Common Sense and Quality of Life

Recently, a doctor friend of mine in Hyderabad commented that too many people were approaching him with respiratory disorders. This can be partly explained by the winter cold. But in a substantial measure our illnesses are man-made. Here are some facts for you. A study by a reputed public health journal pointed out that 30-50 % of twin cities population is suffering from allergy, asthma and other respiratory disorders. Other studies also pointed out that almost 25% of school children in the city are suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders such as bronchitis.

Plundering the Public Exchequer

Throughout history, plundering the public exchequer for private gain has been the favourite pastime of unscrupulous crooks. No society, or no age is an exception to this. Sometimes such fraud is by misrepresentation and deceit, but often in collusion with officials entrusted with the responsibility of protecting public good.

Public Health Expenditure and Inequity

That economic prosperity and the state of health of a community go together is a self-evident proposition. As global prosperity improved after the Second World War, there has been significant improvement in health indicators. According to the Economist (Dec 20, 2001), between 1960 and 1995, life expectancy in poor countries rose by a remarkable 22 years. Infant mortality, which was around 150 per 1000 live births, fell to 40 on an average.

Services Sector – Myths and Realities

Over the past few years, there has been a major debate in India on the relative importance of services sector vis-v-vis manufacturing and agriculture. Economists say services now account for nearly 50% of our GDP, and their growth at 8 to 10% per annum is outpacing both industry and agriculture. Some claim that the rise in service sector's GDP marks a structural shift in the Indian economy and takes it closer to the fundamentals of a developed economy.

Perfection of Means and Confusion of Ends

For over half a century, economic prosperity has been the goal of post-war world. Even by 1939, the United States emerged as an economic giant, and the war only enhanced its economic strength and global power.  Western Europe was devastated by war, but with American support in the form of Marshall plan, there was rapid reconstruction and recovery. Japan too resumed its place among the prosperous nations quickly, thanks to the high levels of human development achieved even by late 19th century.

Mosquitoes, Musi and the USA factor

I recently learnt about a junior college-going boy who contracted dengue fever and later passed away.  His father was simply inconsolable.  As a fellow parent I was shocked at the tragic loss of a precious, young child.  When my children go to sleep, every night I adjust the mosquito nets on their beds so that mosquitoes cannot come in. Every parent can understand my anxiety.