The Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) has launched a new initiative to improve the quality of BBMP corporators, by identifying capable individuals interested in contesting BBMP elections, and train and support their joining public service.
Christened B.CLIP (BPAC Civic Leadership Incubator Program), it is designed to equip candidates with skills in public policy analysis, municipal administration, political landscape and election campaign dynamics. The project is expected to throw up candidates that BPAC and other civil society organisations can endorse for the future Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections.
Explaining the concept of the programme at a press conference on September 20, 2013, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Founder trustee and President, BPAC said citizens should demand performance and accountability from councillors. This programme is a way to raise the bar for elected reps. However she also cautioned that it is for the long haul, and one cannot expect results in 6 months or 1 year.
She also shared that the programme is supported by experts in the political and governance space including Rajeev Gowda, Ashwin Mahesh, R K Mishra, Tara Anuradha, Shobha Karandlaje, Suresh Kumar and others.
Mohandas Pai, BPAC vice-president, pointed out that unlike Mumbai and Kolkata, New Delhi is improving because it became a state and citizens have more power. He rued that citizens don’t rule Bangalore and they are frustrated with the garbage, debris, sewage and potholes.
Though the city government is the most important rung of government that is in control of day-to-day issues, it is controlled by contractors and corrupt real estate brokers. Pai said the programme will create leaders – who can stand up for citizens in the Council.
The Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) is a nonpartisan group working towards a better Bangalore, including leading Bangaloreans like Mohandas Pai, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, K Jairaj, Prakash Belawadi and others. BPAC works to promote good governance practices and policies through active citizen engagement with political leadership.
BPAC is spending around a crore of rupees for the B.CLIP programme. Participants will attend classroom sessions on concepts and practice of governance topics like public policy, structure of government, economics, ethics etc. coordinated by Takshashila, followed by field work for 6 months, working in a ward with citizens and resolving specific ward level issues. The selected candidates will be given a stipend.
The selection process has started; the last date of application is October 20th. Two batches of training starts Nov 2013 and March 2014.
How are the candidates selected?
BPAC website says that those who apply for the incubator programme:
Should be eligible to vote for the BBMP election in their respective wards
Should not have been disqualified under law from contesting elections
Should not have any criminal cases against him / her and /or should not have been convicted in the court of law for serious offences
Should not have any cases against him/ her for molestation of women and children
Should produce a signed list of 100 voters from his/her ward backing him/her, with their names, contact numbers and voter ID numbers
Should have demonstrated track record of competency, integrity and self-worth
Should have demonstrated passion for civic activities and a track record of public service, preferably in the same ward
Anyone meeting the required criteria can apply. Women candidates are encouraged to apply. Existing corporators can also try, but the decision of the Selection Committee will be final.
Click here to access the application procedure.
BPAC has been active in supporting voter registration efforts, endorsing and supporting select candidates during the 2013 MLA elections, and pushing for better waste management. They are now also taking up two new activities – improving Cubbon Park and a programme called B.Safe to make the city safer for women.
Kiran Shaw shared that BPAC is installing information panels in BBMP offices that contain the list officials and their responsibilities. She said, “though much requires to be done, I am hopeful Bangalore can be the best city in the country.”
Can we make Bangalore better?
Bangalore must become an inclusive city
BBMP should educate voters about their rights and responsibilities by organising meetings and introduce ward committee members to the public. Many corporators once they get elected they feel that theirs is the rule of law. Many Civic Amenity Sites which are menat for public utility services are diverted to their contacts. BBMP should prescribe basic qualification to become a Corporator. There are few Corportors who have the background of notorious criminal activities and they are being blessed by few MLAs. BBMP should frame fules for becoming Corporator. People should be educated properly. Home Dept. should conduct Govt- people contact programme to educate abt their rights so that fear of the public will vanish and public will come forward to complain to the authorities openly. Each civil work should be properly organised such as date of commencement, completion, penalty, contact nos. etc. see the pathetic condition of flyover at 18th cross the work is going on for several years. Many lakes are drying, sewage water is allowed to enter into the lake. Garbage clearance shd be stremlined. Even workers who clean the raods do not have proper gloves to cover their hand and nose and they r exposed to disesase.
I’ve been doing a lot of social activities right from college days till today,where I stay presently(Sobha Ruby Apartments,Nagasandra Colony,B’lore north 73 ).I fought with the builder on various issues like water,power khata,traffic,garbage,law and order and many civic problems faced by people in their daily life.Most newspapers such as Bangalore Mirror,Deccan Herald,The Hindu,DNA and TV9 have published articles which help me to sort out the issues between the government and builder with top priority.My view is that the infrastructure can develop unless and until the education from the grass root level is given to each and every child.Lack of discipline has affected the progress of our nation.To be a social worker,you should be dedicated to work for the entire society rather than being selfish.
(I’m new to this organisation.Can you please advise me on how and where should I report my views).
Wait. Last I heard these guys were opposing Electronic City coming under Corporation limits. And now they want to help people get into the corporation which they don’t want to be a part of. What about conflict of interest when an approval is needed for some campus to come up for one of these companies and the corporator was ‘trained’ by BPAC? No matter what they say or do, they will not be able to shake off the tag of a lobbying group simply because of such conflicts of interest. And what are they planning to do about the crores that get spent during elections? Give low-interest loans to the trainees?
Political lobbying by business at its best!!. Concern is real people’s real concern shouldn’t get compromised for the sake of some big business!!. Look at the city Detroit called ghost city today. why?. Business people lobbying for their own sake!!. And city of Detroit paid the price!!