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Re: Electoral Reforms, Population Policy and Other Points

On Sat, 12 Sep 1998, Arvind wrote:

> Electoral Reforms:
> Candidates wishing to contest elections must make public the details of any 
> criminal case pending against them.
> It is easy to argue that *if* the person is found innocent, it is unfair.
> Here, I should say that *if* the person is guilty, the nation suffers. The 
> benefit of doubt should go to the nation, not the individual.

I agree. Also, all candidates must disclose their incomes and wealth fully
while contesting the elections. Once elected these statements should go on
the internet.

> Population Policy: I saw on the web site a proposal for population ministry.
> I strongly support that view. The actual solution of "how to attack the 
> problem" seems straightforward. Pay as cash Rs.3000 per couple if any
> one of them undergoes sterilization. Six months down the line (or any suitable
> date), pay Rs.3000 to those undergoing sterilization after second child and
> Rs. 5000 to those who opt for it after the first child. 
> Target: 1 crore persons per year.
> Tax benefits should be made accessible only to those following the two child
> norm. Priority in jobs should also take this into consideration. When all
> other factors between two competitors are equal except the number of children,
> the one with lesser children should get the benefit. 

I don't know where the Pop.Ministry proposal has come into the manifesto.
This is the only statement there and should be upheld. We don't want to
interfere in population: focus on education and economic growth, as well
as health.

"The only known relationship between population and economic growth is
that fertility declines as a nation gets richer. High fertility is a
symptom of poverty, not its cause. Population size, by itself, has no
known effect on the growth of the economy. In other words, economic growth
has to come first and that will lead to a decline in population. In
addition, higher education and lower infant mortality lead to population

"Therefore, while the public and private efforts to increase the supply of
contraceptives will be boosted, and education of the people on the
availability and use of contraception will be promoted, people will be
allowed to make their own choices on the number of children they want. No
targets will be set either for fertility or for population size, since
population will automatically decline, rapidly, as other policies come
into effect."

Arvind, pl. discard this population ministry thing and this payment
business. Too much red-tapism, too much corruption, and no result. People
are smart enough to cut their children down. Provide free contraception
and cut down all other government programs for population. 

> HealthCare: The manifesto should include immunization program for children.

already programs exist; could be strengthened. 

> Disaster Management: There seems to be no policy at all on this issue.
> The information during the recent storm in Gujarat was given; the port
> authorities did not know how to use this information. OTOH, indian airforce
> flew out 60 aircraft from jamnagar the previous day. 

too minor a point - not for manifesto
> ID Card: How about introducing smart card as ID card? This will solve the
> contentious issue of whether caste should be included on the card. Some
> experts feel it is needed to help them. With a smart card, it would be
> encoded and readable only in certain government owned equipment.

not a critical point at this stage.

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