Human Development Report 2013 – ‘We need change in mindset and improvement in work culture’ : CM
28 Oct, Gangtok (IPR) : The main message of the Sikkim Human Development Report 2013 was presented today at the Advisory Council Meet organized at Manan Bhawan, Gangtok. The function was organized by Human Development Report Cell, Government of Sikkim.
Sikkim Human Development Report 2013 has been prepared under the overall guidance of the Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Chamling.
In this Professor A.K Shiva Kumar member of the National Advisory Council and the Adviser to UNICEF India along with MP Lok Sabha Mr. P.D Rai has extended their immeasurable contribution in framing the report.
Sikkim is the first state in the North East to present Human Development Report in the year 2001 and this is the 2nd report, which is due to be completed by later this year.
The report notes the effective way in which the state has been able to accelerate economic growth and simultaneously ensure improvements in the quality of life.
Sikkim reports amongst the lowest percentage of population below poverty line ( 8.17 %) across Indian States.
According to Planning Commission the number of poor people is reduced by 70% between 2001 to 2012.
The Mr. Chamling led government consciously stepped up investments in the social sectors particularly in health and education. Consequently there have been visible improvements in immunization coverage, institutional birth, nutritional status and sanitation.
The sex ratio too has improved and inequalities based on caste, gender urban rural divide have been narrowed.
The report also points out that despite these gains in human development over the past decade there are certain areas which need renewed focus and attention, of particular importance is the need to fulfill the growing aspirations of young people.
The Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Chamling who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, in his address highlighted the achievements over the last decade and the challenges for the future. He also urged all the participants, Panchayats and Urban Local bodies to make all the 176 Gram Panchayats Units and the 7 Urban Local Bodies, poverty free, unemployment free, fully educated, healthy and happy.
This should be the ultimate goal of human development in the coming years, he stressed.
Earlier the programme began with the welcome note by the Development Commissioner Mrs. Nim Euthenpa.
Professor A.K Shiva Kumar who has been working with Sikkim on this report in his address was all praise for the Sikkim government and the kind of development works and achievements the state has achieved under the stewardship of the Chief Minister Mr. Chamling.
He also expressed his happiness that the report is entirely prepared by the people of Sikkim and is of high quality.
True to the leadership of the Chief Minister Mr. Chamling the government is the servant of the people. The progressive government the one like in Sikkim has always put people and their interest first and the benefits in people’s life is what we see in Sikkim, and this is the real development besides Sikkim growing in leaps and bounds in infrastructural, he informed.
He was also very impressed with the growth in Sikkim which was not at the cost of environment or by undermining the importance of bio diversity and the environment which was commendable, he added.
Joint Secretary Mrs. Sarika Pradhan and Deputy Secretary Mr. Jigme Basi presented an overview of Sikkim Human Development Report and Process followed for the Report respectively during the function.
Advisory Council Meet
“Sikkim Human Development Report – 2013”
October 28, 2013
Speech delivered by Hon’ble Chief Minister
Respected Dr. A. K. Shiva Kumar ji, Member – National Advisory Council, who is also the Adviser to UNICEF-India and the Adviser of the Sikkim Human Development Report, Hon’ble Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Sikkim Legislative Assembly, my Cabinet Colleagues, Zilla Adhayakshas and Up-Adhayakshas, Members of Legislative Assembly, Chairmen, Chairpersons, Advisors, Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Members of State Planning Commission, Members of Urban Local Bodies, Zilla Panchayat Members, Gram Panchayat Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries and members, Chief Secretary, Vice Chancellors of Universities, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, Heads of Departments, School Principals, other senior officers, academicians, professors, representatives of NGOs, civil society, member of press and media, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Sikkim as the 22nd State of the Indian Union has covered a meaningful development journey only after it joined the planning process of the Country towards the end of 1970s. However, it took some more time to actually adjust and adapt to new environment of freedom and self-determination as provided under the democratic system.
During the last 19 years, we successfully overcame deficit in governance as seen in the old system of governance with archaic development apparatus. When we took over the reign of governance in 1994, Sikkim was still reeling under the extractive political and economic system of the yesteryears benefitting only the few against the many. We infused the existing system with modern means of political and economic reforms and other institutional interventions. What we achieved, therefore, has been establishment of inclusive political and economic institution in the State.
Therefore, in actual terms, designing of new development interventions and identifying our strengths and weaknesses as the mountain State begun in 1994-95 only. Based on fresh outlook and new strategies, we unleashed what the economist would say the ‘perennial gale of creative destruction’ to reposition Sikkim into a new entity in the 21st century. The on-going process of creative destruction is evident in the way we have moved forward towards industrialization of State, including in the harnessing of our hydel power potential, initiatives under tourism, pharmaceutical units, organic farming, floriculture, promotion of neat and clean environment. All through, we have taken due care to ensure that cream of development is percolated down to people occupying the lowest rung of social ladder, making the grassroot people equal shareholder in our development. This we initiated based on a very conscious understanding of the principles of fiscal prudence, competitive development mechanism and better appreciation of the economics of development.
Today, therefore, is a very significant day in terms of benchmarking of our comparative and competitive development models that we initiated over the last two decades and to read out impact assessment of all our development interventions over the years. The Summary of the Sikkim Human Development Report – 2013 was presented. This Report tracks the developmental journey of the State since 2001 when we prepared the first Human Development Report for the State.
You are aware that the 2001 Sikkim Human Development Report was the first comprehensive stock taking exercise – 25 years after Sikkim became the twenty-second state of India. Sikkim’s balance sheet of human development revealed that the state had recorded several significant gains in human development after the merger with India, notably in child survival, school education, and the provision of basic services.
However, the Report also pointed out that:
- The growth of Sikkim’s gross domestic product as well as an expansion of per capita incomes was slow due to the slowing down in both agricultural production and manufacturing.
- Achievements in the delivery of health care were poor, reflected in the low rates of immunization coverage and institutional births; and
- The benefits of growth and human development had not been equitably distributed, resulting in the persistence of high poverty levels.
As the distinguished gathering is aware, the State Government has waged a war against poverty which is not merely limited to income levels of the citizens, but is assessed as a measure of capabilities, opportunities, freedom and the assets of the households to have sustainable livelihoods and to be insulated against several risk factors. The multiple deprivations to which the rural poor get subjected are those relating to poverty, unemployment, ill-health and illiteracy which impede their assured basic needs and living standards. The development programmes of my Government have focused in adopting a multi-pronged approach towards human development through decentralized development efforts and local governance.
The State Government is implementing several programmes relating to wage employment guarantee, self-employment, skill development and capacity building, sanitation and drinking water, housing, health, education, rural connectivity, water, tourism and natural resource conservation for inclusive growth of the people in general, and the disadvantaged sections of the society in particular. My Government is focusing on universal access to employment, quality infrastructure, sanitation, connectivity, health, education and housing.
Over the last decade, these interventions have addressed many of the shortcomings indicated in the Human Development Report – 2001. Sikkim is among the top five states that recorded the maximum improvement in the Human Development Index (HDI), which went up from 0.582 in 1996 to 0.665 in 2006. Contributing to the increase in HDI has been an impressive growth in incomes in Sikkim over the past decade. Through most of the 1990s, the net state domestic product (NSDP) grew, an average, by 5.75 per cent per annum (between 1993 and 2000). However, between 2001 and 2012, Sikkim’s NSDP grew, on average, by 17 per cent every year—the highest among all Indian states. Much of the growth has been generated by impressive expansion in the small scale industry and manufacturing sectors, backed by the services sector. As a result of high growth, real per capita incomes in Sikkim witnessed more than a four-fold increase from Rs 16,000 in 2001-02 to nearly Rs 70,000 in 2011-12. Sikkim’s per capita income today is the highest among northeastern states and ranks fifth in India (after Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry).
This high growth rate has been largely inclusive is confirmed by the fact that Sikkim reported amongst the lowest percentage of population below the poverty line – 8.19 per cent across Indian states. We have achieved a 70 per cent reduction in the number of poor over a 7 year period as per Planning Commission estimates.
I seek to emphasize that between 2001 and 2012, the government consciously stepped up investments in the social sectors particularly in health and education. In 2012-13, the Government of Sikkim allocated 37 per cent of its total expenditure to the social sectors – up from 27 per cent in 2001. This resulted in nearly a seven-fold increase in nominal per capita social sector spending from Rs 4,810 in 2001 to Rs 28,661 by 2012. Between 2001 and 2013, there was, on average, an annual increase in budget allocations for education by 12 per cent and for health by 18 per cent. Several benefits have resulted of which the noteworthy, for instance, are the following achievements:
- By 2009, over 85 per cent of children below two were fully immunized – the highest proportion across Indian states.
- Institutional delivery rose to 81 per cent by 2011
- In 2005-06, Sikkim reported the lowest proportion of under-weight children (20 per cent). Only 3 per cent of children under three were severely under-weight – as against the national average of 19.5 per cent in 2005-06.
- By 2011, Sikkim reported amongst the lowest percentage of population below the poverty line – 8.19 per cent across Indian states. In 2004-05, close to 1.7 lakhs people lived below the poverty line. By 2011, this number had come down to fifty one thousand – a 70 per cent reduction in the number of poor.
- Enrolment in primary and upper primary schooling is near universal with net enrolment ratios being the highest in India
- Close to 93 per cent of households had electricity and 87 per cent had a latrine facility within the premises.
We have realized that the best way to inject comprehensive development in the State is to increasingly decentralize and devolve the functioning of the Government to the people at the grassroot level. The idea is to give a sense of ownership, introduce transparency and make the governance accountable. Today, Sikkim is in the forefront of decentralization and devolution in the country.
However, we cannot afford to rest and we have many challenges to overcome in the coming years:
The first has to do with the qualitative service and qualitative infrastructure. School enrolment along with infrastructure and the teacher-student ratio of 1:14 have been satisfactory. However, we need to strengthen teacher training to make them more skilful and the teachers also need to enhance the passion needed for teaching in order to further make Sikkim’s school system the best in the country.
We have to keep working to bring about quality in delivery of service and proper and timely implementation of all schemes and programs. All must shoulder respective responsibility. Together we must be accountable to the cause of common people, the state and the country for the people are the ultimate master in democracy. We must bring about greater sense of ownership and greater sense of belonging among our people.
Therefore, on a larger understanding, what we urgently require is change of mindset and improvement in our work culture. The entire Government machinery, political leaders, general public, bureaucrats, technocrats and teachers should be responsible citizens to shoulder their responsibilities above every other considerations.
The second area has to do with connectivity. The condition of roads needs improvement as they get regularly damaged during the monsoons. Connectivity has also been hampered by the absence of tele-communication services, especially in remote hilly areas. The inability to get internet connectivity has been a limiting factor placing many of the communities at a disadvantage.
The third area has been the inadequate outcomes from the agriculture sector. Even though efforts are being made to promote organic farming, horticulture, floriculture, animal husbandry etc progress needs to be made more visible. As a consequence, enough livelihood opportunities have not been generated to satisfy the increasing demand for decent work.
Finally, there is a mis-match between the high economic growth that the state is witnessing and the creation of jobs. This mismatch is reflected in the gaps that exist between the nature of work being generated and the aspirations of young people. Most of the jobs being generated are for unskilled labourers which the young do not aspire for. On the other hand, lack of opportunities for skilled jobs within the state is forcing many young people to go out in search of jobs. While this does offer economic security, the young have to face many forms of social and cultural insecurities outside the state.
I would like to urge all of you present here including the Panchayats and urban local bodies to gear up to facing these challenges in your respective Gram Panchayat Units and Urban Areas in a time-bound manner. Sikkim can become the best in Human Development only when all the 176 Gram Panchayat Units and the 7 Urban Local Bodies become poverty free, unemployment free, drug free, suicide free, fully educated, healthy and happy. This should be the ultimate goal of Human Development in the coming years.
Holistic approach and inclusive development have been variously emphasized within the definition of development terminology in recent decades. Therefore, what we are supposed to understand by human resource development is that all works, initiatives, programs undertaken across sectors have to serve the ultimate goal of human development. All data projections and statistics must translate into well being and happiness among all sections of people. Therefore, writing of second Human Development Report must take into account all these aspects towards providing enough windows to them for their socio-economic upliftment.
I am confident that the second Human Development Report 2013 would further boost our efforts by way of pragmatic recommendations, consolidation of development gains achieved so far and recommendations targeting sustained growth and development in all sectors with particular focus on potential of inclusive market, invest in people with emphasis on educating the masses.
At the end, I would like to express my gratitude to Professor A. K. Shiva Kumar for guiding the preparation of the Sikkim Human Development Report. I also compliment and congratulate the Human Development Report Cell in the CMO.
In conclusion, I wish to assure the gathering that my government attaches the highest priority to accelerate the Human Development in Sikkim and is committed towards Expanding Opportunities and Promoting Sustainability. We are working purposefully to improve the quality and delivery of public services to achieve the objectives of deepening and widening of prosperity and well being.