SUJIT DE, KOLKATA
To cure a disease, first of all a doctor needs to assess what is the number one cause of the disease. India’s spending on education and health – the two legs on which the common people can stand – is much less than a country is supposed to earmark. An accurate diagnosis of India’s main problem can be made if we compare India’s position among 189 countries in the Human Development Index, 2018 and her rank among 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index with that of China and Bangladesh. According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), 2018, China’s corruption level (CPI rank 87) is much worse than India’s (78). But the Human Development Index (HDI), 2018, tells us that China has got the middle position (HDI rank 86) of High Human Development category and India’s position (130) is far away from it – only at the middle position of Medium Human Development category. On the other hand, Bangladesh’s position vis-à-vis corruption is doubly bad (149) than India’s (78). But in spite of it, Bangladesh (136) like India (130) is in the middle position of Medium Human Development category. It is true that if there are leakages in a pipeline, some amount of water will be wasted. There must be efforts to plug the loopholes. Protecting our Right to Information and introducing a Lok Pal are some of the measures that need to be taken. Transparency and accountability are indeed the perfect antidotes to corruption. India’s per capita spending on health remains among the lowest in the world and much less than the global average on education. We need to have a paradigm shift in our policy from inequality creating jobless GDP growth to inclusive HDI growth.