Sunday, October 23, 2005


Watching a panel discussion titled 'Digital Dividend' on BBC World, I was left wondering if liberalization in India has changed the definition of development in our national discourse. Nowadays its all about whether the FDI limits in sector X has been increased or if the GDP is expected to rise by y%. Give me a break! Do you want to measure the performance of a government? Here are a few metrics you should start off with:-
1. Average nutrition levels of children of BPL families
2. Average female literacy levels in BPL families
3. Percentage of BPL families that have upgraded to non-BPL status
4. Unemployment levels in BPL families

While measuring these metrics accurately might be a pain, I'd at least like to see governments being evaluated based on their plans to address each of the above needs and the corresponding action at the ground-level.

I'm afraid the newly affluent middle class and other well-to-do people dont depend on government for their progress, and hence governance is just another form of entertainment for most of these people. What else explains this sudden round of condemnation of our levels of governance when Mumbai is flooded or when a college-going girl is raped by a policeman in a cosmo Mumbai?

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