ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by M ShatrugnaSubscribe to M Shatrugna

Education in Andhra

M Shatrugna Andhra Pradesh's new admission policy for minority institutions will result in squeezing the educational opportunities of poor students.

ANDHRA PRADESH-Congress (I) Popularity on Wane

be considered reasonable under the impugned act. as the latter is a permanent measure, and Any declaration made thereunder would continue in operation for an indefinite period until the government should think fit to cancel it".

Decks Cleared for Capitation Fee Colleges

cynically thwarted, Meanwhile, the euphoria about massive direct foreign investment in response to the structural adjustment programme is also beginning to subside. The sponsors of the programme have themselves begun to caution the recklessly enthusiastic operators of the programme in India. The chief economist of the World Bank, Laurence Summers, who earned a measure of notoriety recently for ads vocating shifting of polluting industries to the developing countries as the basis for capital flows from the developed to the developing countries, has ruled that direct foreign investment in the developing countries would depend on their relative credit- worthiness and the rates of return from competing claims on available investment resources. In the "increasingly competitive and discriminating international capital markets

ANDHRA PRADESH-Revised Subsidised Rice Scheme-A Bureaucratic Fiat

Revised Subsidised Rice Scheme A Bureaucratic Fiat M Shatrugna THE Janardhan Reddy government in a major reversal of the NTR 'subsidised' rice scheme has altered the policy drastically on the plea that the scheme is being maintained at the expense of relevant developmental activities like irrigation and power. In a note circulated to the press before the decision was announced, the government has sought to explain its decision as having been a response to the findings of a research study published by the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) over four years ago, when in fact the study has been quoted out of context to provide support for its decision. The subsidised rice scheme was introduced by Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy just before the 1983 general elections pricing 1 kg of rice at Rs 1.90 meant for the poor. But the scheme received a fillip only after the TDP came to power in January 1983 when it was implemented vigorously as part of the social welfare programme. The free noon-meal programme for poor students in the state supported educational institutions also formed a part of the scheme. Though Andhra Pradesh is a rice surplus state, a lengthy procedure was evolved to procure rice from the farmers, mill it and supply rice at subsidised rates as part of the public distribution system. Originally the Food Corporation of India (FC1) only procured rice from the farmers and supplied an agreed quantity from the central pool to the state Civil Supplies Corporation, The present formula adopted is that for every unit of rice the FCI procured, one unit could be utilised by the farmers both for export outside the state and sale in the open market within the state in the ratio of 2:1. Thus for example, during 1990-91, the FCI procured 27 lakh metric tons, gave 18 lakh metric tons to the state government under the PDS and retained 9 lakh metric tons in the central pool. To balance this, the farmers are allowed to export 18 lakh metric tons outside the state and sell 9 lakh metric tons in the open market within the state. Also the farmers are supposed to keep 20 lakh metric tons for their own consumption and seed purposes. Now the rice procured by the FCI, the legally permissible exportable quantity to other states and the rice that normally remains' with the farmers, according to the government, will work out to be 65 lakh metric tons. With the expected production of 105 lakh metric tons for 1991-92, the open market will have about 40 lakh metric tons which the government hopes will bring down the open market price of rice. In addition to the FCI contribution the state government procures certain quantity directly from the farmers on a 'negotiated' price to meet the demand.

Food for Thought-Two Weeks in Soviet Union

Two Weeks in Soviet Union M Shatrugna What is so very striking to a visitor to Leningrad or Moscow is not the fact of the long queues for all sorts of food items, hut the Soviet citizen's apparently unquestioning acceptance of the situation.

Road to Raktakshetram-Report from Chunduru

of sexual harassment.
As far as legislations on equality of sexes go, India is far ahead of the US, However in the US though equality of the sexes is not a fundamental right, the courts through judicial interpretation have recognised the rights of women not to be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Such an interpretation is possible even with existing Indian laws on the subject. It may be worthwhile for the women's movement and the legal fraternity to think in terms of such wider principles and expand the rights of women to guard against sexual harassment. This is a relatively unexplored area of labour jurisprudence and can be used as a strategic and effective tool to tackle sexual harassment of women at their workplace. However, expecting the Indian judiciary to take such initiatives may be futile. Not so long ago a senior woman IAS officer complained of sexual harassment by a senior IPS officer in Punjab She sought to take criminal action against him because no departmental action was taken. The courts however dismissed her case as being too 'trivial' an issue! If this is the plight of a senior IAS officer that of the women in the lower echelons of employment can well be imagined.

ANDHRA PRADESH-Distributing Favours among Friends

global marketing networks and Indian firms are expected to play the role of subcontractors and provide cheap shop floor operators and labour. India would not, under this scheme of things, attempt to indigenise parts and components which go into final assembly of products for domestic consumption or export and the phased manufacturing programme is to be wound up. On the contrary, components and parts would be supplied by foreign corporations and assembled into the final product by Indian labour. It is proposed, therefore, that foreign equity should not only be allowed but preferred and encouraged not only in the case of new collaboration deals involving import and application of high technology but also in the case of existing enterprises which have only technical collaboration arrangements with foreign sources or are already using the imported technology after its outright purchase.

ANDHRA PRADESH-Two Elections, Not One

for the AGP government, it would be interesting to see how the government will talkie these problems, especially in the light of the repeated affirmations of Hiteswar Saikia that his first priority will be to tackle these problems (including the issues raised by ULFA), and his known desire to go down in history as a leader more passionately 'Assamese' than the most perfervid proponents of an exclusivist and extreme Assamese nationalism.

ANDHRA PRADESH-Recurring Patterns

ANDHRA PRADESH Recurring Patterns M Shatrugna The choice of candidates by both the Congress(I) and the TDP, the two principal contestants in the coming elections, reflects the pattern of dominance of different castes in the three regions of the State

Restoring Academic Freedom through Bureaucratic Fiat

Restoring Academic Freedom through Bureaucratic Fiat RIGID government control and absence of democratic decision-making formed the bedrock of Higher Education Policy during the seven-year TDP rule. Not only were elections to the university bodies abolished, but governmental control was exercised in a brute manner robbing the universities of their fragile academic freedom. The abortive bid to form the state commissionerate for higher education to act as a super university and the retrograde privatisation policy based on the notorious three Vice-Chancellors' Report further eroded the autonomy of the universities. Many naively believed that academic freedom and democratic process would be restored when Chenna Reddy after he assumed the chief ministership announced that the universities would be freed from governmental control. But they were in for a shock. The newly-enacted legislation, the Andhra Pradesh Universities Bill, 1990 though it permits a few elected representatives of teachers enter the executive council (to be called as Board of Management in the proposal set-up) and academic senate, govern ment control over the universities remains as firm as it was during the TDP rule.

Full-Time Work, Part-Time Pay

THE Telugu Desam government during its seven year rule took a number of decisions on education, most of them retrograde and patently undemocratic. Apart from tampering with university bodies like the syndicate, senate and the academic council where elections were replaced by a system of nomination, the government had made several changes in the system of selection of the vice-chancellor. The nomination system was introduced at all levels, leading ultimately to the banning of students' unions replacing them with 'student councils'. A part of this undemocratic process was the failure of the government in solving the unemployment problem. For instance the number of applicants on the live register of the employment exchanges which stood at 23.33 lakh only 4,000 got jobs during the period. A

Subverting the Rice Scheme

that the prevailing balance of forces in the economy and polity is favourable to them, the occasional noises about self-reliance and broad-based development by political parties and personalities in power notwithstanding. The tantalising promises of large transfers of capital and technology have gained over the years a constituency for these corporations successfully to operate in India. There has been a tendency to give way, step by step, before their pressure for entry into the country on their terms. That the NF government Is not immune to this pressure is indicated by the industry minister as well as by some strange goings-on in other ministries. The foreign investors, the power ful transitional corporations in particular, can be expected to step up their demands, backed by political-strategic pressure by the governments of the developed countries for the dismantling of any remaining protective THE Chenna Reddy government has decided to abandon in stages the two-rupee-a-kilo rice scheme that was introduced seven years ago, by raising the bogey of bogus green cards at the recently-held collectors' conference. Though the problem of spurious cards has been given as the main reason for 'weeding' out the cards, the real reason appears to be the 'heavy subsidy' incurred on the scheme. According to the 1990-91 budget of the state government, expenditure on food subsidy to the tune of Rs 338 crores is supposed to be incurred. This is a highly inflated figure, misleading the people about the 'expensive' nature of the scheme. Even though on the face of it the expenditure appears high, subsidy in real terms closer to that order had been given for the last seven years under the TDP government. But the new government, instead of honestly telling the public of the 'heavy subsidy' incurred on the scheme (thereby asking for a raise on the rice price), has started talking of weeding out the 'spurious' cards.


Back to Top