D-Sector for Development Community

   Sunday, October 21, 2018
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Dead End
By D-Sector Team


From 1972 Stockholm Conference to 2012 Rio Summit, four decades of attention to 'human environment' has seen human condition getting worsened alongside deterioration of its life-supporting environment. Since 1972, number of people deprived of reasonable living have increased in number - 2.6 billion lack adequate sanitation, 1.6 billion are living without electricity, 1 billion people remain malnourished and 15 million perish annually for want of health services. The warming globe serves clear indication that the road from Stockholm to Rio has reached a dead end. But no one seems to be giving up on it as yet!

Conversely, within the capitalist model of growth that relies on motives of greed and acquisitiveness as demonstrated by the banking crises, the Rio Summit will debate the idea of designing a 'green economy'. Travelling on generous donor grants, leaders, officials and activists from across the world will renew their failed pledges yet again, to 'green' the capitalist model of growth. Discounting the fallout of economic meltdown on the number of indebted countries, the world remains obsessed with the idea of growth without paying attention to the fact that 'economic growth', even if it is green, should be accepted as a residual, not something to be aimed at!



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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
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