Yes, there are some radical new departures!
One critical area is agriculture where the outdated old style repressive tenancy laws had hindered agri potential. NITI Aayog is now the only fresh feature of the Modi regime’s innovation, a think-tank with some of the bright minds working there. We can name names, some of them very bright, some very open-minded. We congratulate them.
This basic truth is held back from open mention for fear of being labelled as anti-progressive and anti left. Even such learned experts like Prof.Amartya Sen had failed to say openly why his own beloved state of Bengal had turned into a backward economy and social sector. If you travel from Kolkata to Santiniketan, Prof.Sen’s own place, you would be so shocked that all through the 100 and odd miles of drive there is not one decent tea shop, let alone other facilities to realise that you are on the way to modern day hell!
Yes, why even after so many of his years on this route that Sen laments on the fall of CPI (M), not on others, for the present state of affairs in Bengal. Prof.Sen is known supporter of the Left-front government who for the past 35 odd years had taken such a resources-endowed state into the darkness and degeneration.
Why even in education and health Bengal is so appallingly a state that you can see masses of Bengali patients waiting outside the Apollo hospital in Chennai!
The horror-filled stories of mass deaths of new-children in Kolkata hospitals are still afresh in memory. For having spent years in Bengal, in Santiniketan we write with firsthand experience.
Now, the newly created NITI Aayog, the redesigned of the old style Planning Commission is an ego trip or really fulfilling its new promises?
We have only a sketchy idea of really what the new agency has done. We saw the debate between Prof.Sen and the Aayog chairman, Rajiv Kumar titled: ‘Challenge thrown: prove it: challenge accepted’.
Yes, Kumar cited enough evidence to show that India has done well in terms of the many promises made by the Modi government and yet, with all his innate skills for argument, proved that when compared with India’s neighbours on similar growth path, India has still to catch up with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries in terms of infant mortality etc.
Debate apart, we at the agri media are really surprised to go through the new model legislation on tenancy reform.
We are not sure how far the model legislation drawn up by the planning agency is really a radical departure from the dogmatic Left oriented tenancy protection act that did protect the lazy and the anti-social elements but that didn’t lead to any inch of productivity in farming operations nor the old style so-called progressive legislations lead to farming into a thriving business.
The point here is that NITI Aayog had done a pioneering service by radically recasting the legislation in a far manner to make the farming, first of al viable. Pay a rent and do the farming. If you can’t do farming please leave the farming for others who might be taking over the job.
New investments in farming calls for incentives to invest in such risky areas like farming. One way to encourage youth to remain in the villages is to encourage entrepreneurship and only by making land holding easy of complex and complicated maze of land legislations in various states in one key obstacle for viable farming enterprises.
We had featured the model land legislation in some of our recent issues.
Thereby, second, you would make the land productive. It won’t be lying fallow as it is happening in many places. In TN also there is this regressive land laws that helped the highly corrupt Dravidian parties to let is strongmen, the goondas to land grab as a highly profitable politics!
In neighbouring Karnataka too the land legislation since the days of Devaraj Urs reduced farmers into paupers.
There must also be a vision for progressive consolidation of land holdings, now it is the further divisions of land holding, so unviable and no politicians worth their salt to come out openly and say what was ailing the land-owing class.
There are one or two minor issues. The very naming of the agency, as in many other similar cases is very misleading. Too many acronyms-infested schemes are too confusing and too misleading.
After all the Planning Commission idea came from the Soviet Union and even now in the China development debate, there is the Planning
Commission, setting agendas and targets.
If handled deftly, the idea is still relevant and we need not be come so dogmatic in the current era of open societies. The Atal innovation labs are welcome and so too the new other names like Monitoring and Evaluation Office. Of course there are other improvements. The old, scandal -ridden Medical Council is replaced. Changes are inevitable and changes are always welcome.
Photo source – livemint.com