Scientific analysis must for all schemes: Montek

Written by Economy Bureau | New Delhi , Aug 18 | Updated: Aug 20 2008, 05:10am hrs
Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Monday stressed the need for scientific evaluation of all schemes including those launched for poverty alleviation and employment generation to assess their performance and see if they were properly designed to address the targeted issues.

After four years of being part of the government and having launched several schemes to ensure inclusive growth, I feel it is necessary to have a science-based analysis of the outcome of these programmes. If these are poorly conceived, then changes in their design must be made to ensure that they address the problems in the right way, Ahluwalia said.

Speaking at a function to release a book titled Social Development in Independent India: Paths Tread and the Road Ahead by former diplomat Muchkund Dubey, Ahluwalia pointed out the Indian planning process has been more involved with how much is spent (on programmes) rather than their outcomes. Though the Centres expenditure in social sectors like education and health has gone up significantly, the net result has been very insignificant because the states have not been investing much in the two sectors which primarily fall in their domain, he stressed.

On the issue of allowing private sector participation in education sector, particularly in elementary education, Ahluwalia said this is a sensitive issue with lot of controversy surrounding it but the government must have a view on this. Some of the states are keen about this and they have actually started experimenting with PPP models in this sector, he said.

Ahluwalia also raised concerns about the element of inequality in the allocation of funds to states for education and suggested working out innovative plans to help bridge the gap between well-performing states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu and weaker ones like Bihar and Chhattisgarh.