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'Handling civilian N-production is OK'

Surfers however add - N-power for military use should be in Govt control.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 21:22 IST

We carried a story on PM Manmohan Singh's science chief (CNR Rao'sstatement) wanting the entry of the private sector in the nuclear energy production. We asked the surfers whether private participation would harm national interest.

The response has been in favour of responsible private participation in nuclear power production with requisite checks and measures.

Here's how it went.

Amandeep Matta of Karnal, India felt private sector has a proven track record at better management.

"Be it a government employee or a private sector man you cannot promise security. As our corporate sector has proven in the past that they are better at management and governance, they should definitely be given a chance in our nuclear power sector."

"However, security should be placed in the hands of the government. Also government can conduct frequent audits. We can further ensure the security by placing the government's resource management team for handling non-human resources. Meanwhile the private sector can chip in with domain experts, process modelling, distribution and human resource management."

"This way public-private partnership would really boost our nuclear sector, at the same time posing no questions on our national security."

Sandeep Singh Gill from Arlington, Texas, USA too had similar views. He felt that while the military installations ought to be in government control, the rest could be passed on to responsible industrial houses.

"Private sector dictated by market economic dynamics is the most efficient and therefore wealth creating process in this world."

"Economic history of the world testifies this adequately. I think in the context of nuclear energy development sector of India the answer would still be yes. India's nuclear sector should be divided into two parts—commercial and military. Clearly the commercial part should allow and encourage the likes of Ambanis (Anil and Mukesh both!) and the Hindujas of India, etc to invest and take it to a new level."

"The military issue remains a more sensitive issue and I really don't think that India is yet ready for that level of change because of many reasons. Military installations would have to be under the appropriate government agency with perhaps selective (limited projects) given to proven private sector venture capitalist who have passed the test of economic, technical and a time-tested issue of loyalty to the union of India."

"This method will encourage a fast revolutionary approach and growth that will bring out not only the technical capabilities of India but may also bring back the brain drain of the 80s and the early 90s."

"India needs to capitalise and take charge of its destiny by resource optimisation and by modifying the current political thinking and outlook."

Jaskaran Teja from Geneva, Switzerland felt given our huge energy demands we needed to do a rethink of our nuclear policy.

"It is about time India starts rethinking about fuller exploitation of the nuclear energy through private sector or foreign capital! Despite our being the first developing country to build a nuclear reactor, even before China, India has significantly lagged behind civil nuclear power generation."

"With the current low priority to nuclear power, the share of n-energy in the total power mix will remain a very modest two to three per cent. And without adequate power, India cannot realistically aspire to be a fast growth economy or a global power."

Munish Mahajan from New Delhi, India too felt we needed to get out of socialist mode and experiment. Private companies were a better bet for effective management.

"Yes, there should be private participation. India needs energy desperately due to increase in industrialisation. Earlier we were psychologically gripped in socialistic ideals. Now we are free and can give private participation in these sectors also. As far as security is concerned I trust private companies more than public companies for maintaining national interest."

However, not all were convinced. A person going by the name Gwerty said public would be unduly taxed like in all things handled by the private sector.

"They will sell garbage and make the taxpayers pay for it."

Go for it, then. Sound logic there!

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of

First Published: Aug 31, 2006 18:42 IST