Gujarat Model of sustainable development

Pramod Kumar

$img_titleThe Development Model evolved in Gujarat during the last decade is now being seen as a model not only for other Indian states but also for the all developing countries. The State has registered not only an overall double digit GDP growth rate, but also has enjoyed it across the sectors. Economically, the State is today a national, if not global, powerhouse. Industries registered 13 per cent growth, while the agriculture grew at 12.8 per cent. The per capita income grew at 13.8 per cent and the state contributes 22 per cent of the exports and 30 per cent of market capitalisation of the country.

Building a greener world

$img_titleGujarat has proactively invested extensive resources and commitments to play its role in building a greener world. It has made concerted efforts to reduce carbon emissions in its public and private sector industries, with Gujarat bagging the largest share of carbon credits in India last year, a testament of this drive. To ensure a good quality of urban life, it is very fast switching to CNG based transport – all its public transport like buses and autorickshaws run on CNG today. It has a statewide gas grid which ensures uninterrupted supply of gas for industries thereby reducing damage to the environment. It is developing eco-friendly cities across the state - complete with green buildings, energy conservation, waste recycling and mass transit. Gujarat is one among the four Governments in the world having a separate Department for Climate Change. It has already established 2582 MW of Wind power capacity and 600 MW of Solar power capacity. Gujarat is the first State to develop a 500 MW Solar Park in the country. In the ensuing five years, Wind capacity is planned to be increased to 5000 MW and Solar capacity to 2000 MW thereby promoting clean energy and directly addressing the issue of climate change.

Women Empowerment

$img_titleThe ‘Kanya Kelavani’ scheme has done miracle in the state. Driven by this effort, the female literacy rate in the state has increased from 57.8 per cent in 2001 to 70.73 per cent in 2011 - an increase of 13 per cent. Under this scheme the Chief Minister, along with his cabinet colleagues, senior bureaucrats, other government officials and thousands of dedicated workers, travel to remote villages to encourage parents to enroll their children in schools in the month of June every year. Moreover, the Chief Minister donates all gifts received by him for the cause of girl child education. They are auctioned and the proceeds are donated to a dedicated fund created for this purpose.

Gujarat was the first State to devise a policy for Gender Equity in 2006. Apart from it for the first time in India, the state started providing supplementary food as micronutrient fortified extruded blended food as Take Home Ration to all the children under 6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers. Further, for the first time in India, Gujarat is providing energy dense fortified supplementary nutrition to adolescent girls. The State has set up 15 dedicated ITIs for women having more than 2120 seats. Besides more than 10,500 women are also taking training in general ITIs. 50 per cent seats are also reserved for women in craftsmen skill development programmes. Village Panchayats are encouraged to select their body through unanimity to avoid conflicts. Such samras panchayats are given a special funding ranging from Rs 3 to 5 lakh. Of this, 251 are Mahila Samras Panchayats – the Panchayats headed by women. ‘Nari Adalats’ are operational in over 19 districts. Women jurists dispense justice in cases related to women. A total of 51 Nari Adalats are operational. To save the girl child, Gujarat has adopted a two pronged strategy of addressing the issue: making it a social movement of community leaders, religious leaders, judges etc and effectively enforcing the PNDT Act. Apart from it if a property is registered in the name of woman, the State Government waives the registration fees applicable on the stamp duty. Till now 9.60 lakh sale deeds have been registered in favour of women.

100 per cent enrolment in schools

$img_titleGujarat has achieved 100 per cent enrolment in every locality, for every child in every family – and the dropout ratio has fallen from 20.5 per cent in 2001-02 to 2.09 per cent in 2010-11. The state is now focusing on the quality of education in government schools. In the last decade, it opened around 30 new universities – of which many are specialised ones, unprecedented in India: Forensic Science University, Raksha Shakti University (for training youth in internal security), Petroleum University, National Law University, Children’s University, Indian Institute of Teacher’s Education, etc. 

Water conservation becomes a mass movement

$img_titleSince Gujarat had been a perennially water scarce region with recurrent droughts and a vast semi-arid areas, the Government undertook major irrigation projects like the Sardar Sarovar Dam and its canal network; state-wide Water Grid, interlinking of rivers and so on. These were complemented by the conservation and judicious use of ground-water in agriculture, ensured after the implementation of the Jyotigram Yojna. The game-changer however was, the massive water harvesting and conservation campaign undertaken by involving people. Powered by this jan-bhagidari, over 550,000 water management structures have been built in the last 10 years. The building of these simple, local and low cost water harvesting structures in the form of check dams, village ponds and boribandhs has ensured the conservation of water in every nook and corner of the state.  A paradigm shift has been brought about to ensure safe drinking water to the entire population of Gujarat for the years to come – moving from using 75 per cent groundwater previously to using 85 per cent surface-water now. The distribution of the same is being done by people’s participation with 14,000 water committees formed to operate and maintain in village water facilities through Water and Sanitation Management Organisation. Its success has been acclaimed internationally, winning the likes of the UN Public Service Award for Best Participatory Practice (2009), Commonwealth Association for Public Administration & Management Award for Innovative Citizen Engagement (2010), etc. Gujarat is also the first state in India to have a Water Grid – comprising 1,900 kilometres of bulk pipelines and 1 lakh kilometres of distribution pipelines with filtration plants covering almost 10,000 villages in the State.

Revolution in energy sector: 24x7 three phase uninterrupted power supply

$img_titleGujarat has revolutionised its energy sector. Through Jyoti Gram Yojana - a feeder bifurcation scheme - 3 phase power on 24x7 basis, is supplied to all domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in the villages/rural areas. All the 18,000 villages and 9700 hamlets have been covered under the scheme. This stands out in sharp contrast in a country where even the national capital New Delhi suffers from power-cuts. This model has shown how electricity can be managed intelligently to give a dramatic multiplier effect on the rural economy and quality of life. Targeting 10 per cent of its total power generation to come through non-conventional energy resources, the state has put in place policies and incentives to promote such energy sources, with wind and solar power generation in particular getting a lot of attention.
More important is the multiplier effect that spans many other dimensions in rural Gujarat - improved medical, communication and consumer facilities; boost to commercial and educational activities; expansion in ancillary employment and so on. All this finally leads to reduction in rural to urban migration. 

Sustainable Agriculture

To ensure that the benefits of water management are translated into agriculture growth, Gujarat launched an intensive statewide agriculture extension campaign Krishi Mahotsav (Agrifest). All the 18,000 villages of the state are covered in the drive involving not only the agriculture extension machinery and agri-scientists but also about 100,000 government personnel of all levels from related Departments, NGOs and representatives of various agencies connected to agri production, marketing and finance. Gujarat’s farmer has got a new perspective and broader vision owing to these interactions. The Government issues Soil Health Cards to its farmers - another unique initiative. These cards give farmers a detailed analysis of the composition and texture of their soil, on the basis of which they are guided regarding the type of crops to be sown and agri inputs to be used. Area under cultivation has increased from 105 lakh hectares 113 lakh hectares.

Next generation infrastructure

$img_titleGujarat has given a major thrust on creating robust, sustainable and next generation infrastructure. Its road network of about 74,500 km is the highest in terms of network density per sq km in India. Placing as much emphasis on quality as on quantity, approximately 92 per cent of Gujarat’s roads are paved - significantly higher than India’s average of 58 per cent as well as those of other advanced states. In one of its study in 2010, World Bank (WB) said that exemplary reforms in Gujarat’s highway sector should be replicated by Indian states to establish an “enabling framework” for creating “efficient governance”. Again in 2011, in a study for Planning Commission of India, the World Bank said Gujarat offers an example of international best practice in roads management.

Going beyond the conventional infrastructure domains of roads, ports, airports, etc, Gujarat has focused considerable attention on thinking a step ahead and developing the next generation of infrastructure. The Gujarat State Wide Area Network is the largest optical fiber network in Asia - connecting all government offices at every level, right up to our 18,000 villages. This strong network and state-of-the-art infrastructure for ICT providing broadband connectivity to all the villages–ensures that public services can be delivered right at the doorstep of the common man in the village.

Flagship Schemes and Projects

Powering unprecedented change in Gujarat

$img_titleGujarat began with an integrated strategy for inclusive growth called panchamrit addressing energy security, conservation and management of water, education particularly for girls, development of human resources and security. This approach led the state to today’s quantum jump in development. Following are some of the flagship schemes and projects that have powered unprecendented change in the State.

108 Emergency Service is a comprehensive 24x7 emergency service that attends to not only medical emergencies but the police and fire emergencies as well.

Chiranjeevi Yojana ensures availability of the best obstetricians of the private sector for women. This takes into account a case mix of normal and complicated deliveries. The service package includes a service fee for pre-delivery consultation, ultra-sonography, transportation for the pregnant woman and incentive to the accompanying attendant. The success of Chiranjeevi Yojna has been extended to infants through the Bal Sakha Yojana where the Government of Gujarat partners with the private pediatricians to provide healthcare to new-borns and infants.

Mission Mangalam is a scheme to take women to a different level of sustainability and earnings by linking them with banks, building capacities and nurturing them through public private partnership.

Garib Kalyan Mela is an innovative way to distribute assistance to BPL families. Such Melas are held in all districts and sub-districts. The aim is to ensure that 100 per cent funds reach 100 per cent beneficiaries.

Speedy Justice is ensured through Evening Courts using the existing infrastructure. It enables the common man to seek justice without wasting his working hours during the day. On the other hand, since petty cases are taken up in the evening courts, it leads to lessening the burden of the State judiciary allowing it to concentrate on more important legal issues pending before it. In addition to this, more than 3.6 lakh cases have been disposed off during the year 2010 through Lok Adalats. Another innovative approach is Female Court.

SWAGAT Online enables direct interaction between the citizens and the Chief Minister. In Gandhinagar, the fourth Thursday of every month is a SWAGAT day - wherein. The highest officer in administration attends to the grievances of the common man. The Secretaries of respective Departments remain present in person while the district officials like the Collector, District Development Officer, Superintendent of Police etc are available online on video conferencing. It’s a real-time interaction of all stakeholders, leaving no room for manipulation of facts.

Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit invites investment in the state. Out of the MoUs signed during Vibrant 2009, 45.5 per cent of large projects and 76.16 per cent of SME projects have been either commissioned or are under implementation. This is far above the average rate of implementation on the national level.

Special Investment Regions (SIRs) instead of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being set up. These SIRs are going to become one of the biggest planned urban developments of the world. They are envisioned to be ‘a new Gujarat within Gujarat’. These developments are going to change the economic profile of the entire country, and will make a tremendous impact on the global economy.

Sunday, 03, June 2012
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