In response to a report in The Times of India, “‘Slow mover’ Kochi faults survey,” Feb. 18, 2016. 
A senior Kochi Corporation official was reported as saying, “.. we received just 210 out of 400 marks for waste collection and 60 out of 200 for processing and disposal of waste. It is to be noted that Thiruvanthapuram [2, 3, 4], where there’s no waste processing and disposal taking place currently, received 302 and 182 marks respectively. What’s the logic behind this?”
The report exemplifies the loss-of-clarity-of-mission common in Kerala government and its various agencies. There are several reasons. Foremost among them is the culture present and promoted by education institutions in the state.
The purpose of education in Kerala, as practiced, is not gaining knowledge and developing skills. But passing examinations with high scores and getting top rank in various state and national tests. And there is a whole ancillary “tutoring industry” [2, 3, 4] operating to help students achieve high scores in many entrance and other examinations.
The official seems to be reminiscing about the education system.
The purpose of a government agency is to achieve its mission goals and generate outcomes that are relevant to the residents of the city. The points in surveys may be helpful as a performance measure, but definitely not the yardstick for evaluating how an agency is fulfilling its mission.
Ask a tourist or an affected resident, they will tell you that the garbage disposal, waste pile-up, sanitation facilities and cleanliness of public places in Kochi are deplorable.
Now, don’t start finding excuses like, “We’re at position 55! … There are other worse places. And last year we were 4th …”
- A government lacking purpose
- Changing Kerala education system
- A framework for clean environment
- Waste and garbage are intrinsic part of consumer economy
- A transformation opportunity