In the near future, all central government schemes could have the Prime Minister or the names of nationalist leaders prefixed to them and films highlighting the achievements of Narendra Modi shown ‘mandatorily’ before screening of movies in every theatre.
These are part of the series of recommendations by the Group Of Ministers for increased visibility of Central Government schemes and achievements in states and districts, the others being:
1) Creating animation clips of various achievements of the government, highlighting the “difference between the past and present” in a “humorous way”.
2) Roping in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for execution.
3) Central schemes should be done in presence of Union ministers and MPs so that the role of Centre is highlighted.
4.) Enhancing the authority of MPs by giving them constitutional authority to carry out checks on execution of the schemes and build in a system of penalties enforceable by central government, whenever there is lack of efficiency in execution of a scheme.
Above mentioned are among the few:
There is innovation to some extent when it comes to giving MPs constitutional authority (point 4), which is worth while experimenting given the fact that MPs being direct representatives of people could increase accountability in implementation of the schemes. However, the recommendation that Central ministers and MPs be present so that the role is highlighted is highly laughable. The Central government largely benefits of the revenues generated by the state, the states are largely responsible for the implementation of any scheme however noble the intentions might be. For example, the food distribution system (FDS) works amazingly well in some states and not so impressive in other states. Same could be said for MGNREGA and other Central schemes be it developmental or welfare. To add to it, very few schemes are centrally sponsored in its entirety, lot of the schemes have part spent by states and part by Centre. The proportion varies from state to state. As Mr Modi said “Central government and state government together make Team India”, going by the above recommendations it looks like anything but a team.
The race and thoughts seem to be directed towards who gets the credit and not on how well it is implemented. Advertising of schemes is okay, until there is a requirement that people should know about the scheme to avail the benefits of schemes. For example, a time bound health insurance scheme or a deadline for Aadhaar card application or the Odd even scheme etc. Any expenditure directed towards taking credit for schemes is an expenditure that could be avoided. To put in perspective how much it costs to advertise achievements, the Jayalalithaa government of Tamil Nadu spent 25 crores to advertise achievements of one year in government.
The Logical Indian appeals to the state and Central governments to work together, share the credit and cut expenditure. Good schemes implemented efficiently will always be well received by the people and duly appreciated by the media and people alike.
Even at 76, Pradip Burman, the zestful chairman of Mobius Foundation radiates a contagious enthusiasm when he is talking about sustainability. The environmental crusader, better known to many as the great-grandson of Dabur founder Dr S.K.Burman, has devoted substantial attention towards promoting the concept of sustainability in all aspects of life. He refuses to conform to the convenience and comfort in today’s world which ultimately adds on to the adverse effects of climate change.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Burman emphasised why sustainability as a concept is indispensable for us. “We ought to be aware of what lies ahead of us. Soon we will finish the oil, iron, tin, and coal, and our next generations will be left with nothing. Recycling, banning plastics, stop felling trees for paper… This should become a part of everyone’s lifestyle,” he urges.
Traditional wisdom and modern research
A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Burman had always nurtured a keen interest in helping the society, as evident from his graduation project of designing a sonic aid for the visually challenged, which detected obstacles in the way using ultrasonic wave signals.
As an executive for the nature-centric company Dabur, Burman has always opted for natural alternatives to solve his everyday problems like taking Ayurvedic medicine to cure his Arthritis. He later launched the veterinary wing for Dabur – Ayurvet – which provides nature-friendly solutions for animal health care.
A patron of the ancient scientific wisdom of India, Burman always hailed the confluence of “traditional knowledge and modern research”, which he advocated as the Ayurvet motto.
As part of the CSR initiative of Dabur, Pradip Burman founded SUNDESH (Sustainable Development Society) which has been tirelessly working for last 25 years in remote villages for uplifting the rural communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
An advocate of sustainability
Burman believes that sustainability is the indispensable mantra for the world at present. Due to uncontrolled utilisation of the planet’s resources by human beings, the world today stands at a juncture of destabilisation. Today the human race has reached the pinnacle of progress but the advancement is happening in a very unsustainable manner.
Through energy-efficient use of everyday essentials like transport, communication, altered habits of diet, clothing and daily living, some crusaders of sustainability try to reduce their carbon footprint. Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is one of the forerunners toward sustainability goals.
Mobius Foundation aims to change the sustainability dynamics
In 2015, Burman paved the way for the start of Mobius Foundation, focused on sustainability. Named after 18th-century German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, the famous Mobius strip has an important philosophical significance. The extraordinary shape symbolises balance and union.
Similar is the essence of Mobius Foundation which wishes to enhance the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle to a widespread basis in India, helping generations to come.
Founder Pradip Burman wishes to achieve notable development in education, population stabilisation and renewable energy projects.
A dream school in the making
At Coorg, Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is constructing the World Environment School, Coorg (WESc) where the curriculum will surpass the boundaries of books and classrooms, with a special focus on hands-on learning in close collaboration with the environment. Amidst the pristine natural beauty of Coorg, the school will nurture young minds to grow up into future green leaders. As of now, the school will be open to teenagers, welcoming students from standards 6 to 12.
Needless to say, World Environment School will be the first-of-its-kind not only in India but also in entire South Asia. The school is expected to start from March 2020.
The school promises to nurture the responsible behaviour of citizens of our future.
The Sustainability Conference of 2019
In 2019, the Mobius Foundation has planned an international conference, on the lines of the celebrated earth summits over the past decade. The 2019 International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE 2019) aims to bring together environmental activists, practitioners of sustainable development as well as climate change experts to help develop a sustainability-focused curriculum.
It is surmised that the conference will give a platform to innovative concepts of Sustainability Education including an essential change in the existing education system ensuring a wholesome personal development for a student.
The Sustainability crusader
The Mobius founder strongly believes that it is high time to sprout sustainability awareness among a society drowning in consumerism and unknowingly doing irreparable harm to the planet, every second. The best way to achieve this goal is through education which is available to all. At present, the education system is predominantly career-oriented, making the learners a victim of materialism, and thus, their dreams are also outlined in those colours.
Living beyond the limits
When asked about his wish to attain the age of hundred, he strongly asserts that more than becoming a centurion, he wishes his life and work continue to better the society even in his absence. “I have lived my life. I wish that whatever I start before I go, will continue – for the betterment of my country,” says Mr Pradip Burman.
He is also a trustee of the Climate Reality Project – India (affiliated to Mr. Al Gore of the Climate Reality Project Foundation, USA). Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. The India branch looks after more than 500 trained Climate Leaders, and more than 900 volunteers spread all over the country.
In his journey, Pradip Burman has been a beacon of hope for millions, motivating many to join the movement for sustainability. We wish he continues his tireless efforts for promoting sustainability awareness and inspire generations to come.