Poorly Performing Public Services (Opinion)
- Analysis of data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) of 2004-05 and 2011-12 – a period which saw the commencement of various programmes, prominent among which are the National Rural Health Mission(NRHM) in 2005, Janani Suraksha Yojana in 2005, and the Right To Education (RTE) act in 2010 – gives us a great insight in the discrepancy between the ‘expected’ and the actual outcomes of these same programmes.
- Data indicated are those observed between 2005 and 2012.
- While RTE should have lead to higher enrolment in government schools, Annual status of Education Report survey finds an increase in private schools enrolments for age 6-14, and a drastic decline in skills relating to reading, basic arithmetic skills, of children.
- In health care sector, despite implementation of NHRM, steady growth was seen in private health sector with the greatest increase seen in large Focus States like U.P, M.P, Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan.
- There is no scepticism regarding the qualifications of teachers and doctors in the private sector since government is more stringent in their recruitment and requirements of trainings. However factors such as absenteeism, irregularity, disrespect and disregard for the patients and students contribute to the disgruntlement, and people end up opting for expensive private services.
- IHDS finds that while teachers in both sectors punished the children, positive reinforcement was followed only in the private sector.
- One way to boost government health sector is to enhancing PHCs in towns rather than rarely used village-based sub centres.
- Thoughtful organisation of services has a far greater potential for enhancing health and educational outcomes than ideologically influenced discussions of rights.
- On the bright side, delivery rates have increased from 25 to 56% following JSY, most of this in government hospitals of large Focus States. This has been possible because of the cash incentives, transport facilities and increased efficiency.
- Huge funds allotted to these programmes will be rendered useless unless focus is diverted towards enhancing health and educational outcomes by smarter organisation of public services that align with provider incentives, and enhances efficiency.
- Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY)
- Right to Education (RTE)
- National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
- Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)