Osmanabad district collector draws inspiration from history to lead the way – The New Indian Express

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MAHARASHTRA: More than seven decades after India’s independence, the country has yet to document its own regions. But after discovering that the state’s administrative system – primarily developed in 1818 by Deccan’s first governor Mountstuart Elphinstone – continues to be stuck in the mold of the British era, a young officer in the Maharashtra cadre, Kaustubh Diwegaonkar , is doing its part to update the Documentation. The main goal is to compile his findings into a book that any university or government official can use as a reference.

Currently assigned as a collector from Osmanabad – a drought-prone region of Marathwada – Diwegaonkar took Elphinstone’s work forward and decided to conduct an in-depth search of each district and the region he was assigned to. In addition, as the responsible of the respective district or department, he has easy access to other old documents and references.

“When I started to read the documents and compare them to the current situation, I saw a huge gap between reality and acceptability. We have good laws, but these are mostly implemented in a snail’s space, ”he said, adding that he decided to collect all the minute details in the documents and put them into practice. rewrite in a form useful for everyone. “The results were extremely special,” he notes.

Diwegaonkar has already made great strides in his research. During his assignment as Director of the Ground Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), he wrote with another officer Shekhar Gaikwad ‘Maharashtrachi Bhujal Gatha (The History of Maharashtra Groundwater) – a book 200-page research paper that provides an overview of the history and possibilities of Maharashtra’s groundwater. . “Irrigation is a major social and political problem in Maharashtra, but hardly any in-depth study has been done on it. During our research, we discovered that due to the geographic conditions of the state, it is very difficult to expand irrigated land on a large scale by building large dams in all corners of the state, ”says -he.

“Using all the geological maps, we have identified 40,000 villages where control dams should be developed due to the heavy percolation of groundwater in these areas. In addition, we also looked at the crop model and subsequent changes, ”explains the young officer. “We need to rethink the whole cultivation model and the irrigation planning according to the locations. The one-size-fits-all method will not work in the state, ”he stressed.

Diwegaonkar at the launch of Maharashtrachi Bhujal Gatha
(The story of Maharashtra’s groundwater)

As the CEO of Jalgaon zila panchayat district, Diwegaonkar says the schools here have taught students the basic principles of the Indian Constitution in a practical way. “We decided to first check how the principle of ‘equality’ in the Constitution works. So we asked teachers and students to write down how the midday meal is distributed in schools, including details of who serves plates, who collects them after lunch, who cleans the school, etc.

The conclusions went against the equality of principles. Teachers realized that most of the time, only teachers and students were involved in these activities. There was no equality in the implementation. “Then we asked the students to write down their eating habits. Each community has unique habits, which have helped us add protein and other nutrients to their midday meal. These case studies were also shared with other schools, ”notes Diwegaonkar.

He also documented in detail the law on land acquisition. He says the government, despite granting lucrative compensation, has several complaints filed against him by farmers during the land acquisition process. “This not only delayed several important projects, but also increased their costs. Even the farmers are suffering. So we studied all aspects of the law and handed over the documentation to the government, ”he said.

As a collector of Osmanabad, he is currently studying drought and farmer suicides in the Marathwada region, which his findings were once very prosperous. “We want to study what has changed the situation over the past decades. We study cultural patterns, social conduct, lifestyle and cultural context, ”he added.

The research also includes the Marathwada liberation agitation. “Marathwada was part of Nizam State before independence. Consequently, this region is more linked to the administrative system of Hyderabad than the province of Bombay (Maharashtra) ”, he explains. “We are conducting research on social and economic conditions and will soon submit our documents to the government to review the tax system and other administrative systems,” he said.

The officer claims that several prominent figures in Maharashtra are not only politically important, but have also played an important role in the development of the administrative and cultural values ​​of the state. “The contribution of every social reformer is important. Studying them further will help us solve the complex problems we face today, ”he said.


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