From India to Bharat: planning a paradigm shift

Written by Mukesh Ranjan | New Delhi, Nov 8 | Updated: Nov 9 2007, 04:46am hrs
With an aim to reach out to Bharat instead of India and thus reap electoral dividend by fulfilling the UPAs promise of inclusive growth, the proposed 11th Plan for 2007-12 has made a paradigm shift by claiming that growth of GDP should not treated as an end in itself, but only as a means to an end.

The Plan document proposes to make targets for various schemes and programmes particularly in social and rural sectors monitorable, which should primarily reflect their multi-dimensional economic and social objectives and give results in a time bound manner.

For the purpose the plan document, which has been approved on Thursday by the meeting of full Planning Commission chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has identified 27 monitorable targets at the national level and then disaggregated them to identify 13 at the individual state level.

The 27 targets at the national level has been put under six broad categories, which include income & poverty, education, health, women & children, infrastructure and environment.

The plan also proposes to achieve reduction in unemployment among the educated to less than 5%, a 20% rise in the real wage rate of unskilled workers and reduction in the headcount ratio of consumption poverty by 10 percentage points.

Similarly in education the target has been set to reduce dropout rates in elementary schools from 52.2% in 2003-04 to 20% by 2011-12 and to ensure minimum standards of educational attainment at elementary level by ensuring quality education.

The plan proposes to enhance literacy rate to 85%, to lower gender gap in literacy to 10-percentage point and increase the percentage of each cohort going to higher education from the present 10% to 15%.

In the health sector monitorable targets are made out to cover infant and maternal mortality rates (IMR & MMR), total fertility rate, clean drinking water, malnutrition among children and anemia among women and girls.

In an attempt to give special focus to women and children the plan proposes 33% of the direct and indirect beneficiaries of all government schemes are going to be women and girl children. It also aims to ensure that children enjoy a safe childhood, without any compulsion to work.

Similarly the 13 monitorable targets at state level includes state GDP growth, farm growth, new work opportunities, poverty ratio, elementary schools drop out rates, literacy, gender gap in literacy, IMR, MMR, TFR, malnutrition and anemia among women and children and sex ratio.