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Swarna Bharat Party: Urgent reform in electoral system needed to attract honest people in politics

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Mr Vishal Singh, President  of India’s only liberal party, Swarna Bharat Party highlighted the need to reform India’s electoral system if honest and competent people are to be attracted into politics.

He further added that the Westminster system and a First Past the Post voting methodology which India adopted are the proven systems that worked well in many countries. However, in India, we have distorted the underlying incentives of the electoral process, leading to incentives for corruption among politicians.

No Indian is born corrupt. It is badly designed systems that lead to corruption. In our system, politicians stand to lose a lot of money when they contest elections. Those who get elected therefore seek to recover their costs, with compound interest. On top of this, we pay our politicians relatively poorly. This creates a perfect storm of incentives for corruption.

Simplistic solutions like Jan Lokpal do not address these huge incentive pitfalls. While there must be a system to punish the corrupt, it will not act as preventative with the kinds of incentives we have in India.

He said the first part of the solution is to reduce the opportunities for corruption by focusing on core function and high quality but minimal regulation of the market. The second part of the solution involves minimising politicians’ losses in the election and paying them well.

Mr Vishal Singh said that all candidates should be reimbursed Rs.15 per valid vote cast, up to a maximum of Rs. 70 lakhs. Along with this, the security deposit should be significantly increased to ensure that only serious candidates contest elections. Genuine candidates can, if needed, borrow money for their security deposit, assured of reimbursement for the votes they will receive.

Further, the salaries of elected representatives should be raised significantly, while eliminating all perquisites such as free travel, telephones, furnishings, vehicles or loans.

Mr Vishal Singh assured that such reforms will dramatically enhance the proportion of honest representatives who enter India parliaments. The SBP manifesto details the other essential and associated reforms that the party will implement.(Image-wikimedia)

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Mean Fixed Broadband Download Speed in India Rises to 16.5%

Availability of 4G continues to improve in India as the country's mobile providers are trying to provide consistent coverage across the country

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India is the leader in mean fixed Broadband download speed amongst other neighbouring countries, with Bangladesh at 24.02 Mbps and Pakistan with flat speeds between 8.54 and 9.14 Mbps. Pixabay

Mean fixed broadband download speeds in India have risen by 16.5 per cent during the second quarter (Q2) and third quarter (Q3) of 2019 and topped 34.07 Mbps in September while country-wide Internet speeds were expected to increase, US-based broadband speed tester Ookla said on Wednesday.

“With Reliance Jio’s rollout of its new GigaFiber service in India in early September, we will likely continue to see countrywide speeds increase,” the company said in a statement.

According to the Ookla’s report, which examined the recent trends in Indian telecom market during the last two quarters, India is the leader in mean fixed broadband download speed amongst other neighbouring countries, with Bangladesh at 24.02 Mbps and Pakistan with flat speeds between 8.54 and 9.14 Mbps.

Availability of 4G continues to improve in India as the country’s mobile providers are trying to provide consistent coverage across the country.

This availability is the percentage of an operator’s known locations where a device has access to LTE service (including roaming).

India’s 4G Availability was relatively high at 87.9 per cent across providers during Q2-Q3 2019, which means that Speedtest users had access to LTE service at 87.9 per cent of surveyed locations.

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Mean fixed Broadband download speeds in India have risen by 16.5 per cent during the second quarter (Q2) and third quarter (Q3) of 2019 and topped 34.07 Mbps in September. Pixabay

The 4G availability was 58.9 per cent in Pakistan and 58.7 per cent in Bangladesh during the same period.

Ookla looked at fixed and mobile download speeds in the 15 largest cities in India during 2019, Q2-Q3 and found out that Chennai had the fastest mean download speed over fixed broadband (51.07 Mbps), followed by Bengaluru (42.50 Mbps) and Hyderabad (41.68 Mbps).

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The slowest download speeds on our list were measured in Nagpur (20.10 Mbps), followed by Pune (22.78 Mbps) and Kanpur (23.20 Mbps). (IANS)