MD Speaks
Welcome to April 2014

We are witnessing a tremendous amount of energy and debate in the upcoming elections to the world's largest democracy - India.

Whatever may be the outcome of the polls, the sheer magnitude of the exercise, the formality of the processes, the passion of the candidates and the involvement of people show that democracy is not only alive, but thriving in this country.

Every election has two major players - the voters and the voted. As the country moves to a better profile of candidates, voters are also getting empowered (NOTA - 'None of the Above' is a valid choice in the ballot this time!). Hence, as a country matures, the focus shifts from grand election promises to real government efficiency and then on to governance quality.
In this scenario, IPE Global's relevance only increases as we help governments enhance their governance. We also empower people to access and stand up for their rights. The complementary roles of IPE Global in 'Empowering People' and 'Enhancing Governance' together make us a unique organisation in the Development sphere!

I am not asking you all to vote. I am sure all of you will.

But I would ask you all to spread the message and encourage others to vote. Our wallpaper for this month is designed to help start such a conversation!

Best wishes
- Ashwajit Singh
Editorial

Dear *|FNAME|*
This month we had witnessed the great elections wave. As responsible citizens of the country, we believe that each and every one of you would have cast your vote. It does not matter which party we support, but it’s vital that we need to make our voices heard. The news of the month focuses on the ongoing elections. As every vote matters, we should vote to drive the future.

Happy reading and be inspired!

- Rebika Laishram , Roshni Chaudhury

Report Rallies

Up to $2.5 Trillion Needed for South Asia Infrastructure-World Bank

South Asia needs to spend as much as $2.5 trillion on infrastructure by 2020 to bring its power grids, roads and water supplies up to the standard needed to serve its growing population, a World Bank....... Click here

 

U.N. climate report seeks clearer economics to guide action

A U.N. report about ways to fix global warming due on Sunday is likely to disappoint investors seeking clear-cut economic calculations about the benefits and costs of curbing rising greenhouse gas....... Click here

 
News Of The Month
Voting for Growth and Development

As the 16th of May inches closer, India is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the 16th general election which has taken the nation by storm. This election is marked by several interesting aspects. The youth of India has come into focus like never before with 150 million 18- 23 year olds who qualify to vote for the first time. As many as 68.29% of voters in the Lok Sabha seats that have gone to the polls so far have exercised their franchise. There is a distinct possibility that this election will witness the highest ever voter turnout, if the trend continues for the constituencies that are yet to have polling.

Perhaps, for the first time, this election is not being contested as much along traditional lines of caste, class or anti-incumbency, as much as it is on the premise of what could be the best possible path for development, progress and betterment of India. What needs to be appreciated here is that economic growth and development cannot be viewed in isolation- it is a natural progression of having robust governance delivery systems. It is only effective implementation mechanisms which can ensure that any development programme is successfully implemented. It is imperative that we understand the political manifestoes of various political parties.

The BJP’s manifesto talks about various governance reforms such as opening up the Government to draw expertise from the industry, academia and society into the services, rationalization and convergence among the Ministries, departments and other arms of the Government, e-governance initiatives such as digitization of government records, a National e-Governance Plan to cover every Government office from the centre to the panchayats, etc. It also proposes several judicial and police reforms.

The manifesto of the Congress mentions governance reform initiatives such as implementation of the recommendations of the second Administrative reforms committee, a continued focus on the Aadhar programme, and also promises to ensure the passage of The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill 2011, Electronic Delivery of Service Bill 2011, The Public Procurement Bill 2012, etc.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s manifesto talks about the decentralization of governance through Gram Sabhas and Mohalla Sabhas. It proposes the enactment of a Swaraj Bill which would confer a wide range to decision-making powers to Gram Sabhas and Mohallas in areas such as utilization of development funds, payments for government work done, preparation of the list of beneficiaries of government schemes, accountability of the police to the local Gram Sabha/Mohalla Sabha, etc.

While it is the electorate of India which is the jury, let us hope that voters make informed decisions while exercising the power of the ballot. We should consider not only economics but also good governance as a key determinant in making our choices for brining any political party to power.

Development News Clocked This Month

UN panel warns India of severe food, water shortage

The UN panel on climate change warned on Monday that famine, water shortage and increased regional tension could plague south Asia, especially India, if corrective.....Click here

ADB trims India’s 2014-15 growth forecast to 5.5%

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday reduced India’s growth forecast for 2014-15 to 5.5% from its December estimate of 5.7% on the back of a sharper-than-expected industrial...... Click here

USAID, Hillary Clinton launch Global Development Lab for game-changing innovations

The U.S. Agency for International Development is unveiling the Global Development Lab soon, which it hopes will bring greater.....Click here

World Bank calls for focus on India for poverty eradication

With close to one-third of the world's extreme poor concentrated in India, authorities would need to focus on India for executing measures aimed at poverty alleviation, says a new World Bank paper. The top five poorest countries - India (with 33 percent of the world's poor), China (13 percent), Nigeria (7 percent), Bangladesh (6 percent) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (5 percent) - together are home to..... Click here

SAARC, UN to work for women's empowerment in South Asia

SAARC and UN Women will work towards promotion of gender equality, gender justice and empowerment of women among the countries in the South Asian region, officials said here Tuesday. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and UN Women, the UN entity for gender equality and empowerment of women, Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard...... Click here

World Bank Conference On Land And Poverty: When Research Prevents Implementation

Last week, the World Bank held its annual Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington, DC, in which scholars, practitioners, donors, and researchers present their work on land issues. Besides the predictable business card exchanging and long days of schmoozing, this conference brought forth one major theme on global land issues: the overabundance of (expensive)......Click here

Capital’s slum kids face acute malnourishment

Despite the setting up of 11 operational Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres, working under the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, to address severe under-nutrition in children, those living in the Capital’s urban slums face acute malnourishment as they hardly avail of this referral...... Click here

SheBuilds the Future through policy advocacy

A week before the 58th session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women agreed to push for a stand-alone gender equality goal in the post-2015 development agenda, the United States, Russia and Caribbean nations attempted to dilute text in the outcome document...... Click here

ADB asked to sustain funding support for CCT

If the Asian Development Bank (ADB) wants to help improve the Philippines’s chances of reducing poverty and addressing income inequality, it can reconsider its decision to cut back on its assistance for the country’s social-protection programs, like the Conditional Cash-Transfer (CCT) .......Click here

AID Roundup

World Bank to provide $1bn investment guarantees for Nigeria

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, would provide over $1 billion investment guarantees to support infrastructure...... Click here

ADB Supporting Renewable & Private Infrastructure Projects in Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh today signed an agreement for $110 million in loans to support private sector infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, including in renewable...... Click here

World Bank to double lending to emerging economies

The World Bank today said it aims to almost double its annual lending to $28 billion to emerging economies, including India, as part of its efforts to remove poverty. The Washington – head quartered multilateral agency said......Click here

 
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