On the eve of the country’s 62nd Independence Day, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government chose to advertise extensively about achieving several goals it had envisaged in the National Common Minimum Programme. However, a Mint analysis shows that most of the claims are at best half-truths. While surveys find that corruption by officials is rampant—they are unprepared to spare even the poorest of the poor—the ambitious farm loan waiver package has failed to keep unscrupulous moneylenders at bay or help farmers wriggle out of poverty and debt traps. Funds meant to promote education in the countryside go unutilized even as higher education institutes, such as IITs, lack proper infrastructure to support students. State governments that say the Centre is not doing enough to ensure proper implementation of the Mid-day Meal Scheme and child welfare programmes are themselves missing development targets. The progress of the rural health mission programme has been tardy and the states are complacent about safeguarding the rights of the underprivileged, including tribals. Here is an independent scorecard.
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