‘Poor in India exceed population in 1947’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/poor-in-india-exceed-population-in-1947/

‘Poor in India exceed population in 1947’

Infosys' N R Naryana Murthy has questioned whether the common man is gaining from India's 9% economic growth

Terming it as “unfortunate” that India does not figure among top 100 countries in human development index,Infosys Chairman N R Naryana Murthy said questions remain on whether the 9 per cent growth rate is transforming into social development.

At present,340 million people are below poverty line as measured by India,he said at the inauguration of 500-bedded Narayana Hrudayalaya multi-speciality hospital here. The number is more than the population during Independence,he said.

“Despite growth rate of 9 per cent,there are several questions bothering the countrymen and leaders. Whether growth is transforming itself into economic and social development.

Whether this growth rate is helping average individuals and whether they are better off today compared to the time when the country got its independence,” Naryana Murthy said.

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He said that it is unfortunate that India does not figure in top 100 countries in human development index. “Presently,it is at 134th position,which is a cause of worry.”

Talking to media on the sidelines of the function,he also said technology and infrastructure should be used to improve healthcare in the country.

He said that 2010-11 budget allocation for healthcare is only 2 per cent of the GDP,well below the 3 per cent target.

According to WHO,India ranks 171st among 175 countries in public healthcare. Murthy said it is unfortunate that only 13 per cent of rural population has access to primary health care centres as per a survey done in 2009-10.

India has six doctors per 10,000 people against 12 in Brazil,14 in China and 43 in Russia,Naryana Murthy noted.

“This is where private sector can contribute,” he said.

He said,”Cooperation between state government and the Centre and people like Devi Shetty,Chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya,can help provide basic healthcare and advanced healthcare to the people who are poor.”

Chief Minister K Rosiah had earlier inaugurated the hospital and said the National Development Council meet had agreed to provide more funds for education and healthcare.

He said healthcare services need to be improved but for this,private sector should come forward in a big way.

Shetty told mediapersons that the 500-bedded hospital will be built in a phased manner by adding 500 beds next year and it will reach 5000 beds eventually. He said Rs 100 crore is required as initial investment.

About research facilities,he said that a research unit has been set up in Bangalore where Narayana Hrudayalaya is planning to develop a vaccine to prevent heart disease.

“Thirty scientists are working in this and it is expected to take about 8 to 10 years for the vaccine to be ready.

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Likewise,research is also on for identifying genetic heart problems in the womb itself,” he said.