Some stats from my memory, which you will find interesting, in case you didn’t know. I divide them into two categories viz those stats that are likely to improve and those that will worsen. I am sure there are a million other ways of looking at things and that many other stats. These are some i know about.
Improving and likely to improve further:-
These statistics are showing improvement and are likely to improve further.
While agriculture provides the largest source of employment its share in economic output as a percentage has reduced to 18% employing nearly 50% of the labour force. Agricultural growth is needed to increase income. As lesser and lesser number of people depend on agriculture per capita income of agriculturists will increase. Prices of food items has risen several fold in the past few years and many farmers have become rich overnight.
Non-renewable sources of energy are expected to exhaust soon. Our present energy deficit where we import nearly 80% of our petroleum requirements might cease to exist in four to five decades as petro stocks dwindle. We are endowed with large renewable resources such as solar and wind energy.
Electricity T&D among highest in the world
Most state electricity boards have reported improvement in T&D losses which are at a high 20-25%. The reduction in losses is being aided by modern methods/devices of electricity distribution and slow migration to smart grids. Per capita consumption of power has increased and is now at nearly 800 units per person per year.
Giant strides in education are being taken and literacy would soon reach eighty to ninety percent in another decade. We are losing our uniqueness on this dimension fast. People are recognizing the importance of educating their children.
Low Telecom and Internet Penetration
A large percentage of consumers have wireless as a means of connectivity in the last mile. Rural tele density which was very low before the advent of mobile phones has reached nearly 40%. Urban areas have nearly 100% tele-density and almost everyone in cities now owns a mobile phone. Smartphone sales have started picking up and the trickle is turning into an avalanche. Internet penetration has reached 200 million users in which a majority access through their mobiles. Internet user base is increasing at a rate of 6 million every month at this time (July,2014). Mobile data consumption has doubled in the last one year. There are a large number of students using the internet as a learning tool.
Cash heavy economy
The number of credit and debit cards is slowly picking up. The number of ATMs has crossed the figure of 1 lakh and is set to cross 5 lakh in five years. The figure of Per capita ATM machines in India is among the lowest in the world. Financial Inclusion is the new mantra. There are nearly 400million debit cards and 24 million credit card users. Computerization in banks has made it easier to give better service to customers. Internet banking, mobile banking and branchless banking have made it a very different playfield.
Caste and Religion hold sway
Slow progress in cutting away divisions of caste and creed is apparent. There is improvement in the orthodox thinking of the earlier generation and the newer generation is more open minded. There are more and more inter caste and inter religion marriages. Reservations even though not a good step to reduce inequities is working at reducing poverty among dalits. People esp the lower castes suffered as a consequence of the rigid structure of the society. Beliefs and value systems in the society are changing. Wealth is a new parameter of class and caste is losing its hold. Modern thinking youth are thinking differently than their elders and questioning unfair practices, taboos, traditions and rules.
No proper town planning
Our cities and towns lack proper planning of roads and other civic amenities. We are losing an opportunity to plan our cities by improper laws and restrictions. Most towns have controls over FSI (Floor Space Index) and this has a bearing on the rental rates which are among the highest in the world. Most towns have controls such as in Bangalore where development cannot happen in the green belt. Such restrictions have caused illegal and unregulated development in the green belt. This is a lost opportunity at development with proper planning.
Worsening and likely to worsen further:-
Water scarcity and desertification are a reality we are staring at and this seeming worsening of matters should be turned into sustainable equilibrium by determined action. River interlinking can be a solution to problems of excess and shortages. Stricter implementation of pollution standards and zero tolerance for law breakers needed. Government should work with the industry to take our businessmen into confidence. It is not necessary that Industry partake with the profits and benefit citizens. They should at-least take measures to not harm their health as a consequence of their operations. Those industries that draw resources such as water, electricity and minerals and those that exploit labour such as mines should implement steps to mitigate the impact of their operations.
Low rates of divorce
While divorce rates are very low in our country there is a gradual increase in the numbers. This shows that couples are no longer willing to put up with unhappy marriages. While this development looks to be a worsening from the past it also correlates with increasing incomes and greater financial freedom of the female. Hence increasing divorce rates seem to be a natural consequence of development.
This is a statistic which is a cause for concern. There are only 930 females for every 1000 males.