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November 2018
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Sindhu crashes out; Srikanth, Sameer enter quarterfinals of Hong Kong Open        No more chopping and changing till World Cup: Ravi Shastri        Air India eyes Rs 800 cr from sale of over 70 properties        Intel India opens design house costing Rs 1,100 cr at B'luru        US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region        Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid        EC removes Mizoram chief electoral officer after protests        Lankesh murder accused sent to SIT custody in Pansare case        Agri sector needs long-term solutions, loan waiver temporary: Naidu        Top India, China officials hold defence, security dialogue, agree to step up military exchanges        Jailed Om Prakash Chautala Expels Older Son For "Anti-Party Activities"        ISRO Launches Communication Satellite, Has 'Geo-Eye' To Monitor India        US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya        Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa        Mitchell Starc released from IPL contract ahead of Ashes, WC        World Championships: Older, wiser, stronger Mary Kom attempts to win 6th global title        India to host Italy on grass in Kolkata        It won't be easy for Mary Kom, says High Performance Director Nieva        Sensex rebounds 332 pts on easing crude, rupee gains        Govt mulls second round of 2,500 MW medium-term PPA auction        
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Business News
Modi govt needs to shed 'obsession' with economic growth: Jean Dreze
 
New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) The Narendra Modi government needs to shed its "obsession" with economic growth and take a broader view of what development is about, argues noted economist Jean Dreze.

Author of a number of books on development and policies in India, he also feels that the Centre is "abdicating" its responsibilities in many sectors and handing them over to the corporate, or to the state governments.

In an interview to PTI, he was asked about the impact of the NDA government's policies on social and economic life of the lower strata of the society and his concerns on the widening rich-poor gap and Aadhaar-based public distribution system.

"The government should shed its obsession with economic growth and take a broader view of what development is about. Economic growth can certainly contribute to development, in the sense of a widely shared improvement in the quality of life, but it does not go very far on its own," Dreze, who served as a member in the former UPA government's National Advisory Council, said.

The Belgian-born Dreze, now an Indian citizen, held that development also requires wide-ranging public action in fields like education, health, nutrition, social security, environmental protection, public transport, to name a few.

"The Modi government is abdicating many of these responsibilities and handing them over to the corporate sector in one way or another, or to the state governments. To illustrate, the most important foundation of development is universal quality education. This is evident from recent development experiences around the world, and in India itself," he said.

"Universal quality education is all the more important in India, because of the country's extreme social inequalities. Yet five years have passed without any major initiative in the field of elementary education," he added.

According to Dreze, the underprivileged have not had a particularly good time in the last five years and claimed demonetisation hit the financially weaker section.

Noting that despite demonetisation, the economy somehow managed to remain close to the trend growth rate of 7.5 per cent around which it has hovered for much of the last 15 years, he said rural wage rates have more or less stagnated in real terms.

"Women's workforce participation also remains very low -- among the lowest in the world," said the author of books like "An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions" and "India: Development and Participation".

He said these are two important signs that rapid economic growth is failing to generate adequate employment and income opportunities for the masses.

On financial inequality and unavailability of government data in the country, he said this was "just one symptom" of the "deterioration of the statistical" system in India, and of the government's tendency "to suppress inconvenient facts".

"Many other examples can be given. Poverty estimates, for instance, are way out of date, with the most recent official estimates going back to 2011-12," Dreze said.

The gap between the last two National Family Health Surveys, in 2005-06 and 2015-16, was as long as 10 years, in comparison with two or three years for other south Asian countries, he said.

Dreze, visiting professor at the Department of Economics, Ranchi University, claimed the Modi government has turned its back on social policy.

"There have been no significant initiatives related to education, health, nutrition, social security or related matters in the last few years, with the partial exception of Swachh Bharat Mission, if you ignore its authoritarian aspects.

"Even where the government has legal obligations, as with maternity entitlements under the National Food Security Act, there has been no action worth the name. That, too, is bad news for poor people who depend a great deal on public services and social support for their livelihood," he said.

Dreze further claimed that there was no evidence that Aadhaar helps to reduce corruption in the PDS.

"On the contrary, in Jharkhand at least, it seems to have led to more rather than less corruption. One reason for this is that when people fail the biometric test, their food rations are appropriated by the PDS dealers," he claimed.

He instead advocated smart cards as a far more reliable technology, already used with good effect in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.


Air India eyes Rs 800 cr from sale of over 70 properties
Intel India opens design house costing Rs 1,100 cr at B'luru
Sensex rebounds 332 pts on easing crude, rupee gains
Govt mulls second round of 2,500 MW medium-term PPA auction
India invites Swedish companies to explore investment opportunities
Govt cancels ED officer Rajeshwar Singh's leave
Facebook blocks 115 accounts ahead of US midterm elections
Indian norms on PCA, capital are conservative, rule-based: SBI
SBI back in black on credit growth
TN transport employees threaten to go on strike
Ease of biz ranking: Indian can improve further, says Jaitley
Rupee declines 11 paise to close at 73.27 against US dollar
Gold rises in futures trade; up 0.54% on global cues
Mistry announces startup fund on 2nd anniversary of his ouster
BSE gets Sebi's nod to launch Oman crude oil contract
Sensex cracks 34,000-mark, Nifty below 10,200 on weak global cues
Petrol pumps in Delhi on strike demanding VAT cut
RBI likely to stay on hold for rest of FY'19 : Report
Japan introduces Artificial Intelligence technology to ease business
Reliance Industries posts net profit of Rs 9516cr in Q2
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent  
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region
 Singapore, Nov 15 (AP) The US and China offered rival visions for the Asia-Pacific region Thursday a
Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid
US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya
Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa
NATIONAL NEWS
EC removes Mizoram chief electoral officer after protests
 New Delhi, Nov 15 (PTI) Accepting the demand of some civil society groups, the Election Commission o
Lankesh murder accused sent to SIT custody in Pansare case
Agri sector needs long-term solutions, loan waiver temporary: Naidu
Jailed Om Prakash Chautala Expels Older Son For "Anti-Party Activities"
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