By Professor (Dr.) M.M. Goel : To ensure human resource development (HRD) and quality of life in India, we need to understand , analyze and interpret the provisions in the Indian Budget 2011-12 of the size of Rs 1257729 crore consisting of Rs 441547 crore under plan and Rs 816182 crore under non-plan which otherwise deserve to be reclassified as admitted by the finance minster(FM) himself by referring it to Rangarajan committee for achieving inclusive growth and infrastructural development for HRD. There is no significant impact of global economic crisis on Indian economy as evident from private saving rate remained sticky in the range of 30.1 percent to 31.9 percent in the last six years. According to Economic survey 2010-11, there is still excess capacity to grow in India. To operate Indian Economy close to its capacity, we need to adopt technology in a big way along with human capital formation for which the measures announced by the FM are necessary but not sufficient. The gap between patents filed and granted is huge which should be reduced to minimum.To humanize and harmonize the Indian society, we need to remove built-in inequalities rooted in the caste system by learning from South Korea sharing common Independence day with us and has become international donor within shortest period of time from aid seeking nation. One of the factors for this spectacular performance is most harmonized casteless society. This can be possible in India also by encouraging inter caste marriages in a big way and avoiding so called caste census 2011 which will divide India on caste lines and is not desirable at all.
To enable the common man to have access to the basic necessities of food grains and fuel at affordable prices, the Government provides subsidies . As admitted by the FMr in his budget speech that a significant proportion of subsidized fuel does not reach the targeted beneficiaries and there is large scale diversion of subsidized kerosene oil.
To ensure greater efficiency, cost effectiveness and better delivery for both kerosene and fertilizers, the move of the Government towards direct transfer of cash subsidy to people living below poverty line in a phased manner is appreciable.
To stimulate growth in housing sector, the liberalization of the existing scheme of interest subvention of 1 per cent on housing loans by extending it to housing loan up to `15 lakh where the cost of the house does not exceed `25 lakh from the present limit of `10 lakh and `20 lakh respectively is welcome and FM deserves a pat on the back.
To remove social imbalances, the right to information and the right to education are effective tools of empowerment and needs to be implemented with mission mode. Keeping in mind the burden of hunger and malnutrition, the announcement of FM for National Food Security Bill (NFSB) to be introduced in the Parliament and allocation of Rs 1,60,887 crore for social sector in 2011-12 is an increase of 17 per cent over 2010-11 amounting to 36.4 per cent of the total plan allocation is in tune with the objectives of inclusive growth.
The announcement of an increase in the remuneration of Anganwadi workers from `1,500 per month to `3,000 per month and for Anganwadi helpers from `750 per month to `1,500 per month effective from April 1, 2011 benefitting 22 lakh Anganwadi workers and helpers was long due and deserve appreciation and may reduce the built in corruption in Integrated Child Development Scheme.
In the Budget for 2011-12, for the first time, specific allocations are being earmarked towards Scheduled Castes Sub-plan and Tribal Sub-plan with increased allocation for primitive tribal groups from `185 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 244 crore in 2011-12 will certainly be effective in ameliorating the cause of this section of society.
The “demographic dividend” of a relatively younger population compared to developed countries is as much of an opportunity as it is a challenge as admitted by FM and we need to universalize access to secondary education, increasing the percentage of our scholars in higher education and providing skill training with allocation of Rs 52,057 crore, which is an increase of 24 per cent over 2010-11 and calls for effective utilization.
The revision in existing operational norms of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will implement the right of children to free and compulsory education with allocation of Rs21,000 crore which is 40 per cent higher than `15,000 crore allocated in the Budget for 2010-11. The announcement of the revised Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Vocationalization of Secondary Education” to be implemented w.e.f. 2011-12 will certainly improve the employability of the Indian youth.
The FM is right in observing that empowerment flows from education. While the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had access to post matric scholarships, there was so far a lack of pre matric scholarship scheme. In 2011-12, a scholarship scheme for needy students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes studying in classes ninth and tenth has been announced by the FM which will benefit about 40 lakh Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students.
The announcement of the National Innovation Council under Shri Sam Pitroda to prepare a roadmap for innovations in India is a step in the right direction. The process of setting up State Innovation Councils in each State and Sectoral Innovation Councils aligned to Central Ministries are required to be speeded up with top priority.
National Skill Development Council (NSDC) deserve appreciation for creation of 15 crore skilled workforce has already sanctioned 26 projects with a total funding of `658 crore. These projects alone are expected to create more than 4 crore skilled workforce over the next ten years. In the current year, skill training has so far been provided to 20,000 persons. Of these, 75 per cent have found placements. The additional allocation of Rs 500 crore to the National Skill Development Fund during 2011-12.
The announcement of an international award with prize money of Rs 1 crore for promoting values of Universal Brotherhood in the memory of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is the best tribute to the great scholar of his times.
For health, the plan allocations in 2011-12 have been enhanced by 20 per cent to `26,760 crore. The FM is right in observing that the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana has emerged as an effective instrument for providing a basic health cover to poor and marginal workers. In 2011-12, the FM further extended this scheme to cover unorganized sector workers in hazardous mining and associated industries like slate and slate pencil, dolomite, mica and asbestos etc is perfectly in tune with the need s of the day
Although mid day meal scheme in India has some results in declining dropout rate in schools, yet there is economic logic and rationale to replace it by breakfast meals. Breakfast is a good hope than a bad supper or lunch. It leads to better efficiency and productivity of any individual but sadly many of the students go to school without breakfast and keep on waiting for the mid day meal without concentration on their studies,
In totality, we need to understand the problems of HRD including education &health in all times to come for bringing efficiency, sufficiency and equity in HRD activities in India .