One of the questions that has come to define the discourse around the privatisation of Venkatappa Art Gallery has been the lack of funding, the inability of GoK to run it without money and the promise of the flood of plush private funds. An examination of the annual reports of the Department of Museums and Archeology and related documents paint a completely different picture. A picture that will change some of the questions that have been imposed on to those protesting this take over and tell us more about what is actually happening in the name of PPP.
During the year 2014-15, the Department of Museum and Archaeology was allocated a budget of 65 crores. Out of this they managed to spend only 43.80 crores leaving an unutilised surplus of 21.20 crores. Within the overall spending, the department, has managed to spend only 40.63 lakhs on development of Venkatappa Art Gallery in 2014-15 and 1.97 lakhs in 2013-14 with none specified in 2012-2013. Continue reading →
Within the context of recent events in India such as the criminalisation of protest that we have seen at JNU, caste and it’s unaccountability with Rohith Vemula, the tabling of the bill on Aadhar, the threat of the coming back of 66A, what has been made clear is the State’s endeavour to make citizens ‘accountable’ with the threat of punishment. At the same time the State has been engaging in drawing up a veil which leaves it unaccountable to its citizens.
One of the spaces is where information is requested under Right to Information (RTI) Act reasons so incomprehensible are provided and being touted as valid grounds to reject attempts at making State processes transparent. Continue reading →
Department of Tourism (DOT) was inspired by the ‘Campaign Clean India’ launched by the Govt of India and wanted to improve the basic infrastructure and undertake promotion and publicity with private investment.
DOT had identified 46 destinations including Venkatappa Art Gallery subsequent to the recommendations of Karnataka Tourism Vision Group (KTVG) report and further discussions with Government of Karnataka and KTVG. DOT made made a request to the govt to create a committee to approve proposals from the Corporate sector to provide the to provide facilities such as basic amenities, signages, interpretations centres, tourist friendly vehicles, proper guides etc., under the adoption programme.
What were the protocols followed in this identification? On what basis were these 46 destinations decided?Where are the records? In the preamble to Govt Order No. TD 98 TTT 2014 it also states that “the list is not an exhaustive one and corporates/PSUs can suggest any destination they want to adopt.” Are Corporates more than equal citizens of Karnataka? Continue reading →