Posts Tagged ‘Literacy Rate in Odisha’

Prospering Odisha: Hurdles Ahead

Odisha: Challenges Ahead

Odisha On Progress Path: Challenges Ahead

Earlier posts in this blog on odisha have   highlighted positives of the odisha economy that is clearly in ascendence. There is no dearth of statistics that indicate to the visible changes in the economy of Odisha. Let’s consider the points below:

  • The annual average rate of Odisha economy is 8.23% in the 11th plan.
  • Poverty in Orissa has declined by 20.2 percentage points from 57.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 37 per cent in 2009-10. This is the highest reduction in poverty among all States.
  • Overall literacy rate  of Odisha is 73.45 per cent against the national average of 74.04 per cent in 2011, male literacy being 82.04% and female literacy being 64.36%
  • Infant mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio have declined from 73 and 303 respectively in 2006 to 61 and 258 respectively in 2011.

While the statistics reveal too much and provide every reason to gloss about, there are indicators that cannot be avoided if growth in real terms  need to be achieved in the long term and on a consistent basis!

Let’s focus on each of these indicators here:

Agriculture : While the state’s economy is on rose, the agricultural sector is what has not shown any sign of growth over the past couple of decades. Though the state government has taken note of this and addressed the issue in this yaer’s annual budget by earmarking a total outlay of   5627.84 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 7161.84 crore un 2013-14 for the horticulture and agricultural sector, lots need to be done to increase the productivity. Increasing irrigation potential, promoting watershed development at a massive scale and drought proofing are critical pre-requisites to this. Apart from this diversifying  crops, strengthening rural marketing, encouraging  agricultural extension and technology transfer, expanding crop insurance and improving rural infrastructure are some of the steps that need to be  taken immediately.

Augment Human resource Development:  Human resources are the most important resource of any economy and if  Odisha has to  sustain growth on a long term basis, it needs to keep paying attention towards its human resources. More and more institutions of higher technical and managerial learning and massive networks of ITI, tool rooms, centres of excellence and other training facilities are required to be established throughout the State with a view to enhancing employable technical and soft skills of unemployed youth.

Stepping up Investments in Social Sectors : Though the state government has started addressing the disparity in social sector with greater thrust, statistics reveal a stark difference in prosperity  level between the coastal regions of Odisha and those areas dominated by tribal populace. The physical infrastructure and Human Development Index of the tribal areas calls for massive public investment. The  State has already embarked upon an ambitious plan to provide hostel facilities to 5 lakh girl children belonging to Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.  Other schemes targeted at  developing the tribal patches need to be pursued aggressively!.

The State should give reasonable tax breaks for attracting private investment in labor intensive manufacturing, agro-processing, tourism and other employment generating sectors in the tribal region. The removal of intra-state imbalances has been receiving special attention in the plan strategy of the State. The Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (i.e., KBK) region of Orissa still considerably lags behind in terms of most development indicators. Heavy incidence and persistence of poverty in the KBK region of Orissa has been a cause of serious concern. The growth policy should focus on achieving faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth and bridging the regional, social and gender disparities.