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23 Mar 2017

Yogi's agenda in UP: What about healthcare, unemployment and education?

The newly elected government in UP has wasted no time in getting to work on its campaign promises.

Amongst decisions put to work include closing down of illegal abattoirs and farm loan waiver.

Looking into the state's poor performance under many socio-economic indicators, raises questions as to whether the Yogi government has set its priorities right in UP.

Let us find out!

In context

Does Yogi Adityanath have UP governance figured out?


Intentions, priorities and decisions

Leading up to the elections, BJP highlighted how "Goonda raj and Jungle raj" have flourished under SP government rule. Amit Shah, BJP Chief, vowed to remove UP's "Bimaru state tag".

The manifesto made promises to fight corruption, and promised measures to tackle unemployment and health issues.

The new government's decisions have included setting up of anti-romeo squads and closing down of illegal slaughterhouses.

Bimaru State

"BIMARU" an acronym for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and UP. was coined in the 1980s by demographer Ashish Bose, after studying demographic indicators such as birth, death and infant mortality. He surmised that these states, hosting 40% of India's population contributed to India's development troubles.

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What did they promise?

Under law and order the manifesto promised for unbiased filing of FIRs within 24 hours, better police access and setting up of task forces against the land and mining mafia.

Within health, it aims to eradicate malnutrition within the next 5 years and promises better infrastructure in health.

In fighting unemployment it looks at domicile skill development and improved internet access.

Crime Rate in UP

The crime rate in UP has almost doubled from 2005 to 2015 . The decade also saw a six-fold increase in rapes. The state tops the list in number of women's abductions and in overall crime under the National Crime Records Bureau Report, 2015.

State of affairs

Socio-economic challenges in UP: A Glance

UP has about 13.2 million unemployed citizens, with youth (15-35) comprising 10 million. Meanwhile, 4.9 million agricultural labourers have left the sector due to poor returns.

The state tops the list in primary school dropouts and has a dearth of teachers (1 per 39 students).

Dilapidated health infrastructure and poor performance on various indicators add to the state's woes.

UP's Health Crisis

A UNDP, 2016 report suggests that about 43% of the children in the state are underweight. The state has the highest Maternal Mortality Rate at 285 deaths per 10,000 live births. UP also tops the list in neo-natal and under five mortality rate.

What needs to be done?

Moving Forward

While the government have rightly adopted a "broken windows approach" towards women's safety, by cracking down on eve teasing, policing requires more resources and needs to be made free from political interference.

Reviving manufacturing and small and medium scale industries could tackle unemployment.

More resources and concerted policy action is required to revive the state's health care and education infrastructure

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