10 Developmental Issues Indian Government Must Concentrate On

By Irfan Mohamed:

India has always been a hot bed for issues. It is super shiny on one side and super dull on the other. It manages to capture the world’s glance in varied aspects. But, visionaries have been watching it grow under the hands of huge names. And they have been guessing, for a long time — her future. And still are. Personally, and a little help from the Goldman Sachs’s paper, here are my list of areas where India should be focusing on, 64 years from independence for the Dream Vision.

1) Improve Governance

India’s pride lies having the longest and the most detailed constitution of the world. Also, contemplating the various sects seen here, it sure is a huge law book. On the other hand, the government is not up to the norms. Governance problems stem from the increasing inability to deliver public services in the face of rising expectations coupled with the lack of political will. India is a huge block with several petite distinct sections. By decentralizing provision of public services, the government can unbundle responsibilities across tiers of the government to create checks and balances. The use of greater transparency and information can allow more accountability and increased citizen voice in ensuring good governance. Citizens do not organize to demand better services. Only a cumulative approach can question the massive law that stands desolate.

2) Improve Infrastructure

Power, Oil, Gas, Aviation, Roads — all these and more form the backbone of Indian development. Or any other countrys’ for that matter. The problems of clogged airports, poor roads, inadequate power supply, delays in ports have been well-recognised as impeding growth. Indian companies — on an average — lose 30 days in obtaining an electricity connection, 15 days in clearing exports through customs, and lose 7% of the value of their sales due to power outages. Currently, only 30% of India is urbanized. To help resolve financing issues, India needs to develop its capital markets. It has become increasingly evident that the government, by itself, will not be able to build the infrastructure. It has therefore moved to models of public-private partnerships. These have yielded some successes in areas such as road-building and ports, apart from the big success story of telecom.

3) Raise Basic Educational Quality

The Indian oomph factor comes a lot from the brains that have settled abroad. But that remains the cream of the Indian layer. When you are asked to turn the incandescent lamps over the gross population of the country, the situation is not worthy to be grinning about.

Despite several bills like the RTE, Indian education system still has to go forth in pulling up the untouched masses. The distribution of government funds is major hindrance to the education system. According to a recent study, 30% of the total educational funding goes toward higher educational institutions. This is an important factor as the percent of students enrolled in these institutions are much lower. Lack of education has resulted in growth of unemployment, poverty and substantial increase in the growth of population. Without hundreds of millions of Indian citizens receiving a better basic (elementary and secondary) education, it will be virtually impossible for India to achieve its ‘dream’ potential. On the bright side, initiatives like “Teach India”, whose aim is to provide a platform to educated Indians to provide assistance in basic education to the unprivileged children have been launched. “Teach India” will connect educated individuals with the specialist education providers.

4) Women Empowerment

The cultural norms in India keep a check on the womanisation of sectors. One of the parameters that denote your family as BPL in Kerala is the presence of a woman run household. They are always regarded as the weaker species irrespective of the post they hold and the authority they command. India needs to focus on the other half of human being — the fairer sex.

There are several success stories about women. They are growing up. Lend them a hand or stay out of their way. Don’t be a hindrance to the wombs that gave birth to you.

5) Poverty and Population Explosion

It is mandatory to include the above titles in an article on Indian Analysis. Poverty remains as the root of many of the high end issues as also being a part of several other smaller issues. Poverty in India is widespread with the nation estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. According to a 2005 World Bank estimate, 42% of India falls below the international poverty line. There are 421 million poor living in 8 north India states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. This number is higher than the 410 million poor living in the 26 poorest African nations.

Population and poverty are like the chicken and the egg question. Which one caused the other? It’s a closed loop. Include malnutrition, unemployment, homelessness and several others too.

6) Privatization of Sports Sector

Talent is not lacking in a huge country like ours. Being the 7th largest country of the world with varied ethnicities, India has ripe and rich talent for every sport form. But proper harvest is what is missing. The recognition module for our sportspersons is very weak. With huge focus on big shot games like cricket, others take the sidelines. Probably a holistic development of every sport could get us more golds in the Olympics, and make India a country dreaded by sportspersons from aroung the world.

One of the initiatives in this aspect was the NBA held in India, where the government had tied up with the Mahindra Group for the game.

7) Health Care Industries

India is a major spot for medical tourism attracting people from around the world. But the status of medical technology is weak. We have been importing almost 90% of our technical equipments from round the world. Kits for very common diseases like malaria are imported from places abroad where the diseases are never heard of. Huge scanning equipments like MRI, CT Scan etc. are all brought from foreign dealers. China has a great lead compared to us due to its manufacturing units present. Unless and until we establish ourselves in manufacturing and distribution of medical equipments, the cost of treatment will rise and proper health care would be unaffordable by the already needy masses.

8) Alternative Fuels

In the power sector alone, India plans to add some 70,000 MW in the next five years. The dominant source of power will be coal, which accounts for some 60% of power generation. Coal is infamous for its significant environmental effects, including gaseous emissions, high ash content, problems with disposal of ash, and its large emissions of carbon-dioxide. As an example, small-scale industries in Kolkata were found to be contributing some 44% of overall particulate emissions in the central area as they were using coal-fired boilers. They were encouraged to convert from coal- to oil-fired boilers, and this reduced emissions by 98% from those units that implemented them.

With the rising population and demand for fuels rising everyday along with the depletion of common sources, promoting research for new alternatives must be stressed upon.

9) Space Technology

India is a world pioneer in space science. But the reach within the local Indian community is obsolete and stagnant. Integration of the extensive advancements of this field with the school going masses is not up to the mark. In order to pick and drop India ahead of all the pioneer countries of this field, awareness must be created in the student community. Space science is restricted to organizations like the ISRO and so, establishing oneself in this field is very infertile.

10) Improve Environment Quality

India’s high population density, extreme climate and economic dependence on its natural resource base make environmental sustainability critical in maintaining its development path. India has a rich and diverse array of plants and animals. Covering major hotspots and being the home to several creatures, India has in itself a notch amongst countries. Urbanization, industrialization and on-going global climate change will take a heavy toll on India’s environment, if not managed better.

These are not the only areas where India must stick too. A holistic and complete outlook of issues must be notified and stressed upon. Looking forward for an ape-able India, and also to your additions in this list. Drop us a comment below or email us at editor@youthkiawaaz.com, you can also tweet us @YouthKiAwaaz.

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