Goa's Developmental Problems Goa is challenged by many problems that come in the way of its steady development and really being the Number One Model state in India. Though many a government has made it a goal to develop Goa as a Model State, but so far this has remained a pipe dream. At times the plans for development have been too pie in the sky like the Regional plan 2011 that witnessed the widespread revolution from the people across Goa and saw the birth of many agitationist groups. This is just one example where the force of the people shut down the hastily drawn up plans of the government, where not much thought went into the process. Development of Goa must take place to keep pace with the changes taking place in the wider world around us and in the rest of the country. But much thought and planning has got to go into the development process. Let us take stock of the overall steady pace of development that takes place in our susegad Goa, and what implications it has for our Goan livelihood. First of all, Goa is perhaps the Number One state in India where it comes to political instability. We have had as many Chief Ministers in as many years in the last couple of decades, and with such political instability there is very little progress that the state can achieve. Despite this fact We Goans seem to be quite proud of this record and keep on voting in the political instability. It is high time for us Goans to wake up and smell the coffee, and vote intelligently so as to elect a majority government to power that will stay in office for the full term. Instead of time and again returning these fractious mandates, that allows the great game of Goan political Horse trading to go on. Next we Goans seem to have made it a fashion to taking to opposing many a good development policies of the Government. What used to be a peaceful Goa, one now sees a Goa that is sprinkled with many a agitationist groups formed to fight almost anything and everything that the Government or many a times even the private enterprise attempts at developing. This is not a good and healthy trend for the progress, development and prosperity of Goa. The state government has embarked on the development of SEZs in the state. And now we see another pot boiler of an opposition brewing up. Many of the opponents to the development of SEZs have threatened another Nandigram in Goa. The question to ask of all these people, is why are they trying to ape these isolated agitationist incidents like Nandigram, instead why can't they say we will be like Chennai and allow the growth and development to prosper including even that of SEZs. If you look at India in a larger context this is exactly what has been happening. Compare to China since it began its reforms, it has steamrolled ahead, with full co-operation from its people, the rate of progress and development have been phenomenal. Take India, when the reforms began with Rajiv Gandhi, till today, India has not achieved even half the progress and development as China, that is because we Indians are like a “basket of crabs” in-fighting with each other. Mahatma Gandhi started the concept of peaceful revolt against the external enemies, the British, the modern Indians have abused the concept for anything and everything to revolt against the government. With the Leftists and the trade- unionists and the vast mis-guided who have taken upon themselves to form anti-establishment NGOs opposing anything progressive and developmental, such as the Nuclear deal that the government takes upon, how will this country of ours develop at a healthy rate as China. The other thorn in the path of progress and development is the opposition in the government. It is sad that the opposition takes its job rather to literally to being the opposition, and does not believe in “constructive opposition”. In a vibrant modern democracy such as ours the opposition should be willing to arrive at a consensus with the ruling government on many an important development agenda for the greater good of the state. Instead of opposing for the sake of opposing and misguiding the public against the policies of the government. For this we have to make sure that we elect the right people to the government, so that we can leave the government in their safe hands, and then there is no need for all these watch dogs to keep a watch on what the government is doing. We Goans have to learn to think intelligently for ourselves and question the motives of these people who try to lead us into opposing the developmental policies of the government. We should not simply follow the herd mentality or simply try to want to be the one to throw the next stone. Think for yourselves that the Government is trying to achieve some progress and development and is working for you. It is trying to uplift your well-being and create more opportunities for you. Lets us look at a large percentage of the Goan youth and what type of jobs they have been seeking or getting – mainly as cooks and butlers on sailing ships or in the Gulf. Is this the Goan heritage we would like to be proud of. If you look at the employment advertisements in the two major English dailies in Goa, all the positions regularly advertised for are all for low-level positions, not very many positions are for top managerial executive posts. So are all Goans only fit to work in only low-level positions ? There are three local engineering colleges and one national engineering college in Goa, but where are the sufficient job opportunities for the graduates passing out from these colleges ? The majority of the graduates of these colleges seek employment outside the state in cities such as Bangalore, Pune etc. So the government is doing something to create more opportunities for the graduates of these colleges right here in Goa, by way of the IT parks SEZs etc. and we see the many short-sighted and misguided again opposing the progressive and developments undertaken by the government. Yet there are some clamoring for an IIT or an IIM to be set up in Goa. Now how will an IIT or an IIM being set up in Goa benefit Goans directly ? These are central institutions, whose admissions are based on an all-India entrance exam, and the number of Goans getting into these institutes would be hardly one or two. If these institutes would be setup in Goa, they would only provide nice serene campuses for non-Goan students from all over India to come and enjoy. Instead we should develop our existing local Goan institutes and improve their standards and bring them up on par with the IITs and the IIMs. Sports is another area where much effort needs to be put towards developing Goa into a power house. In sports enough emphasis has to be given to developing sports right from schools to collegiate levels that really prepares the athletes for professional levels, as it is done atleast in the USA. The high school competitions and intercollegiate competitions should be organized professionally, so that the youth get a feel for professional play early on. The GFA seems to be making some good moves signing MoU with Portugal clubs and Manchester United atleast here we do not see the antagonists protesting the developments. But we do see some protests being made against the proposed new development of the cricket stadium. Now the new fullfledged cricket stadium in the state which is seriously lacking, will provide a good opportunity to the state cricketers, as well as will provide more opportunities for getting more International matches hosted in the state. The development of Tourism only remains unabated in Goa, that too because of its natural assets. One development that has picked up is the hotel industry, and there are enough number of Hotels sprung up all across Goa, and developers still looking to build more hotels. These hotels have been good in providing low-level employment to Goans, however the top-level jobs at most of these hotels are taken by many non-Goans and even Foreigners holding the top management posts. Medical tourism has good potential to develop in Goa, particularly with the many super-specialty private hospitals. However there is much to be desired with the state run hospitals, though the government has taken some initiatives to make some developments and improvements at the Goa Medical College. There is one more thing that needs to be said about tourism, Goa attracts such a large number of Foreign tourists from all over the world, and at the same time time Goa is supposed to be a prime investment destination, buts Goa seriously comes close to last in the country when it comes to attracting FDI investments in the state. The government while it is moving ahead in setting up its industrial parks and SEZs should not only look at locally for industries to fill up these enclaves, but should broaden its horizons globally and make attempts to attract the much vaunted FDI sources which more than often provide attractive sources of employment. Well Goa can correct its course and embark on an all round course of development, not just the kind of development of building concrete jungles. It needs to start with electing majority governments that will last comfortably through the full terms and will then have the opportunity towards working a progressive and developmental agenda for the overall growth and development of the state. Secondly we Goans have to stop this mode of agitationism and taking to the streets to oppose anything and everything. Examine all the issues for the pros and the cons. We have to think intelligently and examine why is it that the government is trying to do what it is it that it is trying to do, After all it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people and just trying to serve the people, do not get carried away by a few paranoid antagonists preaching the domsday to you !!!.