Image Source: deccanchronicle, indiatvnews
“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed’’. Confucius
According to one statistic, India has the third highest number of billionaires in the Forbes list behind the United States and China. India barely had any billionaires during the pre-liberalisation era. The growth of a number of billionaires is commendable however it raises important questions about the development story of India itself.
Growth has reached only a few
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. India’s position in the ranking of HDI is 130 while in 1991 it was 133. The inference is, development and the consequent availability of additional resources have not been invested “adequately” in improving health and education for the masses. To put in perspective Srilanka ranks 73 in the same HDI ranking whilst the ten countries ahead of us includes Iraq, Morocco and Tajikistan among others.
Social Expenditure is woefully low
Expenditure on education as a proportion of GDP stands at 3.4% in 2014-15 which is woefully low compared to the Kothari Commission (set up in 1964-65) and National Education Policy recommendation that recommended 6 percent of GDP.
Health expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2014-15 (BE) is 1.2 percent, one of the lowest in the world. Low health and education expenditures mean, the vast majority of the population could not get the chance to capitalize on India’s growth story.
How do we define developed country
National development refers to the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens. Measures of improvement may be material, such as an increase in the gross domestic product, or social, such as literacy rates and availability of healthcare. While it is more than welcome that billionaires are rising in India, however, policymakers should focus on inclusive development by improving the health and education of the masses so that they could contribute to the growth of the country.
The Logical Indian requests the citizens of our country to raise their voice to the politicians and parties they voted and demand for better investment in health and education to ensure the benefits of development reaches to the maximum.
Author – Dr. Malar Kodi