Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2013

Gujarat slips in poverty reduction rank from ninth to 11th in three years, suggests Planning Commission study

By Rajiv Shah
Latest Planning Commission estimates suggest a major setback to Gujarat as far as poverty reduction is concerned. If between 2004 and 2010, Gujarat witnessed 8.6 per cent reduction in poverty, which was higher than the national average of 7.4 per cent, between 2010 and 2012 not only the percentage of poverty reduction come down to 6.4 per cent, it was below the national average of 7.9 per cent, too. Worse, if during 2004-10 Gujarat’s poverty reduction rate was higher than in as many as eight states, the number of states which saw a higher poverty reduction in the 2010-12 phase went up to 10 out of 20 major states.
The states which have witnessed a higher reduction in the rate of poverty during 2010-12 than Gujarat are Andhra Pradesh (11.9 per cent), Chhattisgarh (8.8 per cent), Bihar (19.8 per cent), Haryana (8.9 per cent), Maharashtra (7.2 per cent), Punjab (7.6 per cent), Rajasthan (10.1 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (8.3 per cent), Uttarakhand (6.7 per cent) and West Bengal …

Rate of growth of real wages of rural workers in Gujarat slower than most states, suggests study by ex-ILO scholar

By Rajiv Shah Close on the heels of the latest National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data having revealed that average wages paid both in organized and unorganized sectors in Gujarat are one of the lowest in the country (click HERE for the report), a new study has found that the rise wages in the state has remained dormant for nearly a decade. Carried out by AV Jose, formerly with the International Labour Organisation's permanent secretariat in Geneva, and now associated with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, the study, titled “Changes in Wages and Earnings of Rural Labourers” has found that an average male worker in Gujarat who earned Rs 100 in 2001, earned Rs 114 in 2010, while the average female worker who earned Rs 100 in 2001, earned Rs 119 in 2010.
Significantly, the comparative figures the top scholar has culled out for the country as a whole suggest that the average male worker who earned Rs 100 in 2001, earned Rs 132 per cent in 2010, and the aver…

Is Gujarat govt camouflaging dropout data of lower primary? Flash data show very high repeaters

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Gujarat government hiding a high dropout rate at the primary level in the state, especially at the lower level (grades 1 to 5)? It would seem so, considering that the latest data, provided by the Gujarat government to the Union ministry of human resources suggest a very high "repetition rate" at the lower primary level, 6.67 per cent, as against the national average of half as much, 3.17 per cent. In fact, it is the the second highest in the country -- next to West Bengal's 10.90 per cent and equal to Bihar. The data are reflected in the latest "Flash Statistics" of "Elementary Education in India: Towards Universal Elementary Education", put out by the Government of India, put out this month.
Educational experts say, repetition rate "measures the phenomenon of pupils from a cohort repeating a grade, and its effect on the internal efficiency of educational systems. In addition, it is one of the key indicators for analysing and p…

Untouchability and Modi's babus

By Rajiv Shah
Recently, a prominent Gujarat-based activist handed me over a Gujarat government-sponsored report, "Impact of Caste Discrimination and Distinctions on Equal Opportunities: A Study of Gujarat", drafted in May 2013. Authored by a few CEPT University, Ahmedabad, scholars led by Prof R Parthasarathy, whom I know as a fine academic, I scanned through the report but was not shocked, as I knew it would simply reflect the mindset of the Gujarat government, especially when the issue involved is rather ticklish - untouchability.
It calls caste discrimination a matter of "perceptions", but so what? What does one expect from a government headed by Narendra Modi? Let me recall, in 2007 Modi got published some of his speeches he had delivered at the annual bureaucratic conclave, Chintan Shibir, in a book, "Karmayog", where he said, Valmikis cleaning up others' dirt was nothing but "an internal spiritual activity" which has "continued gene…

It's official, Bharbhut barrage is for corporate sector: Industry to get lion's share from stored water

By Rajiv Shah
It is finally official. The proposed barrage at Bharbhut, which is to be built for Rs 4,000 crore on the mouth of Narmada river, and for whom an environmental public hearing is expected to take place on July 19 in Bharuch district, is slated to serve the corporate houses, who have heavily invested in the Bharuch-Dahej region. This is clear from the data provided by the state-sponsored report, "Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment for the Proposed Barrage Across River Narmada near Bhadbhut, Dist. Bharuch", by top consulting firm National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
The study, which which has just been released, says, fresh river water availability for domestic usage will be 60 million cubic metres (MCM), for irrigation it will be 10 MCM which will be mainly "for revival of defunct lift irrigation schemes of the area" for irrigating a command area of just 1,136 hectares (ha) area, and for "industrial purposes" it will be a …

Gujarat to hire top PR firm to ensure publication of pro-Modi articles in national papers, coverage in TV

By Rajiv Shah The Narendra Modi government is learnt to have worked out a complete plan to reach out to the national media by hiring a top public relations (PR) management firm with headquarters in Delhi. Sources in the Commissionerate of Information, Government of Gujarat, say, the state government "intends to appoint a PR firm to create awareness about brand ‘Gujarat’ across India and the globe." The sources added, the aim is to "position Gujarat as one of India’s leading states across sectors by increasing visibility and enhancing ‘top of mind’ recall so as to make it an ideal destination amongst various stakeholders."
The PR firm, for which tenders have being floated, will be required to "effectively disseminate information about Gujarat government’s various activities to national and international media", the sources said, adding, in order to help shape favorable media opinion for Gujarat government, both nationally as well as internationally, the firm…