This month’s Pragati is about “What the new government should do in its first 100 days.” I have a piece in there about the structural changes required in education. What else is new, you’d ask. Below the fold are the editorial comments for the issue. Please read and distribute.
India goes to the polls in a few weeks’ time. A new government will be in place in a couple of months.
The ‘honeymoon’ period of the first hundred days offers a new government the opportunity to implement important reforms that might otherwise face the greatest resistance. Of course, follow-through is important, but setting the momentum early is crucial. Most importantly, the honeymoon comes but once in a government’s life: so it is important to have a plan of action to make the most of it. Plan ahead, as they say, to avoid disappointment. This issue outlines a honeymoon agenda for the new government in three vital areas: economic reforms, national security and education.
Some of you are involved in preparing policy agendas for political parties. A few of you are even contesting the elections. We hope reading this issue will help you make a difference.
Our proposals are ambitious. How can they not be? But we are also realistic about how much a government can accomplish. Our recommendations, at the least, will allow readers to see how far the actual performance falls below our benchmarks.
This leads us to the other theme in this issue: the importance of voting. At an individual level you will make a difference when you vote. Don’t wait for the perfect candidate to come along—please vote for the best of the existing lot, and encourage your friends to do so. The articles in our perspective section make the case for voting as the necessary condition to effect change.
In addition to the other regular features, we present the results of our reader survey in this month’s issue: we had asked you if you’d subscribe to a print edition of Pragati. Two-thirds of the respondents said “Yes”, but those who said “No” gave some good reasons. Your feedback was extremely useful: we’re acting on it. More on this later.