February 2013
Kulhar: President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy

Amidst the elite gathering of politicians, journalists, scholars and diplomats, President unveiled a plaque as he inaugurated The Hindu Centre for Politics & Public Policy – a research centre by the publishers of The Hindu – yesterday at Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium in New Delhi. The new think tank aims to encourage research and discussion on critical matters related to politics and public policy. The occasion was graced by several prominent political leaders like former Prime Minister Shri HD Deve Gowda, UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader Shri L.K. Advani, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, Ministers Shri Farooq Abdullah, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Shri G.K. Vasan, Shri Shashi Tharoor and other senior politicians. Expressing deep appreciation for the objectives of the Hindu Centre, Mr. Mukherjee reflected on what he had learnt about the essence of democracy over the years. “We were told by our teacher of Political Science that three Ds are essentials for democracy, that is, discussion, dissension and finally decision. And when I retired from Parliament, on the day of my election as President, I found that another D which has injected in between, that is, Disruption”, President said. Source : Kulhar.

Firstpost.India : It’s time to address disruptions in Parliament: Pranab Mukherjee

Expressing serious concern over the menace of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures, President Pranab Mukherjee today said time has now come to address the issue which cannot simply be brushed aside as necessary to bring a recalcitrant administration to its knees. “In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D–debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision. But when I retired from Parliament in July (after over four decades in public life), I find there was another D–disruption of proceedings of the House,” he said. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating “The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy”–a think tank on public policies and governance-set up by 134-year-old English daily The Hindu in Chennai. The function, in which he inaugurated the centre by unveiling a plaque was attended by a galaxy of personalities that included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, CPI General Secretary Prakash Karat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers and MPs. The President, who had a long distinguished Parliamentary career, also spoke on the need to discuss how institutions of Parliamentary democracy can be strengthened. Speaking on disruptions, he said, "We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it not time to find out how to address the issue." Mukherjee said it is said that sometimes it is necessary to bring around a recalcitrant administration for finding a resolution to issues. However, the President said, questions arise whether disruptions puts pressure on the government or simply denies rights of members of the house. Or whether it provides advantage to government because when question hour is disrupted, it prevents members from questioning the government on issues including policy violations, he said. Mukherjee said that in the newly-liberated countries democracy has thrived where government supported Parliamentary institutions. "Where it failed was in countries where government did not institutions of democracy like judiciary and free press and legislature and executive," he said, adding how these institutions can be made more effective. Recalling the functioning of Parliament immediately after independence, he said Parliament used to have exhaustive discussions on budget and finance bill. The size of the first budget in independent India was Rs 197 crore of which revenue was Rs 171 crore. The military expenditure was Rs96 crore and civil was Rs 101 crore. The first Plan size was Rs 2000 crore, on whose approach paper there was four days of discussion and later debate on mid-term appraisal. Now, he said, the budget is of the size of Rs12 lakh crores and the 12th Plan size Rs37 lakh crore. "How do we do justice to these budgetary discussions because MPs and MLAs have the exclusive authority to authorise their spending and question their government," he said. Mukherjee said that now government has brought in Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management (FRBM) act to check borrowings. "The short point I am driving is how to strengthen parliamentary democratic institutions. The Supreme Court has ruled that Parliamentary system is a basic structure of the Constitution which cannot be challenged," he said.  Referring to the problem of huge electorate, Mukherjee asked one issue was how to establish contact between elector and electorate so that pressure on Parliament can be limited to a few subjects. "I don't have answers but questions are staring at us. Corruption, some sense of cynicism has arisen. How we can address it," he said. He said India's forefathers provided democracy and it was our duty to preserve it. Referring to the "frustration" that the country sees now, Mukherjee said it was not confined to one territorial integrity but spread all over. He also said that the world was a global village and Indian cannot remain isolation. The President recounted the role of media in freedom movement and lauded Hindu's pioneering role in modern Indian journalism. Addressing the gathering former Editor-in-Chief of  The Hindu  N Ram said the country is faced by some tough challenges in the form of corruption, mis-governance, violation of women's rights and massive deprivations. "It has become a fashion to decry politics as a cynical game but we firmly disagree with it. We regard public policies and governance vital for the society," he said, adding that the The Hindu Centre will conduct fast-track discussions and researches in areas of public policies and governance. Praising the performance of Justice JS Verma Committee- formed to suggest changes in anti-rape laws, he said, "It submitted its recommendations in just 30 days and it will be an inspiration for us." Director of the Centre Malini Parthasarathy said the think tank will conduct research, seminars and workshops while re-examining fundamental constitutional principles. "It will not be just a theoretical institution but a multi-faceted one. We also think that secularism and social justice needs to be re-examined with complete fairness and honesty while issues like cultural and competitive nationalism should be discussed," she said. Former Editor of the paper N Ravi said that the centre will perform its tasks in shaping policies over governance and challenges facing the nation. The Hindu centre will function as a credible and independent platform for exploration of ideas and public policies and will contribute to rebuilding of public faith in India's democratic process. "The Hindu Centre will not just be a discourse enabler or a marketplace of ideas. We are clear that we are promoting civic identity as primary component of nationalism and we intend for our research to re-energise basic democratic values of pluralism and social equity," a statement from the daily said. The Centre will be guided by an advisory board comprising eminent scholars and intellectuals. Its board of management will comprise N Ram, N Ravi and Malini Parthasarathy. The advisory board will include Zoya Hasan, Dean of School of Social Sciences, JNU; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and CEO, Centre for Policy Research; Sunil Khilanani, director of King's India Institute, London and Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics University of Chicago. Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; and Gurcharan Das, management expert, author and commentator on public affairs, will also be the advisory board members. The Centre will also embark on the task of building research that will revisit key constitutional concepts and examine validity of post-Independence set of political values to asses their relevance and utility in terms of crisis of confidence besetting the system today, the statement said. It will have a view distinct and independent of editorial perspective of the Hindu Group of publications, the statement said. Source : Firstpost.India.

Vancouverdesi : President unhappy over disruptions of parliament

Unhappy over disruptions in parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said it was “unfortunate” that not enough time was being devoted to discussions on financial matters in the House. “It is unfortunate that disruption has become a part of parliamentary functioning. It is not clear whether this disruption puts any serious pressure on the government,” he said inaugurating the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy via video-conferencing here. “The parliament is the sole authority to give approval for expenditure of the government. It is unfortunate that not enough time is being devoted to discussions on financial matters in parliament,” he added. Source : Vancouverdesi

Outlookindia : Time to Address Disruptions in Parliament: President

Expressing serious concern over the menace of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures, President Pranab Mukherjee today said time has now come to address the issue which cannot simply be brushed aside as necessary to bring a recalcitrant administration to its knees. "In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D--debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision. But when I retired from Parliament in July (after over four decades in public life), I find there was another D--disruption of proceedings of the House," he said. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating "The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy"—a think tank on public policies and governance-set up by 134-year-old English daily "The Hindu" in Chennai. The function, in which he inaugurated the centre by unveiling a plaque was attended by a galaxy of personalities that included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, CPI General Secretary Prakash Karat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers and MPs. The President, who had a long distinguished Parliamentary career, also spoke on the need to discuss how institutions of Parliamentary democracy can be strengthened. Speaking on disruptions, he said, "We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it not time to find out how to address the issue." Mukherjee said it is said that sometimes it is necessary to bring around a recalcitrant administration for finding a resolution to issues. However, the President said, questions arise whether disruptions puts pressure on the government or simply denies rights of members of the house. Or whether it provides advantage to government because when question hour is disrupted, it prevents members from questioning the government on issues including policy violations, he said. Mukherjee said that in the newly-liberated countries democracy has thrived where government supported Parliamentary institutions. "Where it failed was in countries where government did not institutions of democracy like judiciary and free press and legislature and executive," he said, adding how these institutions can be made more effective. Recalling the functioning of Parliament immediately after independence, he said Parliament used to have exhaustive discussions on budget and finance bill. The size of the first budget in independent India was Rs 197 crore of which revenue was Rs 171 crore. The military expenditure was Rs96 crore and civil was Rs 101 crore. The first Plan size was Rs 2000 crore, on whose approach paper there was four days of discussion and later debate on mid-term appraisal. Now, he said, the budget is of the size of Rs12 lakh crores and the 12th Plan size Rs37 lakh crore. "How do we do justice to these budgetary discussions because MPs and MLAs have the exclusive authority to authorise their spending and question their government," he said. Mukherjee said that now government has brought in Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management (FRBM) act to check borrowings. "The short point I am driving is how to strengthen parliamentary democratic institutions. The Supreme Court has ruled that Parliamentary system is a basic structure of the Constitution which cannot be challenged," he said.  Referring to the problem of huge electorate, Mukherjee asked one issue was how to establish contact between elector and electorate so that pressure on Parliament can be limited to a few subjects. "I don't have answers but questions are staring at us. Corruption, some sense of cynicism has arisen. How we can address it," he said. He said India's forefathers provided democracy and it was our duty to preserve it. Referring to the "frustration" that the country sees now, Mukherjee said it was not confined to one territorial integrity but spread all over. He also said that the world was a global village and Indian cannot remain isolation. The President recounted the role of media in freedom movement and lauded Hindu's pioneering role in modern Indian journalism. Addressing the gathering former Editor-in-Chief of  The Hindu  N Ram said the country is faced by some tough challenges in the form of corruption, mis-governance, violation of women's rights and massive deprivations. "It has become a fashion to decry politics as a cynical game but we firmly disagree with it. We regard public policies and governance vital for the society," he said, adding that the The Hindu Centre will conduct fast-track discussions and researches in areas of public policies and governance. Praising the performance of Justice JS Verma Committee- formed to suggest changes in anti-rape laws, he said, "It submitted its recommendations in just 30 days and it will be an inspiration for us." Director of the Centre Malini Parthasarathy said the think tank will conduct research, seminars and workshops while re-examining fundamental constitutional principles. "It will not be just a theoretical institution but a multi-faceted one. We also think that secularism and social justice needs to be re-examined with complete fairness and honesty while issues like cultural and competitive nationalism should be discussed," she said. Former Editor of the paper N Ravi said that the centre will perform its tasks in shaping policies over governance and challenges facing the nation. The Hindu centre will function as a credible and independent platform for exploration of ideas and public policies and will contribute to rebuilding of public faith in India's democratic process. "The Hindu Centre will not just be a discourse enabler or a marketplace of ideas. We are clear that we are promoting civic identity as primary component of nationalism and we intend for our research to re-energise basic democratic values of pluralism and social equity," a statement from the daily said. The Centre will be guided by an advisory board comprising eminent scholars and intellectuals. Its board of management will comprise N Ram, N Ravi and Malini Parthasarathy. The advisory board will include Zoya Hasan, Dean of School of Social Sciences, JNU; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and CEO, Centre for Policy Research; Sunil Khilanani, director of King's India Institute, London and Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics University of Chicago. Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; and Gurcharan Das, management expert, author and commentator on public affairs, will also be the advisory board members. The Centre will also embark on the task of building research that will revisit key constitutional concepts and examine validity of post-Independence set of political values to asses their relevance and utility in terms of crisis of confidence besetting the system today, the statement said. It will have a view distinct and independent of editorial perspective of the Hindu Group of publications, the statement said. Source : Outlookindia.

Yahoo News : Mukherjee inaugurates Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium here on Thursday. Addressing an elite gathering of political leaders, ministers, journalists, scholars and diplomats, President Mukherjee said that the Hindu has been a participant in India's struggle for independence. "There is need for a research centre where there could be dialogue and discussions and where the challenges that India confronts can be analyzed in an objective manner from different perspectives. The Hindu Centre could be the most appropriate forum for such discussions," he added. President Mukherjee said there is a sense of frustration not just in India, but across the world. "Debate and discussions, dissension and decisions constitute the essence of democracy. It is unfortunate that disruption has become a part of Parliamentary functioning. It is not clear whether this disruption puts any serious pressure on the government. The only purpose it serves is to deny other members of Parliament their legitimate right to express views. The question hour also often becomes casualty because of such disruption," he added. President Mukherjee said that there is need for electoral reforms. "Any democratic system survives on the strength of institutions such as independent judiciary, free press etc. We need to study how our institutions can be made more effective. The Parliament is the sole authority to give approval for expenditure of the Government. It is unfortunate that not enough time is being devoted to discussions on financial matters in Parliament," said President Mukherjee. The parliamentary system needs to be strengthened. There is need to study government at the third tier and how genuine devolution of powers can be undertaken. We need to find ways to address corruption and cynicism. Informed debates and discussion will benefit all of us and the system as a whole," he added. President Mukherjee expressed deep appreciation for the objectives of the Hindu Centre and its desire to function as a Public Policy Resource Outlet. He said the Hindu has served the nation over 134 years. He expressed hope that the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy would become an important platform for research and discourse on all issues vital to Indian politics and public policy. Dignitaries, who attended the event, included former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader L.K. Advani, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Jayanthi Natarajan, G.K. Vasan, Jitin Prasada, Shashi Tharoor etc. (ANI) Source : Yahoo News, ANI, January 31, 2013. https://in.news.yahoo.com/mukherjee-inaugurates-hindu-centre-politics-public-policy-122859289.html

The Asian Age : Time to address disruptions in Parliament: President Pranab Mukherjee

Expressing serious concern over the menace of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures, President Pranab Mukherjee today said time has now come to address the issue which cannot simply be brushed aside as necessary to bring a recalcitrant administration to its knees. “In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D—debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision. But when I retired from Parliament in July (after over four decades in public life), I find there was another D—disruption of proceedings of the House,” he said. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating “The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy”—a think tank on public policies and governance-set up by 134-year-old English daily “The Hindu” in Chennai. The function, in which he inaugurated the centre by unveiling a plaque was attended by a galaxy of personalities that included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, CPI General Secretary Prakash Karat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers and MPs. The President, who had a long distinguished Parliamentary career, also spoke on the need to discuss how institutions of Parliamentary democracy can be strengthened. Speaking on disruptions, he said, "We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it not time to find out how to address the issue." Mukherjee said it is said that sometimes it is necessary to bring around a recalcitrant administration for finding a resolution to issues. However, the President said, questions arise whether disruptions puts pressure on the government or simply denies rights of members of the house. Or whether it provides advantage to government because when question hour is disrupted, it prevents members from questioning the government on issues including policy violations, he said. Mukherjee said that in the newly-liberated countries democracy has thrived where government supported Parliamentary institutions. "Where it failed was in countries where government did not institutions of democracy like judiciary and free press and legislature and executive," he said, adding how these institutions can be made more effective. Recalling the functioning of Parliament immediately after independence, he said Parliament used to have exhaustive discussions on budget and finance bill. The size of the first budget in independent India was Rs 197 crore of which revenue was Rs 171 crore. The military expenditure was Rs96 crore and civil was Rs 101 crore. The first Plan size was Rs 2000 crore, on whose approach paper there was four days of discussion and later debate on mid-term appraisal. Now, he said, the budget is of the size of Rs12 lakh crores and the 12th Plan size Rs37 lakh crore. "How do we do justice to these budgetary discussions because MPs and MLAs have the exclusive authority to authorise their spending and question their government," he said. Mukherjee said that now government has brought in Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management (FRBM) act to check borrowings. "The short point I am driving is how to strengthen parliamentary democratic institutions. The Supreme Court has ruled that Parliamentary system is a basic structure of the Constitution which cannot be challenged," he said.  Referring to the problem of huge electorate, Mukherjee asked one issue was how to establish contact between elector and electorate so that pressure on Parliament can be limited to a few subjects. "I don't have answers but questions are staring at us. Corruption, some sense of cynicism has arisen. How we can address it," he said. He said India's forefathers provided democracy and it was our duty to preserve it. Referring to the "frustration" that the country sees now, Mukherjee said it was not confined to one territorial integrity but spread all over. He also said that the world was a global village and Indian cannot remain isolation. The President recounted the role of media in freedom movement and lauded Hindu's pioneering role in modern Indian journalism. Addressing the gathering former Editor-in-Chief of  The Hindu  N Ram said the country is faced by some tough challenges in the form of corruption, mis-governance, violation of women's rights and massive deprivations. "It has become a fashion to decry politics as a cynical game but we firmly disagree with it. We regard public policies and governance vital for the society," he said, adding that the The Hindu Centre will conduct fast-track discussions and researches in areas of public policies and governance. Praising the performance of Justice JS Verma Committee- formed to suggest changes in anti-rape laws, he said, "It submitted its recommendations in just 30 days and it will be an inspiration for us." Director of the Centre Malini Parthasarathy said the think tank will conduct research, seminars and workshops while re-examining fundamental constitutional principles. "It will not be just a theoretical institution but a multi-faceted one. We also think that secularism and social justice needs to be re-examined with complete fairness and honesty while issues like cultural and competitive nationalism should be discussed," she said. Former Editor of the paper N Ravi said that the centre will perform its tasks in shaping policies over governance and challenges facing the nation. The Hindu centre will function as a credible and independent platform for exploration of ideas and public policies and will contribute to rebuilding of public faith in India's democratic process. "The Hindu Centre will not just be a discourse enabler or a marketplace of ideas. We are clear that we are promoting civic identity as primary component of nationalism and we intend for our research to re-energise basic democratic values of pluralism and social equity," a statement from the daily said. The Centre will be guided by an advisory board comprising eminent scholars and intellectuals. Its board of management will comprise N Ram, N Ravi and Malini Parthasarathy. The advisory board will include Zoya Hasan, Dean of School of Social Sciences, JNU; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and CEO, Centre for Policy Research; Sunil Khilanani, director of King's India Institute, London and Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics University of Chicago. Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; and Gurcharan Das, management expert, author and commentator on public affairs, will also be the advisory board members. The Centre will also embark on the task of building research that will revisit key constitutional concepts and examine validity of post-Independence set of political values to asses their relevance and utility in terms of crisis of confidence besetting the system today, the statement said. It will have a view distinct and independent of editorial perspective of the Hindu Group of publications, the statement said. Source : The Asian Age.

Truthdive : Mukherjee inaugurates Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium here on Thursday. Addressing an elite gathering of political leaders, ministers, journalists, scholars and diplomats, President Mukherjee said that the Hindu has been a participant in India’s struggle for independence. “There is need for a research centre where there could be dialogue and discussions and where the challenges that India confronts can be analyzed in an objective manner from different perspectives. The Hindu Centre could be the most appropriate forum for such discussions,” he added. President Mukherjee said there is a sense of frustration not just in India, but across the world. "Debate and discussions, dissension and decisions constitute the essence of democracy. It is unfortunate that disruption has become a part of Parliamentary functioning. It is not clear whether this disruption puts any serious pressure on the government. The only purpose it serves is to deny other members of Parliament their legitimate right to express views. The question hour also often becomes casualty because of such disruption," he added. President Mukherjee said that there is need for electoral reforms. "Any democratic system survives on the strength of institutions such as independent judiciary, free press etc. We need to study how our institutions can be made more effective. The Parliament is the sole authority to give approval for expenditure of the Government. It is unfortunate that not enough time is being devoted to discussions on financial matters in Parliament," said President Mukherjee. The parliamentary system needs to be strengthened. There is need to study government at the third tier and how genuine devolution of powers can be undertaken. We need to find ways to address corruption and cynicism. Informed debates and discussion will benefit all of us and the system as a whole," he added. President Mukherjee expressed deep appreciation for the objectives of the Hindu Centre and its desire to function as a Public Policy Resource Outlet. He said the Hindu has served the nation over 134 years. He expressed hope that the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy would become an important platform for research and discourse on all issues vital to Indian politics and public policy. Dignitaries, who attended the event, included former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader L.K. Advani, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Jayanthi Natarajan, G.K. Vasan, Jitin Prasada, Shashi Tharoor etc. (ANI) Source : Truthdive, January 31, 2013.

Times of India: Time to address disruptions in Parliament

Expressing serious concern over the menace of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures, President Pranab Mukherjee today said time has now come to address the issue which cannot simply be brushed aside as necessary to bring a recalcitrant administration to its knees. "In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D ”debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision. But when I retired from Parliament in July (after over four decades in public life), I find there was another D "disruption of proceedings of the House," he said. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating "The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy" - a think tank on public policies and governance-set up by English daily in Chennai. The function, in which he inaugurated the centre by unveiling a plaque was attended by a galaxy of personalities that included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader L K Advani, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, CPI general secretary Prakash Karat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers and MPs. The President, who had a long distinguished Parliamentary career, also spoke on the need to discuss how institutions of Parliamentary democracy can be strengthened. Speaking on disruptions, he said, "We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it not time to find out how to address the issue." Mukherjee said it is said that sometimes it is necessary to bring around a recalcitrant administration for finding a resolution to issues. Source : The Times of India , PTI, January 31, 2013, 15.19 IST. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Time-to-address-disruptions-in-Parliament-President-Pranab-Mukherjee-says/articleshow/18271326.cms

DNA: Time to address disruptions in Parliament: President

Expressing serious concern over the menace of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures, President Pranab Mukherjee today said time has now come to address the issue which cannot simply be brushed aside as necessary to bring a recalcitrant administration to its knees. "In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is the 3Ds--debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision. But when I retired from Parliament in July (after over four decades in public life), I find there was another D--disruption of proceedings of the house," he said. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating "The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy" — a think tank on public policies and governance-set up by 134-year-old English daily The Hindu in Chennai. The function, in which he inaugurated the centre by unveiling a plaque was attended by a galaxy of personalities that included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, CPI General Secretary Prakash Karat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers and MPs. The President, who had a long distinguished Parliamentary career, also spoke on the need to discuss how institutions of Parliamentary democracy can be strengthened. Speaking on disruptions, he said, "We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it not time to find out how to address the issue." Mukherjee said it is said that sometimes it is necessary to bring around a recalcitrant administration for finding a resolution to issues. However, the President said, questions arise whether disruptions puts pressure on the government or simply denies rights of members of the house. Or whether it provides advantage to government because when question hour is disrupted, it prevents members from questioning the government on issues including policy violations, he said. Mukherjee said that in the newly-liberated countries democracy has thrived where government supported Parliamentary institutions. "Where it failed was in countries where government did not institutions of democracy like judiciary and free press and legislature and executive," he said, adding how these institutions can be made more effective. Recalling the functioning of Parliament immediately after independence, he said Parliament used to have exhaustive discussions on budget and finance bill. The size of the first budget in independent India was Rs 197 crore of which revenue was Rs 171 crore. The military expenditure was Rs96 crore and civil was Rs 101 crore. The first Plan size was Rs 2000 crore, on whose approach paper there was four days of discussion and later debate on mid-term appraisal. Now, he said, the budget is of the size of Rs12 lakh crores and the 12th Plan size Rs37 lakh crore. "How do we do justice to these budgetary discussions because MPs and MLAs have the exclusive authority to authorise their spending and question their government," he said. Mukherjee said that now government has brought in Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management (FRBM) act to check borrowings. "The short point I am driving is how to strengthen parliamentary democratic institutions. The Supreme Court has ruled that Parliamentary system is a basic structure of the Constitution which cannot be challenged," he said.  Referring to the problem of huge electorate, Mukherjee asked one issue was how to establish contact between elector and electorate so that pressure on Parliament can be limited to a few subjects. "I don't have answers but questions are staring at us. Corruption, some sense of cynicism has arisen. How we can address it," he said. He said India's forefathers provided democracy and it was our duty to preserve it. Referring to the "frustration" that the country sees now, Mukherjee said it was not confined to one territorial integrity but spread all over. He also said that the world was a global village and Indian cannot remain isolation. The President recounted the role of media in freedom movement and lauded Hindu's pioneering role in modern Indian journalism. Addressing the gathering former Editor-in-Chief of  The Hindu  N Ram said the country is faced by some tough challenges in the form of corruption, mis-governance, violation of women's rights and massive deprivations. "It has become a fashion to decry politics as a cynical game but we firmly disagree with it. We regard public policies and governance vital for the society," he said, adding that the The Hindu Centre will conduct fast-track discussions and researches in areas of public policies and governance. Praising the performance of Justice JS Verma Committee- formed to suggest changes in anti-rape laws, he said, "It submitted its recommendations in just 30 days and it will be an inspiration for us." Director of the Centre Malini Parthasarathy said the think tank will conduct research, seminars and workshops while re-examining fundamental constitutional principles. "It will not be just a theoretical institution but a multi-faceted one. We also think that secularism and social justice needs to be re-examined with complete fairness and honesty while issues like cultural and competitive nationalism should be discussed," she said. Former Editor of the paper N Ravi said that the centre will perform its tasks in shaping policies over governance and challenges facing the nation. The Hindu centre will function as a credible and independent platform for exploration of ideas and public policies and will contribute to rebuilding of public faith in India's democratic process. "The Hindu Centre will not just be a discourse enabler or a marketplace of ideas. We are clear that we are promoting civic identity as primary component of nationalism and we intend for our research to re-energise basic democratic values of pluralism and social equity," a statement from the daily said. The Centre will be guided by an advisory board comprising eminent scholars and intellectuals. Its board of management will comprise N Ram, N Ravi and Malini Parthasarathy. The advisory board will include Zoya Hasan, Dean of School of Social Sciences, JNU; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and CEO, Centre for Policy Research; Sunil Khilanani, director of King's India Institute, London and Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics University of Chicago. Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; and Gurcharan Das, management expert, author and commentator on public affairs, will also be the advisory board members. The Centre will also embark on the task of building research that will revisit key constitutional concepts and examine validity of post-Independence set of political values to asses their relevance and utility in terms of crisis of confidence besetting the system today, the statement said. It will have a view distinct and independent of editorial perspective of the Hindu Group of publications, the statement said. Source : DNA, PTI. January 31, 2013. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-time-to-address-disruptions-in-parliament-president-1794701

Press Information Bureau: The President Inaugurates the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy today (January 31, 2013) at Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium, New Delhi. Addressing an elite gathering of political leaders, ministers, journalists, scholars and diplomats, the President said that the Hindu has been a participant in India’s struggle for independence. There is need for a research centre where there could be dialogue and discussions and where the challenges that India confronts can be analyzed in an objective manner from different perspectives. The Hindu Centre could be the most appropriate forum for such discussions. The President said there is a sense of frustration not just in India but across the world. Debate and discussions, dissension and decisions constitute the essence of democracy. It is unfortunate that disruption has become a part of Parliamentary functioning. It is not clear whether this disruption puts any serious pressure on the government. The only purpose it serves is to deny other members of Parliament their legitimate right to express views. The question hour also often becomes casualty because of such disruption. He said that there is need for electoral reforms. Any democratic system survives on the strength of institutions such as independent judiciary, free press etc. We need to study how our institutions can be made more effective. The Parliament is the sole authority to give approval for expenditure of the Government. It is unfortunate that not enough time is being devoted to discussions on financial matters in Parliament.  The parliamentary system needs to be strengthened. There is need to study government at the third tier and how genuine devolution of powers can be undertaken. We need to find ways to address corruption and cynicism. Informed debates and discussion will benefit all of us and the system as a whole.  The President expressed deep appreciation for the objectives of the Hindu Centre and its desire to function as a Public Policy Resource Outlet. He said the Hindu has served the nation over 134 years. He expressed hope that the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy would become an important platform for research and discourse on all issues vital to Indian politics and public policy.  Dignitaries who attended the event included former Prime Minister Shri HD Deve Gowda, UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader Shri L.K. Advani, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, Ministers Shri Farooq Abdullah, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Shri G.K. Vasan, Shri Jitin Prasada, Shri Shashi Tharoor etc. Source : Press Information Bureau, Government of India, January 31, 2013. http://www.pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=91928

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The Hindu Business Line : Pranab inaugurates The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy

“My political science teacher taught me the three Ds essential for democracy – debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision – but when I retired on the day of my election as President I found another D injected in between – disruption,” rued President Pranab Mukherjee. The President was speaking after inaugurating the ‘The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy’, an institute that has been set up by the publishers of The Hindu, for undertaking research, promoting dialogue and debate and holding track II type round tables on internal conflicts. The Centre was inaugurated by unveiling a plaque at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, several Union Ministers, Members of Parliament and a host of dignitaries. Pointing out that while disruptions cannot be brushed aside, Mukherjee, who has been a Parliamentarian for over four decades, said questions are being raised on whether they serve any purpose. “Sometimes there are questions on whether disruptions actually put pressure on the Government or do they simply deny MPs a chance to express their views,” he said, adding when disruptions interrupt the question hour, they tend to be advantageous to the Government. The President made a reference to the diligence with which Parliamentary work was undertaken in the years succeeding India’s independence. He said while Parliament was the sole authority to give approval for expenditure of the Government, it was unfortunate that not enough time was being devoted to discussions on financial matters in Parliament. Acknowledging The Hindu’s participation in India’s struggle for independence, Mukherjee said there was need for a research centre where there could be dialogue and discussions and where the challenges that India confronts can be analysed in an objective manner from different perspectives. “The Hindu Centre could be the most appropriate forum for such discussions,” he said. Referring to the centre, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram said there was a great deal of superficiality and dilettantism not just in mainstream Indian journalism, but also in public discourse, on key issues that matter. “The way the Justice J.S. Verma committee went about its work and came up with what could be a game-changing contribution within the 30-day deadline it set for itself is an inspiration and a model for all of us,” Ram added. Director of the Centre Malini Parthasarathy said the centre should be an agent of change, rather than solely engaging in theoretical explorations at a time when there was rising public anger and strong disenchantment with politics and institutions. “The context in which the idea of the Centre has emerged is the sharp sense of a breakdown of the basic consensus on governance and also an increasing polarisation of the national discourse. We think the Centre should help strengthen the foundational liberal principles that have made this country great,” Parthasarthy said. N. Ravi, Director Kasturi and Sons, said the Centre can contribute to the political discourse and explore solutions to some of the long-standing problems. It will help transform the power of ideas to utility of practice, he said. Keywords: Pranab Mukherjee, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, inauguration, Sonia Gandhi, L.K. Advani, H.D. Deve Gowda, Prakash Karat, Rahul Gandhi, N. Ram, Malini Parthasarathy, N. Ravi https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/pranab-inaugurates-the-hindu-centre-for-politics-and-public-policy/article4365872.ece

Hindustan Times: Prez inaugurates Hindu centre of policy

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy at an impressive function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here on Thursday. The Chennai-based centre will serve as a platform for exploration of ideas and themes that will illuminate the complexity of India's political life but not take positions on the issues as a newspaper would. Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee hoped that the centre would fulfill the need in public discourse by going into the various dimensions of the problems we face in the most objective manner. It would also strengthen the basic roots of our democracy by promoting reasoned debate and dissent. Source : Hindustan Times , New Delhi, February 01, 2013.

The Indian Express: ‘Can’t brush aside disruption of House’

Raising a question on whether the depth of debate and discussion on national issues in Parliament has waned over the years, President Pranab Mukherjee has said that it is time to address the issue of constant disruptions in the House that are affecting governance. Speaking at the inauguration of The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, a think tank set up by The Hindu newspaper in Chennai, Mukherjee said that the issue of constant disruptions in Parliament cannot be brushed aside any more and raised the question whether the tactic puts pressure on the government to perform or denies the rights of members of the House to discuss and debate issues. "In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D — debate and discussion, dissent, and finally, decision. But when I retired from Parliament, I found there was another D — disruption of proceedings of the House," the President said, adding that a solution now needs to be found. "We cannot simply brush it aside and say it may be necessary. The persons who are doing it, these are persons in Parliament who are equally responsible personalities. Is it now time to find out how to address the issue," he said. Mukherjee recalled that in the years following Independence, Parliament would have extensive discussions on the budget and finance Bills. Even though the first plan size was Rs 2,000 crore, the President recalled that Parliament discussed the approach paper for four days and had a mid-term appraisal debate. While the size of the Bill has increased tremendously, Mukherjee raised questions on whether the level of debate and discussions had gone down. The ceremony was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader L K Advani, among others. Source : The Indian Express , New Delhi, Friday, Feb 01 2013, 02:45 hrs. http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/-can-t-brush-aside-disruption-of-house-/1067773/0

Pardaphash: Disruptions Are Now Part of Parliamentary Functioning: President

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said it was 'unfortunate' that not enough time was being devoted to discussions on financial matters in the parliament. "It is unfortunate that disruption has become a part of parliamentary functioning. It is not clear whether this disruption puts any serious pressure on the government," he said inaugurating the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy via video-conferencing here. Source : Pardaphash, Thursday, 31 Jan 2013.

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The Economic Times: Time to address disruptions in Parliament: President

Expressing serious concern over the menace of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures, President Pranab Mukherjee today said time has now come to address the issue which cannot simply be brushed aside as necessary to bring a recalcitrant administration to its knees. "In my younger days we were taught that the essence of democracy is 3D--debate and discussion, dissent and finally decision. But when I retired from Parliament in July (after over four decades in public life), I find there was another D--disruption of proceedings of the House," he said. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating "The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy"--a think tank on public policies and governance-set up by 134-year-old English daily " The Hindu" in Chennai. The function, in which he inaugurated the centre by unveiling a plaque was attended by a galaxy of personalities that included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader L K Advani, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, CPI General Secretary Prakash Karat, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Union Ministers and MPs.  The President, who had a long distinguished Parliamentary career, also spoke on the need to discuss how institutions of Parliamentary democracy can be strengthened. Source : The Economic Times , New Delhi ,31 Jan, 2013. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/time-to-address-disruptions-in-parliament-president/articleshow/18271718.cms

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The Hindu: Pranab decries culture of ‘disruption’

The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy will be an agent of change

The Hindu to set up Centre for Politics and Public Policy

Aiming to explore ideas and public policies, English daily 'The Hindu' is setting up 'The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy' in Chennai for promoting dialogue and debate and holding Track-II round tables on conflicts. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the centre at a function here on January 31 through video conferencing from Rashtrapati Bhavan. The centre will function as a credible and independent platform for exploration of ideas and public policies and will contribute to rebuilding of public faith in India's democratic process, a statement from the daily said. "Public confidence in India's democratic institutions and political processes are at an all-time low and there is a rising danger of Indian public becoming alienated from the electoral process, angered by the failure of politicians to deliver on basic expectations," it said. The Hindu Centre will be guided by an advisory board comprising eminent scholars and intellectuals. Its board of management will comprise N Ram- former Editor-in-Chief and publisher of The Hindu, Frontline, Business Line and Sportstar and former Editor of The Hindu newspaper N Ravi and headed by Malini Parthasarathy as the director. The advisory board of the centre will include Zoya Hasan, Dean of School of Social Sciences, JNU; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and CEO, Centre for Policy Research; Sunil Khilanani, director of King's India Institute, London and Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics University of Chicago. Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; and Gurcharan Das, management expert, author and commentator on public affairs, will also be the advisory board members. Source : Business Standard , Press Trust of India / New Delhi January 29, 2013. http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/the-hindu-to-setcentre-for-politicspublic-policy/116166/

The Hindu to Set Up Centre for Politics and Public Policy

Aiming to explore ideas and public policies, English daily The Hindu is setting up ‘The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy’ in Chennai for promoting dialogue and debate and holding Track-II round tables on conflicts.President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the centre at a function here on January 31 through video conferencing from Rashtrapati Bhavan.The centre will function as a credible and independent platform for exploration of ideas and public policies and will contribute to rebuilding of public faith in India’s democratic process, a statement from the daily said.“Public confidence in India’s democratic institutions and political processes are at an all-time low and there is a rising danger of Indian public becoming alienated from the electoral process, angered by the failure of politicians to deliver on basic expectations,” it said.The Hindu Centre will be guided by an advisory board comprising eminent scholars and intellectuals.Its board of management will comprise N Ram- former Editor-in-Chief and publisher of The Hindu, Frontline, Business Line and Sportstar and former Editor of The Hindu newspaper N Ravi and headed by Malini Parthasarathy as the director.The advisory board of the centre will include Zoya Hasan, Dean of School of Social Sciences, JNU; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and CEO, Centre for Policy Research; Sunil Khilanani, director of King’s India Institute, London and Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics University of Chicago.Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; and Gurcharan Das, management expert, author and commentator on public affairs, will also be the advisory board members.The centre will seek to establish stronger and credible roots for Parliamentary democracy, pluralism and economic betterment. It will also work towards increased understanding of various aspects of the challenges today.It will also embark on the task of building research that will revisit key Constitutional concepts and examine validity of post-Independence set of political values to asses their relevance and utility in terms of crisis of confidence besetting the system today, the statement said.“The centre’s exploration will include the manner in which certain concepts like secularism and social justice have become such contentious items of political discourse. As a public resource, our goal is to enlighten Indian public and to increase their awareness on political and social choices,” it said.The centre will have a view distinct and independent of the editorial perspective of the Hindu Group of publications.“We will function as a public policy resource and not a journalistic resource,” said the statement.The centre will conduct seminars, discussions, dialogues and debates on various issues concerning public policies and current political environment. Source : Outlook India , Jan 29, 2013.