Inefficiency of Public Sector and Quota Raj Under Pandit Nehru
Pandit Nehru is perhaps the most famous author of mega inefficiency in India by laying the foundation for gigantic public sector undertakings that have wasted colossal amounts of capital created by printing rupees though decree. These PSUs have been running highly inefficiently and having a mega chokehold on Indian economy and society. Many PSUs have become broke or defunct and are poised to make the utopia of employment a mirage.
If the government runs business, it will only induce lethargy and inefficiency. It is because the managing bureaucrats and ministers have no oversight of stockholders as in the case of private enterprises. The government should only lay down policies for establishment of private enterprises and monitor them through optimal regulation. It is a blunder for the government to monopolize the operation of business enterprises.
Pandit Nehru had introduced mega quotas for babus and ministers to run this public sector business or that. Ministers and bureaucrats have jointly run down the businesses to ground zero, since their inception through preposterous punditry. This was the gravest folly of mankind that continues to haunt India. This is perhaps why our political leaders have remained oblivious of the inefficiency of reservation which was not liked by even Pandit Nehru, as per his letter reproduced below.
Pandit Nehru’s letter to Chief Ministers on June 27, 1961
I have referred above to efficiency and to our getting out of our traditional ruts. This necessitates our getting out of the old habit of reservations and particular privileges being given to this caste or that group. The recent meeting we held here, at which the chief ministers were present, to consider national integration, laid down that help should be given on economic considerations and not on caste. It is true that we are tied up with certain rules and conventions about helping Scheduled Castes and Tribes. They deserve help but, even so, I dislike any kind of reservation, more particularly in service. I react strongly against anything which leads to inefficiency and second-rate standards. I want my country to be a first class country in everything. The moment we encourage the second-rate, we are lost.
The only real way to help a backward group is to give opportunities for good education. This includes technical education, which is becoming more and more important. Everything else is provision of some kind of crutches which do not add to the strength or health of the body. We have made recently two decisions which are very important: one is, universal free elementary education, that is the base; and the second is scholarships on a very wide scale at every grade of education to bright boys and girls, and this applies not merely to literary education, but, much more so, to technical, scientific and medical training. I lay stress on bright and able boys and girls. I have no doubt that there is a vast reservoir of potential talent in this country if only we can give it opportunity.
But if we go in for reservations on communal and caste basis, we swamp the bright and able people and remain second-rate or third-rate. I am grieved to learn of how far this business of reservation has gone based on communal consideration. It has amazed me to learn that even promotions are based sometimes on communal and caste considerations. This way lies not only folly, but disaster. Let’s help the backward groups by all means, but never at the cost of efficiency. How are we going to build our public sector or indeed any sector with second-rate people?
Jawaharlal Nehru, Letters to Chief Ministers 1947-1964, Volume 5,
Govt's apathy, not social
Rajeev Ranjan Roy |
As the reservation versus affirmative action debate
Take the case of the ambitious pre and post-matric scholarships that are aimed at provid