Moneylife Events
Parkinson’s: Education, support from government and corporates is key to ensure treatment for all
Speaking at International Women’s Day at Moneylife Foundation, Dr Maria Barretto feels that with financial and infrastructure support from the government and private sector, we can help all those suffering from Parkinson's disease in India
 
“We need more education about Parkinson's in India,” said Dr Maria Barretto, after her felicitation at the International Women's Day celebrations organised by Moneylife Foundation. With financial and infrastructure support from the government as well as the private sector, she said we would be able to help all those suffering from Parkinson's disease in India. 
 
Dr Barretto, chief executive of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Society (PDMDS), has developed a 'community based multidisciplinary model of care' to reach out to patients who have limited or no access to medical care.
 
In her speech, she highlighted the importance of educating people about Parkinson's in order to ensure early detection and medical assistance. She also urged corporates to get involved in the cause to help PDMDS expand its reach and provide therapy and medical care to people all over the country. She suggested that it is possible to extend help through the corporate social responsibility (CSR) route that is available to all corporates. She also mentioned that government support is absolutely essential in ensuring that assistance can be provided to all citizens. 
 
The fact of the matter is that there is little awareness about Parkinson's in our country. Most people resign themselves to a life of dependence and handicap as soon as they learn the diagnosis. And while it is incorrect to claim that there is a permanent cure for the disease, it is possible to manage it. 
 
Many of Dr Barretto's patients have fought the disease and significantly decreased the rate of neural degeneration. In fact, several patients being treated at PDMDS personally came to attend the event, and witness their doctor being felicitated by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman. 
 
The mode adopted at PDMDS for treatment of Parkinson's is a multi-pronged approach that aims to improve the overall quality of life for the patients. And because the treatment is provided through a group-therapy approach, it is highly cost-effective. This program is currently being conducted at 15 centres across the city of Mumbai and has two more centres in Maharashtra. It has also been initiated in three other states in the country - Goa, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Dr Barretto has been invited to speak at the World Congress of Neurology in Vienna in 2013, and the World Parkinson's Congress in Montreal.
 
Here are the contact details of PDMDS: 
Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorder Society 
6, Jasville, 1st Floor, 
Opposite Liberty Cinema, 
Marine Lines, Mumbai, 
Maharashtra, India 400020
 
Phone: 022-24977477
 
 

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Govt formulates selection criteria for sportspersons in international events

According to the criteria, past 12 months performance of the sportspersons should not be less than the performance achieved by the 6th position holder of the previous event

 

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has formulated the selection criteria for sportspersons and teams for participation in international sports events. 
 
According to the criteria, performance of the sportspersons in the individual events during the past 12 months prior to commencement of the event should not be less than the performance achieved by the 6th position holder of the previous edition of the respective tournament in measurable sports. 
 
The formula would be used to decide participation in multi-disciplinary sports events such as Olympic Games, Winter Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Indoor Games, Asian Beach Games, Youth Olympics, Asian Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Paralympics and Para-Asian Games.
 
For team events, only those teams, which have achieved ranking up to 8th among participating countries of the concerned tournaments in the last one year, would be considered for participation in the respective tournaments. 
 
In non-measurable individual sports, the sportspersons must have achieved 6th rank in the last 12 months. 
 
In the sports events, where rankings are not maintained or where sportspersons have not been able to improve their ranking on account of reasons like lack of exposure in international tournaments, appropriate criteria may be adopted by the National Sports Federation (NSF) in consultation with this Ministry. 
 
In the sports competitions, where the number of participants is limited, stricter norms of selection will be prescribed. 
 
In a letter sent to Indian Olympic Association, Paralympic Committee of India and National Sports Federations, the Ministry said, "On the issue of participation of sportspersons at no cost to government, only the sportspersons, coaches and support staff approved by the Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be part of the contingent for the events cleared at cost to the government and no additional sportspersons, coach and support staff will be included even at no cost to government in such sports competitions." 
 
The selection criteria will be applicable for multi-disciplinary international sports events irrespective of whether the participation of Indian contingent has been cleared at cost to the Government or at no cost to the Government. 
 
The letter said, IOA is also requested to formulate guidelines for inclusion of support personnel such as coaches, physiotherapists, doctors, masseurs, managers and contingent officials. IOA and SAI should ensure that only those support personnel are considered for Indian contingents who have worked with the sportspersons in camps or have the necessary credentials and experience and are eligible as per the rules and guidelines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Organizing Committees of the Games and respective International Federations. 
 

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Red Tape vs Red Carpet –Part1
The bureaucracy may be far from faultless, but it is hardly the sole culprit in discouraging foreign investors from investing in India. Its function is to assist State and Central activities, and its performance is dependent on effective political leadership as well as the legal framework under which it operates 
 
“If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy.  God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won’t” - Hyman Rickove
 
“Bureaucracies are inherently anti-democratic.  Bureaucrats derive their power from their position in the structure, not from their relations with the people they are supposed to serve.  The people are not masters of the bureaucracy but its clients”. - Alan Keyes 
 
A controversy has been generated in recent times about the role of bureaucracy as hindering economic development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have stated that hereafter there will be less red tape in attracting foreign investments into India and that such investors will be given a red carpet reception. This means that rigid bureaucratic hurdles will be removed and attractive incentives will be provided so as to encourage foreign investments. There is a widespread perception that India is an attractive destination for investment because of its vast market potential and scientific and technological talent. However, many investors are reluctant to invest in India because of the bureaucratic hurdles, policy uncertainty, legislative complexities and judicial delays. Viewed in the light of Ease of Doing Business Index compiled recently by the World Bank, India ranks 142 out of 189 countries surveyed.  It is indeed unfortunate that a country with rich resources, both human and natural, should rank inferior to countries like Botswana, Cambodia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal and even Pakistan. Ranking wise India is only next to Uzbekistan (141) and just ahead of West Bank and Gaza (143). While this statistic reveals the pathetic state of affairs in relation to India, it also highlights abysmal governance deficiency in the country.
 
Bureaucracy, which is critical to governance, is perceived as the major obstacle in attracting foreign investments and promoting business and employment opportunities. There is indeed a universal impression that Indian bureaucracy is unhelpful, rigid, unfriendly, rule-bound and insensitive to the public. Bureaucracy is also blamed because of its rigid adherence to rules, procedures and indifferent, arrogant attitude.  It is perhaps easy to blame the entire bureaucracy because it is too general and a vague description covering a wide range starting from the lowest level officials and ending with the topmost civil servants.   In my opinion, this wholly negative outlook seems totally unwarranted and seems to be based on certain misconceptions. Firstly, the reluctance of investors is not only because of bureaucratic hurdles but also due to other political, economic and social reasons such as political corruption, judicial delays and labour disputes. This is not to say that the bureaucracy is blemish less in its performance.  However, to tarnish the entire bureaucracy as the villain in public administration is neither fair nor factually correct.  At any point of time, we can always find some bureaucrats helpful, sympathetic, efficient and fair minded in spite of the many rigidities in the system.  However, in a country like India, where we have an oversized bureaucracy created to meet increasing activities of the State (both at federal and local level) as also other political and social compulsions, the number of civil servants with negative attitude is disproportionately high. This is presumably because of the high discretion given to civil servants, fear of audit, vigilance and ineffective supervision.
 
Many of us fail to note that bureaucracy is only a tool in public administration. Its usefulness and effectiveness or otherwise is dependent upon the system and the environment in which it operates and the leadership that is provided by the political masters.  If the system (viz., rules and regulations) is rigid and insensitive, naturally bureaucracy cannot be public friendly. Similarly, if the environment is hostile, it cannot be effective.  If the political leadership is corrupt and/or incompetent, the bureaucracy tends to be vitiated in its attitude and performance. This essential aspect of bureaucracy is very often forgotten or ignored.
 
Perhaps it is worthwhile to go briefly into the evolution of bureaucracy especially in western countries.  According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “In every day usage, the term bureaucracy connotes ‘red tape’ and inefficiency that one often experiences in dealing with large-scale organizations, especially with a state administration.  As a sociological concept, the term has a less pejorative, a more ‘neutral’ meaning.  It simply refers to a type of formal organization.   …………  Thus, purposive design and goal specificity seem to be two crucial criteria differentiating formal organizations from other types of social groupings.”  It is therefore commonly understood that a bureaucratic organization is characterised by a rational and impersonal regulation of inferior-superior relationships as distinct from a feudal or patrimonial organization.   The most important ingredient of bureaucracy is the existence of a system of control based on rules and regulations for achieving maximum efficiency with neutrality and high integrity.  Although the evolution of bureaucracy in Western Europe is surrounded with mystery because of the frequent influence of religion and royalty, it can be stated without any doubt that at every stage it got organized meeting the demands of the time and the needs of services of the State. Political corruption and its impact on governance were all too evident.  Oliver Cromwell’s well known address (as stated below) to the British Parliamentarians is a case in point.
 
……………………….
 
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
……………………….
In the name of God, go!”
 
(TS Krishna Murthy is Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, and also a Trustee on the Board of Moneylife Foundation)

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COMMENTS

vswami

2 years ago

OFFHAND
The topic has enough potential to provoke anyone familiar with, to reflect on the 'subtleties' of the long enduring bureaucratic practices. to refresh and reflect,worth looking back and caring to read a couple of versatile articles, - "Subtleties of bureaucratic practices", and "Re-ordering bureaucrat-minister relations" | Business Line, authored 'swayam' by a popular civil servant of our times.
NA Palkhivala, a renowned legal legend, is found to have,through his speeches and writings (published),been frank and forthright in sharing his views on the subject.

(More to share)

Rajaram Bojji

2 years ago

Best is to make noting on the files public with govt order dealing with public assets or investments.

This step liberates honest officers and repels corrupt.

Vishal Modi

2 years ago

Dear sir, mean no disrespect - our tax administration to the honest, tax paying citizen is perhaps more adverserial and less equal, especially to the genuine tax payer - than you would like to admit! surely even you will agree on this limited point.

REPLY

Sudhir Jatar

In Reply to Vishal Modi 2 years ago

That's where the courts come in for interpretation of the law.
It is unfortunate but true that the tax administration is more adversarial precisely because they ignore the big fish law breakers and want to make their tax collection targets from the honest tax payer. It only reinforces my point.

Sudhir Jatar

2 years ago

The correct definition of a bureaucrat is one who goes by the book. That's what the ICS officers were. I remember reading it in "A matter of Honour" by Philip Mason who was an ICS officer.
The duty of a bureaucrat is to point out to the Minister the law, the rule, the guideline, the regulation and so on. He must stick to his stand.
If all bureaucrats behave in this fashion, there can be no politician with courage enough to go against the norms and standards.
The trouble with our civil service is that not even 1 % stick to the law and they blame the politician. I have been told by senior bureaucrats that I should go to court but he cannot use his power to correct the wrong because he is "under pressure"! Great guns - they go on to hold important positions and be PS to the PM or the CM!!
Sorry, the bureaucrat cannot take shelter of the politician for his wayward governance.

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