Citizens' Issues
India lags in social progress and tolerance
For decades, Gross Domestic Product has been used to evaluate the economic performance of a nation. It measures the value of final goods and services that are produced in a country in a given period of time. It has, thus, been of critical importance to policymakers in assessing economic growth.
 
Despite its great significance, this measure of growth is unable to capture many aspects of life that are essential for the general well-being of the people. A high rate of growth for an economy may not necessarily relate to the societal progress, which could be indicated by factors such as access to clean drinking water and sanitation, availability of affordable housing, access to basic or higher education, health and wellness, level of crime, property rights, environmental quality and the like.
 
To account for such dimensions of wellbeing, the Human Development Index (HDI) was developed about 25 years ago and since then has been published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
 
The index incorporates three key dimensions of human development - life expectancy, years of schooling and a decent standard of living measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. One of the shortcomings of using this index as a measure of social progress is that it doesn't include all the aspects of human well-being. Moreover, by incorporating income, it is unable to unveil any impact that societal progress may have on economic growth and vice versa.
 
Several other indices have been developed to measure well-being, for instance, Gross National Happiness, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Your Better Life Index and the Legatum Prosperity Index. However, none of these indices captures social progress comprehensively and thus it is important to design a more holistic measure of well-being.
 
In 2013, a Social Progress Index (SPI) was launched by the Social Progress Imperative (SPI), a nonprofit organisation, based in Washington. Its methodology was developed by Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School along with a few other advisory board members of the SPI. Its conceptual framework is based on the seminal work of Amartya Sen on the role of capabilities and on the role of institutions in economic and social performance.
 
The index has so far been the most comprehensive way of measuring a country's social progress and is also independent of any economic indicator, thus giving an opportunity to examine the relationship between social progress and economic growth.
 
Social progress has been defined as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.
 
Thus, the social progress index has three dimensions - basic human needs (nutrition and basic medical care, air, water and sanitation, shelter and personal safety), foundations of well-being (access to basic knowledge, access to information and communication, health and wellness, and ecosystem sustainability) and opportunity (personal rights, access to higher education, personal freedom and inclusion).
 
The 2015 Social Progress Index for the world which includes 133 countries with complete data and 28 countries with partial data scores 61 on a scale of 100. While the world performs best in terms of nutrition and basic medical care (87.47) and water and sanitation (68.57) in basic human needs, access to advanced education (46.24), personal rights (43.10) and tolerance and inclusion (42.36) remain the areas of concern.
 
Top three countries in terms of social progress are Norway (88.36), Sweden (88.06) and Switzerland (87.97). The US has been ranked 16 on social progress despite of its higher per capita GDP than most of the higher social progress countries. This is due to its weak performance in ecosystem sustainability and health and wellness.
 
Similarly, countries such as the UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have been ranked low on social progress compared to their level of economic progress.
 
India has been ranked 101 with a low score of 53.06. It faces challenges in all the aspects of social progress except for nutrition and basic medical care and access to basic knowledge. One of the areas where India is severely lagging is tolerance and inclusion, which is driven by culture, norms and policies. Thus, for lower middle income countries like India, economic prosperity alongside institutional changes could bring about greater social progress and thereby, inclusive growth.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

J Pinto

8 months ago

This means India was "intolerant" under Congress as well ?

Maharashtra AG quits after mooting separate Marathwada state
Mumbai : Two days after he mooted the creation of a separate state of Marathwada kicking up a major political controversy, Maharashtra's Advocate General Shrihari Aney quit the post here on Tuesday morning.
 
Aney met Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao at Raj Bhavan and handed over his resignation letter, official sources said.
 
Aney last October succeded Sunil Manohar, who had served for seven months.
 
Earlier, Aney had been embroiled in a similar controversy after he suggested a referendum in Vidarbha as a prelude to creating a separate state.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Is Rajkumar Basantani of Soundcraft Industries, Adam Comsoft and Kolar Biotech absconding?
According to a police report, Basantani has fled the country four years ago to Dubai. However, a person familiar with the matter says Basantani was present in the country till January this year
 
Rajkumar Basantani of Soundcraft Industries, Adam Comsoft and Kolar Biotech has reportedly fled the country after duping investors and banks of a few hundred crores. The Khar Police in Mumbai has reportedly filed a report that Basantani has fled to Dubai four years ago.
 
In a case related filed by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Mumbai Session Court has issued non-bailable warrant against Basantani and asked Senior Inspector of Khar Police Station to arrest and produce Basantani on or before 17 March 2016.  
 
However, Indur Chhugani, who is embroiled in legal battle with Basantani says the information filed by the Police in the Court is not true. "In one of my case, he (Basantani) recorded a statement on 1 November 2015 at the Khar Police Station. Again, he was present before the special Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Court on 21 January 2016. So how can the Police say he (Basantani) fled the country four years ago," Chhugani questioned.
 
In 2004, Rajkumar C Basantani duped the investors for about Rs1,000 crore. His three companies managed to siphon over Rs200 crore from 30 banks that lent him money including Punjab National Bank (Rs11.5 crore), Bharat Overseas Bank (Rs five crore) and Greater Bombay Co-operative Bank (Rs5 crore). In each case, he collected money by inflating the value of physical assets that were offered as collateral security or against the ramped-up shares of the three companies. The media has reported some of this, including an investigation by the Serious Frauds Office, which unearthed 50 other companies floated by him and the fact that he employed drivers and peons as directors in his companies. (Read: Colluding Bankers)
 
Earlier in January 2014, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had ordered attachment of bank and demat accounts of stock broker Basantani, to recover Rs15 crore, one of the highest penalties imposed by the market regulator on an individual at that time, in a case related to fraudulent activities in shares of Kolar Biotech Ltd. Back in November 2008, SEBI had penalised Basantani, one of the promoters of Kolar Biotech, for making false and misleading advertisements to the public in order to bring about an increase in the price of the shares of the company. 
 
In August 2012, SEBI suspended broker Basantani, who was also promoter and chairman of Soundcraft, for one year while brokerage firm Kolar Sharex for three months. Basantani and Kolar Sharex were registered with NSE and BSE, respectively. The SEBI probe looked at the trading of SIL shares between 3 December 2003 and 17 August 2004 to ascertain possible violations. It found that Basantani made an announcement of bonus shares to its shareholders on 5 December 2003 and the same was approved by its shareholders on 31 December 2003. However, the company failed to dispatch certificates related to bonus shares. Later, when the confirmation about the dispatch of shares was sought from Soundcraft, the company was found closed. 
 
"Such device was orchestrated Rajkumar C Basantani who is promoter/director of the noticee (Kolar Sharex)to ensure that entities related to Rajkumar C Basantani/SIL could take advantage of the gullibility of the defrauded investors and offloaded their shares in the market," SEBI said in its order. (Read: SEBI suspends two broking entities for misleading investors)
 
Last year in March, the Bombay High Court has set aside an order passed by SEBI to arrest Vinod Kumar Hingorani (brother of Basantani's wife), the first person to be jailed by the markets regulator. Hingorani, chairman of two companies that issued misleading advertisements to investors, had defaulted on penalties of Rs1.64 crore.

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