Amartya Sen

The Noble Laureate, Amartya Sen, has lauded Bangladesh’s advancement in several social sectors, particularly in life expectance, child health and mortality, fertility rate, and female literacy in companion to those in India. Despite lower rate of GNP in comparison to its big neighbour, Bangladesh did reasonably well in various facets of its human development segments, he added. Dr Sen made this observation at an article carried by TheTelegraph Thursday under the headline “An exclusive emphasis on GNP growth can be harmful.” In it he said that higher GNP could “reduce various indicators of poverty and deprivation, and to expand different features of quality of life, but it could never be “a good predictor of valuable features of our lives”.

education_developmentIn this instance, he compared India with Bangladesh, and said though India enjoyed “a huge lead over Bangladesh” in terms of par capita income (India’s $1,170 to $590 in Bangladesh), but “India’s income advantage” didn’t seeped into areas for human well-beings.

The Noble Laureate compared life expectancy of two countries, and said “Life expectancy in Bangladesh is 66.9 years compared with India’s 64.4. The proportion of underweight children in Bangladesh (41.3 per cent) is lower than that in India (43.5), and its fertility rate (2.3) is also lower than India’s (2.7). Mean years of schooling amount to 4.8 years in Bangladesh compared with India’s 4.4 years”.

Conceding India’s higher male literacy rate in age group of 15 to 24 in comparison to Bangladesh, Dr Sen said “the female rate in Bangladesh is higher than in India. Interestingly, the female literacy rate among young Bangladeshis is actually higher than the male rate, whereas young women still have substantially lower rates than young males in India”. He opined “Bangladesh’s current progress has a great deal to do with the role that liberated Bangladeshi women are beginning to play in the country”.

resizeDr Sen was full of praise for real good work in the fields of health services in Bangladesh. He said in child mortality and child immunization fields it showcased its success. He said in Bangladesh “mortality rate of children under five is sixty-six per thousand in India compared with fifty-two in Bangladesh. In infant mortality, Bangladesh has a similar advantage: it is fifty per thousand in India and forty-one in Bangladesh. While 94 percent of Bangladeshi children are immunized with DPT vaccine, only 66 per cent of Indian children are”.

At the same time, Dr Sen opined that “Bangladesh’s living conditions will benefit greatly from higher economic growth, particularly if the country uses it as a means of doing good things, rather than treating economic growth and high per capita income as ends in themselves”. In this respect, he lauded the “committed public policies of the government and “the imaginative activism” of its NGOs leading the achievement of this “result”. While saying that “But higher income, including larger public resources, will obviously enhance Bangladesh’s ability to achieve better lives for its people”.  


JUNE 12, 2014



About Ehsan Abdullah

An aware citizen..
This entry was posted in ACHIEVEMENTS - SUCCESS, CHALLENGES, CURRENT ISSUES, EDUCATION POLICY, FOREIGN RELATIONS & POLICY, GENDER EQUALITY, HEALTHCARE, REFLECTION - Refreshing our Memories, SOCIO-ECONOMY -- Inequality, Poverty, Distribution & Poverty, STRATEGY & POLICY and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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