The Hindu, September 12, 2009
The World Bank rates India better in aspects of accountability, control of corruption, rule of law and regulatory quality than China but the country lags behind the latter in the bank’s perception on political stability and effectiveness of government.
India is behind another rapidly growing developing nation, Brazil, as well in all aspects other than rule of law.
“I am happy to say that India has more control over corruption than China and the country has been steadily improving in all major aspects of good governance such as voice and accountability, political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption,” said Guenter Heidenhof, Governance Adviser to World Bank, during his recent visit here.
He attributed the breakdowns in governance to political corruption, nepotism, weak institutions and lack of performance and low capacity use of available resources, both human and material.
Mr. Heidenhof was in Jaipur to make a thematic presentation on governance and accountability at a media workshop organised by CUTS International in partnership with the World Bank.
Offering what he called an “outside perspective” on governance in India, Mr. Heidenhof said the country fared better in most of the major aspects of good governance during the period between 1998 and 2006, while in some aspects it recorded a slight deterioration between 2006 and 2008. In accountability its position improved considerably on a scale of 100 in 2006 but remained static thereafter till 2008. In political stability there was a climb-down from the position it had in 1998 and 2006. What was pertinent was the fact that the country — in World Bank perception — remained below 25 in a percentile of 100 in political stability while China and Brazil hovered around 40.
Mr. Heidenhof, while not missing the improved effectiveness of the country’s governance, pointed out that after climbing up the graph during 1998-2006 to cross 55 points it went down marginally in 2008. In regulatory quality India registered a steady progress from its 1998 position while in rule of law it tumbled from 65 points in 1998 to 60 in 2006 to reach 55 in 2008. After faring well between 1998 and 2006 in control of corruption, the country went below the 50 mark in the latest year of reckoning.
Taking up the areas of education and health, the World Bank representative said teacher-doctor absenteeism continued to plague both sectors in India. Instances of teachers playing truant were maximum in Jharkhand (38-42 per cent) and Bihar and Punjab (34-38 per cent). In Uttar Pradesh, 26-30 per cent remained absent and in Rajasthan 22-26 per cent. The minimum teacher absenteeism was reported from Maharashtra (14.6 per cent), followed by Gujarat (17 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (17.6) and 21.2 per cent each by Kerala and Himachal Pradesh.
In doctors’ absence Bihar topped while Jharkhand and Orissa were closely behind. These States along with Assam, Chhattisgarh and Punjab accounted for the highest percentage of medicos absenting themselves without giving any reason.
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