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State Level Reforms linked to Security issues

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As important as fixing the security issues, are the fixing of certain key issues pertaining to governance, the deficiencies around which are the actual cause of the precarious security environment prevailing. A few of the more important ones are listed below.


1. Police Reforms

A high-level meeting of police officers, held in late October this year, chaired by DG and IGP R Srikumar, decided to forward the draft of the "New Karnataka Police Act" to the State government for legislation. The constitution of a Police Accountability Authority to take care of the acts of omission and commission by the police personnel and the setting up of a State Police Board to cater to a strategic policing plan, figured prominently in it.

Mr Prakash Singh, IPS (retd), the former DIG of Police from MP, whose PIL led to the Supreme Court ordering the setting up of a committee to advice on the course of 'Police Reforms', out of which came the Soli Sorabjee Committee report, had made a positive reference to the 'new Karnataka Police Act' draft, in an article published in the New Indian Express, over a month back.

In view of the new developments, the passing of this Act, and faithful and immediate implementation of rules thereunder, has gained great significance. However, nothing has been heard from the state home ministry in the matter. The fear now is that this draft may also just get shelved like so many before it.
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2. Electoral Reforms

The SEC/ NIC/ BBMP combo, entrusted with the job of preparation and maintenance of the electoral rolls, and issual of the EPID cards, has proved itself unequal to the task. The resulting inaccuracy levels of the order of over 50% across the state (as admitted by their own selves), is causing serious subversion of the democratic process even at the very first stage itself, apart from posing a serious threat to national security. Correction of this anomalous situation has to be the first priority of the country if it wants to call itself a democracy. Perhaps the entire job has to be out-sourced to a professional agency, quite like TCS Ltd being entrusted the entire front-end work in the case of issual of pass-ports.

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3. Judicial Reforms

It has very correctly been stated that 'justice delayed is justice denied'. The delivery of justice, particularly in the lower courts, is truly pathetic, to say the least, leading naturally to mafia rule of every kind just thriving. While the judiciary needs to play its part, the state needs to facilitate the process by providing the right kind of infrastructure for it. This can begin with outsourcing the maintenance of the court complexes to professional contractors, rather than leaving it in the hands of the PWD.

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4. Strengthening the institution of the Lokayukta

The recent murder of Mr M K Gupta, a UP PWD engineer, by BSP MLA, Mr Sekhar Tiwari, and his henchmen, for refusing to donate money for Mayawati's birthday celebrations, shows the extent to which official position is being used for 'fund collection', a large part of which of course goes to various individual pockets.

And, this is not a phenomenon confined to the 'Bimaru' states. Even in our own 'progressive' Karnataka, we repeatedly hear about top posts in various government organisations being auctioned to highest bidders, with the position of Chairman being kept aside exclusivly for this purpose. Not surprisingly, going by the findings of the latest survey conducted by Transparency International India and the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi, namma Karnataka has now climbed to the top slot of "very highly corrupt states."
(check: Strengthening the institution of the Lokayukta is therefore becoming more and more imperative.

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What is required of the Civil Society today is the building up of a consensus on pursuing all of these, which are essentially state subjects, with utmost urgency.

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