, not just relative terms) is morally obnoxious; those who are not troubled by morals will relate to the fact that a large sullen underclass represents a danger to private prosperity inside high-rises or gated communities...

We are in need of think-tanks that are focused, not on policy objectives, where there is more unanimity than we give credit for, but on the mechanics, processes, systems and incentive signals for implementation and execution. The beneficiaries of high growth in India’s private sector need to rise to this challenge. Dealing with this challenge will determine what kind of India we bequeath to our children. The writer is a student and observer of the contemporary Indian scene jerry.rao@expressindia.com

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