Friday, September 1, 2017

What if our elected representatives were really our employees?

One view which is often expressed in social media is that our elected representatives are our employees probably because they are paid indirectly by us through the various taxes that we all pay.  In this article, I would like to explore the implications of this thinking.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Demographic decline:  the case of Mauritius


While explaining systems thinking, experts often give the example of someone in a traditional bathroom with a hot-water and a cold-water tap connected to the shower.  First the water is too cold, he turns the hot water tap and increases the flow of hot water.  The water remains cold.  Unaware of the delay in-built in the system, he turns the hot water tap further and suddenly the water is too hot.  He panics and opens cold-water tap to the maximum …

Leadership and Educational Reforms

1.       Introduction

Considerable time and resources have been invested into the drafting of the Nine-Year Schooling (NYS) project.  This reform, like most others, may be far from perfect.  However, this is not the time to go into the flaws of the reform but to focus on what is required to move successfully forward.  This article argues that leadership development at all levels of the system is a pre-requisite if we are to ensure its effective implementation and thus an optimum return on our investment.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Hidden Costs of Corruption

 Many of us tend to adopt a simplistic view of corruption.  We tend to see corruption as a mere transaction that involves people who illegally enrich themselves by taking bribes or kickbacks and others who pay the bribes voluntarily for some bigger benefits or because they are compelled to do so. 
 Corruption in this case is reduced to a transaction between two parties and third parties (i.e., the public at large) who are not involved in this transaction are often tempted to adopt either of two stands or a combination of both:  (a) they acknowledge the immorality or illegality of the transaction; (b) they are indifferent to it because they are not personally involved.   In any case, they do not think there is much they can do about corruption.
 This article tries to establish that corruption involves more than a simple illegal transaction –  it has a significant long-term pernicious impact on ALL of us.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Teaching is an act of leadership…

As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ...
When the best leader's work is done the people say,
“We did it ourselves!”
― Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher 531 BC


This article posits the view that teaching is leading in the real sense of the word.

Leadership and Corruption

We often think that others (e.g., politicians, etc) have to change if we are to rid society of corrupt practices or that some institution (e.g., ECO, ICAC) would need to be created to eradicate corruption. The truth is that we are the ones that need to change first.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What Do We Understand By Leadership?

Article published in  Le Mauricien | 3 July, 2012

In the recent months there have been frequent discussions on the quality of leadership, on leadership failures, on the need for a ‘new generation of leaders’ etc … This short article, which does not pretend to be exhaustive, attempts to throw some light on this pertinent issue.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Political Party Financing and Corruption

In a recent issue of Time Magazine, Fareed Zakaria writes
Special interests [in the US] pay politicians vast amounts of cash for their campaigns and in return they get favorable exemptions or credits in the tax code.  In other countries, this sort of bribery takes place underneath bridges and with cash in brown envelopes …  (October 31, 2011, page 19)
This echoes views held by some people in Mauritius who see political party financing as the root of all corruption.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Swine Flu and Big Business

 [This article was first published in the local press in August / September 2009]

For the year, we forecast sales of Tamiflu to reach ¥53.0 billion, up 531.0%, due to expected resumption of government stockpiling in FY2009 and the ongoing recovery of the prescription rate for seasonal influenza.
(p3) – Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Annual Report 2008 

The recent announcement that the shelf life of Tamiflu could be extended by another two years got me suspicious. If it could expire in 2011, why did the suppliers print 2009 on the box? Was there a sinister motive underlying this decision to print an earlier expiry date?