How the state can make life easier

Fourth, electricity choice. India's power losses arise in distribution. While the politically difficult decisions of improving retail recovery and unbundling should continue, state governments could use the internet to create choices for households by unpacking the monopoly last-mile distribution from front-end service and back-end supply. Enabling multiple providers to supply power via a portal for self-selection by households would create competition that would transition consumers from hostages to clients. And give policymakers important information about supplier capabilities and consumer choice.

India may have missed its "tryst with destiny". But over the next 20 years, younger, literate, prosperous and urban voters will force a new appointment with destiny by demanding more from politicians. Making this appointment depends on multiple chief ministers competing on action rather than words. Aadhaar creates a technology pipe that bypasses cholesterol for transferring money to voters. But pending the mother of all battles between state and Central governments for electoral credit of cash transfers, state governments can signal competence to voters by using technology in fixing land titles, FIRs, birth/ death certificates, power and much else. None of them need Delhi's money or permission.

The writer is chairman, Teamlease Services

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