THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNANCE

about 21 days ago
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Yesterday, the Ministry of Cooperation was created with an aim to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country. Well, it’s a new ministry – that’s all we can say at the moment. We need to take this creativity with a pinch of salt. But what did get the attention is that a new ministry was created. Maybe it was about creating a berth for a minister or about the global image or about fulfilling a promise made in the Budget; whatever the reason, on a day when the Cabinet is to be expanded, this news did grab the headlines.

Prior to this, the Govt had merged two ministries dealing with water - Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and Drinking Water & Sanitation into one, naming it - Jal Shakti ministry.

As the expansion makes headway today, we couldn’t help but look tongue-in-cheek at some of the bizarre ministries across the world. Take a look and some might not sound so weird after this pandemic….

Ministry of Loneliness – this ministry was first appointed by UK in 2018 to help deal with social isolation, leading to loneliness – this was much before Covid but looks like now, it is a very much needed ministry. In fact in Feb this year, Japan also appointed a Ministry of Loneliness as incidences of suicide went up post the pandemic.

Ministry of Yoga – this is a very unique ministry of India and very well lauded all over the world but is a part of Ministry of AYUSH, which is abbreviation of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy. Though all the other arms of the Ministry face a lot of criticism for promoting quackery, Yoga is the most well known internationally.

Ministry of Happiness – it is the small Himalayan country, Bhutan, which first introduced the significance and relevance of Happiness – it put a new measure in place, much better than the GDP, known as Gross National Happiness Index or GNH Index. And it is the UAE which has a Ministry of Happiness and its aim is to put its country in the top five happiest in the world. Why can’t we have something like this?

Ministry of Toilet – this is quintessential Japan; after all it has a $60 million toilet museum and its aim is to improve public toilets, making it usable for women who work outside their home. Don’t you think we in India need this ministry desperately?

Propaganda and Agitation Department – this is in North Korea and headed by Kim Jong-un’s sister. This is actually the ministry of Information but with all communication from the Govt there coming out as only propaganda, they decided they might as well be honest about it even if they are lies! It is this ministry which unabashedly proclaimed that the hamburger was their invention and that Kim Jong-Un had scored 11 holes when he had played golf for the first time ever!

Well, each Govt has its own agenda and we will see how the Cabinet is expanded today and how much bigger it will get – there is nothing wrong in having new ministries as the growing population and the complexities of living, do demand more micro action. But the sad truth – only cabinets and the population expand – rest all remains same.

So, what are the new ministries you would like to see in India?

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