Puts India lower this year!
India falls to rank 128, two places below than last year!
The UN Human Development index is a clear measurable independent index on any country in the world to look at itself about what is happening in the world.
India has been the source for much of the work to construct this index. Prof.Amartya Sen got the Nobel Prize for this work also.
Yet, we see a paradox of sorts. We have eminent economist Prof. and Doc. Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister. Amartya Sen is very much active on the India scene. His home state of W.Bengal is in flames on Nandigram!
All these facts and developments have a bearing on why India is slipping on the development front. On the human development front, we mean?
The UPA has been very active on the social sector development, funds allocations are also in place. And yet, why we failed?
ur education, more so the very critical elementary education system, the very special scheme, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has been our success story so far. SSA provides relevant and useful elementary education to the age group 6-14 years and we are supposed to reach a 100 per cent enrolment by 2010.
During 2006-07 around 242,876 teachers have been recruited taking the total teachers to a staggering 825,702.There is still a shortfall of teachers, as much as 18% and the Central government levies 2 % education cess specially to fund the SSA and the midday meals scheme, another new incentive to ensure hundred per cent enrolment. Then, as every educator knows it is a very difficult thing at the bottom level to bring the children from poor strata to the school stream. There are one thousand reasons why some won’t come into the system and also why even those who came in the first place won’t stay on in the system.
It would require a constant study and research and also action strategies and one hopes the HRD is just doing this and very concerned about it.
There are very generous schemes, so many freebies for the poor families to send the children to schools, more so for the girl children, everything, from school uniforms to textbooks to school fees are free now and so there is a question of keeping up the momentum and also proving the required leadership to the scheme so that it really delivers results.
Now, as per the latest HDI report, there is steady progress for India on every parameters : HDI value, a rise, Life expectancy at birth, a rise(from 63.6 in 2004 to 63.7 in 2005),adult literacy rate, remains the same, education index(0.61 in 2004 to o.645 in 2005) , gross enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary school%(from 62.1 in 2004 to 63.8 in 2005), HDI index rank from 126 in 2004 to 128 in 2005.
This fall must be rankling the minds of those in the government. One hopes there is some introspection on the part of the Prime Minister and his colleagues and they come out with a response! For the benefit of the public opinion!