#Truth: The Gujarat Model of development…or underdevelopment?
But frankly, it is nothing more than a massive election propaganda by the BJP and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not only is this a gimmick but also unfair to the people of Gujarat – as Modi has made use of their hardwork and business skills and taken credit for it himself.
Historically, as a state, which was more into trade and commerce because of its geography and arid climate, Gujarat had better growth rate compared to other states, except for a brief period of four years from 1998.
Towards the end of this period, Mr Modi took over as the CM of the state and within two years came the first Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
As per the latest reports, in all the eight editions put together, the Gujarat government has declared that it has signed 51,378 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) since the first summit in 2003, worth a whopping Rs 84 lakh crore. The government in the initial years used to publish the data, but of late no such efforts are made and mere statements are given.
• Mr Modi claimed as Gujarat CM, “Gujarat is the growth engine of India, which attracts maximum FDI.” The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and central government data clarify that Gujarat is far behind, in a distant fifth position, much behind Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
• In gross state domestic product (GSDP) growth, Gujarat stands at 5th position.
• Similarly, Gujarat was not in top position since 2004-05 to 2014-15 in GSDP growth rate.
• In case of GDP, with Rs10.94 lakh crore, forget other states, Gujarat is even behind UP.
• Gujarat’s public debt has grown nearly 3.6 times since 2006 and almost five times since 2001.
• Mr Modi had a dream to clean up India when he became Prime Minister. A state in which he was the Chief Minister for more than 13 years stands at 21st place in the country when it comes to in-house toilet facility.
• A “developed” state like Gujarat has only 53.8% households with a TV.
• With just 8.8% of population owning a computer or laptop and Gujarat stands at 19th position in the country in this parameter.
• In mobile and fixed line, Gujarat is at 20th place.
• Fifteen states are ahead of Gujarat when it comes to families owning a car.
• “Developed” Gujarat stands at 16th place when it comes to electricity as the primary source of lighting in households.
• It holds 27th place in usage of solar power as primary source of energy for lighting.
• Gujarat is fifth from the bottom when it comes to no lighting facility at all.
• It holds the 17th place when it comes to the population having their own houses.
• Literacy rate? A proud 17th place in overall literacy rate (Population of 7-plus age group). And the amazing fact is that in his first 10 years as Chief Minister, Mr Modi managed to bring down the overall literacy rate from 79.31% to 69.14%. About 87% of the male population was literate in 2001. It came down to 79.66%. And females? It fell from 70.73% to 57.8%. A good 12.75% reduction.
• About 112 out of every 1 lakh women die in Gujarat during child birth.
• Education is an arena where Gujarat government felt it not necessary to spend money. In gross primary school enrolment, Gujarat stands at 22nd position.
• In upper primary enrolment, Gujarat is 3rd from the bottom.
• The State has one of the worst student-teacher ratios.
• The latest report suggests that Gujarat has severe manpower shortage in government-run rural health systems, whether it is normal physicians or gynaecologists or any other specialised doctors.
• Only 64% of Gujarat population have access to safe drinking water facility.
• The supposedly most developed state in India is still at 16 out of 22 in the poverty index.
• Gujarat pays the third lowest wage for agricultural labourers in India.