Modi Made Easy

One is entirely at the mercy of man – made elements that one gets to enjoy the luxury of remaining in touch with the outer world in remote regions of Uttarakhand like Munsyari, for instance. The man-made elements are electricity, BSNL and of course the inter-net broadband connectivity, in that order. It was quite a providential stream of events that all three were operational and one was able to listen to the First Speech, or was it the First Press Conference ( ? ), of Prime Minister Narendra Damodarbhai Modi on the television, the other day.

Three Ss and Four Cs

Prime Minister Modi epigrammatically referred to the ‘Three S and Four Cs’, the latter four colours in the Indian ‘National Tricolour’. Three S stood for Speed, Scale and Skills, respectively. Four Colours or Cs, stood for the Green, the White, the ( unspeakable ) Saffron, and the fourth , the new Blue of the 24-spokes Ashok Chakra. As this writer listened to Prime Minister Modi he hoped that the senior bureaucrats of Uttarakhand, and the five BJP MPs, were also listening to him and as he was nearing the end of his speech the writer could feel really sorry for both, the current lot of senior officials and our five BJP MPs ! Sorry, because this would mean that so much hard work if they wish to avail the central government help for this state, from this new Modi Government. Wasn’t this new Prime Minister indulging in too much of “micromanagement” ? Shouldn’t he leave such details like the second Green Revolution, the White Revolution, ‘unspeakable and unheard of Saffron Revolution’ and the Blue Revolution to the civil servants and the technocrats ? And, who thought of ‘Speed”, ‘Scale’ and what is this new toy called ‘Skills’ ? The whole speech became too heavy for one’s digestion and one had a feeling of ‘revulsion’ rather than going for Revolution. From this distance all this writer can offer both to the civil servants of Uttarakhand and the newly elected Honourable Members of Parliament of the party to which the Prime Minister Modi himself belongs. I have a sneaking suspicion that our newly elected MPs are almost in the same boat, as the Union Secretaries and the senior bureaucrats of all state governments, more so from the Congress-led Governments. Finally, who ever talked of an ’18 hour work-schedule’ for a prime Minister ! It was just the reverse, till the other day, a ‘six hour work-schedule’ and 18 hours of pure enjoyment. Here, is a Modi Made Easy, from some one who has always enjoyed an 18 hrs work-schedule, throughout his public service career. Terms used are by Prime Minister Modi, humble foot-notes, rather tips for the Harish Rawat Government are from a citizen from Munsyari. If any additional comments are required, this writer has sufficient time to respond, ‘electricity, internet and BSNL conditions apply’, as mentioned already.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Green Revolution

At the outset let me recommend to the individuals who may be in the need to go for my version of Modi Made Easy: On New Governance, three books that I got published from a local publisher, Bishan Singh MP Singh, Chakrata Road. Luckily, these have still not gone out of print. These are, Food For Thought & Action, Patwari, Gharat and Chai and Inside Uttarakhand Today. These three belong to a period 2000 to 2005, that is all what was tried out during the early years of this new state. This trilogy of books would reveal to the reader that Prime Minister Modi is talking of a development model that is linked to creating employment and livelihood. Here is Chief Minister who is speaking from the experience and not about Macroeconomics, Revenue Deficit and Budgetary Deficits and all that gibberish, which goes above a common man’s head. Time has come, when we bend down and look at what is known as “micromanagement”, a much hated term, as far senior bureaucrats go. Prime Minister Modi has challenged senior bureaucrats to come up with new ideas, new concepts and has assured them a patient hearing. If our Uttarakhand bureaucrats run out of any ideas this writer assures him a host of concepts, brief notes, concept ideas. Statistically, they should be ready to look at as many as 171 small and medium size essays and concepts notes, in the first book, 17 long monographs in the second and again 17 more monographs, in the third one. This writer will be more than happy if these small concept pieces are of help to nay one.

Uttarakhand, if we remember got approved a new Agriculture Policy, which this writer thinks, was definitely an improvement upon the old one. However, no progress was made beyond getting this approved by the Cabinet. This could be good starting point for Uttarakhand’s Green Revolution ideas and this can even be posed to a few other mountain states. Emphasis on Organic Farming was its hall mark, which we have to push in the mountain districts of Uttarakhand. Why two separate strategies can not be pursued simultaneously, in a state like Uttarakhand- some one should answer this question ?

 White Revolution

In the very first book there is a very long monograph where I have suggested a different approach to White Revolution in the mountain regions, as the original White Revolution, applies to only modern Europe-like conditions i.e. tarmac roads, electricity for chilling centres, pasteurisation plants and dairy coop societies, on the Amul pattern. This long monograph was meant, in 2002, for the chairman of NDDB, Dr Amrita Patel, and she agreed that we need a separate model for our hill regions. This writer, as the MD, PCDF, and Secretary, Dairy Development of Uttar Pradesh, had strengthened several dairy district Unions, starting with the Lal Kuan Milk Union. A look at this Monograph will give scores of ideas, whoever feels like pushing the revised White Revolution in Uttarakhand. The Ratan Tata Trust’s ( SRTT ) current model, modified dairy development module, is the best for Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand Milk Development Board, Uttarakhand dairy development Federation and SRTT’s Himmotthan society, could push it, with due emphasis on green fodder development project. Almost every thing is on board, except of course the strong will of the senior bureaucrats who need to become more serious.

Saffron Revolution

Speaking on this “Saffron Revolution” Prime Minister Modi dwelt only on the prospects and potential of Solar energy. He appeared a bit hesitant on Hydro-electric power but it is here that Harish Rawat Government must confront the Union Government. If the latest trends activated by the Ministry of Environment & Forests are any guide, our beloved environmentalists will ensure that not only all on-board HEPs gets shelved but in future no harnessing of hydro-power takes place in Uttarakhand. While on the one hand Harish Rawat Government must join hands with other forest rich mountain states and push for the Green Bonus recommended by the last out going Planning Commission, it should also force the Union Government to consider setting a second Expert Committee to “fully compensate” all eleven Indian mountain States for the opportunities that might be lost if the latest recommendations made by a so-called Expert Body, gets a nod of the appropriate bodies, including the Supreme Court of India. The Saffron revolution has good potential in states like Rajasthan and some coastal States like Tamil Nadu, but it happens to be the only one of the eight National Missions, which made any head way, and that head way was also just confined to two states, mentioned above. Our UREDA, and other experiments at renewable energy, even use of abundantly available ‘pine-needles’ have proved, at best a nice sounding rhetoric.  The only successful experiment of using ‘pine-needles’ has been at Berinag, and if I am not mistaken, the proponent is already talking about ‘collection-cost’ blues ! This Saffron Revolution this writer would best leave to the five Honourable MPs, who now represent Uttarakhand, and would be too keen to see what they make of it, other than politically.                                                    

Blue Revolution

In one of the trilogy of books that this writer bequeathed to the future development planners of this state, has a long monograph on the various water bodies that we have in our Turai Bhabar, Nanksagar, Baur and so on, not to mention the College of Fisheries in Pant Nagar and the Cold Water Fisheries Institute, at Bhim Tal, and the potential of fisheries development, both sweat water and cold water. This state had to go to the High Court to fight out our rights on the fresh water lakes we have in Turai Bhabar, which we won ultimately. The interest that we have taken in our Fisheries development is best demonstrated by the directorate of Fisheries, which we have set up in a location, which is not currently linked to a metalled road ! It is given good company by our State Archives, which awaits a visit by its Secretary and full time Director, since it was completed some three years back ! No one seems to know what the Cold Water Fisheries Development Institute has done to promote any of the major fish species in Uttarakhand or for that matter anywhere. It certainly has an outstanding building complex in Bhim Tal, for decades now, and that is that ! One hopes that Prime Minister Modi will get invited to this Central Complex, while following up the Blue Revolution. Our five MPs, may be , could extend an invitation to Modi bhai, to have a personal look. Uttarakhand could perhaps take a leaf from the neighbouring Himachal to look at what good use they have made of their sweat water reservoirs. Harish Rawat Government, thus has the institutions, resources, adequate number of reservoirs and hundreds of miles of cold water rivers. What is lacks is the vision and will in those who should have thought about it. Will they, now at least ?                                                                                                                                                                                   

Speed, Scale and Skills

About Speed of work in Uttarakhand, the less said the better. Talking of Scale, we should have first something, before we think of scaling it up. So I now concentrate of Skill, and the need to look at most comprehensively, and quickly. For the last couple of years there is nothing, no individual, no institution this writer has not tried out in suggesting that all stakeholders need to come together and ‘Think Big on Pushing Skills sector’ in Uttarakhand. Ernst & Young have completed their district-wise survey, sponsored by the Skills Development Council, there is this National Skills Development Mission, then there are Skills Councils constituted by the CII, all over. Our SMSE set up has a national Institute, NIESBUD, for pushing entrepreneurship, post skills imparting. Mr Pankaj Gupta, of Industries Association of Uttarakhand ( IAU ) has left no stone unturned, there is even a state society for skills set up in our state – one could look at the wall near the Crossroad Mall, and not miss it. But, what is it doing. PRECIOUS NOTHING ! In my recommendations to SRTT, in their Queinquennial Review, next to pushing the Livelihood development, this writer had suggested to push this SKILL sector, with every thing at their command.

This writer is hoping that after this wake up call to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a 18 hour work culture will get a backing, senior bureaucrats who may be dreaming of joining Government of India, will re-think, as the life on that side is going to be tougher than it has been here, in our Uttarakhand. Will this clarion call make some senior bureaucrats revisit their decision to go to DELHI, as life out there is going to be far more challenging than the tranquil environment that we are allowed out here ? Wonder when Chief Minister Rawat will also announce a 18 hour work schedule for Uttarakhand bureaucracy, as well as our Honorable Ministers and Members of Legislative Assembly. We certainly are entering a very difficult time, if Prime Minister Modi’s opening salvo was any guide !                           

R S Tolia

R S Tolia

Late Dr. R.S. Tolia, Ph.D., was former Chief Secretary ( 2003-05 ) and Chief Information Commissioner ( 2005-10) of Uttarakhand. He also served in various voluntary positions after retirement and devoted his time for Mountain Development Agenda.

One thought on “Modi Made Easy

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:26 am
    Permalink

    Dear Dr. Tolia,

    First a quick response to your last blog…where you had expressed the desire that the new government should announce the formation of a Ministry for the Himalayan states. when I heard  the address of the President at joint session… I noticed that "His government will have a 'Mission' for the Himalayn states". 

    I am on my way to Delhi this afternoon and would respond to this blog in a few days. I am hopeful that this new thought from Prime Minister Modi just may bring about a change within the systems of Governance…a lot to expect after 67 years of patronage and lethargy within the bureaucracy and political class. 

    Would love to read your books…nice to know that Dr. Shekhar Pathak and you had a chat…we sent him off from Nainital and I was hoping that he will meet you.

    Warmly

    Pramod

    Reply

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