(May 14/15, 2016, No. 20/2016)*
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com
*Posted on May 14, 2016 from Thiruvananthapuram.
Opening Remarks
Came to Kerala on May 4 and reached Thiruvananthapuram on May 9 after spending 4 days in Wayanad and Kozhikode districts and traveling by road and rail. Hot weather, occasional rains and political noise in the context of Assembly elections scheduled for May 16 gave enough opportunity to get a feel of the mood of average Malayalee staying in Kerala. Having stayed outside Kerala for almost 30 years and having been lucky to stay in this state for long spells sometimes extending up to six months I have a fair sense of the thinking of average Resident Malayalee and the Malayalee who has settled permanently outside Kerala. Both ‘judge’ each other using diametrically opposite parameters.
Growth prospects*: Dr C Rangarajan
“Gazing into the future
The rise in investment rate must be supported by a rise in the domestic saving rate. An increase in investment rate supported by a widening current account deficit is not sustainable and is fraught with serious consequences. Only a current account deficit in the region of 1 to 1.5 per cent is sustainable. Incremental capital output ratio is a catch-all variable which is influenced by a host of factors. Obviously, it depends on technology. It also depends upon the skill of the labour force which in turn depends on the quality of the education system. Another catch-all expression “ease of doing business” is also relevant. Bureaucratic hurdles which impede speedy execution of projects need to be removed. Thus improving the productivity of capital needs action on several fronts.
Making a prediction about the future is always hazardous. Many things can go wrong. The Indian economy in the recent past has shown that it has the resilience to grow at 8 to 9 per cent. Therefore achieving the required investment rate to support such a high growth is very much in the realm of possibility. However, we need to overcome the current phase of declining investment rate. Investment sentiment is influenced by non-economic factors as well. An environment of political and social cohesion is imperative. Equally, we can get the ICOR back to a lower level. Raising the productivity of capital will require policy reforms including administrative reforms as well as firm-level improvements. The “potential” to grow at 8 to 9 per cent at least for a decade exists. We have to make it happen.”
*Excerpts from the Hindu lead article (May 14, 2016)
Recent responses
May 12, 2016
Resources management
This refers to Puja Mehra’s well-researched article “It is disinvestment, not privatisation” (The Hindu, Policy, May 12). Modi government is yet to receive the kind of support from different stakeholders including political leadership, bureaucracy and corporates, for effectively converting the Planning Commission (In his maiden Independence Day address on August 15, 2014, PM had lamented that the Planning Commission was a house in disrepair which he intended to rebuild as NITI Aayog), into the transformation agent that was heralded by the rechristening of the Commission as NITI Aayog. 
It is time we start moving towards more transparency in the working of organisations dependent on public funds (When I refer to ‘public funds’, I have in mind resources belonging to the public including funds/capital mobilised by private sector organisations including corporates and religious/charitable bodies). NITI Aayog can play a proactive role by providing guidance for better Asset-Liability-Management approach in managing nation’s resources.
Besides policy guidance down to village level, this will need legislative changes and a total revamp of planning apparatus and an effective regulatory and audit system for overseeing the funds management by all agencies which have access to public funds.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
May 10, 2016
The new normal?
Apropos Shiv Visvanathan’s article “The ‘everydayness’ of our violence, (The Hindu, May 10), one, as a citizen, is indebted to The Hindu for publishing it, as normally the mainstream media, though enthusiastic about sensationalising isolated incidents(I am told they have an eye on increased readership/viewership data), generally avoid uncomfortable analyses of comparable events.
Though India might be still not under threat of the kind of tyranny referred to in the article quoting Hobbes’s hypothesis, the signals are far from comforting. One’s thought process gets paralysed when a peep into the past few decades gives evidence for support received by the agencies responsible for carrying out the acts of violence against the weak, from the ruling party or alliances across political denominations. It is in this context that the fear of suppression of uncomfortable facts by the establishment running through the article becomes real.
In the Indian context, citizen’s concern about violence does not get focussed for multiple reasons. The low level of literacy, multi-layer system of governance in which responsibility for national security, internal policing, education and civil rights is in different hands, contribute to this blurring of focus. That the  enforcement of several laws concerning these aspects gets distributed among different authorities at different levels, make the task of even social activists working to help out victims, in various ways.
Judiciary with crores of cases pending before courts at different levels remain a helpless spectator making occasional observations about legalised violence escaping punishment.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

 “Looking back, then, over the patchwork of my life’s labours, I can say that I have made many beginnings and thrown out many suggestions. Something will come of them in the future, though I cannot myself whether it will be much or little. I can, however, express a hope that I have opened up a pathway for an important advance in our knowledge.”
-Last paragraph of Freud’s autobiography written in 1925
“All the things which we have been describing and discussing are in themselves only fragments, the products of observation, examination, analysis and theory. Taken together they go into what we conceive of as the make-up of a man, a woman and a child as we experience them. In the end we come face to face with the miracle of the human being-with the body of an animal, the mind of a dreamer, the ability to communicate beyond imagining, and a capacity for goodness, for evil, for greatness and for suffering, which no other being on earth can ever share. It is this human being, the creator and the destroyer, that we must be able to watch with great objectivity and understand with great compassion.
-Concluding paragraph of the 792 pages, 1963 book “Personality Development and Psychopathology” by Norman Cameron, Yale University.


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