Poor governance behind country’s ills: Murthy

Software icon N R Narayana Murthy has blamed poor public governance for major ills faced by the country such as illiteracy, malnourishment, lack of sanitation facilities and dismal food and power management.

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2010, 20:57 PM IST

Bangalore: Software icon N R Narayana Murthy has blamed poor public governance for major ills faced by the country such as illiteracy, malnourishment, lack of sanitation facilities and dismal food and power management.

Even 63 years after independence, 35 crore Indians can`t read and write. Twenty-five crore people do not have access to safe drinking water, while 75 crore have no access to sanitation facilities, Murthy said.

"The country has the largest mass of malnourished children, and 35 per cent of (total production of) grains are allowed to rot," the Chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies Ltd said at the inaugural function of first year BE/B.Arch classes at BMS College of Engineering here.

He said India has an installed electricity generation capacity of 145 gigawatts but only 84 gigawatts are available, which is "sadly a shame".

"Lot of it is due to poor (public) governance. There is no doubt about it", Murthy said. "Unfortunately, whatever, our public governance is in charge of....whatever our public governance has touched...has not made as good a progress as that happened in a significant percentage of private governance".

He said while all of private governance may not be good, private governance institutions have by and large done better because of competition, entry of multinational companies and the need to compete at the global level.

"This country requires discipline like no other country. We are like this because we are not a disciplined set of people. And that discipline has to start right in classrooms," Murthy said.

He said the information technology industry has earned India "a little bit of recognition" in the world, first time in 300 years.

"Today we are thought of as people who can indeed do something worthwhile. This was not so some 25 years ago. Indians (till three decades ago) were seen as people incapable of doing anything worthwhile. Wherever you went, you were looked down upon as people worthy of pity. But that scenario has changed a little bit thanks to at least one(IT) industry," he said.

PTI