Governance

Gain in-depth understanding of civic administration, policy implementation and public policy. Find articles on the intricacies of urban governance, learn more about challenges and successes in local government operations, effectiveness of municipal bodies, and how it all affects the lives of citizens. Understand election processes and get critical information on choices and options. Be informed about active citizen engagement with governing authorities, and how residents can influence policy and hold them accountable.

Last week, IIM held a conference on the twin themes of Urban Government and Public Private Partnerships. A lot of different papers from around the world were submitted, and many speakers provided insights on how other countries are trying to innovate in these areas. I'll put up a link to the the presentations once they're all compiled, but in the meanwhile I want to draw attention to something that's been bothering me for a while.PPPs have typically been taken up to overcome shortages of capacities and funds in government. That is, we begin by saying that something good must be…

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If the December 2005 terrorist attack on the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bangalore was the ‘wake up' call that Karnataka is no longer a State where internal security can be taken for granted, the July 25 serial bombs in the city have shaken Bangaloreans really hard. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa admitted in the legislature that Bangalore has become ‘a safe haven for terrorists'. Terror in a wrapper. Pic: Vasu M N. Investigations into the serial blasts are being conducted by a special investigation team led by Joint Commissioner of Police Gopal B Hosur. No arrests have been…

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Most of us who are either buying or selling property find the procedures cumbersome and encounter a range of different certificates and documents required to proceed with a deal. Many of us are unfamiliar with what is required until we face the situation.What is a Khata? What is an occupancy certificate? Who issues it? When and why is it needed? What about the ‘possession certificate’? Former Deputy Commissioner of BBMP (Revenue department) H B S Aradhya answered these questions for Supriya Khandekar of Citizen Matters. What is a Khata?There is no specific mention of the term Khata in the Act…

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Bangalore’s face is being reconstituted. Roads are being widened but elected representatives are not consulted on this process. The Oberois are given control of about 160 acres of land around Hebbal Tank and they go on to build a floating restaurant on the lake, denying free access to the lake for the publics. “So what is happening to the ‘commons’? What is this development that is done ostensibly in the name of ‘public good’ but the public is not being consulted?” These were the questions that Leo Saldanha of the Environment Support Group (ESG) raised to Michael Goldman, professor of…

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Dayalu Arasu is a very happy man, the president of FITES (Forum of Facilities Providers for IT/ITES Industries ), his cabs were being stopped and drivers harassed by members of a self styled cab drivers union. After he met the Police Commissioner on Monday a directive was issued to all police stations to check this intimidation. Arasu says "This is the quickest meeting I have had with the Police Commissioner. Our grievance was addressed on the same day and the harassment faced by our drivers has ended''.Kumara Park residents association president N S Ramakant, who presented a petition regarding the…

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A series of bomb blasts ripped through Bangalore this afternoon. Scores of citizens and students alike, shocked and worried, pulled ahead their evening commute to get back home earlier. The blast scene at the back corner of the bus stand at Madiwala checkpost, on Hosur Road in south Bangalore, at 4.30 p.m. on 25 July. Pic: Subramaniam Vincent. The bus stand at Madiwala checkpost on Hosur Road in south Bangalore was the scene of one of the blasts, and this is also the location where one woman died, the city police have confirmed. Injured citizens from this blast scene were…

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The first BJP government in the South - how do you feel about that? Since the day BSY took office as the Chief Minister, I've asked many people this question. And I've got two kinds of answers. Some people believe that the party can give governance in Karnataka a much needed boost of governance, and help the state attain a position of economic leadership among the southern states. The comparison to Gujarat is made often, perhaps because the government itself has made references to this. And there is plenty of optimism that BSY can - similarly to Narendra Modi -…

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"I buy rice at market prices. I cannot afford to pay so much for food grains. My family is always hungry and I still do not have a BPL Card," says Parvathi, a construction worker in her mid forties earning daily wages. She lives in Srinivas Nagar and is unable to get a BPL card though she claims to be eligible for one. Parvathi complains that her application was never processed properly and she was given an APL card.This is not just a case with a few construction workers in the city. It includes a lot of people we meet…

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This Monday, 2nd June, newly elected Jayanagar MLA, B N Vijaya Kumar interacted with residents in a meeting organised by the Jayanagar 5th Block Residents Welfare Association to felicitate him.In his first programme after the elections, he thanked voters for electing him with a large margin (his winning margin was 22594 votes, with a voter turnout of 48%) Vijaya Kumar told the residents that he will ensure all public department officials work towards solving citizens' issues. He also promised to arrange regular meetings where citizens can interact with officials to address the problems. He urged residents to be proactive and…

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The media which prodded every Bangalorean to make a difference to the city’s future by simply voting in the just concluded assembly elections has done a great job. Sadly, the media does not know that it has done a great job. This is because, it has failed to read beyond the voting turnout number given by the Election Commission. Headlines like ‘middle class apathy’ to a meager turnout of 44 percent are plain wrong. In fact, the turnout may be as high as 80 percent. Ramesh Ramanathan, the urban affairs expert and founder of Janaagraha, notes in a column, that…

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