Reports about instances of different kinds of structures crashing even before they were completed in many regions of the country, including Karnataka, don’t seem to have triggered either attention from the administration or debates in public domain among both professional fraternity in civil engineering sector and lay public, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of sound structures and victims of sub-standard ones. A report this week in a broadsheet provides a striking contrast to two eras of public servants, one devoted to excellence in work and the other engaging in work for personal gain. A 60-year-old bridge in one of the States remained unshaken even after two rounds of controlled explosion. A flyover in the same State, barely three years old, had to be closed due to structural defects and a decision taken to demolish it. Not many would have taken notice of the contrasting ethos on public service as the report was accommodated in one of the inside pages of the daily. We are talking of quality, an unwelcome term in our times, in respect of materials and human resources in virtually all sectors of the country’s economy.
While even the ruins of places where structures and sculptures that have endured for centuries stand testimony to the exquisite skills of those who created them, temples in their thousands across the country leave no scope for questioning their devotion to work and discipline in life. Both attributes are conspicuous by their absence in all spheres of life nowadays.
Travelling both within the country and to different regions of the world and keenly observing the ways of people in their finest details, particularly the upkeep of their living spaces, private as well as open regions, is accepted as education, read journey, into the world of learning. While India has been globally ranked low by reckoning a set of economic parameters and high for its rich legacy of culture, currently yoga, a number of areas which offer scope for raising quality loom large. The quality factor in the land seems to have suffered woefully in respect of water, air, soil, roads, buildings of public utility, films in various languages, medicines, indigenous diagnostic equipments, literature, teaching in schools and colleges, food products, midday meal in schools, electricity to the industries, health services in Government Hospitals, debates in Parliament, services in public offices and so on.
The foregoing narrative is not to deny the track record of India’s professionals touching global quality norms. Yet, quality of that quality has to be raised so that the country earns high ranking in all sectors.