NEW DELHI: Despite efforts of the government in providing primary and elementary education, a lot more has to be done in terms of quality education, according to the Economic Survey 2012. The Economic Survey presented in Parliament on Wednesday said that despite increase in the public health investment, rural and remote areas continue to have a deficit in health facilities. The survey said the expenditure on education as a proportion of GDP has increased from 2.72 per cent in 2006-7 to 3.11 per cent in 2011-12 (Budget Estimates), while on health it has increased from 1.25 per cent in 2006-7 to 1.30 percent in 2011-12 (BE).
The 12th Plan approach paper focuses on teacher training and evaluation and measures to enforce accountability, stresses the need to build capacity in secondary schools to absorb the pass-outs from expanded primary enrolments. Referring to the findings of ASER 2011,the survey pointed out that in 2011, 96.7 per cent of children in age group of 6-14 years in rural India are enrolled in schools. The Survey said the General Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education must be targeted to increase from nearly 18 per cent at present to say 25 per cent by 2016-17.
The survey said despite progress made on many fronts, there are areas of concern as progress has been quite uneven across regions with large-scale inter-state variations and rural and remote areas continue to have deficit in health facilities and manpower. Success in eliminating or controlling the diseases such as small pox, leprosy, polio, and TB is indicative of the progress made in some areas of health.
Despite efforts by the government to provide affordable access to the decentralized public health system, the expenditure of the government on public health as a percentage of GDP is low, the survey said. The survey said that there has been a steady increase in the health-care infrastructure available over the plan period. As on March 2010, 147,069 sub-centres, 23,673 PHCs and 4,535 community health centres (CHCs) were functioning in the country. Some of the weaknesses identified in the health delivery system in the public sector are poor upkeep and maintenance and high absenteeism of manpower in rural areas.