‘Youth for Governance’ prods students to be active anti-corruption activists

Infosys ex-chief Narayan Murthy asks students to participate in the voting process

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | January 31, 2012



A convention  ‘Youth  for Governance’ was held in Mumbai last week to encourage  students to get involved in governance issues, facilitate their understanding  on how to contribute to nation building and fight against corruption. Organised by Public  Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) in association with 20 NGO’s, the event was attended by N R Narayana Murthy, Mumbai  Police commissioner, Arup Patnaik, Ajit Ranade  of association for democratic reforms, actor Rahul Bose, senior  journalist Kumar Ketkar and joint CP traffic Vivek  Phansalkar. Students from various colleges attended the convention.

Retired DGP Julio Riberio and chairman PCGT, said, “Anna Hazare movement has led people to talk about corruption. The PCGT believes that instead of concentrating on Jan Lokpal, we must ensure that present laws, particularly the anti-corruption laws are strictly and impartially enforced ”. It asked the youth to identify cases of corruption, injustice, bad governance by enforcement authorities like the police, the BMC, the ACB and others and bring it to the notice of the PCGT so that they can assist in whatever way we can.

Riberio  said that every college should  form a cell called ‘Youth for Governance’ drawn from bodies like the NCC, the NSS and others from where interested students can participate to agitate on governance issues.
Prodding students to become role models for future generations, rise above issues of caste, religion, race and party affiliations, Infosys ex-chief Narayan Murthy told students that in his young age he did not have the confidence today’s youth have. He encouraged them to lead by example and become exemplary leaders and create an environment of openness for new ideas irrespective of where they come from. “Educate yourself to become a productive and an honest citizen and do good to the country by fighting corruption, participate in the voting process, be secular, use data and facts in arguments and debates to bring out best decisions and remove people biases against you,” Murthy told the students. 

He advised youth not to be emotional and discourteous during discussions and debates and added that there is a need to bring excellence, efficiency, equity and most importantly execution in the country’s public governance system.

Ajit Ranade of ADR and chief economist Aditya Birla Group asked students to start infecting society with good things starting with one thing at a time. He said that students should vote for an individual after checking the person’s details and told students to get additional 10 people to vote.

Lamenting that professional efficiency of the Mumbai police which has come down as compared to what it was 30 years ago, Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik told students that since the law and society has given immense power to a policeman, his job carries burden and responsibility. The police chief said that he is often asked how many policemen for how many people? “It is actually a question of how many policemen for how many bad people and the ratio is very less. With a strength of 50,000 personnel, the Mumbai police is short-staffed but due to compliance of law here as compared to other cities, we are overstaffed,” Patnaik said.  

Senior journalist Kumar Ketkar told students that every republic is not necessarily a democracy and though they appear to be synonymous both have different connotations and values. “We do not recognise that we are not only a democracy but also a republic and we have constitutional responsibilities on us.” Giving the examples of different kinds of corruption, the senior journalist while speaking about Punjab where there is a very high rate of girl child infanticide said, “This is a country which has terror at the level of family, community and organised groups. It is not ruled by laws of the republic but laws of the vandals. If we want to preserve our democracy and republic, it’s time to save our country not only from corruption but also from vandals.”

 

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