Off to Delhi

The rains in Mumbai are intermittent and there is a good chance that I will be on board a flight to Delhi today for a couple of days. The Ministry of Rural Development is having a consultative meeting in Delhi on PURA (President Mr Kalam’s model) and the Secretary requested that I give my inputs on the implementation of the model.

The PURA model, in my professional opinion, is unworkable. Basic economic reasoning reveals why. However, usually in the Indian context, a contest between basic economic reason and political authority is usually decided by the majority of policy makers in favor of the authority. In time, the authority gets elevated to demigod status, statues are erected, streets and educational institutions are named after them, and school histry books tell children about their greatness. Back in reality-land, the results of the clash of reason and authority is decided in favor of basic economic principles and the implemented model fails spectacularly. But by then, the anonymous bureaucrats and policy makers are gone and cannot be held accountable; the politicians who pushed the scheme are demigods and are beyond scrutiny and reproach.

We slide a little bit closer to our destiny.

OK, I will report what happens in Delhi in a couple of days.