Goa Lokayukta Bill

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state is in the process of fulfilling yet another promise made to Goans, that of setting up of the Lokayukta within 100 days of taking office.

The Goa Lokayukta Bill will reportedly get the President’s assent by April 30 after it has been cleared by all the three Union ministries, namely the Union Ministries of Personnel and Training, Law and Judiciary, according to the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar. This will be a red-letter day in the history of Goa as it will hopefully bring a complete stop to corrupt practice which has been the bane of the state for several years. The passage of the Bill has been possible in such a short time because it was vigorously pursued by the state government. After appointment of the state Lokayukta it is hoped that all cases of corruption and errors of omission and commission will be exposed and those involved in corrupt practices will be brought to book which will serve as a deterrence to such acts of corruption in the future.


A Pack of Cards

The only pack of cards that I have known for long is the pack of playing cards consisting of four suits - diamonds, hearts, flowers and spades. For some years now, like many citizens, I have been getting official cards that have become another pack of cards. It all started with the identity card which was followed by the ration card, election card, employment card, library card, driving licence card, domestic gas card, PAN card, senior citizens’ card, hospital registration card, credit card and the ATM card. Some also have the freedom fighters’ card. Recently, I received the Aadhaar card and the medical insurance card. Instead of multiplicity of such cards, can we not have a single multipurpose card such as the smart card, at least for the government facilities and schemes?


Implementation of RTE Act

It is two years since the Right to Education (RTE) Act has been enacted. As usual, Goa has been one of the fewest states where the Right to Education Act has not been notified. With the deadline set for the states coming to an end, there is no option than to implement the Act as emphatically stated by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar. Ample time was given to the schools to augment the infrastructure for a full-day school of seven and half hours, which is one of the requirements. The Mid-day Meal Scheme which is in vogue in the state would be truly meaningful with the full-day school. The staff will have to sacrifice their afternoon relaxation but they will soon be able to catch up with the new routine. The parents tend to argue that with the full-day school, their children may not be able to participate in additional programmes like music, singing, dancing etc. But in the new scheme, these extra-curricular activities will become a part of the regular schedule for all the students and not only the selected few, who could afford spending money. As regards the decision of the Supreme Court that mandates 25 per cent reservation for poor children, it is pleasing to note that for once, we have reservations cast aside for economically weaker sections other than the routine SC/ST/OBC categories.