Sunday, February 12, 2012

Politician vs Technician: Food Security Bill

Public Policy Making is a special case within the collective action problem. The members of collective action in policy making are subject experts, politicians, bureaucrats, and voters. (At one stage judiciary enters this list of actors but primarily carries out the function of interpretation.) It is good to observe how different opinions by experts and views by different politicians are sorted out when a bill finally gets through.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tit for Tat Vs The Power of Forgiveness

"An eye for eye will make the whole world blind", says Mahatma Gandhi. The world has been trying to find sustainable soultions to historical faults such as 9/11, apartheid violence, communal violences in ireland and India etc. Those who emphasis forgiveness say that forgiveness need not be viewed as a principle of altruism, and it is done out of self-interest. At the same time, Tit for Tat clearly says it is a tool of cooperative game and aims to elicit cooperative behaviour from others. How do we strike a balance between these diverging strategies?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gandhi: Many faces

There are four Gandhis after Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, says Ashish Nandi. If we take success as the parameter which redefines ethics and morality, how do we judge many of our revered heroes?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Choices: Real and Artificial

Whenever discussion on placement comes up, IRMAns talk about increasingly expensive education and constraints on working in sectors where rural management professionals are required. Whenever I hear this, I think about extremes:

1) Student pay nothing. In return student work what you are asked to. Something like military training. We will end up making another bureaucracy.
2) Tied agriculture labour. You take a loan from landlord (to have freedom of doing what you want) and pledge your labour in return.
3) Complete liberal education. Student dont pay anything the State bears all expenses and student is free to do what he/she wants at the end.

In the scenario we have three unconnected entities: loan giver who has their logics to operate; educational facilitation is done by someone else who claims of a mission; student who undergoes the course is left with artificial choices. The very fact that we are talking about 'freedom and choice' here (in the context of liberation) and not mechanically choosing from the given options, sky is the limit. I am reminded of the famous saying by Bernard Shaw: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. Unreasonable man peristantly attempts to change the world. Therefore all progress depends on unreasonable man!".

Saa Vidya Ya Vimukhtaye

What are the institutions that create counterproductive results to liberation?

Gaon Chodab Nahi

Let us identify generative themes in Gaon Chodab Nahi.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Global scale collective action requirements

Though collective action is preached a lot, often at the level of action it is failure. That is what we are seeing when the issue of climate change is being discussed by world leaders and negotiators again and again. As RIO+20 is nearing, this short video reminds us about the challenges ahead to embrace collective action in new ways to tackle global challenges.