Short Takes : Falling Between Two Stools
The reverberations on Modi government’s first general budgets are still being heard, more clearly with the passage of time. In hindsight it looks like a feeble attempt to please everybody, but has ended up pleasing nobody. Champion of free trade and limited government are fulminating over the government’s failure to step away from big government. One highly influential editor has complained that the Modi government did not show the courage in Railway budget that was seen in its overtures to PDP in Kashmir. This writer made the point that “the business of Railways is to run trains, not fill Rail Neer bottles, make tracks, sleepers, coaches and engines. In that case, what held it back from selling off those side businesses and invest the proceedings on rail network. Doing all this would have required political will which was found lacking in the government. On the other end of the political spectrum, people championing social causes are aggrieved at cuts in social spending, the most grueling being cuts in health and education budget. A fast growing economy particularly needs substantial investments in these two areas. The general budget has reduced spending on education by 16 percent and on health by 15 percent. Even otherwise, spending on education has been low in India. Compared to 4.9 percent of GDP average global spending on education, India spent only 3.3 percent of the GDP in 2010. This shows up in literacy rate figure. Among the BRICS nations India’s literacy rate is 74 percent, while the figures for the other countries are similar to the developed world. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has emphasised the crucial value of health and education in economic development. In their electioneering BJP had promised healthcare allocation of 3 percent of the GDP, but the allocation has to be reduced by 8 percent and funds for National Health Mission is reduced by 20 percent. Indiaspend.org a reliable website on the issue, remarks: “While India is on a stable growth trajectory, we still lag behind in human capital and overall human development where India ranks 136 among 186 countries _________________
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam is an erudite Islamic Economist and Social Scientist. He has been associated with Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) as its Chairman for over 25 years now. Dr. Manzoor Alam, a Ph.D. in Economics from Aligarh Muslim University, has held various high-ranking positions in many international organizations such as Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Associate Professor Deptt. of Islamic Economics, University of Imam Mohammad-bin-Saud, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Chief Coordinator for the Translation of Meaning of the Holy Quran in different languages of the world at King Fahd Holy Quran Printing Complex, Madinah Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia; Chief Representative of International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM) in India; Member of the General Committee of the IDB Scholarship Program for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, K.S.A.; Consultant of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, USA in India; Founder Member of International Islamic Charitable Organisation, Kuwait; and Member, Steering Committee, Istanbul Talks, Civil Solidarity Platform, Istanbul, Turkey.
Dr. Manzoor Alam holds membership on the board of many international journals as well. He is Member of the Advisory Board of MEDAD, published from the KSA; Member of the International Advisory Board of American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, published from the USA; and Member of the Advisory Board of Awqaf, published from Kuwait.
In India, apart from being Chairman of Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), Dr. Manzoor Alam is ably guiding the Indian Muslim community with his vast experience by serving in different capacities such as General Secretary, All India Milli Council, New Delhi; President, Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum, New Delhi; President, Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists, New Delhi; and Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Under his stewardship, Dr. Manzoor Alam has successfully transformed the Institute of Objective Studies to being India’s foremost, pioneering and only organization in the country engaged in generating knowledge in Islamic Perspective, Educational development of Indian Muslims, Research, holding Conferences, seminars and workshops on vital issues, Publications and Advocacy for Muslims and other weaker sections’ causes.
Address for Communication Institute of Objective Studies 162, Jogabai Main Road ,P.O. Box 9725, Jamia Nagar , New Delhi-110025 (India) Mobile – +91- 9810157494 – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC .