Sonowal releases Assam Human Development Report 2014
While releasing the Assam Human Development Report 2014: Managing Diversities, Achieving Human Development on Monday at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara, Guwahati the Assam CM said that this entails the government to work in a systematic manner to bring back people’s confidence into the system.
“It is only through quality and dedicated service sustainable development can be achieved and people’s confidence can be regained,” Sonowal said.
Releasing the publication, the Assam CM said that the Government has a great responsibility in ensuring that every rupee earmarked for public welfare reaches the poorest of beneficiaries. For ensuring this, all elected representatives and government officials must work towards installing the best possible administration in the state.
Sonowal also hoped that the Assam Human Development Report will help the government to chart out policies, which will impact the lives of people.
“Keeping this in mind, the government has already launched the Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) to improve farm economy of the state in sync with Garib Kalyan Yojana launched by the Govt. of India,” Sonowal said.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma urged all the government officials to commit themselves to the cause of the people.
Terming the Report as a reflection of the problems and possibilities of the state, Dr. Sarma emphasised on people’s participation in the government.
Dr. Sarma further said that Govt. has already earmarked Rs. 500 crore for implementation of CMSGUY during the current financial year in the state.
Alongwith Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, PWD Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Water Resource Minister Keshav Mahanta, the Book Release ceremony was also attended by UNDP Country Head Jaco Cilliers, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, State Planning Board Vice Chairman Dipak Borthakur, NITI Ayog Adviser Jitendra Kumar among others.
Assam Human Development Report 2014 is prepared by Omiya Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati in collaboration with Institute of Human Development, New Delhi on behalf of Planning and Development Department of Govt. of Assam.
The Report specifically highlights geographical, social, economic and institutional diversities of the state and their implications on aggregate human development outcomes.
This is the second Human Development Report for the state, the first was published a decade back in 2003.
The present Report is based on a survey of 39,998 households and 1,87,511 individuals from 27 districts of the state.
The Report puts Human Development Index (HDI) in Assam at 0.557 indicating that level of human development in the state is just about halfway of the desired level.
The Report observes that human development achievements have been found to differ greatly across districts.
The report categorically underlines redressing of various inequalities and significance of removing gender inequalities in achieving a better human development index in the state.
The Report also highlights an index of subjective well being of people which represents how people value the various critical processes of human development. It is found that 56.4 percent of people are satisfied either moderately or intensely in the state.
The Report also highlights some major issues and concerns.
As per the Report, unemployment rate within the age group of 15-59 years is estimated at 13.4 percent.
It finds that the top 20 percent of the people holds about 70 percent of the total cultivable land while 80 percent share 20 percent of the remaining land.
The Report very clearly raises concern about child nutrition scenario in the state. The Report estimates that 37.4 percent children within the age of 5 years are underweight.
Most underweight children are in the age less than 2 years and lives in rural areas. The Report also finds that about 15 percent of girls in the age of 15-19 are already married.
The Report further observes that achievements in all three key dimensions of human development - education, health and income in the state are also about the halfway mark with education achieving two-third level growth followed by health and income which are just at the half of desired level.
The Report discloses that about one-third of the population in the state are ‘multidimensionally poor’, i.e. poor in more than one dimension of human development. The Report emphasises on addressing poverty beyond income within a much wider framework and approach.
Coinciding the occasion, the Assam CM also released the state government’s Vision and Strategic Architecture Document on the SDGs – Assam 2030: Our dream; Our Commitment. This document envisions recreating a secure, developed and vibrant Assam focusing on economic development as the foundation of this transformation.
This will cover wide range of activities like employment generation, poverty alleviation, development in youth affairs, infrastructure, industrial sector, agriculture, rural and urban development. The document further highlights the vision of the government to provide corruption free futuristic governance to the state.
Sonowal also inaugurated a two day Innovation Lab Workshop organized by Assam Finance Department in partnership with UNDP in the same programme.
The workshop aims to introduce concepts related to innovation in public governance, explain how policy labs work, help develop capacity to identify opportunities for innovative governance in local context, explain international benchmarks and prepare a roadmap for way forward.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)