Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Asom hits it low on development chart

SILCHAR, September 29: Asom is listed on 15th rank among 20 big States of the country with respect to development in the seventh ‘State of the State’s Report’ of India Today as published in its September 28 issue. Asom’s slide is being attributed to sloth. Among 10 small States, Sikkim and Mizoram are wrestling for honours in education and health while Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are emerging as success stories.

In agriculture, as the report says, Asom’s record is a dismal one, having been placed at the bottom. Despite State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma being adjudged as the best Health Minister in the country, the State has swapped to the 15th position in primary health services. Quite disappointing is the investment environment which pushes the State to the last but one slot. In primary education, notwithstanding all the bad public criticism, it has scaled up to sixth position. Infrastructure development keeps Asom on constant rank just up the three States of Bihar, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.

In respect of macro economy management of its finances to achieve inclusiveness and basic prosperity in a sustainable manner, it has gone down on ranking to stand at the 16th place. It is the same story with consumer market, pegging the State to 13th rank. Law and order is described as critical for a well governed State. Obviously being hit by insurgency and disturbed situation, particularly in North Cachar Hills, Asom is just up the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Significantly on this front, Kerala among the big States and Pondicherry as a small State occupy the place on the top.

Mizoram is emerging as the smart mover in the eastern region. Over the years, Sikkim and Mizoram have been tough competitors in development. Now, they are joined by Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Asom again has been clubbed with Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal as the worst performers in a demand-driven programme like the Prime Minister’s Rural Road Yojana. Sikkim has achieved 100 per cent roll out of governed services through common service centres.

Mizoram has also created the highest 125.82 lakh mandays to 91,758 households. It is quite relevant to know that Punjab has been declared best in agriculture, infrastructure and consumer market. Himachal Pradesh is given the distinction of doing the best in education, health and macro economy as well as investment and among the smaller States, Delhi has been best in consumer market and infrastructure. THE SENTINEL

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