Launch clean-up drive to save UP
Criminalisation of politics main evil: Academicians
LEADING ACADEMICIANS of the country have felt that criminalisation of politics is the root-cause of UP's downfall.
They have also urged the State Government to begin its clean-up operation at the earliest.
The academicians, led by Allahabad University's (AU) Geography Department teachers, have urged the Uttar Pradesh Government to pay special attention to information technology and introduce e-governance, e-commerce and e-education on a priority basis to set UP on the path of recovery and progress.
The experts, who had gathered here recently to deliberate on the existing regional disparities in the State, also recommended that as AU was a leading academic and research institution of the State, it should take a lead in this area and take up a project to prepare master plans for the entire East UP.
During the two-day discussions, all experts were of the view that the globalisation of the economy was accentuating the regional disparities at all levels and that this called for alternative development policies and strategies which could counter the negative forces of liberalisation and privatisation, said Head of the AU Geography Department Prof HN Mishra.
He said that a set of seven such recommendations had been forwarded by him on behalf of the experts to the UP Government for consideration and implementation in the State.
"This is not the age of centralised planning. Each State should have a strong planning board to prepare annual plans for balanced development of various regions and districts.
Since UP is the largest State in terms of population and fourth largest in terms of area, it should take a lead in this direction and constitute a planning commission, consisting of academicians, including economists, geographers and socialists along with industrialists, farmers' representatives and IT specialists," said Prof Mishra.
He said that the information technology had given new opportunities for the development of the backward areas. "It gives rise to footloose industry, which can be established anywhere and, especially, suits UP," he added.
Prof Mishra said that the experts were of the view that the backward districts of UP had different problems because of their geography and history. "It is strange that backward districts of UP were also under the Zamindari System.
This calls for special programmes, which are not meant for economic development alone but more for social development," he said.
The report forwarded to the State Government points out that the backward regions of UP are rich in natural resources like land and water.
"The youthful population of the State is a great asset. The backward districts of UP should have special 10-year district plans prepared by experts and executed jointly by government and the private sector, including NGOs, so that disparities in development are removed as early as possible," it says.
The report further stresses that so long as planning and development are not professionalised and taken out of the purview of the politicians and bureaucrats, the development processes will continue to be as they are.
The report to the state government recommends that block and district development offices must be de-bureaucratised and corruption in State and local government brought down if not removed, and violence that prevails in the State must be curbed to bring UP back to a level of development which would be equivalent to the other states.