Monday, 11 June 2012


The Human Development Report (HDR) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates the HDI (Human Development Index) in terms of three basic capabilities: to live a long and healthy life, to be educated and knowledgeable, and to enjoy a decent economic standard of living. According to HDR 2011, the HDI for India was 0.547 in 2011 with an overall global ranking of 134(out of the 187 countries) compared to 119 (out of 169 countries) as per HDR 2010. However, a comparable analysis of the trends during 1980-2011 shows that although lower in HDI ranking, India has performed better than most (including high and very high human development) countries in terms of average annual HDI growth rate. (Economic Survey 2011-12)

Progress on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is summarized in table 1 (given below). Summary suggests that India is bridging the gaps in education, healthcare, water and sanitation and telecommunication connectivity at satisfactory rate. More efforts are required in the area of poverty reduction, mal-nutrition, child mortality and sustainability.

Table 1:



Goal 1
Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Target 1
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose
income is less than one dollar a day
Indicator - Poverty Headcount Ratio
Poverty reduction calls for new and sharper rate of reduction
Target 2
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who
suffer from hunger

Persisting under nourishment
Goal 2
Achieve Universal Primary Education

Target 3
Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary education
Net Enrolment Ratio in primary education
Proportion of pupils
starting Grade 1 who
reach Grade 5
Literacy rate of 15-24 year
Achieving Universal primary education ahead of MDG target
Youth literacy is progressing on track
Goal 3
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Target 4
Estimate gender disparity in primary and secondary
education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education ,
no later than 2015
Ratio of girls to boys in
primary , secondary and
tertiary education
Ratio of literate women to
men ,15-24 years old
Share of women in wage
employment in the nonagricultural
Gender disparity in primary and secondary education is set to disappear

Gender parity in youth literacy tends to be a reality

Women’s share in wage employment is yet to improve
Goal 4
Reduce Child Mortality
Under- Five Mortality Rate
Infant Mortality Rate
Proportion of one year
old children immunized
against measles
Faster improvement in child survival required
Goal 5
Improve Maternal Health

Target 6
Reduce by three quarters between 1990 and 2015, the
Maternal Morality Ratio
Maternal Mortality
Ratio ( MMR)
Proportion of births
attended by skilled health
Life risk to motherhood takes a turn for the better
More gaps to be bridged for achieving safe motherhood
Goal 6
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other

Target 7
Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of
HIV prevalence among
pregnant women aged 15-
24 years
Trend reversal in prevalence of HIV/AIDS continues
Target 8
Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of
Malaria and other major diseases.
Prevalence and death
rates associated with

Prevalence and death
rates associated with
Reversing trends in Prevalence of Malaria and TB

Goal 7
Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Target 9
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into
country policies and programs, and reverse the loss of
environmental resources.
Proportion of land area
covered by forest

Ratio of area protected
(to maintain biological
diversity) to surface area

Energy use per unit of
GDP( Rupee)
Environmental measures covered up much of  losses
Target 10
Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without
sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic
Proportion of population
with sustainable access
to an improved water
source, urban and rural

Proportion of population
with access to improved
sanitation, urban and

Earlier achievement of safe drinking water to all

Improved Sanitation facility still eludes half the households
Goal 8
Develop a Global Partnership for

Target 18
In cooperation with the private sector, make available the
benefits of new technologies, especially information and
Telephone lines and
cellular subscribers per
100 population

Internet subscribers per
100 population
Connecting India is in fast progress

Source: Table prepared from the details published in MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS INDIA COUNTRY REPORT 2011, Central Statistical Organization, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India
Probably, the biggest among these challenges is poverty reduction. The lasting solution would promote reduction in poverty by creating an environment, which would provide beneficiaries with a means to earn for themselves and become self reliant. For this, one of the ways is to indentify certain traditional sectors (based on demographic analysis of available skills) and adopt favorable policies in these sectors to promote small scale entrepreneurship with a thrust towards special promotion to village level entrepreneurship. Trainings on self employment and on financial literacy need to be conducted as a part of awareness generation and capacity building exercise.

Ease of availability of banking services to most ordinary person residing in remotest location is required to promote entrepreneurship. Promotion of Financial Inclusion is an attempt in this direction. Following RBI Guidelines ‘Business Correspondent Model’ and ‘Business Facilitator Model’ have been introduced to take banking to unbanked populations. Experiences so far with implementations of these models were not encouraging as banks are not able to generate workable revenues through implementation of these models. Such effort could be further enhanced by a) Facilitating poor people at grass root level to use banking as a mechanism to help themselves on their endeavors to enhance earnings b) Introduction of innovative financial instruments targeted at low-amount / high-volume savings of rural population, c) Giving incentives to banks on achieving high scale no-frill account transactions and d) Supporting banks to understand the financial behavior of different segments in low earning capacity.

There are also different financial institutions to further the cause of upliftment of the weaker sections of society. The National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSCFDC), National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC), National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation (NBCFDC), and National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) provide credit facilities to their target groups at concessional rates of interest for various income generating activities. During 2011-12, 1.42 lakh beneficiaries were disbursed loans as on 31 December 2011, as compared to 1.34 lakh beneficiaries during the corresponding period of 2010-11. (Economic Survey 2011-12)
But, the bigger hurdle in creating an environment which would enhance the possibilities for productive engagement of poor (and unskilled masses) is to bring about an attitudinal change (to fully utilize the changing environment) among masses trapped in poverty due to hopelessness in a lacking environment. The difficulty becomes more obvious in a country (like India) with high volume, great diversity, un-even development and lacking coordinated effort (convergence and synchronization in projects/schemes/programs undertaken).
In parallel, problems of mal-nutrition, child mortality and sustainability would need much effective government programs. In this regards, awareness generation at different levels across the society may contribute to accelerate efforts of government. Much of the elaborations on how can government programs be executed effectively depends on how well governance could be improved. Many experts believe that establishment of E Government would result in improved governance and better execution of government programs related to improvement of socio-economic conditions.
Thus, going ahead, following could be the main priorities:-
a)    Working towards MDI and towards improving Human Development through making available all the basic infrastructure and institutional support.
b)    Creating opportunities for rural self employment.
c)    Bridging the disparity on accessibility to resources across different sections of society.

Please refer to REFERENCES section given in the blog ‘ICT FOR DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA’

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