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As education and health are two major areas of concern in the context of social sector development and human development achievements, this book explores their situation in India. The liberalisation of the Indian economy had a major impact on the growth rate of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with the economic growth of the country jumping from the so-called Hindu growth rate of 3.5% to 89% per annum. The literacy rate increased to 74.04% in 2011 from 12% in 1947, while the universalization of elementary education has been achieved to a great extent, and dropout rates have decreased. However, despite considerable progress, exclusions and wide disparities still exist. Combining access with affordability and ensuring quality with good governance and adequate finance are still of great concern. On the health front, significant achievements have also been made, with a number of diseases eradicated or on the verge of elimination. There has been a substantial drop in the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), and life expectancy has increased from 36.7 years in 1951 to 67.14 in 2011. The crude birth rate has been reduced from 40.8 in 1951 to 20.6 in 2012, and the crude death rate from 25.1 to 7.43 in the same period. These achievements are impressive, but at the same time our failures appear even more glaring. As such, this volume brings together contributions from eminent Indian scholars on a range of social issues, including linkages between growth, poverty and the social sector; the efficiency of social sector spending in India; disparity in health statuses; IPR protection in health innovations; pollution and health; the universalisation of elementary education; problems faced at the higher levels of education; and issues of child labour.
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Himanshu Sekhar Rout, PhD, is a Reader in the Department of Analytical and Applied Economics at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. With 14 years of teaching and research experience and eight books and 36 research papers to his credit, Dr Rout is Editor-in-Chief of the biannual journal Manthan: Journal of Commerce and Management and a Member of the Editorial Board of the journals Utkal Economic Papers and the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Current Researches. His teaching domain includes macroeconomics, the economics of education, and Indian economic planning and development, while his research focuses on social sector economics and intellectual Property rights. Padmaja Mishra, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Analytical and Applied Economics at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. With more than 25 years of teaching and research experience and a number of books and research papers to her credit, she has received various international fellowships, including the Commonwealth Academic Staff scholarship. Professor Mishra is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Utkal Economic Papers. Her teaching and research focus environmental, public, and agricultural economics, and gender studies.
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