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Updated: July 11, 2013 00:39 IST

When expedience trumps expertise

Ramachandra Guha
Comment (45)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Uttarakhand reiterates that our rulers have contemptuous disregard for the advice of the best scientists and would rather listen to contractors and builders to whom they are beholden for funds

In the early 1980s, while doing research on the environmental history of Uttarakhand, I sometimes visited the library of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun. Most of the journals in the library dealt with geology and earth sciences, but there were a few on conservation policy relevant to my work. One day, the librarian pointed to a man with glasses leafing though some journals. ‘Valdiya Saheb ayé hain, Nainital sé’, he said.

World-class geologist

The tone in the librarian’s voice conveyed respect, with a dash of local pride. Then in his early forties, K.S. Valdiya was already recognised as a world-class geologist. He grew up in rural Kumaon, in the border district of Pithoragarh, and studied in village schools before going on to Lucknow University, where he did his M.Sc. and PhD, the launching pad for a research career solid in substance and achievement. While the hills had produced many great lawyers, freedom fighters, soldiers, and poets, Professor Valdiya was then, and remains still, one of the few Uttarakhandis to have achieved distinction in the natural sciences. And while many ambitious Uttarakhandis have abandoned the hills in search of professional success, the geologist has remained closely connected to the region. He did much of his fieldwork in the interior Himalaya, and — at the height of his career — took up a job in Kumaun University in Nainital rather than in a more prestigious university elsewhere in India (see, for more details on his work and career, www.ksvaldiya.info).

Back in 1981, I was too timid to go up to speak to Professor Valdiya. But now that I am older, and we both live in Bangalore, I sought his views on the devastating tragedy in a region he knew so well both as resident and as scientist. I asked, did the government of his native State consult him while designing development projects in the Uttarakhand Himalaya, a notoriously fragile environment prone to earthquakes, landslides, cloud bursts, and floods? His answer was that no, it never had. In the 15 years since Uttarakhand was formed, the politicians and administrators who ran the State had not once sought the inputs of this expert on Himalayan geology, who happened also to be a native of the State. What made the neglect even more striking is that for nine of those 15 years, Professor Valdiya had been the President of the Governing Body of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, itself located in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. The neglect continues — as the Director of the Wadia Institute informed me in response to an email query, the Uttarakhand government never consults them while framing their policies and programmes.

I wonder — which is better, not being consulted at all, or being consulted and then having your report rejected? Consider the case of Madhav Gadgil, who in some respects is the K.S. Valdiya of the Western Ghats. He was born on the crest of the Ghats, and has spent his life doing research on its human and natural communities. No one alive knows more about a hill range that is the peninsular version of the Himalaya, home to many great rivers, and to a fantastic reservoir of biodiversity, on whose careful and sensitive treatment depends the livelihood of millions of people.

In 2009, in a rare moment of sanity, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests commissioned Professor Gadgil to write a report on an appropriate strategy for the region. He took his job seriously, involving younger scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research, and holding a series of public hearings. After much fieldwork and consultation, a fact-filled and carefully argued report was submitted to the Ministry. The contents of the report so angered the Minister that she refused even to meet a man recognised as one of the world’s great ecologists, a recipient of medals and honours from the world’s finest universities.

A key reason that State and national governments don’t consult qualified experts — or disregard their advice when it is offered to them — is expedience. K.S. Valdiya, for example, is known to be sceptical — on strictly scientific grounds — of the siting of large dams and construction projects in the Himalaya. Beholden as they often are to contractors and builders for funds, Ministers and MLAs would thus rather steer clear of such scientists. Or turn their back on them — which is what happened with the Gadgil report, whose call for protecting endangered landscapes stands in the way of the desire of politicians across parties to convert the ecologically fragile Western Ghats into a web of holiday homes, power plants, and the like.

IAS hegemony

A second reason for the lack of scientific input in public policy making is the hegemony of the Indian Administrative Service. Back in 1977, in a bid to break this stranglehold, the then Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, inducted several professionals as secretaries to government. Thus M.S. Swaminathan became the first scientist to be chosen as Agriculture Secretary, Manuel Menezes the first engineer to be appointed Secretary of Defence Production, Lovraj Kumar the first chemist to serve as Petroleum Secretary. These initiatives were welcome, if belated. The need now was to make them more widespread, so that other ministries could likewise be run by qualified experts rather than by generalists.

In 1980 Indira Gandhi returned to power. One of her first acts was to start a new Department of Environment, and hire a first-rate botanist (T.N. Khooshoo) as its Secretary. But slowly the IAS began to fight back. It reclaimed possession of the ministries it had lost control of. In recent years, while continuing to protect its turf, the IAS has expanded into new areas. It has close to total domination (at both Central and State levels) over such institutions as the Election Commission and the Information Commission, which are run by retired IAS officers, although their jobs can be done just as well by well trained (and public spirited) lawyers or social scientists.

To be sure, the IAS does have some outstandingly competent — and professionally upright — individuals, some of whom do excellent work as Secretaries to government. However, too many babus now spend their last years in service lobbying for post-retirement sinecures, assiduously cultivating their political bosses in the hope that this will assure them five more years with a house, car, and an army of flunkies in Lutyen’s New Delhi.

The IAS has been slightly less successful in capturing an institution set up to prevent or mitigate tragedies such as the Uttarakhand floods, namely, the National Disaster Management Authority. Two of the eight members of the NDMA are retired IAS officers. Two others are retired officers of the Indian Police Service, yet another a retired Major General. Three members do have a scientific background, but two of them have spent the bulk of their career as administrators in government. Only one of the eight members, an earth scientist named Harsh Gupta, seems to be a scientist of real professional distinction.

All the members of the NDMA are well past 60. Most have spent the past decade (or more) pushing files in the secretariat. How, one wonders, would they have the energy and commitment to actively direct or oversee rehabilitation operations? Or the necessary scientific expertise and foresight to prescribe how to avert such tragedies in the future? Why are there not more practising scientists in the NDMA? Surely at least one practising social worker can valuably serve as a member?

In the better-run democracies of the world, expert knowledge is brought into governance and public policy in two distinct ways. First, scientists in universities and research laboratories are frequently called in to advise State and local governments. If the Government of British Columbia, for example, wishes to design an ecodevelopment plan for the Rockies, it shall certainly solicit — and most likely heed — the opinion of scientists in the State’s own universities.

Second, there is much greater scope for the lateral entry of professionals into government — at middle as well as senior levels. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, economists, and managers can all enter the public sector after 10 or 15 years in the private sector, and — based on their competence alone — rise to the top of the ladder, assuming posts equivalent in their system to Secretaries to government in ours. Even senior Cabinet positions are often assigned to specialists. Thus President Obama got a Nobel-prize winning physicist, no less, to serve as his Secretary of Energy.

The Indian state, on the other hand, displays — as its treatment of Professors Valdiya and Gadgil demonstrates — a contemptuous disregard for the practical advice of its best scientists. It chooses rather to go with the counsel of risk-averse retired babus or deal-making contractors and builders.

(Ramachandra Guha’s books include India after Gandhi. He can be contacted at ramachandraguha@yahoo.in)

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Our system follows the Newton 1st law of motion .It prefers to remain as it is .This opaque system increases neoptism selfishness .It never allows fresh ideas to let in.we have no dearth of expertse in respective areas but we do not utilise them . System should be made robust to accomodate experts at different level.our bureacracy should be made flexible.Reccomendations of expert should be given utmost attenrion.Strong force is needed to change the system

from:  Prashant
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 18:15 IST

Former CVC of India, the illustrious N.Vittal used to say in a well-meaning way that the strength of IAS is ignorance as it affords an all-round view to study anything. Given this, a non-bureaucratic specialist can after all equally execute the same job as well, as Guha rightly points out. Best examples being Robert Mc Namara, N.Venkataraman who were pitchforked into new roles yet delivered results by diligently learning their jobs.

But again, the specialist mentioned in the article need not necessarily be an academic/PhD, for even in spite of not being one, the "uninitiated" locals have effectively protected the environment of Uttarakhand with their traditional conservation practices imbued with a sense of reverence all these days, until the British-inspired degree-holding intellectual domination took over emphasizing on "development", with the kind of cataclysmic results we are seeing!

from:  P.Pratyusha Ashok
Posted on: Jul 13, 2013 at 19:05 IST

It is not only the state that has neglected the scientist, it is also the society.
On the other hand, the scientist must also engage with the society and make them aware of the facts and reasons.
This is now being done by a group of nuclear scientist who are actively writing and speaking against the current nuclear policy.

Scientist should be more assertive and engaging.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 12:54 IST

"I wonder which is better, not being consulted at all, or being consulted and then having your report rejected?" This was a particular eye catching phrase. Our nation had produced world class geologists and scientists, and will continue to produce in future too. But as a matter of fact, the talent and genuine concern of these intellectuals will continue to contradict with those indulged in dirty politics lyrics and paralysed administration. One alone could not deal with the problem, a cooperation and mutual consent between diffrent govt. bodies is the only possible way keeping aside the private gains.

from:  Kanikka Sersia
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 00:25 IST

The article brings to light the truth about why we still live in a developing country and why we contribute less than our true potential in almost all fields.

from:  John D'coutho
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 23:55 IST

Its really a wonderful article by Mr.Guha.Its because of this sort of behaviour that we still remain a developing country and contribute to science a lot lesa than our true potential.When such a mindset of the goverment is changed only then can we achieve true freedom.

from:  John D'coutho
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 23:52 IST

Nehru our visionary leader, advocated the importance of scientific thinking for a country to prosper. But as of now, the situation seems bleak for our scientists to show their expertise due to interference by our greedy administrators and so called leaders. This is the big reason that most of our talent is heading towards western countries where they have a say in nation building process.

from:  Shailendra Kumar
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 23:03 IST

The author has very correctly given the true character of the Indian Establishment.The Geedy & overambitous politicians [Congress & BJP ] of Uttarkhand are responsible for the Tragedy of Uttarkhand-They wanted to make Uttarkhand a HYDROELECTRIC SUPERPOWER & A Religious tourism superpower,Disregarding Environmental & Geological warnings & Dangers !!-We Indians have been Concerned about China building some Dams over the Bramaputra in Tibet as it can affect Water supply to Assam & the North East.But The Uttarkhand Govt.is doing something much worse & Dangerous-It is planning to build about 70 plus Dams in Uttarkhand-Needless to say it will affect the Water supply to North Indian states like Haryana,Delhi,UP,Bihar & West Bengal.In their Greed they have allowed Construction anywhere & Everywhere.For example they have allowed Construction of 3 star Hotels on soft River banks-Where even building a Hut is Dangerous !!

from:  Dr.R.K.Uppal
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 22:29 IST

Well ths is the only reason india is not progressing...indian leaders jst want to take advantage of such situations for their own political benefits ...people r dying ...the ecological balance is being disturbed..who cares??their greed is overpowering their duties towards the nation and hence the result ...

from:  Neha
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 21:44 IST

One of the finest articles I have ever read.and truely epitomizes how knowledge and experience are defeated.this is only tip of iceberg and eventually answers why United states is superpower and what we need to do to be superpower.

from:  Amol Patil
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 20:33 IST

Surely scientists also need to raise social awareness of issues. If the rulers and IAS don't heed them, they can still raise public awareness especially through the social media.

from:  Sachi_R
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 19:47 IST

An excellent article. It is time India is governed by people who would
respect such experts advice in ALL fields and act accordingly so that we
avoid such disasters in future and leave a better Nation for our younger
generations to come.

from:  S.M.Yagnanarayanan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 19:05 IST

A very Nice and Thought Provoking article....Especially the last three paragraphs...

from:  Prasanth
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 18:05 IST

really Sir its a noble way which our Govt. must evolve, but they are always busy to manage their Chair in colition govt.....

from:  SAURABH RAJPUT
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 17:40 IST

Specialization based postings in IAS is one of the recommendation in the report submitted by Administrative Reforms Commission-2. But it didn’t reflect in this year changes. The concerns raised by the author are valid and also need of the hour.

from:  Madhav
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 17:01 IST

The current policies of government keeping life of nationals at stake for personal monetary gains reinforces my belief in the theory of “transmigration of soul” and I wonder if clive and bentick are back in the guise of current so called premium leaders of our state. I am astonished to find nearly similar level of exploitation in british and current era with money being concealed in swiss accounts than in England being the only exception.

from:  rashmi jha
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 16:49 IST

It is very relevant and useful opinion given by Prof Ramchandra Guha.
Uttarakhand disaster is result of over development and no-use of
indigenous and natural knowledge and scientific expertise in the
development oriented projects like dams, bridges,tunnels, tourism
infrastructure, etc. A social scientist suggests governments for using
scientific and natural knowledge than depend on babus and development.
Governments should use to knowledge that available at doors rather
than going to World Bank and Asian Development Bank for the same that
recently damaged. We do not use the natural and indigenous knowledge
for development. We can not replace to natural development with
materialist development if it is possible, only then using of the
natural knowledge and scientific expertise.

from:  Dr. Suwa Lal Jangu
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 16:33 IST

Well written article Sir. It is indeed time for the Govt to seek the
advice of the professionals and experts on such serious matters which
can prevent disasters and save millions of lives.

from:  apurva k.h
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 16:13 IST

A brilliant piece of work is done in the article to bring in light the unoticed contribution of various scientists which is not given the appropriate response they deserve. Small inclusions in the indian government could majorily transform the structure of governence.

from:  Nishkarsh Mehra
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 15:07 IST

The article aptly describes the state of affairs in the country towards
development/protection. Though an overdose about IAS , it appears that
there is a valid point that making certain organisations be headed by
real experts in that field of expertise that would do a lot of good ,
still it is to be seen how much of the advice is implemented with the
other lobbies around.The caption could have been "The expedience DUMPS
expertise"!Nevertheless an eye opening article.

from:  Ramachandran G
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 14:26 IST

"I wonder which is better, not being consulted at all, or being consulted and then having your report rejected?" This was a particular eye catching phrase. Our nation had produced world class geologists and scientists, and will continue to produce in future too. But as a matter of fact, the talent and genuine concern of these intellectuals will continue to contradict with those indulged in dirty politics lyrics and paralysed administration. One alone could not deal with the problem, a cooperation and mutual consent between diffrent govt. bodies is the only possible way keeping aside the private gains.

from:  Kanikka Sersia
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 14:19 IST

Excellent article. Compliments to Mr. Guha on this well-timed and prescient write-
up. Unfortunately our govts. are not interested in effective governance, hence their
utter neglect of field experts and researchers.

from:  v singh
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 13:07 IST

The apathy of the people of Uttarakhand in recent years and lack of an active civil society are emboldening the political classes. It is also one of the most corrupt regions ...Garhwal in particular. People have to be made to understand that it is in their self interest to go for sustainable development and curtain corruption.

from:  B.Banerjee
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 12:03 IST

I wonder, why did we get independence with so much of sacrifice to destroy the Nation!

from:  Dr LSuryanarayana
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 11:44 IST

It is not that bureaucrats, and their masters, the ministers, are not
aware of the dangers of ignoring the environment. But greed has
overtaken them. As some one has pointed out, even generation of
electricity, the end objective of hydro electricity projects, became
irrelevant in Uttarakhand as the construction activities connected
with such projects were the main attraction. Here the construction
activities as such were big money spinners.
Incidentally, the Uttarakhand tragedy has just underscored importance
of achieving balance between development and protection of nature and
environment. But citizens do not know how to balance objectives of
development and protection of environment. Almost all citizens feel
powerless and helpless. They are often mute spectators when two
groups, one for industrial development without not many precautions
and other for development but with maintaining the environmental
balance, push their own agenda. Can this scenario change for good of
society?

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 11:18 IST

You not only make a valid point of lack of consultations with the experts/scientists/researchers, but also point to how protecting the walls of their power-fief and looking at short-term gains (mostly for a private few) has become so encompassing, that the burnt of their actions are borne by the common-man. Even though a well-meaning officer (bureaucrat) invites for such opinion and wishes to act on it, it is rather rare when such a thing happens. And even when it happens, the original contributor is never credited with it (have first hand experience) - making most intellectuals to become arm-chair critics that contributors to planning & development. A complete re-haul of the system is needed for effective and deliverable governance in this country. Jai hind!!

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 10:56 IST

A significant elaboration of domination of IAS lobby by flattery ways

from:  Vivek Sharma
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 10:47 IST

It is a shame indeed. When it comes to top position in government it has always been a fight between the people who posses the knowledge vs the people who posses the power. We cant expect knowledge people to take up these superior position when there is no qualifications for our beloved politicians.

from:  Gowri sankar
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 10:45 IST

Too many vested interests, too many protecting their own territory,
turf and, intent on lining their own pockets - for what, one doesn't
know. How much money is enough for one's life (and their children's
lives)?
So of course, consulting experts, scientists and those who KNOW is a
huge hindrance to this aforesaid mission. And thus, the Indian
juggernaut rolls on. Sad, but true...there is no VISION of a larger
good, larger purpose in life. We have become a country of I, Me and
Myself.
Thank you Mr. Guha for another wonderful article.

from:  lrao
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 10:21 IST

Immediately after the floods in Uttarakhand, the Hon'ble Governor of State, invited various NGOs, social groups, eminent citizens, senior personnel as well as the youth, to formulate policies aimed at protection & conservation of the environment here. The meeting could have been a success, had it not been the garrulous local MLAs & Municipal members who kept unearthing trivial issues & blamed different parties for mis-governance, thus generating cheap political propaganda for their respective parties. Some scientists & professors were also present there, who were forced to sit lip- locked during the entire session, & their scientific & logical report was submitted but at the end!

from:  Harsh Vardhan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 09:54 IST

I do fully agree with you. Only proffesionals of the particular field should be appointed in all particular fields. One example is Sam Pidrota whom Raijb Gandhi appointed as minister & in electronics field India exhaled even a rikshawala , thelawala proudly use mobiles & whole is indebted to this man.

from:  Dharampal Singh
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 09:47 IST

The callous nature of government towards people and indifferent attitude shown to scientists, make these tragedies inevitable.

from:  Ishan Dogra
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 09:40 IST

Ramachandra Guha's conclusion about the hegemony of the IAS is dead on spot. After the submission of ARC II report in 2006 or so, we had some hope of domain experts inducted laterally into the government although the report fell short of breaking into the impenetrable fortress these IAS guys have built for themselves. Actually after this report, the situation is worse. As pointed out by Guha not only the IAS has occupied every conceivable position in the govt. but even the retired ones are now occupying areas where expertise will be the most critical component of qualification. Man Mohan Singh made the right noises in the beginning during Civil Services Day and so on, but in governance just as he has surrendered the initiative to the judiciary, he has abdicated his responsibility to revamp the moribund top bureaucracy.

from:  R.Sundaram
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 09:29 IST

Even if lateral entries are encouraged and become regular feature of
the government, what can ensure that the best and honest persons from
private life are being called for the duty as specialists? Can't there
be the possibility that policy-makers are calling someone who will act
as a puppet to their interests?

Such lateral entry demands committed bureaucracy. Are we ready for it?
Specialists are chosen best when the person making that choice (i.e.
policy-maker) is honest and seeks to work for the public interest.

Here the problem is not about ignoring Prof Gadgilji or Valdiyaji but
the apathy of the ministers to heed to their judgments. So, we need
committed leaders first, administrators are then consequential and
will fall in line.

from:  Mahesh J
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 09:01 IST

May be I'm repeating this comment but Kaizen principle says: generally when 1 major or fatal disaster is reported, at least 300 major warnings were carelessly ignored by the concerned (ir)responsible decision maker. Read�https://sites.google.com/site/worldofkaizen/Kaizen-on-Crisis-Situations

from:  Shyam Talawadekar
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 08:55 IST


Brilliant piece. As correctly suggested by the author, there is an almost institutional defeat of good knowledge and credible expertise in India.

from:  Rohan DSouza
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 08:28 IST

An excellent article depicting the absymal situation in India. Another side of the story is the increasing brain drain year after year.
Well, most of our bright minds have already left or leaving India fearing the support, encouragement and respect, they'd receive here - as well as to work on advance technologies. One wonders how India would receive those knowledge, if it is not even interested in hearing its own scientists...:)

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 08:27 IST

A great article by Guha on what ails the system ! Even our yester year kings had the knack
to surround themselves with experts from various disciplines to make better decisions ! It is a
pity that we rely on generalist IAS officers to make expert decisions !

from:  Gajamani
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 07:49 IST

We have the UPA government which has set up an Apex Investment Board headed by
economist PM seconded by pro-corporate FM, whose main objective is veto all objections of
ecology and environment in the name of 'development'. The result will be more tragedies of
the type we have seen in Kedarnath and are going to see in Sethusamudram which was
objected to by environment experts like Pachaury. All the rules will be framed or bent to suit
crony capitalism and definitely NOT in the over all interest of the people.

from:  MvjRao
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 07:48 IST

An IAS should only be an administrator & not a policy maker. Experience
& knowledge should always be given preference. It seems that our IAS
officers are more knowledgeable than Dr. valdiya & Gadgil & that as per
the current scenario, the government should close all the higher
research institutes if as per the government they are of no use except
publishing papers & winning some awards. What is the use of them, if they
can't be applied for the betterment of society, environment.

from:  Amit Pandey
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 07:41 IST

The content of this article aside, can we please stop calling our elected representatives "rulers"? I have seen this term regularly used in articles and even editorials. One expects better from The Hindu.

from:  Deb
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 06:52 IST

In engineering parlance your article gets to the root cause of the Uttarkhand tragedy. While
the key contributing factors were runaway development along river banks, deforestation, and
dams constructed in a fragile landscape, the root cause was that the policy makers at the
highest levels have excluded technical experts in formulation and implementation of policies,
as well as governance.

If the ecologists and geologists were part of the policy framework, things may never have
come to such a pass.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 05:52 IST

I agree on your point on views of Specialists not being considered,but
just blaming the IAS for the whole mess is not fair sir, it seems like
deviation from the topic. We can figure out better ways to avoid the
unhealthy happenings.Since the media is at peak now even a common man
can make his point clear to the Govt.The instances you have provided
have proved us costly agreed.But there are skilled civil servants they
have been framing our policies and most of the times it has positive
results.We can definately keep this as Lessons learnt.

from:  Vikram Naresh
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 03:11 IST

In the wake of Uttarakhand floods,where the negligence of scientific
advice played a key factor,it might be tempting to incorporate new
scientific divisions or departments in our government hierarchy but
this solution suffers from the pathetic fact that the contemptuous
disregard for scientists is not just shared by our politicians but
also by the public, which is very evident from the widespread
superstition in our country. In spite of our entering the 'Information
Age', we are still assailed by the irrational beliefs of our past.
Even erudite men in our country seem to have a proclivity for these
pseudosciences and science merely seems like a profession which could
be milked for obtaining a livelihood. This notion of science as mere
provider of livelihood should be replaced by more spirited and
rational ideas. By achieving this, not only will the scientific
community be able to voice its wisdom but our nation would be able to
steer itself towards a path of enlightenment.

from:  Nishanth M P
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 02:04 IST

A wonderful and thought provoking article, however I am sure that the
government and the bureaucrats will not learn from the Uttarakhand
tragedy either, they will merely shift focus towards greener pastures
which will eventually be transformed into dust bowls through their
relentless avarice. The earth must shake under New Delhi for some form
of empathy and environmental wariness to seep into the reinforced skulls
of the netas and the babus.

from:  Nandini
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 01:35 IST
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