Monday, October 11, 2010

Towards inclusive growth

There is a remarkable organized effort in the direction of enhancing the prospects of an inclusive India. Do check out the grand scheme in this article

While on one hand Sam Pitroda is leading efforts to connect the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats through broad band, the UID scheme lead by Nandan Nilekani is geared to provided the much needed identity so that people who should be getting services under various schemes of the government rightly get so. It is very difficult today for an urban youth to understand how UID would change his/her life. Probably the benefit is going to be secondary or tertiary since today he is not the person whom the government is much concerned about.

The challenge lies in terms of bridging the yawning gap that has arisen as a result of globalization making inroads into the length and breadth of a nation where the majority was not in a position to take advantage of the opportunities. Thus when millions of people who are mobile are short of public services simply because they don't have the requisite proof of identity important for that particular state, they may miss out on that important service which could be of value to them.

Moreover in the absence of a consolidated reliable single database of people whom the government wants to reach out to, the possibility of leakage of funds is higher particularly when we talk about a situation where values hold no importance in the eyes of people delivering these vital services.

Thus as internet penetration increases, telecom infra along with the unique identity would have the capacity to ensure that the person is able to get access to funds directly into his bank account without him having to reach out to the evil offical out there waiting with bated breath for his cut in the deal. Schemes like NREGA may be able to make a much better mark in that scenario.

Thus in short these are interesting times for the nation and we should all hope that the effort and vision behind these initiatives actually brings about the change that the country has been waiting for so long a time.

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