Get rid of paper certificates
This refers to the editorial “Abandoning affidavits” (FE, November 5). Certificates themselves are papers. Why need them too? Let’s go further. Digitise the certificates—birth, death, vehicle (2-wheeler/4-wheeler), caste, etc. Make them available on a Aadhaar-linked database. The PDF format can then be downloaded directly onto the tab and used by the lay person. Physical interactions/ transactions between federal officials and citizens are the main enablers of graft. The easier it becomes to harvest stuff people need from government, the more difficult it becomes for rogue officials to demand/collect money. There is talk about moving paper cash totally out of the system; mobile money would enable this. Another avenue closed for corrupt dealings. Tax collection itself can become 100% online—we need only one person to sit in the revenue office—and even that may be the security guard! A trucker told the undersigned that the government is planning to do away with the RTOs (regional transport offices) altogether. How? By digitising the operations and documents. In registrar (of companies) offices, for one registrar, there are four (approximately) sub-registrars! Doing what? We would know the answer for this question if registering a company truly becomes an online activity and if the businessman still has hassles doing business (if not, the sub-registrar is an idle occupant of space!). In developed nations, the collection of toll is automated —the car passes through the toll, based on the registration number, and the bank account number linked to the vehicle, the toll money is debited. If this is possible, what is not? This thing called ‘government’ and the bunch of documents it issues or elicits must be through the web. This would lessen the existence of ‘greasy palms’,
Raghu Seshadri, Chennai
Making planes in India
This refers to the edit “Take-off delayed” (November 7). There is global duopoly in the civilian planes market—Airbus and Boeing. Of course, there are other players, like makers from Brazil and Canada. Will the Chinese entry into the market (C-919 plane) be able to make its mark? It is too early to tell. Russia also has plans to enter the civilian aircraft business, soon with its MC-21 aircraft. India is also developing a civilian plane—Saras,with a seating capacity of less than 100. India has recently opened up its defence sector for private players. Big industrial houses like Ambanis and Tatas are interested in making fighter planes. Parts like doors for the helicopters are being made in India. Plans are there to set up maintenance facilities by global civilian plane manufacturers in India. There are a number of private airlines in India and with the recent aviation policy aiming to make air travel affordable for the common man. One airline has recently went public and its shares received good response in the capital market. More airlines are planning to come out with public issues. With such a growing market for airlines is this not a surprise that India Inc has not thought of manufacturing civilian planes in India, say, in cooperation with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)? Both the private and public sectors can cooperate in research to develop civilian planes, tapping the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and engineering colleges network and follow it with manufacturing. The global duopoly has come out with double-decker planes and it will be a tough job for the Chinese to catch up with them, given the fact that the country is a late entrant. But the world has taken note of Chinese zeal to manufacture civilian planes. Why should India lag behind with its large pool of engineering manpower?
Deendayal M Lulla, Mumbai