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

A+| A| A-

Sudarshan Model



Sudarshan Model

shish Bose appreciates the work done by H Sudarshan among the Soliga tribes in the BR Hills near Mysore in Karnataka (February 18, 2006). Nobody denies the wonderful work done by Sudarshan over the years. However, there is an apparent “conflict of interest” regarding his work with the Karnataka Lokayukta where Sudarshan officiates as vigilance director for medical issues on a monthly salary of Re 1. Recently, a Lokayukta member demanded the resignation of Sudarshan from the Lokayukta as his raids on health centres and government hospitals were in the news all the time, and every irregularity at these centres was being reported. How come Sudarshan’s Vivekananda Girigan Kalyan Kendramanaged health centres are somehow excluded from the Lokayukta’s visits? People and other activists have a right to know why NGO-managed PHCs in the state have never been raided by the Lokayukta? Are our NGO activists above board?

While we all appreciate the work done among the Soliga tribes by Sudarshan, we cannot agree with Ashish Bose that the government hand over the PHCs lock, stock, and barrel to such NGOs. When government made its offer to NGOs, along with a clear-cut budgetary provision of reducing funding by 25 per cent, NGOs like VGKK came forward. Why should they grumble now? NGOs are supposed to work cost effectively and efficiently unlike government PHCs.



Flights ofCorporate Fantasy

rawing inspiration from the book The Commanding Heights, written by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, Nanden Nilekani, CEO, president and managing director of Infosys Technologies, in his article ‘When the State Took Flight’, New Indian Express (February 10, 2006) puts forth the view that the balance has shifted from dominant state control to more reliance on markets for economic growth, job creation and capital allocation, with the state being the arbiter and setting the rules for the market, and the last resort for societal needs.

Nilekani supports his argument that in the epic struggle between the state and free market, the scales were tipped in favour of the free market by the collapse of labour strikes during the Reagan and Thatcher era and the recent airport strike in India. The brutal downsizing of the public sector is another iron-clad dogma of free market ideologues.

What happens when public service monopolies are privatised? The normal reaction of private sector owners is to impose monopoly prices on the public while richly remunerating themselves. Recent examples only confirm this gloomy trend. For instance, in January 2000 Bechtel (a US corporation) through its majority-owned subsidiary Aguas del Tunari took over the management of water resources in Bolivia’s third largest city Cochabamba and the result was dramatic. The rates for supply of water were hiked by 200 per cent and this led to widespread water riots and Bechtel had to close down its operations. The privatisation of Delhi power supply has not exactly been a success story. Again the hiking of tariff rates led to civil disobedience among Delhi’s consumers. There were allegations that the privatisation process was not above board. In the Public Accounts Committee report it was alleged that all the guidelines for privatisation were flouted and that there were mala fide intention on the part of certain officials to render the public undertaking a loss-making unit.

The biased media coverage of the recent airport strike suppressed the real issue at stake in privatisation. While the media took great pains to highlight the inconvenience caused to the passengers, it conveniently ignored the vital issue that the government was presented with an eminently desirable plan nearly three years ago to modernise the airports. The plan was submitted by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to the

(Continued on p 928)




Six One Two Three months year years years

Institutions – 1250 2300 3300 Individuals 500 935 1750 2500

Concessional Rates

Teachers/Researchers – 685 – 1800 Students – 450 – –

Concessional rates are available only in India. To avail of concessional rates, certificate from relevant institution is essential. Remittance by money order/bank draft preferred. Please add Rs 35 to outstation cheques towards bank collection charges.

Nepal and Bhutan

Institutions – 1500 – 4150 Individuals – 1250 – 3500


(US $)

Air Mail Surface Mail


1yr 2yrs 3yrs 1yr 2yrs 3yrs Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh 80 150 200 65 120 175 Other countries 150 275 375 90 170 240

Individuals Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh 50 90 125 30 50 75 Other countries 100 175 240 65 120 170

All remittances to:

Economic and Political Weekly

Economic and Political Weekly

Hitkari House, 284 Shahid Bhagatsingh Road, Mumbai 400 001 Phones: 2269 6072/73 Fax: (022) 2269 6072 Editor (December 1969-January 2004) : Krishna Raj

Editor : C Rammanohar Reddy

Deputy Editor : Bernard D’Mello

Assistant Editors : Anuradha Kumar, Vimala Subramanian, Sheba Tejani Bharati Bhargava (Delhi)

Editorial Staff : Prabha Pillai

Editorial Consultant : Gautam Navlakha (Delhi)

Circulation : Gauraang Pradhan (Manager), B S Sharma

Advertisement Manager : Kamal G Fanibanda

General Manager and Publisher : K Vijayakumar

EPW Research Foundation

C 212, Akurli Industrial Estate, Kandivali (East) Mumbai 400 101, Phones: 2887 3038/3041 Fax: (022) 2887 3038.

Director : S L Shetty

Economic and Political Weekly March 11, 2006


(Continued from p 842)

cabinet. The proposal was to finance the modernisation by using the huge cash reserves of AAI (one of the most successful public sectors with cash reserves of Rs 3,000 crore and zero debt) as well as borrowed funds. Both the NDA and UPA governments did not implement the plan, causing congestion and lack of facilities in the airports. The workers struck as they accused the government of deliberately running down the airport by not acting on the plan, with the intention of handing over the airport to private hands. The lessons from the strike served to debate the desirability of privatising a strategic asset removing it from national control. Thus the thrust of privatisation has nothing to do with efficiency or improved services as claimed by corporate elites, but is simply a device to transfer wealth from the public purse to private hands.

The dismantling of India’s commanding heights bodes ill for our Republic which has about 52 per cent of its population living below $1 per day. India with 17 per cent of the world’s population has less than 1.7 per cent of the world’s income. In the Human Development Index, India ranks 127 among 175 countries. Unemployment has grown sharply over the years with the software services and BPO accounting for a mere 0.25 per cent of the labour force. The dismantling of the permit raj has not brought the promised El Dorado to the masses.

With the state taking flight by shedding its constitutional obligation to its people and allowing the mystique of the market to rule, it has abdicated its primary role to protect its citizens from economic insecurity. The mantra of the reform process glibly trotted out by the ruling elites is in effect an Orwellian term for a return to slavery. A bleak lunar landscape emerges under the hubris of the free market, where labour is commodified, the iron laws of supply, demand and return on investment reign supreme and human voices are stilled forever.



Notes to Contributors

Here are some guidelines fortake up to six to eight months from the address, day-time phone numbers andauthors who wish to make date of acceptance to appear in the email address. submissions to the journal. EPW. Every effort will, however, be made (The email address of writers in the Special

to ensure early publication. Papers with Article, Commentary and Discussion

Special Articles

immediate relevance for policy would be sections will be published at the end ofEPW welcomes original research papers in

considered for early publication. Please the article.)

any of the social sciences.

note that this is a matter of editorial * Authors are requested to prepare their

* Articles must be no more than 8,000

judgment. soft copy versions in text formats. PDF

words, including notes, references

versions are not accepted by the EPW.

and tables. Longer articles will not be Commentaries

Authors are encouraged to use UK Englishprocessed. EPW invites short contributions to the spellings (Writers using MS Word or

  • * Contributions should be sent in a hard ‘Commentary’ section on topical social, similar software could change thecopy format accompanied by a floppy/ economic and political developments. These appropriate settings in the LanguageCD version. A soft copy can also be should ideally be between 1,000 and 2,500 menu of the application).sent by email. Hard and soft copy words and exclusive to the EPW. * Contributors are requested to send articlesversions of articles are essential for Short contributions may be sent by email. that are complete in all respects, includingprocessing. references, as this facilitates quicker
  • * Special articles should be Book Reviews processing. accompanied by an abstract of a EPW sends out books for review. It does not * When there are major developments in
  • maximum of 150-200 words. normally accept unsolicited reviews. How-the field of study after the first submission,
  • * Papers should not have been ever, all reviews that are received are read authors can send a revised version. simultaneously submitted for publication with interest and where a book has not been EPW requests writers not to send to another journal or newspaper. If the sent out for review, the unsolicited review is revised versions based on stylistic
  • paper has appeared earlier in a different on occasion considered for publication. changes/additions, deletions of version, we would appreciate a copy of references, minor changes, etc, as this


    this along with the submitted paper. poses challenges in processing.

    * Graphs and charts prepared in MS Readers of EPW are encouraged to send * All submissions will be acknowledgedcomments and suggestions (300-400 words)

    Office (Word/Excel) or equivalent software immediately on receipt with a reference

    on published articles to the Letters column. number. Quoting the reference numberare preferable to material prepared in All letters should have the writer’s full name in inquiries will help.

    jpeg or other formats.

    * Every effort is taken to complete early and postal address. * EPW posts all published articles on its web processing of the papers we receive.

    site and may reproduce them on CDs.


    Since we receive more than 35 articles Address for communication:

    EPW encourages researchers to comment

    every week and adequate time has to be Economic and Political Weekly,

    on Special Articles. Submissions should be

    provided for internal reading and external Hitkari House,

    1,000 to 2,000 words.

    refereeing. It can take up to four 284 Shahid Bhagatsingh Road, months for a final decision on whether General Guidelines Mumbai 400 001, India. the paper is accepted for publication. * Writers are requested to provide full Email:,

    * Articles accepted for publication can details for correspondence: postal

    Economic and Political Weekly March 11, 2006

    Dear Reader,

    To continue reading, become a subscriber.

    Explore our attractive subscription offers.

    Click here

    Back to Top