We invited a very distinguished public servant and advocate for probity and transparency in public life, Dr E.A.S Sarma (see more about the person below) on Oct 3, 2012 to share his thoughts on the recent Coalgate.
Dr Sarma discussed how opacity in decision making processes gives various contending interests sufficient room for manipulating outcomes in their favour, thereby compromising public and environmental interests. But a watchful society can indeed thwart such distortions in the purpose and performance of public policy. Reforms should promote transparency, competition, public accountability and independent regulation.
Dr Sarma illustrates through his own experience and that of others about the degrees of freedom still available to all of us to make our concerns for probity in public life felt.
His book “Will the sparrow ever return?” can be downloaded here
“Dr. E.A.S.Sarma was a member of the Indian Administrative Service from 1965 to 2000. He opted for voluntary retirement from the government in 2000. He was Principal, Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad from 2001 to 2004.
He has settled down at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh (AP). He is presently the Convener of Forum for Better Visakha (FBV), an unregistered civil society forum set up in 2004. The Forum is engaged in promoting Right to Information Act, 2005 in the State. It is also involved in an election watch campaign and promotion of good governance in the offices of the State Government and the local authorities. FBV has been active in articulating the interests of the tribals, the fishing communities and the disadvantaged sections of the people living in the rural and the urban areas.
For the last seven years, FBV has been associated closely with civil society movements in AP and elsewhere against projects that deprive the people’s livelihoods, violate the laws and damage the environment.”
Sarma, E.A.S. (n.a.) Will the sparrow ever return?, online at http://eassarma.in/sites/default/files/Will_the_sparrow_ever_return_17-3-12.pdf