In the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the world has lost a great writer, a literary colossus. His best book, One Hundred Years of Solitude, made a profound impact on human consciousness and will linger in our minds forever. Despite being a Nobel laureate, he was humbleness personified. That he considered himself a journalist is testimony to his love and commitment towards the profession. There is no doubt that he will continue to inspire budding writers. The void left by him in the literary world will be impossible to fill.
The Supreme Courts nod to CAG audit of telcos may not be the final word on such a complex issue. Whereas government audit lays stress on reporting deviations from set procedures and policies, that of private companies is essentially for protection of shareholder interests and measuring compliance vis-a-vis rules and regulations of running business. The CAG was perhaps not meant to be merely an auditor, as this functionary takes an oath identical with that prescribed for the Chief Justice and the judges of the Supreme Court. It submits its reports to the President of India, who causes them to be laid before Parliament, the measure of a well-informed and empowered institution. The CAG, therefore, needs to don the robes of a consummate guide, armed with the macro view of vital policy options. It should not be reduced to an agency that is merely reporting lacunae of failing ventures.
A political question is being raised if the Gujarat model can replicated in other states of the country by politicians and respective chief ministers. In terms of development, there is no doubt that Gujarat has surpassed other states under Narendra Modi rule. With almost no power cuts, lowest unemployment in the country (in 2012), good growth in per capita income and GDP, etc, the Gujarat model definitely can work wonders, but remember that in addition to infrastructure and business environment, it requires cooperation from all sectors and an effective and corruption-free machinery. It also required the willingness on the part of state officials, ministers, politicians and all shareholders.
Apropos of the editorial 'Setting states free' (FE, April 24), it is disheartening to note that there is a continued tendency to concentrate more powers on the Centre, thereby impairing the federal structure of our constitution. Formr union disinvestment minister Arun Shourie's suggestion to make use of section 2 of article 254 of the constitution by the new government deserves serious consideration. The continued unitary tendency of the Centre must be checked for the revitalisation of federalism in our country. Decentralisation is key to good governance, otherwise all local governments, viz. panchayati raj institutions, etc, will become just token institutions. At the same time, care needs to be taken that devolved power doesn't become an impediment with local interests upstaging larger interests. The fate of the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu, perhaps, is the best example of this.