Current Public Administration Magazine (MAY 2019)

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

1. Accountability and Control

A House for MPs

The din and debate of elections have come to an end. In a few days, the first session of the new Parliament will begin, and the focus of politics will shift to the Parliament House in Delhi. The newly elected MPs of the 17th Lok Sabha will start working in a building which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as the “Temple of Democracy”. For almost a century, the circular edifice of Parliament has been an observer of women and men who have shaped our country. But the most iconic building in Delhi was not part of the original plan for the Capital city.

The Imperial Legislative Council was the legislature for British India from 1861, and was expanded to include elected members in 1909. A question was raised in the British Parliament in 1912, enquiring about the provision for a separate building for the Legislative Council in the new capital city of Delhi.

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2. Indian Government and Politics

The North Block Challenge

Just as I was beginning to argue that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs — the fixed point around which the politics of the state and the nation revolve — was losing its moorings, Modi 2.0 has delivered a coup de grâce. The appointment of Amit Shah to head this key ministry should go a long way to meet a structural crisis — the policy paralysis in Kashmir, allegations of lynching, and consternation in the Northeast — that had become painfully evident towards the final days of the previous government. Is this going to be a case of the iron fist of the home ministry in the velvet glove of vikas and vishwas? Are we up against a Janus-faced Modi 2.0, sending mixed signals?

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3. Indian Administration

National Security Without Reforming The Police

The country’s internal security architecture continues to be fragile. In the wake of the 26/11 terrorist attack in 2008, a slew of measures were taken to strengthen the police forces, reinforce coastal security and decentralise the deployment of National Security Guard. However, after that, a complacency of sorts seems to have set in, mainly because there has been no major terrorist attack since then. Whatever upgradation of police has happened during the intervening period has essentially been of a cosmetic nature.

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4. Social Administration

Ladies Rights

The Delhi Government announced recently that women in the Capital will be able to avail free rides in the Metro, DTC buses and cluster buses. According to an article in The Financial Express, women account for around 25 percent to 30 percent passengers on the metro, almost one-third of total commuters contributing around 700 crore rupees per annum to DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation). If ridership for women is made free, there is no information (yet) on how this gap in revenue is to be closed.

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5. Current Topic

A Hindi Rashtra

You win the toss. Your first batsman takes a huge swipe at the first ball hoping to score a six. He gets caught. The lesson is clear. Governing is not a T20 or even an ODI. It is more like a Test match lasting five years. You have to pace yourself, take care not to waste time or lose wickets. There is no draw in this game. The Hindi curriculum controversy brought out the problems Narendra Modi will face. There is a divide within the BJP like there is in most ideological parties. The core membership has a radical agenda which they wish to implement immediately upon winning power. There will no doubt will be ghar wapsi, love jihad, gau raksha and vigilante attacks before Modi reads the riot act. He has extended the vote beyond what the core membership can deliver by widening the appeal, Sabka Saath, and offering substantial rather than ideological goods, Sabka Vikas. Hindi is an obsession of the Hindi belt. When the issue came up before the Constituent Assembly, the Hindi belt Congress members defeated Jawaharlal Nehru, who wanted Hindustani as national language, by one vote during a meeting.

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