Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, organised a panel discussion on ‘Governance - The Change We Need’. The panel delved upon issues like how government transparency can be strengthened and how our institutions can become more responsive and accountable to the society. The entire discussion was moderated by Senthil Chengalvarayan, President and Editorial Director of CNBC-TV18.
Chengalvarayan set the ball rolling by asking the panelists on what was in place and what was not in terms of transparency in the Indian Government. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister and who had heralded the telecom revolution in India, said, “We have been trying to implement reforms in political and judicial systems, but have not been able to do a good job yet.” He further stressed that the country needed to re-engineer all the processes in the government systems.
“The unreformed areas have seen corruption,” believed Gurcharan Das, author of ‘India Unbound’ and ‘The Difficulty of Being Good’.
Shailesh Gandhi, an RTI activist and Central Information Commissioner, strongly felt that the government was designed not to function. “Timeliness of delivery has been the biggest problem of the country,” he remarked.
Trilochan Sastry, Academic Dean at IIM-Bangalore and Founder of Association for Democratic Reforms, raised the question of election funding. He said, “The amount of election funding is skyrocketing and this is the one of the roots of the corruption in India.”
Some of the other panelists in the discussion included CV Madhukar, Founder and Head, PRS Legislative Research; Nachiket Mor, Chairman, Sughavazhvu Healthcare; Ramesh Ramanathan, Co-Founder, Janaagraha and Chairman, Janalakshmi Financial Services.