Private coaching market in India is presently estimated to be over 70 billion USD. With high individual spending and marked state wise disparity a concerted examination of this market is imperative.
By 2025, an unprecedented demographic transition will put India in a position where 64 per cent of its population will be of working age. Currently, the absence of a skilled workforce ails the economy. An overhaul of our education system is required to rectify the current flaws and to cater to the needs of a growing economy.
The National Policy on Education of 1968 and 1986 were framed with the objective to foster a national identity and kept in mind the social purpose of education. These features are conspicuously absent from the draft policy of 2016.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 was implemented in the light that education is an entitlement and not an act of charity. The Act includes the provision of a quota for disadvantaged sections in private, unaided schools. However, a near-decade later no meaningful progress has been achieved.
Mental health issues remain unreported over most of India. According to the 2017 World Health Organisation (WHO) Report, major or minor mental illnesses requiring expert intervention is 7.5 per cent of India’s population. Also, estimates show that of roughly 60 million people with mental illnesses, about 90 per cent are currently not receiving treatment in India.
In March 2018, the Supreme Court of India in a landmark judgement passed an order legitimising passive euthanasia in India. However, if passive euthanasia through a ‘living will’ is legalised, the courts must engage medical practitioners to also look at providing terminal patients a painless way of passing on.
Rising levels of air pollution are posing a health hazard to people worldwide. In 2016, exposure to ambient PM2.5 caused 1.025 million deaths in India. While a number of policies to combat air pollution exists, improper implementation leaves us gasping for the most basic of human needs—air.
The Indian Health sector currently suffers from a skewed doctor to patient ratio. India must look beyond recruitment, focus on retention of public sector doctors and use methods of social science and management for enhanced delivery of public health services.
The Union Government’s budget speech of 2018-19 announced two major initiatives, the National Health Protection Scheme and the establishment of Health and Wellness Centres. Central and state governments have always put health at the forefront of planning, but public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP has remained low. Low expenditure, skewed distribution of coverage across states, lack of facilities in government hospitals among other problems prevail in the public health sector.
Accessible and affordable healthcare in the public sector can reduce India’s growing dependence on private institutions. However, at present lopsided and poorly manned governmental facilities leave no alternatives apart from accessing private institutions and incurring a high ‘out-of-pocket’ expenditure in health care.