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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Indian Economy Economic status Higher secondary school College

Early childhood care and education programme in India

The Government proposed to implement from 1999 a special school health programme called Vazhvoli Thittam (which literally means light of life Scheme, referring to good health) .

Early childhood care and education programme in India : It is an integrated approach to reduce malnutrition, and other relateddiseases among disadvantaged children, expectant and nursing mothers. The ICDS schemes focus on provision of services to improve nutrition and health requirement of children from the date of conception till the age of six years. These services are rendered through child welfare centres known as anganwadis. They include supplementary nutrition, non-formal pre-school education, health check-up, immunization and health education.


Special Health Programme : The Government proposed to implement from 1999 a special school health programme called Vazhvoli Thittam (which literally means light of life Scheme, referring to good health) . Under the scheme, a field officer from the health department will visit schools once in a week and examine the children. If necessary he will take them to a Primary Health Centre for treatment. To make this scheme effective, teachers are also trained in the symptoms of the disease so that they can report to the medical officers visiting the school. They can also teach subjects on health education.


Economics of Health


Economics of Health is similar to economics of education in many respects. Health expenditures are also investment in people as educational expenditures. Quite often, expenditures on education and health are joint expenditures made in the same person. Improved health lengthens life expectancy of a person and this in turn raises returns on investment in his education. Like education, health is consumption as well as investment. Health improves the quality as well as the quantity of labour. Health expenditures contribute to economic growth by reducing mortality and morbidity. There is a general consensus that health must be provided by the State according to need and not according to ability to pay. This is called 'Communism in health'.


Human Development Index


Human development Index (HDI) is a holistic measure of living levels. The human development Report (1977) describes human development as follows : ' the process of widening people's choices  and the level of well - being they achieve are at the core of the notion of human development. But regardless of the level of development, the three essential choices for people are to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living'. Human development does not end here. People want to have political, economic and social freedom, opportunities for being creative and productive and enjoy self-respect and guaranteed human rights. It is true that income is very important for people. But it is only a means and human development is the end.



The first Human Development Report was published in 1990 by UNDP under the guidance of Muhabub-Ul-Haq, an eminent economist from Pakistan.


Economic growth will contribute most to poverty reduction when it expands the employment, increases productivity and wages of poor people. And public resources must be directed to promoting human development. Only when economic growth is labour-using and employment-generating and when human skills and health improve rapidly, economic growth will promote economic development.


The HDI ranks all countries on a scale of O (lowest human development) to I (highest human development) based on three goals of development : longevity as measured by life expectancy at birth, knowledge as measured by a weighted average of adult literacy (two thirds) and mean years of schooling (one - third), and standard of living as measured by purchasing power Parity (PPP) of each country's currency to reflect cost of living. Using these three measures of development, HDI ranks all countries into three groups. Low human development (00.0 to 0.499), medium human development (0.50 - 0.799), and high human development (0.80 to 1.0).


According to HDR 2004, (based on HDI for 2002), India found place in Medium Human Development group.

One major advantage of HDI is that it tells that even countries with a low level of income can achieve better human development than countries with substantial incomes.


The HDI points out that there are greater disparities in income than other indicators of development such as health and education measures. So by development, we mean broad human development, not just higher incomes. Some countries (oil-rich countries), it is said experienced growth without development.


Gender Related Development Index


GDI adjusts the HDI to reflect the inequalities between men and women. The three measures used related to (1) female life expectancy, (2) female adult literacy and gross enrolment ratio and


(3) female per capita income.


Human poverty index (HPI)


The 1997 HDI introduced Human Poverty Index (HPI). It measures deprivation in longevity, knowledge and a decent living standard. If people are expected to die before the age of 40, if adult illiteracy rate is high, and if health services are poor, access to safe water is low and if the percentage of malnourished children under five is high, then human poverty index will be high and the country can be ranked as poor.


Based on the lines of HDI, HDI for various states of India was constructed. The Planning Commission of India brought out National Human Development Report in 2001. It provides statewise as well as All - India Human Development Indices. Some states like Tamil Nadu have also brought out Human Development Report.

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