Monday, March 31, 2014

My BIG Social Connect For Good Governance

              The social media has changed,impacted, affected the life of public actors. It is a new medium along with others to sell social products.  There are two public actors in our democratic set-up: one, bureaucracy (babus, pubic servants) and political leaders. Both are two sides of a coin. Our babus has not realized its potential as of now, but a big start has been made in our politics.
               As per concept, both serve the public for their welfare without any favor or gain. It means they are engaged in providing free services to general masses for their happiness. Social media proved an fast, effective and cheap tool in 2008 USA election. Since then, efforts are on to adopted it as a new political tool worldwide by political actors. On this front a great success is achieved in India like other country in Loksabha election 2014.
            Social media is not able to make desired roads in government sector as per its potential in India. A minor start has been made. Here, we need to work to harness its potential for improving good governance. and marketing social products. To sell social products of government in the form of projects, programs, ideas etc. of different departments, it is a means with us. Those who are aware and innovative are taking its help at personal level on their won risk in discharging their duties. An intervention is required. My BIG Social connect for good governance:

1.https://twitter.com/heeralalpcs
2.https://www.facebook.com/heeralalpcs
3.http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=52325192&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic
4.https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HeeraLal/posts
5.https://www.youtube.com/user/heeralalpcs
6.https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=1612592454212326929#allposts
7. http://www.makingyouhappy.org
8.https://secure.skype.com/portal/profile

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our Strong Democracy Covers India's Failures

              India has been in a state of denial for years. It is rightly proud of its vibrant and chaotic democracy which is on show in the current general election and has survived and been accepted almost without question since Independence.
              Indian democracy has become an unchallengeable fig leaf covering what is not achieved. It allows the negative and under-performing aspects of Indian life to flourish. It blocks change and acts as an excuse for ineffective government.
              Our democracy has also provided an excuse and a cover for the gradual criminalization of politics that has been allowed to grow for decades to such an extent that election campaigns are distorted, large bribes are paid when coalitions are being formed, and many members of parliament and state assemblies have criminal charges pending against them. 
             Democracy also creates an environment where jugaad fixes are easy, and where the failures of the system in terms of poor governance and weakened institutions make the fatalism of chalta hai a welcome safe haven.
             This is not an argument for doing away with democracy, but to recognize and change the negative way in which it operates. Democracy has helped to hold India together since Independence, providing an outlet for people's frustrations and anger, ousting prime ministers, chief ministers and their governments.
             It is not democracy that is at fault but a lack of leadership and a failure to shape clean transparent systems and procedures that operate effectively without being manipulated and hijacked by vested interests and those who resist change. That is the challenge for the next government. 
             Elliott, a journalist who has worked in India for 24 years,  analysed well the ground reality. He, in his write up, shows the real face of our democracy. It is worth reading and adopting to correcting. So that, we can cure ills to strengthen our country further. 
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Reference:
1.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/all-that-matters/Democracy-has-become-a-fig-leaf-to-cover-Indias-failures/articleshow/32938440.cms

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Good Governance : Chief Election Agenda For - 2014

                         Interesting Indian National Election- 2014
                     
            The 2014 election have many similarities with 2008 American election. High level youth engagement is its new dimension. Social media has emerged as a new marketing tool. It is impacting more than 150 MP seats grossly.
 For the first time, youths and candidates are using it on a high scale to reach the masses and convey political messages. Agenda good governance (GG) is in focus with corruption is in side. Hence, 2014 election has become an interesting, noisy and curious election.
            The Government of India failed to meet public expectations in its second term- particularly the young.  Bush badly performed in his second term. And Obama was hope for Americans. Hence, a situational Obama wave was developed in 2008. Similarly Narendra Modi is posing to market the situation created by present congress led government of India. But SA Aiyar in his Swaminomics says “There is modi effect, but not a Modi wave.” It seems correct to a greater extent.
           Political market buzz says none is going to have absolute majority. A triangular contest is most probable. One is Narendra Modi led BJP. The other is Congress led Rahul Gandhi. And last may be BJP or Cong supported third front. Coalition before election could not get the desired shape. It is a dream on paper. But in case of fractured mandate, it will be a potent option.
            There is a big question. Will Modi-of-2014 will be able to prove a photocopy of Obama-of-2008?  There is similarity between them in their style of functioning and marketing. One, both is well read and having in-depth knowledge of politics. Two, both are ICT savvy. Three, both are authoritative and decisive. Four, both are good orators and famous for their effective speeches. Five, both are self-made. Six, both are pursuing personality politics over party politics. Seven, while Obama is internet, Modi is a 3D innovative user in politics.
           Elections are contested on issues called Election agenda. There are many issues in political market. One is good governance (GG). Two is corruption. Three is unemployment. Four is economic slowdown. Five is price rise. Six is development. Seven is vote bank politics. Eight is dynastic rule. And there is a long list of issues including major or minor.
           What is the chief or main election agenda in 2014? It is yet not very clear.  Under present circumstances GG is taking the centre position in close association with corruption and other issues.  Recent social developments made some hidden agenda visible. Corruption is a long standing issue before our citizens.
           BJP tried to make issue of corruption an agenda in 2004. 2004 vision document in its war on corruption heading reveal it. It said BJP believed that corruption is the greatest hurdle in India’s development march.
The party believed that the menace of corruption had to be fought at all levels. But it couldn’t see light of the day. It was like a seed in infertile soil. Recent Anna led agitation cured soil. Hence, barren lands become fertile. Therefore, gave proper condition to seed to sprout.
            Now the invisible potent social issue of corruption is on surface and shining. Corruption is now a big and visible issue. But it is in its childhood. It needs good nursing to give it a healthy and fast growth.
Every issue needs it own time to bear fruits. Corruption being newly born baby can’t be a fruit bearing in near future. Hence, it is in the role of a side hero. GG is taking the role of main hero of 2014 election picture. 
            Anna and team raised their voice against corruption in last two years. Baba Ramdeo has coined black money issue. Both assisted each other issue wise. Public got a new hope and started dreaming something good. It sets corruption as one of the core agenda in Indian politics.
These agitations gave a direction and turning to Indian politics. They made a cancerous issue –invisible corruption-visible. It is a start towards cleaning of the politics and promoting entry of good people into politics who are averse to it.
            In political marketing too demand and supply is very relevant. GG and fight against corruption are political products high in demand. Those, who supplied it, won the elections. GG sellers are many like Nitish Kumar, Narendra modi, Shiela Dixit, ShivRaj Chauhan, etc. As a result, public repeated them.
             But, none is selling the political product fight against corruption except AAP. This is the reason it has made Delhi assembly election a triangular contest, albeit it’s very short life of less than a year.
           GG is now a matured and fruit bearing political agenda. It repeated many chief ministers in Indian states. Our PM Manmohan Singh repeated in 2009 on this score.
Mahwish Hafeez in his write-up reflection says any individual party in nearly two decades, reaped the reward for good governance, dramatic economic growth during its first term. The result shows a kind of respect and acknowledgment of the policies launched by Manmohan Singh.
            But two year old agenda of corruption is in its adolescent age. It will take time to be a matured and full-fledged election agenda to bring fruits like GG. Our political executives need to wait to harness its potential.
               Arvind kejriwal and others broke with Anna. They associated for a very short span. Kejriwal with his broken team formed Aam Admi Party(AAP) a year ago. AAP has come out with a new ideology. It is trying to clean dirt from politics from its symbol broom. And it is trying to supply what is highly demanded in political market.
               Corruption free politics is utmost demanded political product. Except AAP none is supplying it. This issue is damaging and hitting hard all political parties. Therefore, all parties are compelled to amend their ways to supply this product in order to maintain and sustain their market share.
                AAP, Anna and Baba have given a new direction and turn to Indian politics. Indian political landscape is changing fast. Young India – most of them unemployed or under employed- will play a key role. They have taken social media as political tool to engage themselves in election activities. 
 This young energy has energized the election to make it more interesting and curious. For the first time, social media will be in use on a large scale as one of the prominent political tool for political marketing. Candidates of more than 200 seats are taking help to this new tool to engage voters.
             India is a youthful nation. India’s young people are on the move. They are reaching for new opportunities made possible. The United Nations defines youth as people between ages 15 and 24. By this measure, there are approximately 240 million youth in India, about 20% of the population, according to preliminary projections from the 2011 census.  That’s up from 195 million in 2001. The median age in India is 25, meaning that half  the population is below 25 and half is above it.
             The youth’s political participation in terms of attending rallies and campaigns is on the rise, according to survey and data collated by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). UN-Habitat and IRIS Knowledge Foundation released State of the Urban Youth-India 2013 report.
             Report reveals nearly 71% of urban youngsters showed interest in politics in 2013 as compared to 45% in 2009. Young men displayed nearly twice as much interest as young women.  Along with interest in politics, youngsters’ involvement in political campaigning also increased. Twenty- two per cent youngsters participated in campaign activities in 2011as compared to 14% in 2009. Increasing participation of youth with social media will give a new color to 2014 election match.   
             Almost youngsters are social media savvy. They are now using fast and cheap social media to reach the voters and convey message. As a result 2014 is going to witness many new innovations and changes.
Bad governance and continuous disclosures of scams have highlighted the need and demand for GG. Down going economic growth rate (GDP) accelerated the quest for GG.
Good people didn’t show keen interest in politics before Delhi result. But Delhi result of AAP changed this scenario. Now good people are joining politics willingly-who were loath to it. \
AAP is doing a nice job by giving tickets to such  personalities. This step of AAP is a game changer in Indian politics. And others have to follow it. Now many good, reputed and famous persons are contesting elections.
Failure of Congress led government on GG front is the strength to Modi led BJP. Modi is marketing his GG of Gujarat as chief minister. This makes our election very interesting. And finally GG is emerging as chief agenda with corruption inside.
        
Heera Lal (Views are personal and based on different sources)

Ref:



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why Not Online Voting In India If Canada And Estonia Uses It.

                              India Must Take A  Lead In Adopting Technology Like EVM.
                       India must take a lead in adopting online voting technology. We need to bat it. From Ballot to EVM and now online voting can serve our purpose. Worldwide online voting is in use and Why not India is adopting it. India is ahead of USA and many developed countries in adopting EVM successfully long back.
                  Canada has been near the forefront. In all, 80 Canadian cities and towns have experimented with Internet voting in municipal elections. The town of Markham, in Ontario, has offered online ballots in local elections since 2003.
                   But when it comes to national elections, Estonia is the clear leader. The tiny Baltic nation (its population of 1.3 million is roughly the size of San Diego) has allowed online voting for all of its citizens since 2007. In this year's election, nearly one in four votes was cast online, according to its elections commission.

Heera Lal ( Views are personal and based on different sources)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Homosexuality And 377 IPC

                A judicious, situational and factual analysis
The Supreme Court of India turned down high court (HC) judgment on consented homosexuality. Hence, article 377 is in limelight. Supreme Court (SC) judgment gave a big space for debate on this issue. Indian conditions support SC judgment under current situation.  In future, it may, but situation is not ripe for any change in 377 at present. Health, social, cultural and natural facts, and situations don’t permit any interference in it as of now. Article 377 protects our culture, moral, natural sexual habit, and keeps generation going.
Naz Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in a Public Interest Litigation, challenged  the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), which criminally penalizes what is described as “unnatural offences”, to the extent that the said provision criminalizes consensual sexual acts between adults in private.  
The challenge is founded on the plea that Section 377 IPC, on account of it covering sexual acts between consenting adults in private infringes the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19 & 21 of the Constitution of India. Limiting their plea, the petitioners submit that Section 377 IPC should apply only to non-consensual penile non-vaginal sex and penile non- vaginal sex involving minors
Article 377 says Unnatural Offences - Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
The Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgment holding Section 377 to be violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution, insofar as it criminalised consensual sexual acts of adults in private. Hence writ petition was allowed on July 7, 2009.
In an appeal, SC in its judgment on December 11, 2013 allowed appeal and set aside the HC judgement. This pronouncement brought 377 into debate. This issue affects and associates with our social, cultural, biological (medical) and political sentiments. Hence, both supporters and opponents are giving their own logic to prove their cases.
Political classes are divided.  Congress supports it. Congress president Sonia Gandhi said in a statement, in a rare reaction to a court order “I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has reversed the previous High Court ruling on the issue of gay rights. The High Court had wisely removed an archaic, repressive and unjust law that infringed on the basic human rights enshrined in our constitution”.
After keeping mum on the issue for some time, BJP cleared its stand on it. In an interview to The Telegraph, BJP President Rajnath Singh said, "We will state (at an all-party meeting if it is called) that we support Section 377 because we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act and cannot be supported."
Newly formed Aam Admi Party has opposed the SC judgement. The Samajwadi Party has made it clear that it will oppose any amendments to Section 377 if it comes in Parliament for discussion. Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said, "Homosexuality is unethical and immoral, it is against the culture of the country and we will fight it."

A blog “The spark and the blame” has given medical and moral reasons against same-sex practice. There is substantial evidence that homosexual practice is harmful. A few are summarised below. 

Promiscuity and short-short term relationship: homosexual behaviour involves what a writer called “an almost compulsive promiscuity.” 75 % of homosexual men have had more than 100 partners in their lifetime, most of them strangers. A Los Angeles study found that male homo averaged over 20 partners a year. Lastly, only 7-8% of homosexual men and women have ever had relationships lasting more than three years. This differs vastly from heterosexual practice. As Schmidt writes “Promiscuity among homo is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience- it is virtually the only experience.”

Increase incidence of drug use: researchers report higher rates for drug and alcohol abuse among same-sex practicing.  They are more likely to use marijuana (89% vs 2% of hetero), cocaine (50% vs6% of hetero), and poppers (72% vs 2% of hetero). Another Boston study from 1985-88 supports above facts.
            Physical damage and complications: men and women bodies are designed for sexual intercourse with each other in a way that men bodies are simply not designed for sex with other men and the consequences are often physically traumatic. As a result, practising homosexuals are at greater risk of prostate damage, ulcers and ruptures, and chronic incontinence (Schimidt118)
Sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS: Besides physical trauma, many viral and non-viral infections trouble the homosexual populations. Non AIDS diseases include amebiasis, syphilis and hepatitis B (65% of homo men) affects badly.  The 75% STD incidents rate among homo is remarkable. This is to say little of the AIDS epidemic to which homo men are especially vulnerable. A Canadian study found that half of people living with AIDS are homosexual men.
Lower life expectancy: As a consequence of these medial issues especially the AIDS epidemic, homo men have a life expectancy that is significantly lower than heterosexual men. One Canadian study acknowledges it.
Increased incidence of mental illness, depression and suicide: homosexuals suffer from a severely higher incidence of some types of mental illness, especially depression and suicide. Schmidt finds that 40% of homo men have a history of major depressive disorder compared to 3% of men generally.
Dr. John R Diggs, Jr. in his write-up ‘The Health Risks of Gay Sex’ has cautioned the youth. He says it is clear that there are serious medical consequences to same-sex behaviour. Identification with a gay, lesbian and bisexual community appears to lead to an increase in promiscuity, which in turn leads to a myriad of STD and even early death.
 Social impacts of homosexuality are not good.  Domestic violence, child molestation are more common in homosexuals than in heterosexuals, even children of lesbian or gay parents are also sensitive to complex sexual behaviour . On academic ground too they are not at par with their heterosexual counterparts.
One can say that this problem is due to their discrimination with heterosexuals in society but these facts are reported from places where gay marriages are legal like in Netherland and Sanfransisco. Most important thing is that it disturbs the basic building block of society i.e. family. Homosexuality has become a major force that tears down society and harms our culture.
There is a misconception that being gay is an innate characteristic which cannot be changed but researches shown that there are abundant cases where this sexual orientation is changed by appropriate psychological treatment and also with the support and ethical guidance. If something affirm their homosexual behaviour, there are few chances that they could ever overcome from there complex sexual orientations.
It is also important to mention the fact that everything is not permitted in the name of freedom of rights. Youth should be warned of the undeniable health risks associated with a homosexual lifestyle. Worldwide scenario reveals that  while fifteen countries have legalized gay marriage and another three allow it in some areas, homosexuals remain persecuted in many parts of the world.
India is well cherished democratic country. Most of the decisions are taken on majority basis. Roughly a gay population is estimated about 25 lakh. Amending law 377 IPC for a big minority is against the concept of democratic wishes. If it is done, then it will disquiet the majority 99 %. It will infringe in their moral, social, political and bio- medical sentiments and ethics directly or indirectly.
            The highest Indian Court has favoured status quo. This complex issue is getting fast favour to amending it. It is assisted by the spill over effects of the developments worldwide on this. Inspite of all supportive progress on this matter, our SC sees that all ground realities are not favouring it in current Indian situations.
 Therefore, it maintained the originality of 377. Social, political, moral, physical and medical grounds are not ripe for any change in judicious evaluation. Hence, now it is left to our public leaders to assess the situation and act accordingly by a legislative step.

Heera Lal(Views are personal and based on different sources )
  Ref:
24.  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gay-sex-remains-illegal-as-Supreme-Court-refuses-to-review-ruling/articleshow/29515452.cms
15http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Gay-couples-marry-for-first-time-in-England-and-Wales/articleshow/32912562.cms
16http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/all-that-matters/Indian-men-are-having-a-tough-time-dealing-with-the-sexual-revolution/articleshow/32939321.cms




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Arinvd kejriwal is strengthening democracy

Arvind kejriwal has made Election 2014 curious and interesting. He deserves kudos for this. Now all Indian citizens will involve and take part directly or indirectly in this Election mela. Who will win or loose does not matter. Matter is that our citizens must associate with it. People associate when matter is interesting and curious. Hence, Arvind is doing laudable work to strengthen our democracy. Involving and taking part by masses is strengthening of our cherished democracy. I hope, i am right. If wrong tell me how? So that i can correct.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Political Marketing: Our Indian Democracy Must Increase Participation of Women and Young.

India may be the world's largest and most populous democracy, but it is a "flawed" one. India's abysmal political culture and lack of fair political participation have led to it being ranked below Countries such as Chile, Israel and Botswana in the Democracy Index 2012 report.
The Democracy Index, compiled by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit, is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.
The top five democratic countries in the world are Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand. North Korea comes last among the 167 countries covered by the index.
India has been ranked 38 in the list of top democracies. But it comes better off than most of its neighbours: Bangladesh is ranked 84, Sri Lanka 89, Bhutan 107, Pakistan 108, Nepal 111 and Afghanistan 152. China is ranked 142.
India, termed a flawed democracy, scores high in categories such as electoral process and pluralism (9.58) and civil liberties (9.41) but slips when it comes to the functioning of government (7.5) and political participation (6.1). Its score is lowest in political culture (5). India's overall democracy score stands at 7.52 — as against the highest of 9.93 (Norway).
The report defines a flawed democracy as a country that has free and fair elections and respects basic civil liberties, but suffers significant weaknesses in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation, about 20% of the population, according to preliminary projections from the 2011 census. That’s up from 195 million in 2001.
The median age in India is 25, meaning that half the population is below 25 and half is above it. Compare India to Canada, whose youth make up just 12% of its population and where the median age is almost 40.Women are showing up on the electoral landscape.
India is a youthful nation.  India’s young people are on the move. They are reaching for new opportunities made possible. The United Nations defines youth as people between ages 15 and 24. By this measure, there are approximately 240 million youth in India.
Women are showing up on the electoral landscape as a statistic that can no longer be ignored. The number of registered women voters is growing, slowly but surely. Where there were once just 715 listed female voters for every 1,000 male voters in the 1960s, today there are 803. And they are voting in huge numbers, often more than the men.
According to figures quoted by former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi, in 17 of the 22 states that went to polls in the past two years, women outvoted the men by far. This was true even in a state like Uttar Pradesh where 60.29% women exercised their franchise in the 2012 assembly elections as against 58.82% men.

India is placed at 111th position out of 189 countries in a list prepared by an international organization that ranks nations on the number of women representatives in parliament.
The organization - Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) - has found that while more and more women are being elected to parliaments across the world, the trend has not come to in India.
Increasingly, they are also deciding for themselves which way to vote. This is particularly true in urban areas, says pollster G V L Narasimha Rao who has been tracking election data for several decades. For instance, in the 2013 Delhi state polls, Kejriwal's AAP attracted more women voters than the BJP or the Congress, which ironically was led by Sheila Dikshit.
One of the chief reasons for this declaration of semi-independence by women, says Rao, is the growth of the electronic media. Television, he reasons, has allowed women to access information in a way they never could earlier. Consequently, they no longer the world, the trend has not come to in India.
In the Lok Sabha, out of the 544 members, only 60 are women. The Rajya Sabha has only 26 women MPs out of 241 members. This means that only about 1 in 10 parliamentarians in India (11.4%) are women.
India's neighbours are also far ahead in making more women enter politics. In Nepal almost 30% of MPs are women. It is ranked 33rd on this list. Pakistan on the other hand is ranked 72 with 21% of parliamentarians in the Upper House and 17% in Lower House being women.
Bangladesh is ranked 74th in this list with 20% female representation in parliament. China is 61st with nearly 25% MPs being women. The only south Asian neighbour worse off that India in the list is Sri Lanka - ranked 133th with only 13 women MPs out of 225.
Women participation means their progress. This will help a lot in our progress. By increasing women participation, we can catalyze our growth. It is now required on the part of all political parties and actors to give more tickets to women and young candidates.
Speaking to TOI from Geneva, Jemini Pandya from IPU said, "The scene for women in politics is very bad in India. Asia and the Pacific are the bottom two regions in the world. What is worrying is that India is barely making any progress. In Asia for example, there is about half a percentage point progress each year.
So it is fairly stagnant and static in terms of progress. With the elections coming up in India, political parties need to put in place a commitment by themselves that more women will be given a chance to enter parliament. One of the ways they can do it is field women from seats which are winnable."
More participation of young will energies our democracy. It will bring good, new and innovative ideas to strengthen it. Women and Young need  more role to play in politics. Hence, our political bosses must allot and allow more and bigger role in future to women and young on political landscape.

Heera Lal (Views are personal and  based on different sources)

Referance:
1.http://heeralalpcs.blogspot.in/2013/03/young-india.html

2. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/deep-focus/Women-voters-Hard-to-get/articleshow/31701724.cms
3. http://timesofindia.in//www.ndi.org/files/2147_ww_democracy_indicators_040407.pdf
4.http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-ranked-38th-in-index-of-democracy-us-21st-113043000197_1.html
5. world/south-asia/India-fails-floor-test-on-women-in-parliament/articleshow/31705761.cms




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

PIM Realises Gandhian Vision

                          
                     PIM- A Tool For Farmers’ Self-empowerment. 
                  Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM)
        Seeds, fertilizers, landholdings, finances, irrigation argil techniques and technology are main ingredients of farming. Efficient, prudent and productive use of any would improve the productivity. Irrigation is having top priority as water is precious and scare. Hence, its management will fetch good results to our peasants and country.
       An estimated 70% of agriculture production of India comes from irrigated land. As such, the role of irrigation in strengthening and sustaining the agricultural economy is crucial. Unfortunately, the state of irrigation infrastructure across the county is very poor.
       Design flaws, poor upkeep of physical system, unviable water pricing and bad irrigation management practices contributed to substantial underutilization which is a colossal waste to investment. Spending more than rupees one billion on creating physical infrastructure on dams and canals in many states has reached as little as 25% of potential irrigation.  
        Asia’s population is expected to reach 5 billion by 2050, with an estimated 1.5 billion more people to share its land, water, and food resources. Meeting the region’s food demands will therefore require more efficient use of resources, including irrigation systems, to boost agricultural productivity. Looming climate change effects and declining water resources only complicate the task.
        Irrigation system impacts agricultural productivity and food security. It helps alleviating poverty and promoting inclusive economic growth. Therefore, irrigation and water management is crucial. An integrated, cross-sectoral and participatory approach is essential to our water management.
       Before 1960, traditional form of local management of water resources for different uses was prevalent in many countries around the world. In most of the developed countries like the Netherlands, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain local management models had evolved through the social cooperative processes in overall governance.
      In developing countries like India, Iran, Indonesia, Sri Lanka in the absence of stable governance during the Medieval period, the local communities came together to develop local water resources and irrigation systems to ensure water availability for agriculture.
      Many imposed institutional reforms and strategies that were expected to improve the performance of the contemporary irrigation sector. Due to the deteriorating conditions of such infrastructure, one of the major institutional reforms introduced, especially by the financing agencies like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in the eighties was “Participatory Irrigation Management” (PIM)

      Participation is defined as a process through which stakeholders influence and share control of development initiatives and of decisions and resources that aect them.  Thus, participation requires more than just disseminating information and giving farmers government-specified roles in projects.
 Participation in irrigation management involves a larger role for farmers, water groups, and other stakeholders. It may range from oering information and opinions during consultations, to fully enabling farmers to act as principal decision makers in all or most project activities.
     PIM is hinged around developing cooperation with and involvement of farmers in operation, management, and maintenance of the irrigation systems at secondary and tertiary levels through the “Water User Associations” (WUAs). During last three decades about 60 countries having significant irrigated area have adopted PIM in varying degrees and ways.
        The WUAs are considered as the most appropriate entity to bring together farmers being served by a given infrastructure and act as an interface between the farmers and the Irrigation Agency towards conflict resolution and cooperation and also to build synergy among all stakeholders. PIM approach in improving the efficiency and performance of irrigation systems is not in question.  
       During last three decades many countries notably Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam took initiative in introducing PIM approach with an intension of turning ‘vicious cycle’ to ‘virtuous cycle’ in their public managed initiative.
       However, in many cases the concept of participation by farmers is considered as alien to the culture and is introduced as one of the many imposed institutional reforms and strategies that were expected to improve the performance of the contemporary irrigation sector.
        World Bank (WB) supported Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project Phase-1(UPWSRPP) closed on 31October, 2011. It developed a multi-faceted long-term program covering a 15-20 year horizon.
In this phase 343000 hectares of irrigation and drainage systems rehabilitated and modernized. Over 800 WUAs were set-up. UP PIM enacted in 2009. State-level water resource institutions were set-up. A management information system in UP irrigation department was introduced.
       WB approved UPWSRPP-2 worth $ 360 million credit to India on August 28, 2013. It aims to help build the institutional capacity needed to increase agricultural productivity in this low-income state where agriculture will continue to play an important role in alleviating poverty. The phase-2 will also support the UP government’s effort to consolidate and deepen its various institutional reform initiatives such as PIM act during phase-1.
       PIM act played a transformative role in giving WUAs greater responsibility in managing waters available for the farms. WUAs are also playing a greater role in managing the operations and maintenance of local systems, resolving conflicts amongst competing users and assessing water charges.
       Some of the other important initiatives that will be taken up in this phase include a specialized flood management information system as more than 30% of the total geographical area in 23 districts of UP in flood-prone.
       Extensive use of modern technology such as satellite remote sensing, GIS, and mobile-based applications will be employed. As part of the project’s design, the UP Remote Sensing Applications Center will monitor agriculture areas using satellite technologies.

Plainly speaking, PIM is decentralization of power. Right now, UP irrigation department officials are managing it. PIM is an act which transfers this power from government officials into hands of common farmers’ hand. WUAs would associate farmers in different level committee. These committee would be registered with irrigation department and have to work under the direction and control of it. 

     Under Panchayati Raj system, a village has more than fifteen committee. Most of them are headed by Gram Pradhan. It is assumed, each takes collective decisions after through discussion in open meeting.
Likewise, PIM is another step to devolve officials power to common farmers associated into different level’s committee. PIM fulfils the  dream and desire of our national father Gandhiji.
      PIM empowers common farmers to associate themselves into registered Kulawa, Alpika, Rajbaha and Brach committee. These would manage whole irrigation affairs as directed by PIM rules and regulations.

In India, 16 states enacted PIM. Under this and other notifications, Andhara Pradesh at top has formed 10748 committee followed by MP with 1687. UP stands at 15th with 830.
       UP Irrigation department is nodal agency to implement this project through Project Activity Core Team (PACT). Deen Dayal Upadhaya state insititue for rural development is engaged for Information, Education and Communication (IEC).
      In UPWSRPP-1, after PIM, 7 districts were covered. All irrigation facilities in these districts were handed over to newly formed committee. This phase ended in March 5, 2010. 
      UPWSRPP-2 proposed to cover 16 districts. Irrigation department team conducted one day workshop in all districts to aware all associated and connected officials, public and representatives.
      In IEC effort, one day workshop was organised on March 4, 2014 at Firozabad- one of the 16 districts. A successful and useful workshop was organised in association with irrigation department and Regional institute rural development Manpuri.  
      More than 600 participated. A booklet, containing all information regarding PIM in a simple language, was given to all participants as IEC materials. After knowing new system under PIM, all felt happy. A mark of pleasure was observed on the faces of participants as PIM is empowering them. This sensitization and awareness workshop inspired them to fall in love with PIM.
       Motivated participants took pledge and gave commitment to embrace PIM. This will galvanized the irrigation system if implemented as envisaged in the act. Improving governance by PIM of one input (irrigation) would lead to enhance productivity without any additional cost. It is strengthening our Panchati Raj Institutions. 
       PIM is a nice step in favour of our farmers in line with our gram swaraj. PIM is an economical, farmer’s friendly and cost effective tool. Hence it is an appreciable step. As a participant of this workshop, I visualized that PIM is converting Gandhian visions into reality.

Heera Lal (Views are personal and based on different sources)

Ref:
8.       http://epaper.jagran.com/epaper/05-mar-2014-199-agra-edition-firozabad.html