E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: India ranks 105th out of 127 countries in education as per the UNESCO education for all development index report for 2004. The UN body says it’s doubtful that India will achieve the education for all goal of 100% enrolment in primary schools by 2015—one of the United Nations’ millennium development goals.
China, with a larger population than India, ranks a respectable 54th.
Infant mortality rate is the number of deaths of infants less than one year old in a given year per 1000 births in the same year. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. In the United Nations world population prospects report 2006, infant mortality rate for India stands at 55.0 stands between Ghana at 56.6 and Solomon Islands at 54.5.
Our immediate neighbours Nepal , Bangladesh and Bhutan are better than us at 53.9 and 52.5 and 45 respectively.
Even countries such as Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Chile fare far better at 9.90, 7.2 and 7.2 respectively.
These are just two parameters with which world will evaluate India. These are cold figures which are not being discussed on television or in the expert newspaper and magazines columns by the pundits this election season.
These figures do not mean anything to Sonia Gandhi or L.K. Advani, Manmohan Singh or Mayawati, or all the potential prime ministers waiting in the wings, from Sharad Pawar to Ram Vilas Paswan, or the kingmakers, Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri.
Don’t they mean anything to you?