Tuesday, January 12

Education & Health: the Pioneers of Any Future Transformation

When I was studying economics, I was always fascinated by macro economics. The fiscal policy, the monitary policy, international trade all this seemed like heaven to me. But, micro..... I didn't give a care. And, why? because it doesn't have scale! For me, the Trickle Down Theory was the most exciting. I had always this belief that growth would tricke down to the lowest strata of the society. But, never I bothered about the duartion in which it would occur.  But, life is not so easy and so is Economics. Otherwise, India would have been the world leader by now.

There is nothing wrong in the theory but a country like India can not wait to see things happening in due course. Rather, It has to make things happen for otherwise discontent would grow and assume dangerous proportions. we are already witnessing this to some extent  in the form of Maoism in large parts of our country.

If change is to be brought about early and fast in this country, we need to focus on micro aspects of the economy. Here, I see the role of education and health in  vivifying the economy. Now-a-days, we talk about demographic dividents our country is enjoying over the others. Population explosion which was a curse a few years back is now a benefit for us. But, do we think about the fact that India still has a large percentage of illiterate people and had we educated them in the past  our demographic dividents would have been much better by now. It sounds nice to hear that India is a big consumption market, our middle class is earning much to spend and most of the companies are heading towards it. But, won't this demographic divident be a problem if we do not decelerate the rate of population growth. Is anybody pondering over how India would be able to feed  and provide shelter to the 1.5 billion people in the next 30-40 years!

An average Indian do not care about where the stock market is headed towards. He cares about food prices, healthcare services and  the quality of education available. Yet Indian government spend a meagre proportion of GDP on health and education. The primary aim of any government is to provide basic amenities to its citizens. How much wealth our economy  loses due to poor health conditions in our country? Remember, these are indirect costs but they do override the total expenditure the government bears on providing the healthcare services. I ask, what does it take to develop quality schools, universities, medical colleges and hospitals for I have a strong feeling that It's really possible in our country.

There was one article recently written by a Professor of MIT Sloan school of management about education as the real differentiating factor between Indian and Chinese growth. He strongly advocated for a greater emphasis  on basic amenities by India. Very few people know that in the 1980s Chinese infrastructure was poorer compared to that of  Indian. But, they focused on eduaction and this led to the demand for infrastructure growth. The ultimate result, everyone knows. Few may argue it was because they introduced reforms in the 1980s where we started almost a decade after. I  agree with them but education did really play a vital role in making China what it is at present.

Imagine India starts providing better and inclusive education and healthcare facilities to its citizens. Education would remove People's ignorance and superstions and make them competitive. Better healthcare facilities would ensure they do not suffer from decrease in productivity due to bad health. The country would be able to tackle population explosion effectively due to greater awareness among the people about its negative fallouts. Although, some legislative measures like fixing the number of children would still be required for stricter emphasis on population control. Good education and healthcare facilities will be a win-win situation for the government too because it would help in increasing their vote banks as satisfied people would naturally vote for the ruling party.

The real essence of this article is not to assess which policy is right and which is wrong but to emphasise the fact that countries who have given greater preference to health and education sector have outgrowthed those who haven't. The onus is upon the policy makers to decide what do they want, a country taking decades to make its citizens happier or a vibrant and dynamic India within a few years from now!!!!

1 comment:

  1. good to see you back with a significant pace.... keep it up
    good luck


Tharoor in a pseudo intellectual role till 2019

Mr Tharoor is a learned person...represented India in the UN ...lost the race to be its secretary general not because he was less competen...