Saturday, June 14, 2014

It rains Gujarat in Delhi …

Page 3 of the June 14, 2014 issue of Hindustan Times has four articles and three of them  [1, 2, 3] deal with what Delhi can learn from Gujarat, and in two articles, more specifically from Ahmedabad and Surat.
I like this, not because I am a Delhi denizen and would like to see the Capital come to grips with its myriad problems. By the way, I am going to be in Delhi only for the next two days; beyond that I will be a Tamil Nadu resident, at Srirangam.
The reason I like Delhi taking lessons from Gujarat is because I think this is the way a federal structure should work. The units of federalism should be the laboratories for evolving ideas, procedures etc. and testing them. Then they should then radiate from the individual units to the rest of the country and may be scaled up to the extent of being centralized subsequently.
Where did I get this idea from? From how California has led the United States in bringing about lasting changes nationwide by setting examples, as in the case of air quality and other environmental considerations, including automobile emission standards. In a federal structure, it is not to the shame of the other states not to be the vanguard; after all someone has to follow. It indeed is to the credit of a state to show the willingness to learn from experiments conducted by elsewhere by someone else. Ego problems diluted, even if not vanquished.
Yes, of, course, there is a caveat. Every experiment and its results should be transformed into the relevant coordinate systems of where it is being transplanted to. For example, how relevant is Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati to Delhi’s Yamuna? Tough question but should be answered instead of the effort nixed, without probing queries, at the beginning.
From page 3 of the paper (main section) I now take you to page 10 of the same edition of HT: refer to a small news item entitled “Guj govt team visits Amma canteen [in Chennai], to replicate model.” That is, it is drizzling Tamil Nadu in Gujarat. These are not the first instances of transplanting ideas. Maharashtra’s employment guarantee scheme metamorphosed in the nationwide MGNREGA, for instance.
Why I am so happy to learn that Delhi is trying to learn from the experiences of Gujarat? Because this is how learning proceeds. Teachers are mmany and students do not remain students forever. This dynamics in the federal system that we have given to ourselves should help us grow.
Now you know why I am happy. Now, I will take things from Delhi and transplant in Srirangam!
Raghuram Ekambaram
References
1.    Sabarmati plan fit to replicate for Yamuna? Experts disagree, Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times, June 14, 2014
2.    Solar plant on each roof: Guj model may resolve Capital’s power crisis, Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times, June 14, 2014

3.    Delhi Police keen on Surat’s city surveillance programme, Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, June 14, 2014 

5 comments:

palahali said...

dear raghuram
i will miss you if and when I go next to Delhi. i have enjoyed the meetigns we have had in and around Connaught Place.Pl continue your writing. Also Bangalore is nearer to Srirangam than delhi
Regards
Vishwanath

mandakolathur said...

Thanks Pala ... you, of course, are most welcome to my house at Srirangam (not yet my place of retirement; I will be looking for opportunities in Chennai once the shifting dust settles, say, in about 2 months). I will continue posting on blogspot and off and on send you the links. Thanks for all the encouragement you have given me over the many years we have interacted. I always looked forward to meeting you in Delhi and also for your comments in mys pace. I hope to benefit continually on the latter score. Please do comment on this particular post.

Thanks.

Raghuram

Palahalli Vishwanath said...

yes, learn from wherever you can !Modi said 'if tamilnadu model is better than gujerat's. we will look at ti'

Palahalli Vishwanath said...

yes, learn from wherever you can !Modi said 'if tamilnadu model is better than gujerat's. we will look at ti'

mandakolathur said...

Thanks pala for endorsing my thoughts. I am now in Chennai and will leave for Srirangam, near Tiruchirapalli, tomorrow. I will be off the Net through the busy times ahead, say , 10 days.

RE