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Showing posts from January, 2014

Poor educational standards in Gujarat? It's because private schools are not "encouraged" enough

By Rajiv Shah
Why is Gujarat so “backward” in education? Blame it on government schools, and promote private schools. This is the new mission sought to be put forward by one of the most high profile education advocacy groups, Pratham, which has stolen the limelight all over India for its work with policy makers for the last about eight years. This, apparently, is the only reason why, it indicates (but does not say so directly referring to the state), that Gujarat’s educational standards are so poor. And, it seems to believe, it is not government schools which can come to the children’s rescue but only a rigorous emphasis on private schools.
According to Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), brought out by Pratham on January 15, 2014, Gujarat’s performance in ensuring admission to its rural children at the primary level is worse than 11 out of 20 major states. While a mere three per cent Gujarat children in the age-group were recorded as “out of school”, only eight states …

Vibrant Gujarat? State industries' net value added slips into the negative for two consecutive years

By Rajiv Shah Gujarat industry’s net value added (NVA), which is calculated by deducting all the depreciation charges – including consumption of fixed capital such as on raw materials, power and other inputs – has suddenly gone into the minus, surprising many an economist. The latest Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) data, put out in the first week of this month, suggest that NVA, which economists consider as “indicating the actual investment potential of a sector of economy”, has gone into the negative for two consecutive years continuously. It was minus (--) 0.64 per cent in 2010-11 and, again, minus (--) 1.72 per cent in 2011-12. The ASI is the principal source of data on various aspects of registered industrial establishments. They are part of the annual exercise by the Government of India’s Central Statistics Office’s industrial statistics wing.
The fresh data showing poor investment potential of Gujarat in the industrial sector suggests that, after a drastic rise in the recent pa…

World Bank recipe for urban infrastructure: Sell off public land, collect Rs 54,000 crore in Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
The World Bank has advised the Gujarat government to begin raising resources for building urban infrastructure in major cities by selling off public land to private developers. In a recent policy research study, “Inventory of Public Land in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India”, it has said in Ahmedabad alone huge financial resources “could be generated by monetizing public land” to the tune of Rs 54,000 crore which implies per capita availability of fiscal resources amounting to Rs 97,000. This is double the amount estimated by the state government’s High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) at 2009-10 prices – Rs 43,386 “for the entire range of physical urban infrastructure for the next twenty years”.
Though it does not say so, the study implies, it would mean, even the metro transport facility, costing Rs 22,000 crore, could be triggered by this method. Carried out by a group of scholar, Shirley Ballaney, Marie-Agnes Bertaud, Patricia Clarke Annez, Bindu Nair, Bimal Patel, Vidyadhar P…