Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is India growing; really?

Recently I read this article by Pankaj Mishra in The New York Times. Though written way back in 2006, with its inferences, the article leaves behind a lot of questions for the reader regarding where exactly the Indian economy stands; questions those are relevant even today.

Quoting from the article,
Recent accounts of the alleged rise of India barely mention the fact that the country's $728 per capita gross domestic product is just slightly higher than that of sub-Saharan Africa and that, as the 2005 United Nations Human Development Report puts it, even if it sustains its current high growth rates, India will not catch up with high-income countries until 2106.

Nor is India rising very fast on the report's Human Development index, where it ranks 127, just two rungs above Myanmar and more than 70 below Cuba and Mexico. Despite a recent reduction in poverty levels, nearly 380 million Indians still live on less than a dollar a day.

Malnutrition affects half of all children in India, and there is little sign that they are being helped by the country's market reforms, which have focused on creating private wealth rather than expanding access to health care and education. Despite the country's growing economy, 2.5 million Indian children die annually, accounting for one out of every five child deaths worldwide; and facilities for primary education have collapsed in large parts of the country (the official literacy rate of 61 percent includes many who can barely write their names). In the countryside, where 70 percent of India's population lives, the government has reported that about 100,000 farmers committed suicide between 1993 and 2003.
[Courtesy: Pankaj Mishra, The New York Times]

I wish the economic growth of India not just confines to a small section of the society or creating private wealth but shall also comprise of the lower strata to ensure a ‘complete growth’. But above all, I wish the India growth story doesn’t blindfold the real situation of India, succinctly put across by the article. Do read it!

No comments: