AGRICULTURE & ALLIED SECTORS
Ensure that farmers get MSP for produce
Dr T N Prakash Kammardi,chairman, Agriculture Price Commission, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru
There is a need to have an experimental approach to develop agriculture and allied sectors in Karnataka, and also a legal approach to ensure minimum selling prices (MSP) for agricultural commodities.
About 60 per cent of commodities in the state are sold below the MSP, which is linked to the state having the second highest number of farmer suicides. The set MSPs for several commodities do not even cover the cost of production.
There should be punitive action if someone buys below the MSP. In the days of globalisation and liberalisation, the government should ensure farmers get their due.It is a peculiar situation in the state. We have been on the forefront of agricultural reforms. We were the first to come up with a comprehensive agricultural policy in 1995 and the first to introduce IT and BT in agriculture, thanks to the then chief minister S M Krishna.
Should the investors in agriculture be the state and agricultural universities, or private corporate firms? The fact that the planning commission was scrapped shows the government’s intention. We are doing away with government intervention, but what we need is a combination of both government and private investors.
Simplifying ease of doing biz will help
Kishore Alva,Sr Vice President, Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce
Simplifying the ability to do business can attract more investments in Karnataka, which can ease transition of the state to a higher-income society to reinforce the state’s position. Data indicates that Karnataka’s services sector continues to thrive and remains a dominant contributor to the economy. A huge opportunity exists for manufacturing while the state continues to be an attractive destination for investments.
Vision Karnataka should represent growth strategies on various fronts. Primarily, the nodal agency handling the new project proposals in the state must be restructured to make it a Single Window Agency.
On the energy front, the reforms should be implemented in a progressive manner so that the benefits of competition and innovation are delivered to the consumers. The state should aim at becoming a ‘surplus power state’, improve energy efficiency in the energy-consuming sectors and ensure continuous electricity supply in rural areas. To make the state self-sufficient in terms of energy, the government should think of having long-term Power Purchase Agreements.On the infrastructure development front, the state should ensure availability of all the infrastructure facilities enabling faster setting-up of industries.
Incorporate law in STEM education
Professor R Venkata Rao,Vice-Chancellor, National Law School of India University
While every academician swears by the indispensability of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, an amalgamation of law into STEM should be Karnataka’s vision in 2025.
Law has to follow technology and technology has to follow law. Having a collaboration of Law and STEM should be Karnataka’s Vision 2025. No state has done this yet. We should work towards a more humane society. Education is not about information but about formation of minds. I will appeal to the chief minister to have the Preamble of the Constitution and the Fundamental Duties of the citizen in the Constitution to be narrated by students in all schools just like they recite the national anthem.
With institutions like the Indian Institute of Science and the NLSIU, and many other centres of excellence, Bengaluru, is an intellectual capital. People born in the social media age need to understand consequences of free speech.
We need to work towards new human renaissance and strive for ethical excellence. Back in 1986, when NLSIU was conceived there were no takers for idea of excellence. But now, we have 22 centres of excellence. Government and individuals need to understand the implications of their activities.
Create jobs to check migration from villages
Professor G Raghuram,Director, Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru
The state has witnessed comprehensive development in many areas over the years with its infrastructure. However, the vision should have a focus for a better future.One of the main challenges Karnataka has in the near future is lack of opportunities in tier-two cities. Unemployment at rural level is forcing migration to Bengaluru where they have to live in poor conditions.
Jobs have to be catered to non-farming rural population, which the development of tier-two cities would help. Bengaluru already houses population of more than a crore and a vehicle population of more than 65 lakh. This is not a sign of better urban eco-system. Access and mobility, maintenance and co-ordination will play key roles in generating non-farming rural economy and will lessen migration of rural population to urban areas.
Connectivity through various means will be key in the growth of the state which should be looked upon. Only two cities in Karnataka -- Bengaluru and Mangaluru -- have international flights operating from their airports. Private players need to be encouraged to fly from Belagavi, Hubballi and Mysuru airports. Last mile connectivity is important and it can be done with better road infrastructure and express corridors.
EDUCATION AND SOCIAL WELFARE
Improve condition of govt schools in state
Professor Chandan Gowda,Azim Premji University,Bengaluru
Documenting the fabulous social welfare schemes of the state is very important. It is necessary these are studied in order to help the government frame better policies in future. These humane schemes do nothing less than redefining what the state must be doing, but the state gets vilified for it.
The free milk distribution scheme, distribution of free textbooks for school children are fantastic schemes especially for those who otherwise have no recourse to them. A high drop-out rate from schools is still there especially among Dalits and tribal groups. Government schools are being shut down and the state must do something to resolve that. The move to make Kannada compulsory in schools is a fantastic move to create an identity for the State. There are individuals who have stayed 20 years in the State but do not know anything of the culture or history of the State.
The scheme by the State government to offer an incentive of Rs 5 for every litre of milk to the milk producing farmer, has saved many from a drought crisis. It also calls for steps to be taken to ensure that modern technology does not make life tough for potters, blacksmiths, handicraft businessmen and so on. There is also a need to redress the extraordinary deficit in trust between the public and the law enforcement agency.