Monday, September 11, 2017

Knee Jerk Governance ?!



A Country of RULES, RULES and more RULES


I do not know how many of you have noticed. We are a country of RULES, RULES & more RULES.

Probably the only country in the world with the most RULES (LAWS) for anything and everything.

Somebody alleged that it is because laying down rules are the easiest of tasks; doesn't involve any responsibility. 

Make a rule that helmet is mandatory. But, don't make a rule that safe roads are mandatory. Because, making safe roads involves effort. Whereas, forcing the biker to wear a helmet is simple. And, if he fails, more money to the government kitty.

I have been wanting to write this for a long time now. See, the idea is not to find fault with anybody. The idea is to highlight the problem in the system.


School tragedies


The trigger for this article is the sad loss of the innocent child in a Gurgaon school on account of alleged murder.


Similar incidents have happened in many parts of the country. It is alleged that in every case, there was always a reaction from the authorities and an assurance that steps have been taken to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in the future.


One such incident that comes into our mind in this context is the Kumbakonam school fire accident tragedy. 

There was another such incident in Bengaluru, following which schools in Chennai were asked to install CCTV cameras in their premises.

The schools were also asked to verify the credentials of the employees.


Follow up IS IMPORTANT

take action based on advisories

What would be the ideal course of action? Now, it is up to the local authorities, the police and civic administration, to verify periodically, if the advisories are being followed.

Regular visits to the schools by the police and the corporation authorities and frequent meetings with the principals of the schools would keep them on their toes at all times.

Getting updates on the status of security and safety protocols from the schools on a regular basis will give the schools a sense of fear and responsibility that they are being monitored. This will definitely ensure that the schools take extra care and do not let their guard down.

School infrastructure and layout of the schools, with entry and exit details, whether MCBs are installed, the ratio of students vs teachers vs maintenance and security staff and all such things need to be shared with the authorities.
Actions need accountability. Someone needs to assume the responsibility.
The authorities can then formulate a plan or ideal scenario, which can be recommended to the school to follow up and implement. A timeline may be given to the school for the implementation of the ideal security protocol system.

We do not know if such an exercise was taken up by the corporation and the police with the schools in Chennai.



Status of safety and security

The Blue book on school safety has to be drafted NOW.

In the context of safety and security of the children, what will be the present status of safety and security in our schools across the country? Is there a blue book available on such safety and security aspects of all schools in the country with the authorities? It would be a sweet surprise if such information is available with them. We, as citizens would be most proud.

That would have been wonderful. But, given the track record of our authorities, we are just waiting for another mishap to happen.

Then there will be another knee jerk action from the government, authorities and the schools, which everybody will forget over a period of time.

A Blue Book on School safety is the immediate need of the hour.


Knee jerk governance


As we all know, all our governments have always been reactive, not pro active. Our governance have been reactive and not proactive. The focus is always on rectifying the problem after it has happened and not taking steps to prevent the occurrence of a problem.

We have never been in a situation where we were on top of a situation all through our 70 years of governance of independent India. Let us take for example, the 2015 and 2016 floods of Chennai and the 2004 tsunami in the coastal areas of Tamilnadu.

Do you think the government is now prepared to tackle such an incident if it were to happen again? Think about it.

We are a reactive and relief offering system. We are never an anticipating and well prepared system. The problem is systemic.

It is not because we do not want to be prepared. It is because, there is no system in place. There are no long term plans that are prepared and put into place.

Is there a Solution for our ills?

Most definitely. But, we need to have long term plans for nation development along with the short term plans. We need to have at least a basic set of rules [as we all know, our governments are experts in laying down rules] for each department of the government, going down to the grass roots.

Presently, we have 5 year plans. We have governments that run for 5 years. And, if there is a change of guard after 5 years, there is a tendency to put the plans of the previous government in the back burner, or put them in the cold storage.

Hence forth, all our government decisions should be based on the merits of the plans. We need to take all the intelligentsia of the population into confidence and all decisions will have to put the interest of the nation paramount.

We need not all those 5 year plans or 10 year plans. 

We need to have 20 year plans. How do we envisage our city 20 years from now? 
How do we see our state 20 years from now? How do we want our country to be 20 years ahead?

This takes time, but it would be well worth the effort that is put into this.

Mould the young minds


We need to mould the young minds of today; they are going to be the rulers of tomorrow. There is a dire need to create a healthy future generation that is fit in body and mind, which is capable of leading the nation into its bright future.

We need to introduce compulsory physical exercises, yoga and meditation, to keep the mid and body focused and keep them from harm's way.

Follow the Japanese way


I recently saw a Japanese video, which emphasized the attitude of the Japanese people, which is respect and caring for the others. Every Japanese is known to be respectful of the others. That is a quality, which we need to inculcate in our future citizens. We need a country full of citizens who are concerned about other citizens.

We should tell our future generation about the glorious past of our country, which was the fount of civilization in its heyday, till greed and selfishness brought us down.

This is sure to bring down all the ills of corruption and greed, which are pulling the nation down from all sides.

There is HOPE for the future


We hope that at least from this incident onward, the government takes serious cognizance of its responsibilities as the ruler of this great nation.


Link: School buses in chennai to be equipped with cctv cameras
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