Thursday, January 26, 2012

Republic Day - The Making of a Superpower?

Some excerpts from an article on India's growth featured in the Times of India on Wednesday, 25th January, 2012;

"But just adding new hands to the workforce won't help. The government has to make sure that kids get a good education at schools and colleges. This will need money, but more importantly, some checks to make sure that schools actually get built and teachers do their job properly. By 2007-08 , more than 82% of the world's population was literate. In India, the number is 67%.

So, just pumping in money and sarkari schemes after education won't suffice. Governments and progressive politicians will have to chip away at deep-seated social and religious prejudices.

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. India's state-led healthcare system is tottering. Data like the number of new hospital beds added in every state hide the reality of large-scale graft, nonexistent infrastructure, spurious drugs and abysmal healthcare management.

To find out which states have the worst public healthcare systems, you just haveto see the list of states where over 80% of the spending on healthcare goes to private hospitals , clinics and doctors. The list includes Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh.

Only 11% of India's population has any kind of insurance, so it's easy to understand why for a poor family, a debilitating disease affecting an earning member can be a financial disaster. Just like we saw with education, across nearly all health parameters , Muslims, backward classes and women fare worse than other Indians.

The eight northeastern states of India are not only landlocked, but locked away from mainstream public imagination. That's a pity, because northeasterners are among India's best-educated and healthy people. We need more roads, airports and rail routes to connect the region to mainland investors, markets and opportunities."


Excerpts from an article by ToI reporter Abheek Burman.

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