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Prof. Nirvikar's article made easier



ADMINISTRATIVE: (to distinguish it from debate)
---------------

I have take the liberty of making Prof. Nirvikar Singh's article easier to
read by coloring the very important statement. Please take a look at

http://www.indiaconsult.com/indiapolicy/Notes/nirvikar1.html

(actually, I will now have to post an 'untouched' copy too, for those who
don' like this kind of highlighting.)

It appears that we can now reorganize some of the existing material into
better headings, such as:

Reform	
	*	Its components
		
Governance
	*	Assumptions regarding decision-makers
	*	Transparency and accountability
	*	unbundling government
	*	decentralization

All this is not quite obvious, though, the structure we can use. We have
to keep experimenting till the points are put in the best 'slots.'

On the other hand, I have some reservations with the continued existence
of many of our institutions like the Planning Commission, as outlined by
the Prof. He appears to have skipped the urbanization policy which is
absolutely critical. Another thing is the use of business to educate
people. I don't see how that is going to ever happen. It is clearly not in
the self-interest of businesses to educate people. They need to hire the
best person for a job, and they might do on-the-job training, but not
actually start a class for this purpose. Philanthropy is quite a different
issue, however, and we need more philanthropists like Jamshedji Tata who
started the IISc in Bagalore. Any how, I will join issues with the Prof.
on a case by case basis, later.

On the whole however, I think the paper is an outstanding example of what
we should be moving toward. I particularly liked the finding that

"... some of the reform of governance will come from outside pressure and
analysis: from the grassroots, from political and other kinds of
entrepreneurs, and perhaps even from meetings of minds, such as this
[Discussion list]."

I think what we are doing here is a merger of two things: one, a meeting
of minds which is always open, and has no friction, i.e., no transaction
costs, virtually, in terms of holding a seminar in a hotel, or a
conference whose minutes have to be recorded, and a thousand things have
to be organized. Second, we are doing what no serious economist [and no
bureaucrat, and definitely no politician] in India has attempted before: 
political entpreneurship at the grass-roots: people from India from every
part of India, who don't see each other, but only hear each other's views,
trying to debate and write an 'ideal' manifesto. Others have never thrown
open their forum to debate with everyone else in the world. This one is
completely grass-roots: everyone can enter and participate [I know that is
not feasible but then we can work toward expanding the debates in the
field]. 

SS