Kochi

Centre untouched by hard realities, says expert

This file photo shows INTUC workers clashing with the police during a protest against demonetisation in front of the Reserve Bank of India regional office at Kaloor.

This file photo shows INTUC workers clashing with the police during a protest against demonetisation in front of the Reserve Bank of India regional office at Kaloor.  

‘Corporate interests taking precedence over national interests’

The Central government is inclined towards aligning and fine-tuning the economic activities of the nation in accordance with the views of international credit rating agencies regarding development, rather than reflecting on the hard realities faced by the people, said Rajan Varghese, Member Secretary, Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC).

He was inaugurating a two-day national seminar on ‘Towards understanding economic development; concepts, methods, and problems’ organised by the department of Economics at Maharaja’s College on Thursday.

'Pushing corporate interests'

The present dispensation is pushing corporate interests and placing them above national interests, thus posing a serious threat to the development aspirations of the public, Prof. Varghese said and added that the new revised schemes of ‘Scholar in Residence’ and ‘Erudite Programme’ of the KSHEC were aimed at providing access to frontier research areas in various disciplines to colleges and universities in the State.

As part of the programmes, the council will bear the expenses for bringing Nobel laureates and top-notch scholars not only to university teaching departments but also to government and affiliated aided colleges for a period of three to 10 days.

In his keynote address, Achin Chakraborthy, Director, Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata, argued that the two different ways of thinking about democracy as expounded by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen had far-reaching implications in understanding the foundations of democracy.

“The institutional view characterises democracy exclusively in terms of elections, mainly as majority rule, which Mr. Sen would call the ‘public ballot perspective’. A process of free and fair election is considered to be the essence of democracy in which ‘the ballot-result is all that counts’. But Mr. Sen favours a much broader interpretation of democracy in which decisions are supposed to be based on ‘public reasoning’. In Sen’s conceptual scheme, ‘public reasoning’ plays a crucial role manifested in the form of ‘public action’, but public action need not be government action alone,” Mr. Chakraborthy said.

Various papers were presented during technical sessions. Principal N. Hitha presided over the function.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 12:39:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/centre-untouched-by-hard-realities-says-expert/article21665600.ece

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