Rajasthan was once termed BIMARU state. BIMARU is the acronym for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Due to lack of development in these states, economist Ashish Bose coined this term which resembled the Hindi word bimar meaning sick. But the state is no longer a BIMARU state and has marched ahead in terms of development. In 2015, economist and vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya declared the state as one of the most fast-transforming states in the country.
Of late, reports regarding sand mining and farmer loan scam have cast a shadow over the progress areas of the state. And over the last two years, Rajasthan has recorded a downfall in its growth. If taken a closer look at the progress card, the state has been performing efficiently in the sectors of irrigation, education, skill development, healthcare and e-Governance, setting a benchmark for states which are lagging behind. Development is done by taking one step at a time, and the statistics of Rajasthan exactly prove it.
The SKOCH State of Governance study 2019 shows the state has slipped to 12th position from the fourth rank in 2018 for its overall development. It ranked first in 2017. In a span of just 2 years, the state’s development index has fallen sharply.
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Quick planning and execution of the state government have led to major reforms across sectors of industry, tourism, healthcare, urban development and energy, and this has accelerated the pace of development but more clearly needs to be done. This year, the state has bagged the first position for its projects in irrigation, third for education and sixth in e-Governance. In 2017 and 2018, the state ranked first in digital administration.
During the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a girls hostel in Dungarpur district, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, “Providing good governance to the people is the top priority of the state government and transparency and accountability is being ensured at every level.”
Let us dig deeper into the top-performing projects of Rajasthan to get insights into how these sectors have been on the forefront despite a slow growth rate.
Digital governance gets accessible across the state
Self-service kiosks called e-Mitra Plus Service have been launched. It is a one-stop service delivery touch-screen kiosk where citizens can access over 70 services such as electricity and water bill payments, telecom recharges, annual verification of social security pensioners, payments against police e-challans. It is also equipped with the video conferencing facility that is extended to provide people with the access to live sessions with the government officials and the public can register their feedbacks and problems directly to government officers. Over 14,000 e-Mitra Plus Service ATMs have been installed in the remotest locations of the state.
Special nutrition initiative for indigenous women
The health and nutrition status of the tribal women is vulnerable, which makes the condition more pity as structure. Access or reaching them in terms of road, lack of transportation, and lack of any communication method was the first big challenge.
In the tribal belt, often the cause of the morbidity is unsafe drinking water, poverty which doesn’t fulfil a nutritive aspect of tribal pregnant women. SWACHH – TAD department runs the Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) programme, which is a community-driven programme with many interventions focusing on water, sanitation, health and nutrition. Women and their new-borns are taken care of with specialised and customised nutrition programmes under this initiative.
Solid waste management
The municipal corporation of Jaipur has started a door-to-door collection of solid wastes and this comes right in time where cities are grappling with managing and collecting wastes.
Most often garbage dumps are overflown spreading filth and stench around. The corporation body has covered almost 7 lakh households with this service. Approximately 1,500 metric tonne garbage is collected on a daily basis.
Prioritising the potential of skill training and development
Rajasthan was the first State in India to establish the Skill and Livelihoods Mission in 2004, named Rajasthan Mission on Livelihoods (RMoL). A dual system of training based on the Swiss-German System of Synergic Training is being applied for this programme in institutes and industries. It has been initiated in ITIs of Rajasthan and ITIs are being utilised for imparting skill training to the youth. Over 69,300 trainees have got campus placements through the scheme. The training capacity in these ITIs has been increased from 1.91 lakh to 4.04 lakh in the last 6 years.
Rajasthan, once tagged as the most backward state is today on the forefront of developing physical and social infrastructure. The state has been leading the nation in its overall development but the sharp downfall in terms of growth in two years is something that needs to be looked into. The state would do well to return to the core values of good governance to get back to its growth trajectory.