ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Governing the Internet

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society which is to be held in Tunis next week will attempt to resolve how to make governance of the internet a more multilateral rather than US-centric process. The case for change cannot be based on any dissatisfaction with the past or the present. It must and can rest on the inadequacy of the present model of governance for the internet of the future.

Education: Science Policy Studies

When the Jawaharlal Nehru University was founded in 1970, one of the earliest decisions taken by its executive council was to set up a Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP) in the School of Social Sciences. However, there was a freeze in admission of students in the late 1970s and the centre remained in suspended animation for a decade and a half. The centre was revived in 1996 and has got into its stride in the last three years. The revival, rebuilding and accelerated development of the CSSP augurs well for the S and T system in the country.

Stock Exchanges: Behind the Ruse of Demutualising

The finance minister has announced the government's intention to demutualise the stock exchanges. This is expected to remove the deficiencies of the present structure of the exchanges. In fact demutualisation will not address the basic issue which is to put an end to brokers' control of the management of the exchanges.

A Confounding Exercise

There could hardly have been a more convoluted budgetary exercise than that represented by the Budget 2001-2002 which ignores the poor and pleases the rich and is certain to end up creating conditions for employment to go down without growth picking up.

Legal Framework for Power Sector Reform

Despite some omissions and loose ends, the Electricity Bill, 2000 is a vitally necessary measure to provide a comprehensive legal framework for sound and speedy reform of the power sector.

EDUCATION-The Price of Neglect

The Price of Neglect A Special Correspondent Maharashtra has been rocked by a series of scandals affecting the education system. While it has become customary to blame all the troubles on the proliferation of private coaching classes, the truth is that, in Maharashtra as much as elsewhere in the country, the government has methodically starved the education system of the necessary inputs teachers, buildings, books, laboratories, extra-mural aids. If this policy continues, the malpractices will persist and grow.

Cutting Corners Changing Banking Culture

A number of practices have developed among banks - in relation to deposits, credit and services which are violative of the spirit of regulations and sometimes of even of the letter EVER since Indira Gandhi nationalised ihc banks on July 19, 1969, the banking system has been in the limelight both lor right reasons and wrong. The reorientation of banking thinking in the way the political masters willed was a little ditiieult, at least to begin with. Hanking personnel are predominantly urban oriented. lt was one thing to talk of social orientation in banking services that was the easier part The more difficult part was to go out. live in rural areas and practise what was being preached. This was the lime when hankers learnt not to take some of the state governments words at lace value. It the Block Development Officer's report stated that an atl-u eat her road existed, there was a good chance that it tcally did not. In fact stale governments' money was often spent on repairing such (non-existent) roads. Likewise schools, electricity, eti It was during this period that banking culture started changing. Prior to nationalisation, the average hanker was in the classical mould. An epitome of conservatism, an elitist. The massive recruitment binge that Hanks went on post-nationalisation (which was needed given the then compulsions) brought a sea-change in banking culture. In many states, banks were preferred to industry and the administrative services. The 1970s-80s period saw banks attracting talent. The new breed banker was entirely different from his predecessors. He brought mathematical models to credit appraisal, supplementing what were till then only judgmental decisions. The discounted cash flows, the net present value ol money, the supreme importance of key financial ratios (which admittedly existed earlier but in the background) all came about during this period. The machinations of the politico- bureaucratic masters during this period brought about a number of practices, quite a few of them dubious. Broadly these practices may be categorised under three heads those relating to deposits; those relating to credit and those relating to staff and services. The entry of foreign banks and their altitudes had a profound impact on the way the Indian banks worked.

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