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Home News Power Sector News Globalisation without schools & hospitals regrettable

Globalisation without schools & hospitals regrettable

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Amartya Sen opined to the media that India and Pakistan has neglected education, health care and land reforms in a "truly regrettable way." There fore, when they suddenly open up their economies, a "lot of people" are not being able to compete in the global world.

"Problems arise when people in countries enjoying protective environment are suddenly pushed into a highly competitive situation,"

Ironically, the governments of India and Pakistan. had been active in intervening in industry which proved counter-productive while being inactive in education and health.

Globalisation. could be a major force for prosperity only if it is backed by national social and economic policies. The blame, should not rest on globalisation but on the policies with which it was "being married". Countries threatened by globalisation were those where human development was low. He suggested creating a "social safety net" as in the West to safeguard people's interests when things begin to go wrong.

One of the reason for people suffering in Indonesia was that it had no social safety net when financial crisis hit, though the country had done well on human development and growth rate.

"A whole lot of people were actually thrown to the wolves when the financial crisis hit,"

To compete in the world, land reforms and micro credit are positive factors. "To make things according to specification, literacy is needed and for raising some capital, micro credit is important," he added.

"However, on balance," he said. "there are major gains to be made in globalisation. So I am pro-globalisation."

But, if a country has globalisation at the highest possible speed and pays no attention to lack of social opportunity, illiteracy and lack of health care, it was creating problems for itself.

A democratic government and free Press were very important for preventing recurring famines, which may not always be because of food shortages.

In this context, he referred to the fact that India did not have any famine after the Bengal famine of 1943 but China had a major one between 195S and 1962 during which on an average a million people died each year.

This was despite the fact that China was economically doing much better than India. Besides, Beijing had developed a system of food distribution, public healthcare and was expanding education at much faster pace than India. But what failed China was lack of good information system because of lack of free Press, opposition parties and free elections.

The result of lack information was that each region thought it is a local problem and communes and collectives had temptations to manipulate statistics to show they were doing well,

So at the height of famine. China thought it had 100 million, tonnes more food than the country's actual stocks.

Sen said democracy was best suited to avert famines since governments would come under pressure from the public.

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