Human Development in India
The first ever Human Development Report (2001) of India has been released. It focuses on the vital facts related to bureaucratic controls and poor governance of the country. The report was prepared by the planning Commission under the guidance of its Deputy Chairman. Mr. K.C. Pant. This 297-page document was released on April 23, 2002 and submitted to the Prime Minister. The report states that from 1983 to 1993-94, the Human Development Index (HDI) improved by nearly 2.6 per cent per annum and by over 3 per annum during the period 1993-2001. Rural and urban areas have shown signs of improvement, according to the report.
In this report, excessive controls of the State, regulations and poor governance by the executive were deemed reasons for the poor state of human development. The report also noted that merely shirking the economic role of the State (by resorting to deregulation, liberalisation and privatisation) was not the solution for the problems being faced by the Indian masses. It suggested that those vested with power be made accountable and their operations be subjected to social audit. The report demanded transparency in the operations of the Executive. It asked the government to revamp civil services and install a system of rewards and promotions for bureaucrats. It demanded that civil servants be made more accountable, impartial and efficient. It also targeted corruption and went on to state that it was prevalent in all the functionl areas of the Indian nation.
Kerala, Punjab. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana have good HDIs. But states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Mandhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa have HDIs close to nearly one-half to that to Kerala. Funds must be distributed efficiently and effectively so that human development processes do not suffer, according to the report.
India’s growth in terms of HDI has shown dismal trends during the recent past. Lack of resources, communal feelings and illiteracy are the chief causes of decay of the average Indian. Further, politicians, bureaucrats and other elements of the administration exploit the masses, executives and business houses. The economic and political systems need serious transformations. The socio-cultural fabric of the nation cannot be weaved again because of religious compulsions. Ironically, we believe in religion so that our passage into the next world could be smooth and sans agonies. But we are least worried about our courses of action (and their outcomes) in this world. Religion often forces us to dominate other communities and sects. We attack them at opportune moments and face reprisals from them. This vicious cycle has been going on in India for the past 3,000 years.
In order to develop the quality of life of Indians, the administration must become honest, efficient, productive and agile. Plant workers must increase productivity and eschew violence and strikes. Businessmen must conduct their business operations with honesty; they never do so. Further, political parties must guide the electroate and also, the masses towards prosperity and not chaos. Our psyche has to be changed; a change of government cannot lead us to a new era sans corruption and poor governance. Economic growth is linked to social growth, moral awareness, health and education. Every industrialist must work for the benefit of his or her nation. We have least interest in our nation and that is why, we are not receiving anything from her.
The targeted rate of growth (of GDP) for the Tenth Plan is 8 per cent. However, the GDP growth rate during the Ninth Plan was a meagre 5.4 per cent. During the Eighth Plan, this rate was 6.7 per cent. How can we ensure consistent human development on a national scale if our results always fall short of targets. Our economy should grow at the rate of 7-8 per cent. During 2001-02, it grew at the rate of 5.4 per cent. The growth rate for 2002-03 has been projected at 6.0-6.5 per cent. Our ecology is fragile, thanks to the pollution generated by vehicles, factories and households. Human development of India is linked to the economic and ecological stability of her human and other living components. Although monetary condition and inflation rate are favourable, yet our masses have not been able to reap rich benefits of industrialisation. Several socio-cultural factors also contribute towards the quality of human life. In sum, we are far behind western nations in terms of HDI. We must take concrete steps to improve the quality of human life in our country.