India makes rapid strides in eradicating extreme povertyJuly 25th, 2008 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS
By Rajeev Ranjan Roy
New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) India is making impressive progress towards achieving the UN’s millennium development goals (MDGs) such as eradicating extreme poverty and ensuring universal primary education, says a government report. As per the alternative mixed recall period (MRP), India’s extremely poor population for whom making both ends meet is difficult, has come down to 21.8 percent in 2004-05 from 26.1 percent in 1999-00, says the government’s report on MDG 2007.
For the MRP, a yardstick to measure declining poverty, data on five non-food items - clothing, footwear, durable goods, education and institutional medical expenses - is collected over a year.
“India is on track with respect to the target of halving the proportion of people below the poverty,” says the MDG 2007 report of the ministry of statistics and programme implementation.
The thrust areas of MDGS are improving child mortality, maternal health, combating malaria, HIV-AIDS, promoting gender equality, environmental sustainability, and fostering global partnership of development.
These are some of the goals that more than 150 countries committed themselves to September 2000 at the United Nations Organisation (UN) to achieve by 2015, and are known as MDGs.
By 2015, India needs to halve the proportion of people whose income is less than a dollar a day, and achieve universal primary education, a situation where all children complete a full course of primary schooling.
According to the report, the proportion of children studying up to Class V in primary schools after they are enrolled in Class I has increased to 71 percent from 59.3 percent in 2000-01.
Such a decline in dropout rate in primary education is mainly because of India’s ambitious campaign on education for all, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, launched in 2000.
There is a significant reduction in the mortality rate of children under the age five, which has to be reduced by two-thirds by 2015.
It has come down to 91.2 per 1,000 male children in 1999-2003 in against 118.8 in 1988-92.
Mortality rate among girls under five has gone down to 108.9 per 1000 in 1999-2003 to 131.9 percent in 1988-92.
Although there is a decline in the maternal mortality rate (MMR) from 398 in 1997-98 to 301 per 100,000 in 2001-03, the report has doubts to achieve the MDG goal of 109 MMR by 2015.
“The overall average rate of MMR decline in 1997-2003 has been of 16 points per year. At this rate of decline, the MDG (goal) of 109 deaths per 100,000 by 2015 may be difficult,” says the report.
About combating HIV-AIDS, the MDG 2007 report says the prevalence of deadly disease among pregnant women aged 15-24 has dropped to 0.68 percent in 2006 against 0.86 percent in 2003.
“What is important about MDGs is accelerating the pace of improvement to meet the targets as compared to the past rate of development. The 11th Plan period (2007-12) aims at more inclusive development, and thereby holds out hope for accelerating the progress,” said Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan in the report.
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Tags: ambitious campaign, child mortality, clothing footwear, combating malaria, environmental sustainability, extreme poverty, global partnership, hiv aids, impressive progress, millennium development goals, mortality rate, poor population, poverty data, promoting gender equality, rajeev ranjan, ranjan roy, rapid strides, sarva, thrust areas, united nations organisation