State governments and shaping the social protection and economic development agenda
Chennai, May 10, 2016: Recent elections in several states have evoked considerable public interest in the election manifestos issued by different parties. Most manifestos are based upon the impact they may have on the voters’ mind. While this is but natural, there is unfortunately not much emphasis in areas which in our constitution fall under the purview of state like education, healthcare, employment, malnutrition, agriculture, irrigation, environment protection and renewable energy generation. Commitments relating to mitigation and adaptation measures in respect of climate change are also few. Population stabilisation and achieving the end of female feticide are also missing in most manifestos although we as a nation would like to see a balanced sex ratio in the growth of our population. Climate issues particularly management of temperature, precipitation and sea level are extremely important for the wellbeing of our population. It will be useful to conduct nationwide seminars on the broad issue of election manifestos and shaping the future of our nation. Such discussions should start at the level of local bodies and should involve both men and women in equal numbers. This will help to impart a sense of direction in shaping our future through the democratic process of periodic elections based on secret ballot.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.