UNDP's Human Development Report has become a bone of contention for 2 Indian ministries
COMMENTS on the funding of education in India that feature in the Human Development Report 1994, prepared by the United- Nations Development Project (UNDP), have triggered a fracas between the Union ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the ministry of human resourcedevelopment (MHRD).
The UNDP report had mentioned that "India opted for high defence spending at the cost of basic education to all 15 million girls out of school. The country has 27 per cent of the world's poorest people and is still a leading purchaser of conventional armament."
In a belated response to the UNDP report which came out in April, Union minister of state fog external affairs, Salman Khursheed told the press in October that India may sever ties with the UNDP if it Continued making such remarks. MEA officials claim that the assessment in the report was highly subjective and the figures quoted were incorrect.
Speaking on behalf of the G-77 nations prior to the United Nations; Conference on Social Development, Khursheed put to practice the expertise gained from observing armtwisting of UN organs by the developed nations. Said Khursheed, "The G-77 nations have several problems with the Human Development Report, including intrusive mechanism employed to monitor development. The nations do not have to justify its spendings to outside their country but only to the voters. The increasing Subjectivity of the report is a cause for concern. The report looks at government in a way that detracts from their sovereignty."
But the comments in the UNDP report are being defended by officials in the cash-strapped MHRD. Says a senior HRD official, "The report vindicated our stand. Education needs higher budgetary allocation. Governments recklessly spend on armaments to cover up continuous failures on the diplomatic front." The MHRD ministry has been demanding 6 per cent of budgetary allocations against the present 3.5 per cent.
|India's ranking according to the Human Development Report, 1994|
|Human Development Index||135|
|Access to health services||67|
|Daily calories supply||43|
|GNP per capita||72|
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