Renowned Indian lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has said that successive Indian governments failed to spend adequately on education and health sectors in the country, with budget allocations having been low.
Addressing an interactive session organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, Tharoor said the Indian education sector was “over-regulated” and students were taught what to think, instead of how to think. He added the government emphasised more on memorisation and passing of exams and hence failed in encouraging students to think creatively and out-of-box.
India currently has 24 universities among the top 1000 universities in the world in QS World Universities Rankings 2019.
The noted statesman said the government must prioritize health-sector expenditure, investing more on poor segments of the society and public sector hospitals. He added that a majority of Indians paid for their treatments at private hospitals and ended up losing all they had for the sake of getting cured.
The former minister said the government should make provisions for free of cost treatment, doing much more of what was done by the previous governments.
“I would not exempt even my previous governments because over 70 years, the expenditure on health and education has been modest,” he added.
He also said social security buffer was needed, not essentially in the ways being provided by the government these days, where insurance companies were the major gainers of government-backed insurance schemes. He said 90 percent government expenditure in crop-based insurance schemes — Fasal Bima Yojana — went to the insurance companies, while a meagre 10 percent was given to the farmer community.
Fasal Bima Yojana, a crop insurance scheme by Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi, aims to recover the losses faced by the farmer community in India. The scheme has been implemented for the kharif season this year and mandates participation of farmers availing crop loans by the government.
Tharoor said the government should ensure a decent public sector infrastructure that would ultimately eliminate the question of having a subsidized insurance scheme.