Last Sunday’s International Herald–Tribune had an interesting editorial on the disparity emerging in India. While Bangalore and the tech sector are booming, adding one million jobs, the rural sector is not; and if one is born female, expect to have a harder life than a male baby. Kevin Watkins writes that if girls had the same death rates as boys, 130,000 deaths would be averted.
Fortunately, India is on the case. There is legislation for $2·5 billion spending to target poor rural areas with public works’ programmes. Mr Watkins does not underestimate what a massive change is still needed, but it signals that the Indian government is responsible. It has made money from tech; now it is time to see if a multiplier effect can begin economically through prudent government spending. This is simple economics with an unmissable opportunity.
I would not be the least bit surprised if, by 2050, the top cities in the world are Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Budapest and New Delhi. The trick is to keep a long-term vision in sight. Singapore managed to, so we know India can do it for the betterment of the entire nation. Short-term ideas and three- to five-year turnarounds in policy don’t help any nation. Posted by Jack Yan, 22:42
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