February 29th, 2016
Image Source: deccanchronicle, indiatvnews
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.
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.
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.