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Nation Development Clinic

Every one of us wants this country to be a developed nation and great once again, as it used to be in ancient times, and it has all the potential also to be so. GDP of India was about 33% of World GDP in 1AD, 25% in 1700s, 4.5% in 1947 and at present it is about 6.5%, hardly any increase after 70 years of independence. Now, on most of the important developmental parameters, we are rated sub 100. For example, India was 134 th in ease of doing business in a list of 189 countries as per World Bank report 2014, 94 th on corruption perception index according to Transparency International in the list of 177 countries in 2013, 136 th on human development index according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the list of 186 countries in 2013. Most of the far eastern countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand etc were in similar position or behind India on these indexes at the time of independence; now all of them are way ahead. The per capita income of India in 1947 was $439, whereas that of South Korea was $770, China $619; and Taiwan $936; only about one and half to two times of India. In 2013, per capita income of India was $1,414 as against $23,838 of South Korea, $20,706 of Taiwan, $6,569 of China as per IMF report; India’s per capita income being 1/15 th of South Korea. In last three-four years some improvement have come due to push by the Government under present dispensation. But these incremental changes are like pushing the old cart a little harder. True potential of the country can be realized only by changing the cart by car i.e. by bringing fundamental changes in the system.

The blame for dismal state of affairs generally is heaped on politicians and bureaucrats, who have become the whipping boys for most ailments of the country these days. Social activists, journalists, media and even common person consider most politicians and bureaucrats as corrupt, who favour and disfavour indulgently. However, from a close look at the profile of politicians and bureaucrats, we will find this lot is one of the best when they entered their profession. Most bureaucrats are selected through highly competitive examinations and rigorous interviews. Thereafter their credentials are thoroughly verified through a police verification process. Then they are given extensive training in their area of expertise, general administration and management. Similarly, most politicians have been heroes of their street or colony and became public representatives only after elected through popular vote. Both these set of people have responsibility at their soldiers. Politicians even have to prove their worth every five years. On the other hand, people who criticize these people generally would have tried their hands on one or both of these professions but probably did not succeed. A few brilliant guys might not try these days, particularly the politician’s profession because it entails both high risk of failure and is viewed by many as a dirty profession! Ideally speaking both the professions are noble professions for serving the country and public.

If that being so, then is it that there is nothing wrong with these people but they themselves are victim of the system which they are presiding over? This seems to be the case, if we ponder over the following: The persons who entered the political arena at a time when there was only risk and no likely reward was expected, like at the time of Jai Parkash movement, later are considered by middle and elite class and many times by law enforcement agencies as law breakers and worst criminals. There are, so called, criminal politicians for who people burn themselves. Would anybody burn himself for the sake of polished elite who debate in AC drawing or media room and talk about what should be done and what not, and walk away with a good compensation for his talk? We have not come across such an example. This is because he only talks and never walks the talk or acts. People like those, who acts for them and not who simply talk in close environment.

The diabolical situation has been created by our impractical and complicated bureaucratic system with plethora of Acts, rules, regulations and procedures, which are in books since British started ruling India. British themselves had left too many of these, which they needed for governing foreign land and people - we have added many more on the top of them after independence. Most are made with suspicion in mind and from a mentality of superiority. Many are made with conservative mentality, many just for hack of it or to protect the interest of a group wittingly or unwittingly, and many are such which contradict each other leaving people in a loop. Have a look at the following samples.

  • In Delhi till recently property used to be generally registered at circle rate, which used to be one third to one tenth of circle rate. The two important reasons for this were: a) to pay less registration charges as registration charges would have been huge, if calculated on market rate of property with current registration charges rate, which range between 6 to 8% and b) to use cash money which would have come either from a similar sale transaction by the buyer or earned through other questionable means. Even if a buyer wanted to buy a property through cheque, the chances were that he would not get a seller to accept his cheque for the total consideration. Everyone knew the market rate of property at each location - registrar of property, property tax department, State Government and even the Courts. Although many of the authorities might have carried out such a transaction themselves but if a complaint is lodged against somebody, the investigation would follow. The same person who would have carried out similar transaction will happily become the faithful authority and would judge the other person guilty, who carried out the transaction. Since most people have done such a transaction, many of the people even in authority are susceptible to blackmail of the other. Only those people who have either got the house or land directly from authorities like DDA or are the original members of the Group Housing Societies would have acquired the house by paying full amount in white. But large number of people would have paid a portion of money in black for acquiring a house or land in Delhi. And this number is not small. Hence, generally there is no complaint, unless one rubs a wrong shoulder to someone. Seemingly, most powerful authority is susceptible to blackmail by anyone who happens to know his transaction. Now it is immaterial even if this person has converted his hard- earned money into cash, called black in common parlance in this context. This has made the system weak and toothless. We have become a society of sort of blackmailers! Due to depression in property prices and increase of circle rates, differential has become small now, and in many cases, it has become possible to carry out the full transaction through banking channel, yet problem exists because its root cause has not been addressed. Simple solution is to reduce the registration charges to 1-2% and make it mandatory to register it near the upper end of the market rate of the locality. A simple mechanism could always be worked out for determining the market rate every week or month. This will help the honest person to remain honest, facilitate cash money going into banking system slowly and restoring the authority of the institutions, without causing a revenue loss.
  • There is told to be a big illegal sand mafia operating in Noida. Have we thought if thousands of houses are to be built, which have been approved by one authority, then from where the sand will come to build these houses, if no genuine source of sand is made available for construction of sanctioned houses? River beds are the most natural source of sand. When such contradictions are created into the system, different bureaucrats react in different ways and politician react in a way which is people oriented as their survival is on votes. Politicians can either close their eyes and be oblivion to public necessity or actively participate in the activity exercising his influence in this premium activity and earn both votes and money. An active corrupt bureaucrat asks for his share and closes his eyes in the name of pragmatism. An inactive bureaucrat closes his eye either due to fear of politician or due shear lethargy. An active honest bureaucrat becomes obstacle earning the wrath of politicians whose vote and money are compromised and he becomes the hero of that part of the public, which is not affected by the stoppage of the development. In such a situation hero and villain get mixed up giving confusing signal and corruption thrives.
    The solution to this simple problem is to carry out a study as to what degrades the environment, assess the developmental needs and balance the two and make available genuine source of sand as per rules at a reasonable price. World over, rivers are passing through cities and no where there is a riverbed as wide as at Yamuna and yet it is dying. Environment does not get degraded simply because it is written in some rule; it gets degraded if the conditions for degradation exist or are created. However, an activity become legal or illegal based on what we write in rules.
  • In UP there is told to be rule that if a tenet stays in a house then owner has to pay 25% of the rent as house tax. In ordinary circumstances if owner does not rent it out then for a three-bed room flat house tax may be Rs 2,500, but if you rent it out at a rent of, say at Rs 20,000, then house tax becomes Rs 5,000 for a month or Rs 60,000 per year; 14 times of the house tax with own occupation. House tax is supposed to be compensation to the authority from the house owner for the services rendered by the authority, which remains the same whether house is on rent or not. Therefore, it should not vary whether the house is on rent or under self-occupation. The result of such a differential house tax is that most law-abiding citizen also prefer to settle the house rent by paying a bribe to officials of the authority. Since both giver and taker are beneficiaries, no Lokpal or any anti-bribery authority can eliminate this corruption. This does not increase the revenue also as almost no one will pay house tax based on rent. Simple solution is to make the house tax the same whether it is on rent or not or at the most have differential of 10% or so, although it is also quite unnecessary.
  • Large number of people commute daily between Delhi, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Noida for work and other business purposes. These satellite towns have virtually become the part of Delhi and part of NCR. However, if a person commuter to Gurugram by a taxi registered in Delhi, there is entry tax of Rs 1250 by Haryana Government. Taxi fare may be Rs 300 but entry tax is Rs 1250. If you seek rational for such a high entry tax, you will be told it is for month and less than the entry tax in UP, which is Rs 250 per day. The UP entry tax of Rs 250 per day for Noida and Ghaziabad is unjustified when we want people to carry on their personal and business activities amongst these satellite towns freely and reduce the cost of doing business. In case of Gurugram, the question is if one has to travel only for a day, how far Rs 1250 is justified. The second catch is this monthly entry tax is based on calendar month i.e. if you happen to travel on 29 th of the month, tax is only for two or three days depending upon whether the month is of 30 or 31 days. On the top of this, MCD charges toll tax when the taxi comes back to Delhi again, even though it is Delhi registered taxi, as if by going to UP or Haryana it has committed a crime. Such unthoughtful rules not only create business hurdles, result in increased cost of doing business, they result in waste of time in queues and loss of happiness amongst the people of this country.
  • There is a circular from Ministry of Finance that a profit-making PSU has to declare dividend of at least 20% of its net profit or equity, whichever is more. It is difficult to appreciate the rationale for such a circular because if a PSU with an equity of Rs 100 Crores makes a profit of Rs 5 crore in a year, how can it declare a dividend of Rs 20 crores. One financial expert of the Government suggests, it is possible by drawing from its reserves, forgetting that PSU may or may not have reserve, reserve are not free float cash; they are generally invested in assets and company needs some amount of money for further growth.
  • The eligibility conditions for the posts of Chairman and Members TRAI are such that a rickshaw puller could be eligible but senior officers from Telecom who have put in more than 30 years of service as Group ‘A’ officers are not eligible. As per TRAI act, a person who has special knowledge of and professional experience in telecommunication, industry, finance, accountancy, law, management or consumer affairs is eligible for these posts. Provided that a person who is, or has been, in the service of Government shall not be appointed as a member unless such person has held the post of Secretary or Additional Secretary, or the post of Additional Secretary and Secretary to the Government of India or any equivalent post in the Central Government or the State Government for period of not less than three years. A graduate rickshaw puller can claim that he has special knowledge of and professional experience of dealing with his consumers and, hence, is eligible. But if a person joins the Government for a few months at the young age and leaves the service, he can never be eligible for these posts whatever knowledge or experience he may gain thereafter. Similarly, the officers who might have put in 35 years of service in Telecom in Group ‘A’ but have not been promoted to Additional Secretary level due to some reasons are not eligible. Such an eligibility conditions is possible only in India!

Similarly, there is lot scope in improving the decision-making abilities of our decision makers. Consider the following examples;

  • Consumer Courts of the country are barred to adjudicate the disputes between consumers and Telecom Service Providers by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and DOT cannot appoint arbitrators to resolve such disputes because Telecom Service Providers are not notified as arbitrator. TRAI does not deal with individual grievances as per TRAI act and DOT has no power to deal with consumer complaints effectively, except to forward the complaint to Telecom Service Providers with a request to deal with the grievance. In effect, hapless Telecom consumers are at the mercy of Telecom Service Providers.
  • A company was issued LOI and deposited Rs 23 cr as entry fee for each of five license areas. Later due to security reasons on the advice of Ministry of Home Affairs LOI was not converted to license and LOI was cancelled. DOT refused to refund the entry fee submitted by the company even though it was DOT which backed out and not the company. Inspite of court order to refund it, it was not refunded by wrongly interpreting the court order. Later the company filed damages and compensation claim in millions of dollars in the international court of arbitration.
  • It is normal to observe on roads, on a road where every car is moving more than speed of say 60 Km per hour, speed limit mentioned is 40 Km or 60 Km. The traffic police fellow can catch and fine any driver whenever he wishes to do so or when he is falling short of his target collection!

Our system is replete with such Acts, rules, regulations and procedures which make us a corrupt and weak society. The solution is not to make more laws to catch the culprits because there is no culprit as such; most of us are victims of the system, including politicians and bureaucrats. If such a system is given to anybody else also, he will behave the same way as our politicians, bureaucrats and citizens are behaving. That is why even the most critic of the system when he becomes the part of the system starts behaving the same way. We Indian are generally good and God fearing people and are much more prone to follow the rules than people of many other societies who are more aggressive.


  • The solution is to study such Acts, rules, regulation and procedures and streamline these to be practical and progressive.
  • Introduce an element of accountability in decision making.


We can help the Governments - Central or State - to build its capacity to study, understand the complexities of acts, laws, rules, regulations and procedures and then streamline those acts, laws, rules, regulations and procedures, which are hindrance to the progress of the country.

We have an eye for detail and ears on ground to hear the rumblings of common people of this country, and therefore, can bring to the notice of Government infirmities in acts, rules, regulations and procedures.

We can study these acts, rules, regulations and procedures for the Government as a whole or an individual department or institution and recommend the re-engineered acts, rules, regulations and procedures.


For Capacity Building:


On-Line Training: We have number of on-line training modules, which the officers can complete at their own pace. These training modules will help in developing managerial, leadership skills and capacity building of middle level and senior officers. At the outset, some of the training modules may look to be innocuous, but once all officers have undergone these modules, a perceptible difference can be observed in their actions and decision-making abilities and quality of decisions. In traditional training when a few officers undergone one or a few module trainings, impact is little. The reason is simple: When one individual or few of them undergo a training, it is difficult for them to use their new-found skills as mass of the officers, who have not undergone this training find the conduct and behavior of newly trained officers a little different from theirs and they tend to put them in separate bracket. Finding themselves alienated from the main group, they tend to fall back on their past style. With traditional training methods, it is almost impossible to train all officers in all skills in a short span of time together. With on line training, it is possible. Whereas on-line training will useful for overall impact on the department in a cost and time effective manner, for developing skills of an individual officers on-site training are more useful.

At present, we offer following on line training modules for leadership, management skill development and capacity building. If there is a specific demand from Government- Central or State, on any other specific topic, that can be designed and made available on line.

List of Modules

  • Essential Financial Skills for Executives
  • Using Your Time Effectively
  • Improving Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Delegating Skills
  • Effective Meetings
  • Motivating Skills
  • Leadership and Teambuilding
  • Total Quality Management
  • Customer Service Management
  • Managing Performance


On-Line Training:

  • For on-line training, unhindered right can be obtained by Government upto 20,000 officers in various departments for all trainings modules by contributing Rs 50,00,000 pa. DoPT or any other department of the Government can coordinate and monitor the training modules being completed by the officers. If 20,000 officers use the facility this will be most cost-effective training, which will be around Rs 20 per module per officer.
  • Unhindered right can be obtained by one Government department for up to 1,000 officers for all trainings modules by contributing Rs 4,00,000 pa. Incidentally this is most cost-effective training, which is about Rs 30 per module per officer.
  • Unhindered right can be obtained by one Government department for up to 100 officers for all trainings modules by contributing Rs 50,000 pa, which is about Rs 40 per module per officer.
  • For access up to ten officers for all modules contribution is Rs 10,000 pa

If Government or department is not satisfied or partially satisfied then it can seek part or full refund depending upon its level of satisfaction within 30 days of subscription.

Refund would be affected within 10 days of request.

On-site Training: For developing management, leadership, team building and administrative skills we also conduct on-site training. The benefits of on-site training are that it provides hand on experience and its impact on individual is higher than on-line training. However, it is difficult for the Government to cover all officers for all trainings. On-site training would be useful for select officers or for filling a skill gap of specific nature.

On-site training can be held for individual skills, for which on-line training are also available. However, on-site trainings are recommended for capacity building coupled with solving real life organization issues. These trainings are in two days and 5 days’ modules, the basic format of which are available in below links:

Two days Capacity Building and Problem Solving Conference

Five days Capacity Building and Problem Solving Conference

The exact agenda of these conferences would be prepared in consultation with the department as need of different departments are different.


  • For Single Skill module for 10-20 officers, Rs 2,000 per officer per day, without stay arrangement. Boarding and lodging charges would be as per actuals.
  • For two days’ ‘Capacity Building and Problem-Solving Conference’ for 20-50 officers, contribution would be Rs. 3,000 per officer per day without stay arrangement. Boarding and lodging charges would be as per actuals.
  • For five days’ ‘Capacity Building and Problem-Solving Conference’ for 20-50 officers, contribution would be Rs. 2,000 per officer per day without stay arrangement. Boarding and lodging charges would be as per actuals.

If Government or department is not satisfied or partially satisfied, it can seek the part or full training charges refund depending upon your level of satisfaction within 30 days of subscription. Training cost would be refunded except the actual expenditure incurred on stationary, training material and other tools used during the training.

Refund would be affected within 10 days of request.


In this service, we work with department/ministry, study its rules, regulations, policies, licensing terms and conditions in details, suggest remedial measures and help the department/ministry in implementing these measures.


There are no upfront charges for this consultancy except the actual expenditure incurred on items like travel, stationary, office space etc if these are not provided by you otherwise no up-front charges. Contribution can be made by the department/ministry as per its norms.


We can also study the rules, regulations, policies, licensing terms and conditions in details, suggest remedial measures and suggest remedial measures to the department/ ministry to implement them.


For this service, we provide the estimated quote and you can pay it on completion of the service to the extent of your satisfaction besides the actual expenditure incurred on items like travel, stationary, office space etc if these are not provided by you.


We will help you to deliver your best.