## Wednesday, July 01, 2009

### Great men versus well functioning institutions

I have an article in Financial Express today titled Great men versus well functioning institutions.

1. Interesting you mention TN Seshan. I had the same example in mind. But then also see how the recent appointment of Navin Chawla by the Congress undermines these improvements. The report by the CEC was rather specific and detailed. Somehow in India we talk in such general terms about the "system" without actually fixing responsibility. Likewise the Mumabi terror incidents - both at the state and the Centre - Congress was in power. In both the instances, the buck stopped with the PM. Manmohan Singh as PM has not opposed it then it shows he is more keen on his PM chair than doing the right thing. Hardly a man of integrity.

My larger point is this: Developing these institutions that run on auto pilot requires a few men on courage and selflessness and ability to stand up for the right things. And requires society at large to recognise these qualities.

2. Institutional change is at the heart of the reform process, as we try to change the role of different actors in the economy and how it is managed.

It would be interesting if you could take a deeper look at the institutional change since 1992 and changes still required. Even a qualitative rating of the new 'institutions' created (assortment of regulators SEBI, TRAI, PFRDA, IRDA etc) and the institutions which need to be created (Debt Management Office etc), in order of the urgency etc would be very interesting. Such a list would have to include institutions which need to be destroyed - ministry of textiles, iron and steel etc. In short a roadmap of institutional change

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