Two reports published recently by the World Bank and World Economic Forum rank India dismally in terms of gender equality and ease of doing business. In the reports, India is ranked 87th in terms of gender parity and 130th in terms of ease of doing business.
While World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report 2016 ranked India 21 places ahead of last year’s position, overtaking China in the process, the ease of doing business position in World Bank’s study of 190 economies only jumped a single place. The government has introduced a myriad number to improve these metrics and the prime minister has also taken a close interest in the same. However, if one goes by these rankings, India’s position hasn’t reached anywhere close to being respectable.
The WEF report conducted its study primarily based on four metrics– economy, education, health and political representation. Notably, India was the 8th most improved country in terms of gender parity from last year, the gender gap only closed by 2 per cent. India’s gender gap still stands at an alarming 68 per cent and the report predicts that at this pace, achieving targets like equal representation and equal salaries will take nearly a century to be achieved. Only four countries in the world have parity in number of legislators, managers and senior officials at work places. India’s lack of stagnant labour force participation also contributes to the dismal ranking along with the stark education disparity between the two genders in the country. Political choices are based on patriarchal decisions and prevalent dominance of male validation in the social setup also reduce India’s position globally.
In terms of ease of doing business, the government has stated that it has brought in a slew of reforms to help companies start, operate and exit. However, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has argued that India’s reforms to facilitate ease of doing business have not been accounted for due to methodological issues.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted India as an economy with unlimited and untapped potential and chose to hardsell India as the next alternative to China for businesses to enter and operate smoothly and in turn share growth dividends with India. India’s economy is notorious for being one mired in red tape and bureaucratic blockages. However, reforms will take time to show results and confidence in the economy is also vital to achieving the desired positions as an economy with real ease of doing business.
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India has seen a large amount of FDI coming in over the last few years and the potential is there. But there is a long road that India needs to cover but moving leisurely is not an option. Make in India, Digital India and Start Up India are still to deliver the desired results and laws brought in like the GST, bankruptcy law and insolvency law are expected to kick in within a couple of years. The ground has been laid in some parts for further improvement, but the process seems to be moving ahead at painfully slow speeds.