Sunday, August 16, 2009

More social justice

The apex court says "they" are class apart. It's not enough to reserve seats and lower cut offs for them but we should take care(read reserve, discount ) at every stage.

a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said, “These socially and economically backward categories are to be taken care of at every stage even in specialised institutions like IITs.”
However, it rose to their defence, especially as they were from the socially and economically backward class. “It is relevant to mention that admittedly all these students had joined IIT Delhi in the academic year 2006-07 and 2007-08 after clearing All-India JEE conducted for all the IITs in the year 2006 and 2007. It shows that they were successful in securing the minimum cut-off marks earmarked for the SC/ST categories,” the Bench said.

“In such circumstances, it cannot be claimed that all these students are not fit to be admitted in IIT,” it said, adding, “We are of the view that ends of justice would be fully met by giving one more opportunity to them.” It directed IIT Delhi to consider their cases afresh within four weeks taking into consideration the various aspects discussed in the judgment.
This must be a pathetic defending from the IITs. Who is claiming that they are not fit to be admitted in IIT? They are being expelled for poor performance in the IIT after the admission and coaching.
Long live socialism!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Another case for divestment

This piece in TOI shows how the govt screwed up with Air India.
Aviation minister Praful Patel is setting up an international advisory board comprising prominent people, including former heads of major global airlines, to helm the turnaround of Air India. And top government sources said Ratan Tata has already been approached to head this board.

"The board will be headed by someone of the eminence of a luminary like Ratan Tata and will be set up within a month," Patel told TOI on Tuesday
The carrier was founded by J R D Tata and later was nationalized by the Nehruvian -Stalinist govt of India. In the last 60 years or so, neither Air India nor Indian Airlines made any progress in the way they operate or serve.They have been mostly used to tour Haj pilgrims sponsored by the secular govt.
Air India hardly changed even after the entry of private players into the aviation industry.The govt in the last 60+ years has created a pathetic bureaucracy and overweight air hostesses out of this carrier.
Now, it's poetic justice that the govt is asking Ratan Tata to help it out. The question is why don't they just let it go when they can't manage it?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "Game theory" of entitlements

India is much advanced in its innovation of entitlements compared to the other democracies in the world.Our politicians, mostly illiterate or semi illiterate, are masters of this entitlements game and irrespective of the party or ideology all of them agree unanimously in this regard or at least no one would dare oppose any entitlement policy.They know where they are putting their monies.

The Karnataka state govt has apparently come up with one such entitlement plan that you can read about here[ Link ], though this time they are addressing their core voters. Some argue that there is nothing wrong in this as the money is going back to those who are contributing to the temples, all these days this money is spent only on the foreign pilgrimages of so called religious minorities in India.
The YSR govt of Andhra had already come up with one such plan for a trip to Jerusalem and the CM himself has utilized the plan after his emphatic win.
The new corporate affairs minister of the central govt is also batting for one such entitlement plan, this time he is asking the corporates to oblige[ Link ]again, no corporate would dare say NO to it, they might say it should be volunatary blah blha blah.

In any of the above three cases, you don't see opposition parties raising their voice against such policies.Simple game theoretic equilibrium, you satisfy your core voters and your oppostion can't oppose it. It's such an effective weapon.

But, we have witnessed our "caste leaders" ( Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav etc) vociferously opposing women reservations bill in the parliament. I sometimes wonder, why are these affirmative action champions are so dead against women reservation bill.

The logic is simple here, if the women reservations bill is implemented, the sitting MPs have to vacate their seats.Each of them has to vote for vacating his seat, as the seat allocation is not decided yet. If we change the game a bit, that all the MPs know which all seats are becoming women seats then we can see those losing their seats voting against it and those not losing seats being indifferent to or for the bill.

If we forget for a moment whether the women reservations bill is good for the country as such, we can see that our politicans clearly support anything that gurantees them votes, irrespective of whether that has to do anything with the country's benefit. It's not only true for out politicians but it's true for most of the Indians. We play our own little games in our lives and do things which benefit us, it could be while voting for a party or voting against a party.
May be it's true that Indians are individually smart but collectively dumb as the ex-IIMA prof put it here
"In the first chapter of my book, I describe what I believe Indians are like by offering 12 canons of "Indian-ness." For example, one of our traits is "low trustworthiness." By that I mean we are most likely not to cooperate in a prisoner's dilemma kind of situation. Privately, Indians are reasonably smart - in fact, we are as smart as anybody else - but publicly we are dumb. Our ability to understand the need for cooperation is very low. We believe that cooperation and selfishness
cannot go together- which is not true. We also tend to be very fatalistic in our outlook. We give excuses such as, "What can I do alone? Everybody else is looking out for himself, so why shouldn't I?
The problem with these entitlements is that , similar to time, they are irreversible. Whoever may come to power in the future, will not have the gall to reverse these socially inefficient policies.