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

Articles by Ramaswamy R IyerSubscribe to Ramaswamy R Iyer

Hindus and Muslims Towards a New Modus Vivendi

Ramaswamy R Iyer The purpose of this paper is three-fold: (1) to analyse the wrong perceptions and formulations which have bedevilled proper understanding of the grave national problem of making a multi-religious society work; (2) to stress the need for a national campaign for reconciliation and harmony; and (3) to outline the agenda for such an exercise.

The Election Commission and the Judgment

Ramaswamy R Iyer The hidden dangers of Article 324 would have remained in abeyance so long as the power of final decision-making was presumed to vest in the chief election commissioner, who was irremovable and therefore independent. However, once the chief election commissioner is reduced to the position of one among equals and is denied any special power or authority, those dangers become very real. What the ordinance (act) did was to marry the collegiate principle to the existing provisions of Article 324, thus accentuating the weaknesses inherent in those provisions. It is that ordinance (act) which the judgment has upheld in full; and that judgment is now the law of the land and we have to live with it. However, if we accept a collegiate system, it is necessary to eliminate or at least mitigate the dangers implicit in the existing provisions of Article 324.

Uncertain Future of Public Enterprises

Ramaswamy R Iyer Public Enterprises in India: Changing Perspectives by S N Raghavan; Asian Institute of Transport Development, New Delhi, 1994; pp xii+227, price not mentioned.

The NEP The Dangers Ahead

The NEP: The Dangers Ahead Ramaswamy R Iyer This article brings together in a broad synoptic overview a diversity of concerns relating to the NEP. These include the danger of a deepening of the dualism that already exists in India; the possibility of the erosion of some of the strengths and capabilities built up during the last four decades; the need for wariness in dealing with MNCs; and the importance of safeguarding national interests in the face of the inequities of the global market and the pressures of the global political configuration. The article argues against a feeling of helplessness and in favour of a constant endeavour to enlarge the space for independent decision-making.

Public Enterprises and Private Purposes

Public Enterprises and Private Purposes Ramaswamy R Iyer I HAVE read with considerable interest Sudip Chaudhuri' s article 'Public Enterprises and Private Purposes' (EPW, May 28). At the outset (particularly in view of the criticisms I am going to make later in this note) let me establish my credentials as a friend and not a foe of public enterprises (PEs). As Secretary of the Economic Administration Reforms Commission (the Jha Commission) I played a not unimportant role in the preparation of its reports including four on PEs (three of which have been cited in the references at the end of Chaudhuri's article). I also made a systematic attempt in my book A Grammar of Public Enterprises: Exercises in Clarification (Rawat Publications, Jaipur, 1991 , under the auspices of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi) to analyse and dispel the persistent confusions, errors and fallacies that characterise much of the thinking and writing about PEs. (Chaudhuri, who too has tried to discuss some wrong assumptions about PEs, has probably not seen my book.) 1 am broadly in agreement with Chaudhuri's proposition that PEs have not received the right kind of support from the government. (The fact that PEs have in the past had relatively easy access to capital funds, from the government budget does not imply 'the right kind of support1.) I am also in agreement with the thesis that PEs have been used for private purposes. This was so particularly from the mid-70s onwards when a process of subversion of all institutions began, and as a part of that process PEs came to be regarded as channels through which money could be collected (for whatever purposes), and also as instruments through which certain political purposes could be served. As a corollary, appointments to the top posts in important' PEs began to be governed by considerations other than those of the requirements of the job. While those tendencies perhaps abated somewhat later on, it cannot be said that they have disappeared; in fact some of them have become common form and have lost the power to shock.

Federalism and Water Resources

Federalism and Water Resources Ramaswamy R Iyer Water is a state subject, but the role given by the Constitution to the centre in regard to inter-state rivers is at least potentially an important one which has not been used adequately. The implications of the advent of a third tier in the federal structure (the panchayat) for water resource development are not yet clear The constitutional provisions may need a review in the light of these considerations and the new perceptions of the rights of the people in relation to community resources.

Cauvery Dispute Voice of Sanity

The Cauvery River Dispute: Towards Conciliation by S Guhan; a Frontline Publication, Madras, 1993; pp viii + 78, Rs 50. THE long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the sharing of the waters of the Cauvery has been a difficult and seemingly intractable one. Driven by the forces of party politics, the two state governments have generated or fostered strong chauvinistic sentiments among the general public, which tend to limit their (the governments')own negotiating freedom and flexibility. Popular frenzy led to tragic violence a year ago and introduced a new strain in the relationship between Tamils and Kannadigas, adding one more potentially divisive element in a country already torn by dissensions of various kinds. A fragile calm has been prevailing for some time, and fortunately it seems to have survived the strain imposed on it by the drama of the Tamil Nadu chief minister's brief fast and the attendant events. However, the situation is unstable and violence can easily erupt again. That must not be allowed to happen. The two governments must be persuaded to abandon their untenable extreme positions and to seek a fair and reasonable settlement. Goodwill between Tamils and Kannadigas must be restored and strengthened. This requires as a first step a campaign to rescue public opinion in the two states (and in Pondicherry and Kerala) from the miasma of error, confusion, prejudice and anger which has clouded it. It is necessary to promote a clear understanding of the evolution of the dispute and the points at issue, and of the lines on which a fair and reasonable settlement which will do justice to all the four basin states can be reached.

Changing the Bureaucracy

Changing the Bureaucracy Ramaswamy R Iyer Nehru on Administration by A P Saxena; Uppal Publishing House, New
Jawaharlal Nehru and Indian Administration edited by A P Saxena; Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi, 1991; pp xxxv + 196, Rs 210.

On Public Enterprises Some Comments

78 Representative Men of Bombay, p 200.
79 Bombay Native Observer, March 13, 1843,
80 Natesan, Famous Parsees, pp 164-65. Both K R Cama and Dadabhai Naoroji were idealists in business. Masani Dadabhai Naoroji, pp 72-3.

Fiscal Deficit and Public Enterprises-Some More Grammar

Fiscal Deficit and Public Enterprises Some More Grammar Ramaswamy R Iyer IN Guhan's rejoinder (EPW, December 7, 1991) to my comment (EPW, November 2, 1991) on his article (EPW, August 24, 1991) there are some remarks which I do not quite understand, and some misunderstandings of the nature and purport of my argument. I do not propose to take them up here; my purpose in responding to his rejoinder is not to indulge a penchant for controversy but to pursue further the quest for conceptual clarity, even if this seems heavy going in places. At any rate, I trust that this will not be found to be "surface grammar", whatever that may mean.

Economic Policy Reform-Mindsets, Old and New.pdf

'Mindsets', Old and New Ramaswamy R Iyer Granting the need for radical reforms in our industrial/economic regime, this paper explores some of the possible consequences of the reforms initiated by the government and the implications of the underlying ideas. It points out that many of the components of the new approach, such as the scrapping of industrial licensing, the unquestioning faith in market forces and the virtues of competition, the strong advocacy of FDI, the liberalisation of imports and the denigration of the old ideas of import substitution and self reliance, while partially valid, have certain implications for the future. It projects a possible scenario of that future. It urges that the concerns that it voices should be recognised as legitimate and addressed, without necessarily reverting to excessive regulation and bureaucratic control.

Fiscal Deficit and Public Enterprises

Fiscal Deficit and Public Enterprises Ramaswamy R Iyer IN Guhan's characteristically incisive piece on the budget (EPW, August 24, 1991) there is one rather curious and (in my view) in- adequately considered proposition, namely, that the central government's fiscal deficit and what corresponds to it in the case of public enterprises should be viewed together. This needs to be challenged before it gains currency and becomes part of accepted wisdom.


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