Indian Planning Commission: Alternatives.

Planning Commission of India–What is the best alternative? After its demolition–my thoughts to the Prime Minister in a special letter:
Dr K M George PhD,
Mel Mana, Ooramana, Muvattupuzha, Kerala: Cell 9947670887
Hon Prime Minister of India, PMO , New Delhi
Dear Shri Narendra Bhai,
1) Please know this is George, again writing, after an interval of some three months, to impress up on you the need and importance of having an introspection regarding the state of governance.
2) You did start your inauguration very well, along with our neighbours. Though I did expect a formal invitation, I did not get one!
3) Your visits to Bhutan, Nepal, Japan and Brazil were all well organised and well timed and did enhance our prestige internationally and regionally.
4) Background diplomacy is the need of the hour with Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Gaza without getting entangled in controversies. You need experts to handle such tricky issues with sagacity and prudence, so that we have the cake and eat it too.
5) The forthcoming visit to the UN General Assembly must be well orchestrated to sound business like in the areas of development including infrastructure, soft skills, women empowerment, provision of basic needs, technology along with rural development. Besides peaceful co-existence with our neighbours and zero tolerance to terrorism are to be the twin nonnegotiable slogans. In short India is a caring and sharing as well as empowering nation both nationally and internationally-that must be the message to the world leaders from New York, Narendra Bhai.
6) The youth are to be targeted on priority for inclusion with empowerment with a view to containing radicalisation and terrorism. This must be done in areas particularly affected by Maoists elements as well as al-Qaeda potential recruiters.
7) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana-PJDY- is a boost both in inclusion and empowerment as it aims at banking for the poor and the marginalised within their reach and affordability. By bringing in 7.5 crores -750 million- households with bank accounts by 26th Jan 2015, India is making a quantum jump in financial inclusion. This singularly would enable millions and the end result is augmented inclusive growth.
8) Your Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort was well received. You did exceedingly well while spelling out certain policy initiatives and priorities. The very process of mingling with the school children made you a very dear PM to one and all.
9) Even the address on Teachers’ Day went off very well. Had it been in English too,-bilingual- it would have benefited the non Hindi speaking pupils.
10) Our aim is to bring India at par with some of the best educational centres of excellence in the world. Our best places like IIM Ahmadabad or IITs are exceptions of general excellence! Our universities are not comparable to international standards, as most of them are teaching shops only!!We must be at least at par with China if not equal to Singapore. We need high quality staff to churn out best professionals the world over. Otherwise the old axiom would apply to us as well- “garbage in garbage out”.
11) On 14th November- on Children’s Day- you are called up on to address the whole nation targeting the kids to spell out long term perspectives pertaining to Human Resources Development. Please do focus on quality education and skill development to match the needs of the changing world demands. You must not skip that nationwide address due to extraneous considerations and be like statesman Narendra Bhai.
12) You do deserve congratulations in making warmer relations with Tony Abott, P M of Australia. Is it really a ballet of hedging and balancing against the Chinese designs? May your forthcoming visit to Australia in Nov 2014 make the relations firmer? Our strong relationship with Australia is again of critical importance as there are large number of Indian migrants for a long time as professionals and technicians.
13) Please do know that China is forging ties with the emerging economies in South East Asia, despite our “Look East Policy”, which is dormant.
14) It was good to leave behind the media parasites in any of your overseas tours. Let them realise their rightful place too.
15) Planning commission:
It is a good and bold decision that you had announced as policy proclamation on 15th August to bury the Planning Commission, which outlived its usefulness and has become obsolete. It seems while making that historic declaration you had no alternative institution in your mind. Please recall the 1942 developments of Bombay Model of Plan and the National Model of Plan as two alternatives. But in the 1940s, Dr Sinha the father of Indian Planning who was an outstanding scientist cum MP was instrumental in persuading Er Viswaeasseryya to request Pt. Nehru to take over the chairmanship of the Planning Commission. Thus a political orientation was correctly thrust up on the Planning Commission.
It had many deficits and weaknesses. Yet with all its inadequacies and inconsistencies with its stale data, incorrect data and even incomplete data, it was serving a purpose in prospect and retrospect to learn from the past mistakes and to look forward as well.

Please know that all most all systems have some kind of planning. Even the Chinese Model of Planning may be looked into as we do not have to reinvent the wheel anew.
It should not look like a deliberate effort to undo the legacy of Pt. Nehru and the planning culture.
Please know that you are the Prime Minister of India, not the PM of VHP-RSS- BJP only!! You are the Prime Minister of all Indians please.

Planning Commission to be renamed as: Policy &Performance Think Tank (PP Think Tank).
It must have very lean apex body, may be located at the PMO or at the FM. The non -core members of the PMO may be housed in the present Planning Commission building along with Think Tank experts.

It may be filled with experts and practitioners from various areas like agriculture/ Rural Development/ Energy/ Micro Finance/ Inclusion/ Technology/ Management/ Infrastructure/ Water Resources//Human Resources/ Millennium Development Goals of the UN/ White& Blue Revolution/Health Care/Innovation/ Transport/Entrepreneurs/Industry/and the like. The PPTT must be, among others, the voice of the poor and the marginalised. Please do note that delays in tackling structural impediments such as rising inequality, high inflation, infrastructure shortages and public spending effectiveness, all make formidable challenges to us.

PPTT may have mini cells in each ministry at the Centre. States may either retain the present set up or recast suitably with experts to have the felt needs of the rural population and urban masses with linkages. It must be demand driven, not supply pushed.

PPTT should not be an institution to accommodate yes men or cronies or superannuated baboos.It must have vibrant practitioners with feel of the field coupled vision and fortitude to rebuild India during the third millennium.
16) Should you need further input from me, I am only glad to be of some service to the nation please and to you personally Narendra Bhai.
With warm regards and respects,

Dr KM George
9th Sept 2014.