Contributed By: Akanksha Dewaker
The distinguished member of Parliament, Mr. Feroze Varun Gandhi was in the campus for an informative session. The session was conducted by the Public Policy Club in association with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell on the issue of the role of youth in building the nation. His talk covered a wide array of issues focussing on inequality and rural sector in the country.
Mr. Gandhi is also a poet, having published two volumes, ‘The otherness of self’ and ‘Stillness’. He is an eminent columnist and frequently writes in major newspapers. His articles and studies show his concern for poverty eradication and equality that goes beyond politics. His book, “A Rural Manifesto – Realising India’s Future through her villages” was launched recently, a few copies of which were also provided to the institute.
The talk received a packed auditorium, with the participation of the students from IIMB as well as other colleges.
The inequalities discussed during the talk were not restricted to those of income or wealth. He talked about the dissimilarities due to the availability of irrigation between Vidarbha and parts of North Maharashtra and Gujrat, even though both regions cultivate the same crops. The cases cited for water inequality in the country shook the audiences.
Since farm loan waivers are back in the news he tried to put it in context of waivers to businesses to show how insignificant the amount is. In the larger context, we still pay and support very little to the food producers in the country.
He also talked about the issue of privilege. It is a known fact that majority of top positions including civil services or higher education majorly go to the privileged class. The exclusion starts early, right from admission to a private school and builds the huge gap that we see, where someone who is educated is still unemployable. He talked about the role of informal education in skilling and providing a viable employment.
The priority of a nation is seen in its expenditure pattern. India has consistent low spending rates on Research and Development. It is time to rethink on these parameters and refocus. It is also important to be resourceful and create high impact solutions that require low funding.
He talked about the idea of the petition system as a part of the legislative system. It would provide public the opportunity to put matters in front of the parliament.
The talk was successful in reaching the hearts of the audience and driving them to think about the most acute problems we face as a nation.
Akanksha is a student of PGP 2018-20 batch at IIM Bangalore and is a member of the Student Media Cell.