Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Sep 2017 11:23:38

THAT the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat is finally ready for inauguration would of course bring cheers to the farmers as it will bring much-needed water to the parched land. However, the fact that it took 56-long years for the completion of the dam is disheartening.

The delay was caused by various factors like slow clearance for the project, tardy land acquisition, opposition of farmers to give up their fertile land as barren piece was offered to them, inadequate compensation and improper rehabilitation of project-hit besides legal wrangles over rehabilitation and environmental issues that went up to the apex court. Because of the inordinate delay in completion of the dam, the perceived economic benefits of the dam never reached the beneficiaries all these years.

Unfortunately, similar situation is faced in almost all the projects, including the Gosikhurd project in Vidarbha, which is dragging on for decades. Such delays are unpardonable. The Government must find out ways to complete all the infrastructure projects within the set time-frame come what may.


THE decision of the University Grants Commission to invite applications from universities and institutes for the ‘eminence’ tag and helping them emerge as world-class institutions is laudable. The quality of higher education is so poor in the country that not a single institute figures in the list of top 200 in the world.

The best brains, therefore, fly to the West, never to return to the homeland. In the process, the country suffers the most as though it invests huge money in educating the students, it gets nothing in return. In order to check brain drain, it is necessary to set up world class institutes in the country itself. The UGC proposes to take care of this by investing money in the shortlisted institutes for ten years, over and above the regular grants given to them.

This is welcome step as it will help the institutes to perform better. Though the scheme sounds good, the outcome will solely depend on how effectively it is implemented. The selection of institutes should be done strictly on the basis of merit. There should not be any compromise on infrastructure and the faculty.