Thursday, September 14, 2006

China's Growth - Time to Wake Up and Learn.

Consider these:

  • China is close to achieving universal (100%) literacy, while we are wallowing at 60%.
  • Electricity production in China is nearly three times higher than in India.
  • The rate of malnutrition in children under five years in China is only about a quarter of the shamefully high 46 per cent level in India.
  • Life expectancy in China is a solid 8 years higher that in India.
  • Female adult literacy is nearly double India's pathetic 45 per cent.
  • China's poverty ratio (as estimated by the World Bank's dollar-a-day income criterion) was less than half India's 35 per cent.
  • In India we take great pride in the telecom 'revolution' of the past decade. Despite that, in 2003 the number of landlines and mobiles in India was only one-sixth the number in China.
  • In 2004-05 our economic spokesmen expressed satisfaction over $80 billion of merchandise exports. China exported $600 billion worth of merchandise in that period.
  • FDI is more than 10 times in China than in India.
  • Tourist Arrivals - 33 million in china(excluding HongKong), compare this with 3 million in India.
  • In 2004, China's Foreign Exchange Reserves were more than 4.5 times India's.
  • While we were debating upgrading our airports, China built several new ones. Our infrastructure is pot-holed at best.
  • China is a world beater in Sports. India is yet to see a individual Gold Medal in Olympics.

We are poor on each of these indicators of Progress. BUT, do we expect anything different?

  • Given the fact that almost 20% of Indian Parliamentarians have criminal charges against them. See Earlier Post.
  • Quota and Caste based Politics is what is discussed in the Parliament. Where is the time for Infrastructure Development?
  • Institutionalized Corruption is rampant. See Earlier Post.
  • MPs and MLAs accept money to topple governments in states (Remember the Ajit Jogi Case?).

So, Where is the time to work on development? Whatever little progress we have made; has been largely by the Private Sector. Not Because of the govt.; but inspite of of the govt.


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