Tale of two stories

OK…let me start this blog with one statement very clearly. This is not written with any support my favored candidate for next election or to with criticism to the current government which is taking us through the “Decade of decay”. I am also not 100% sure of the legal or constitutional hurdles that might hinder this being implemented practically. This is more of an idea…more of something like the Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream…..” 🙂

I am here discussing 2 basic ideas that can change our near and long term future. If anyone has more ideas/comments, I am glad to hear them.

 

–1– Story of FDI

The smoke from the deal where my government just pushed an FDI in aviation industry and pushing an oil rich country’s agenda and selling 24% of stakes in an ailing ‘jet’ transport company, is making me write this. Honestly….even a kid with basic understanding of economics can clearly see that this is an attempt to please the ‘oily’ country for the recent fiasco in the telecom industry with the 2G scam, and its player losing more than a $1b investment. And the on the other hand the Indian ‘jet’ transportation company is neither ailing nor cash starved, at-least going by its last 2 year’s balance sheet!! I am still amused thinking what’s that constitutional or legal glitch which stopped my great government to inject that FDI into the really ailing Air ‘Maharaja’ India rather than the private player.

If FDI is the only way (or one of the ways) of making our economy to get a boost, why is our government not allowing FDI in railway engines production and servicing sector!? GE and Alstom are waiting since last 11 years waiting to bid for engine supply and also servicing them. But my great govt is still yawning on them. Imagine the change these engines can bring in!! I know one can easily figure out the chain of thoughts, but for the less fortunate on the brain side (ones like me :P)…..let me write it. Faster and more efficient engines would mean shorter journey times. And also less cost per passengers due to efficient burning of diesel. This leading to cheaper prices. Cheaper prices mean more customers walking in, both in people and cargo format. With more efficient engines, more cargo pulled per trip than usual, thus making it the more favored mode of transportation over gas guzzling trucks. And even if the efficiency of railway cargo goes up by 1%, I am sure this will translate to 100 more trucks going off the road. I will leave the rest of the equation for the reader. I am not suggesting privatization of Indian railways (that would be a disastrous decision). I am only thinking about opening doors to private players in the engine supply and servicing those engines.

Instead of pushing public transport, our governments (not just central but also states) are favouring private transportation. High speed rail links to the airports should be our priority than elevated expressways to carry more cars to those airports. Higher customs and cess should be levied on private car buyers and subsidies should be given to bus fares, bus manufacturing firms and transportation companies. As of now, its vice-versa. Tatas and Vovlo pay higher import duties than Maruti and Honda! You are getting my drift……..?

 

–2– Story of an open tap

If someone asks me what’s India’s biggest export, my first answer is not software, not cotton, but it is OUR TALENT. We are one of the highest draining countries in terms of brain power or talents. And the saddest part of this drain is, we are losing talent from where the govt. is investing. (If Mr. Kapil Sibal sees this, he might come up with a ‘zero-loss’ theory around this as well).

We know our engineers and doctors are the best in the world.  We know, our IIM products are some of the best in the world managing American and European giants. If our education system is powerfulenough to create such innovative minds and management abilities, what is stopping us from retaining them!? Lets not forget, that our IIT and IIM educations are heavily subsidized. In comparison to the other Ivy League universities in India (and some in other countries) IIT/IIM education comes at a dirt cheap price, while being the best. So, naturally this IS our government’s investment in creating best brains.

Why there are no policies to fast track top IIM grads into IAS, IFS and other administrative roles? Why there is no recruitment from IITs directly into R&D divisions of govt labs? Why can’t we have a cap on the MNC salary offers, so that it remains at par or lower than the govt offer (if not moneywise, atleast value wise)? Why can’t these guys be fast tracked in the nomination to the upper house, instead of a sportsman, singer or an actor/actress (who perhaps will never be able to add any value in policy making)!?

Isn’t there a need to create a package for these top grads, which is more valuable than any of these private offers? It seems that we have the brain to create marvelous brains but no brain to utilize those brains.

Ain’t those grads who are receiving quality education at cheaper price from the best institutions should serve back to the country? What’s happening here!? Indian govt spends money to get these guys educated for 5/2 years and all of a sudden a US/European/Japanese MNC comes and hijacks ur talent…..at ZERO cost!? Well played corporates…well played 🙂 . 

These 2 problems seem bigger to me at the moment than anything else when it comes to social change and better governance we need in this country. Any feedback or comments guys!?

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