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Go-Go Test for Mumbai, howzat?

Parameters for determining efficiency in this test would be set by those heading the concerned governing agency, but with inputs from the citizenry.

mumbai Updated: Jun 22, 2018 00:56 IST
Ayaz Memon
Ayaz Memon
Hindustan Times
Go-Go test,Yo-Yo test,citizenrt
Parameters for determining efficiency in this test would be set by those heading the concerned governing agency, for example the BMC, but with inputs from the citizenry. (HT File)

So, Rohit Sharma passed the ‘Yo-Yo’ test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Earlier, Mohamed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, and Sanju Samson had been casualties. As a hedge, Ajinkya Rahane had been put on standby by the BCCI, but Sharma got through easily.

For those coming in late to this story, the Yo-Yo endurance test, invented by a Danish football psychologist Jens Bangsbo, has been a contentious addition to Indian cricket in recent years. Pros and cons have been sounded out, even from within the fraternity.

One school of thought asks whether a regimen designed for football has any place in a predominantly skill-based (as compared to speed and strength) sport like cricket. Another says fitness is paramount in any sport these days, so there is no circumventing a test like the Yo-Yo.

Chief coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli swear by it; some others like former chief selector Sandeep Patil, while agreeing that ascertaining fitness is very important, believe that those who fail must be given a second chance.

Interestingly, while most cricketing countries now use the Yo-Yo, the Australians, who for long, set the benchmark for fitness in the cricket world, have discontinued it. So the debate continues. But I see merit in players being accountable for their own fitness. However, cricket is not my subject for this column. I’ve dwelt on the Yo-Yo at some length to indulge in some wishful thinking on how benchmarking the efficiency of critical agencies like BMC, police, bus and train services, health and hospitals, etc. could improve quality of life in the city.

For convenience, let’s call it the ‘Go-Go’ test. After all, we Mumbaiites fancy ourselves as the biggest and best go-getters in the country. Anything that stymies this status, therefore, should be assessed, and action taken for any shortcomings.

Parameters for determining efficiency in this test would be set by those heading the concerned governing agency, but with inputs from the citizenry. The essential difference between the Yo-Yo and Go-Go is that assessment of the agency in charge – by extension, of people working in it too – would be done post-facto instead of in advance.

Consider everyday commuting, which is of paramount importance to the city. How prompt the suburban train services are, can be easily found out. Allowing for unavoidable delays, an accurate measure of efficiency or lack thereof is not difficult to establish.

Commute also includes BEST bus services and movement of private vehicles. In the 1970s and 80s, for instance, I was a frequent traveller on the No.1 route from Colaba to Mahim, and the journey would take about 45 minutes. Nowadays, I understand it takes twice that time.

Fair enough, considering the massive growth in vehicular traffic, but if the trip regularly takes more than the mean time, clearly there is some issue somewhere. Likewise, how traffic police handle peak-hour rush at various problem spots can be measured to high degree of accuracy.

Dealing with authority in uniform is something that intimidates the common man: in the case of the police, even more so. Forget complex cases, even lodging an FIR is often a nightmarish experience. Why should there not be a benchmark for competence at something so basic? In healthcare, it gets more challenging. Getting admitted to a hospital stretches the aam aadmi’s patience. The quality of treatment is, of course, subjective, but going by reports – informal and formal – just getting medical attention/hospital admission leads to untold anguish.

These are some issues, which if tackled efficiently, can make life easier in the city. Undoubtedly, all agencies controlling these make their own assessment of how efficiently systems are working. But is it being done robustly? It begs the question. The crux in breaking the ineptness, as in the Yo-Yo test, is in ensuring that there is no fudging on minimum standards. For this, those in authority must show firmness of purpose and penalise those who fall short.

But those in authority are themselves appointed by people we choose as our representatives. It becomes extremely important therefore to be well-informed `selectors’ when we vote.

Pick only those who make the cut for the Go-Go test!

First Published: Jun 22, 2018 00:56 IST