How to stop Karnataka from becoming a Bihar

Can we take a look at Karnataka, and do a SWOT analysis, asks E.R. RAMACHANDRAN. Of course, a State is not an Industry or a Company in which case one will have at least back-of-envelope figures to do a reasonable analysis.

Still, it’s tempting to attempt to see, dispassionately, without any political compulsion whatsoever and without getting cynical, the Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities of our wonderful State.

Can we try to maximize our Strengths, limit or reduce the weakness, and convert Threats into Opportunities?

Please leave aside your cynicism for a moment and put down steps what you honestly believe can be done to improve our State.

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STRENGTHS

1. A global hub for the software industry (mainly Bangalore)

2. A relatively communalism-free atmosphere

3. Cosmopolitan, friendly people; easy to get along with and accommodative

4. Able to attract Foreign Direct Investments

5. Creation of Jobs

6. Rich potential for tourism

7. Trained manpower in science and engineering

8. Hub for IT, aerospace, yoga, floriculture

9. Salubrious climate through the year (mainly Bangalore)

10. Great cultural heritage

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WEAKNESSES

1. Laidback people, lacking push

2. Generally, politically sidelined

3. Different geographical areas yet to feel united

4. Succeeding governments abandon previous governments’ plans; tendency to get bogged down

5. All plans Bangalore-centric

6. High on corruption

7. Poor infrastructure (road, rail, air connections)

8. Hotbed of caste-based politics

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THREATS

1. Karnataka may follow BIMARU pattern in all critical parameters

2. Potential target of terrorists, land and other mafia

3. Danger of locals losing land to landsharks

4. Locals lose out jobs to outsiders

5. Kannada language losing importance

6. Perennial siege mentality which sees daily protest, rasta and rail rokos

7. Tourism will suffer if RRR persists for long and recurs every year

8. Enormous delay in executing important projects like doubling railway line between Bangalore and Mysore, road projects, etc

9. Water shortage due to dependence mainly on monsoon.

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OPPORTUNITIES

1. Use public-private partnership to build infrastructure in smaller towns

2. Complete doubling railway line, full-fledged airport, NICE projects in Mysore and decongest Bangalore

3. Spread IT and other projects to other smaller towns to create more jobs

4. Start pilot projects: desalinization, alternative fuel, etc

5. Concession to build cleaner, cheaper hotels for toursits

6. Settle Cauvery dispute with direct talks and move on (graded tmc for shortfall of rains etc)

7. Spread Kannada by easy-to-learn mnemonics; use IT help to do that

8. Powers for checking corruption, prosecuting offenders

9. Rejuvenate lakes, water bodies, improve storage, and make water harvesting compulsory.

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JOIN THE DEBATE: Have we missed out on anything? What do you think are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities of Karnataka? What are the critical areas we need to look at and act upon if we are not to become the “Bihar of the South”?