Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sikkim gear up for IInd Human Development Report

Gangtok, 8th June:The Consultation meeting for the preparation of the second Human Development Report for Sikkim was held at the Conference Hall of the Tashiling Secretariat on 7th June. The meeting was Chaired by the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and was attended by Dr. A.K.Shiva Kumar, who has been appointed as Advisor for formulation of the second Human Development Report by the State Government, P.D.Rai, Member of Parliament, Deputy Chairman and Members of the State Planning Commission, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries and heads of State Government Departments.
The Chief Minister during his address said that the state has already spelt out comprehensive Mission statements to make Sikkim a complete State and a perfect State in all spheres. (Read full text of the CM’s address on page 2) At the outset Dr. Shiva Kumar who is in Sikkim for the last four days said that he has travelled to the North District and interacted with the district administration, pipon and the public of North District and his first impression of Sikkim is that the people are very humble, polite, docile, happy, contented and satisfied. He was touched by the politeness of the people,
the freshness of the environment and the beauty of the geographical landscape of the state. He also seemed impressed by practically seeing for himself the people of Sikkim receiving the government benefits. He also recorded his appreciation for the government programmes and policies and mentioned CATCH programme of the state government and the implementation of MGNREGA in the state. Dr. Kumar also expressed his observation and appreciations over the cleanliness of the public utilities and government institution and the attitude of the field workers in the PHC’s. He had also visited Tadong Senior Secondary School and met with the members of civil society and the scholars and resource persons in specialized fields. Talking about the idea of Human Development Dr. Kumar said that the idea of Human Development was picked up in 1990 by UNDP. Though the state of Sikkim is far ahead in context of Human Development but even much more can be done in this regard, he said. Though some progresses have been achieved in Poverty Eradication Programme but the term poverty and inequality cannot only be related with economics alone. These are multidimensional terms and in order to eradicate poverty and inequality from the Society choices have to be widened and freedoms should be expanded, he stressed. Employment guarantee should be replaced with good employment opportunities where the people are satisfied. Comparing Sikkim with other states of the country Dr. Shiva added that scholars have been learning from the success story of Kerala since many years but here is another state where we can learn from. Dr. Shiva further added that Human Development Report should be a participatory report and has to be seen as a citizen’s report. Concluding his remarks he said that the impact of the report is not related with the report analysis or the content of the report but is related with the use of the report for the benefit of the society.

Mr. P.D.Rai while giving his remarks supported the views of Dr. Kumar and said that the report should be people friendly and should make an impact on the younger generation.

Earlier, an interactive session was participated by the Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Secretary, Forest Department and Secretary, Rural Management and Development Department. The Additional Chief Secretary during the interactive session said that the village to village tour of the Chief Minister was a soul searching exercise for the entire administrative machinery of the State Government and added that the Human Development Report of the State Government should be prepared with a participatory approach of the stake holders.
Dr. A. K. Shiva Kumar who has been appointed as Advisor for preparation of the Second Human Development Report by the State Government is a development economist and Adviser to UNICEF, India. He is also visiting Professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Shiva works on issues of poverty, health, nutrition, basic education, women’s right and children’s rights. He is closely involved with development evaluation and is a founding member of the International Development Evaluation Association. He has been a regular contributor to UNDP’s Human Development Reports and National Human Development Reports. His areas of interest include human development, social sector analysis and the impact of development policies on children and women. He works closely with several non-governmental organizations engaged in the promotion of health, human rights and environment. Shiva did his MA in economics from Bangalore University and his Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He also has a Master’s in Public Administration and a Ph. D in Political Economy and Government, both from Harvard University. He is a Development Economist, Advisor, UNICEF, India, Member National Advisory Council, Government of India, Board Member, Public Health Foundation of India and Specializes in Economics and Public Policy.


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