“The strategy of inclusive growth pursued by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has helped mitigate the widening social and economic disparities brought about by rapid economic growth.” – Dr. Manmohan Singh.
‘India shining’ has been the political slogan for India since the turn of the new millennium. As the global media lauds the saga of India rising, millions of poor Indians are perplexed by the contrasting reality. Every day as millions of English-speaking educated youth chases their ‘ big Indian dreams’ ; millions more continue their fight against poverty , illiteracy , malnourishment .The ruling parties boast of our 7-8% economic growth, continuing their political blame game , promises ‘inclusiveness’ of common people into the process of development. However, common people are puzzled while trying to figure out the future of India’s growth story.
With a billion people forming the ‘I’ in powerful BRICS group of nation, undoubtedly India is the potential superpower. In reality, the concern is India’s contradicting scenario in the social sector despite high economic growth. Development indicators like poverty level, literacy rate, Human Development Index gives us a measuring stick and these statistics show a contrasting reality from what a politician promises in this country.
• In India, population below the international poverty line of $1.25 is 33%. The number is much higher if we take account of moderate poverty.
• In 2011, world literacy rate was 84%, while we are struck at far below 74.04%. Moreover, gender-biased discrimination in education is an alarming threat to our social balance.
• Despite having one of the oldest family programs among developing countries, India is performing relatively poor in controlling ‘population explosion’ and women-child welfare compared to countries with a similar history of population growth. Inclusion 1.21 billion people in sustainable development process indeed a challenge to policymakers.
• India’s public health spending is among the lowest in the world (1% of GDP allocation). 4 doctors per 1000 people and 44 deaths per 1000 live births exposes the dismal performance of Indian government even in providing security of life.