Thursday, December 15, 2011


I read a news article this morning that in 2011 India ranked at No. 91, out of a possible 110, on the Prosperity index. Norway was at No. 1 position for the third consecutive year, and we had slipped from No. 78 position in 2009 to # 88 in 2010 and to 91 in 2011. I decided to research this a little further and went to the offiial website of the Legatum Institute that does this study. This is what I found.........

Quote. The (Legatum) Index defines prosperity as both - wealth and wellbeing, and finds that the most prosperous nations in the world are not necessarily those that have only a high GDP, but are those that also have happy, healthy, and free citizens.

The Legatum Prosperity Index™ assesses 110 countries, accounting for over 90 percent of the world’s population, and is based on 89 different variables, each of which has a demonstrated effect on economic growth or on personal wellbeing. The Index consists of eight sub-indexes, each of which represents a fundamental aspect of prosperity:

  •  Economy - Stable and growing economies increase per capita income and promote the overall wellbeing of its citizens.
  • Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (E&O) - A strong entrepreneurial climate in which citizens can pursue new ideas and opportunities for improving their lives leads to higher levels of income and wellbeing.
  • Governance - Well-governed societies enjoy national economic growth and citizen wellbeing.
  • Education - Education is a building block for prosperous societies.
  • Health - A strong healthcare infrastructure in which citizens are able to enjoy good physical and mental health leads to higher levels of income and wellbeing.
  • Safety & Security - Societies plagued by threats to national security and personal safety cannot foster growth in average levels of income or wellbeing.
  • Personal Freedom - When citizens enjoy their rights to expression, belief, organisation, and personal autonomy in a society welcoming of diversity, their country enjoys higher levels of income and social wellbeing.
  • Social Capital - Social networks and the cohesion that a society experiences when people trust one another have a direct effect on the prosperity of a country.
Each of the sub-indexes provides us with two important analyses: first, an economic assessment, and second, an assessment of a country’s subjective wellbeing, or happiness. Unquote.
Our 91st ranking is on account of Economy (53), Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (90), Governance (41), Education (88), Health (95), Safety and Security (97), Personal Freedom (73), Social Capital (104). We are below the half way mark (55) on 6 of the 8 sub-indices, as follows: -
  • Entrepreneurship and Opportunity. Poor entrepreneurial infrastructure is the cause - any guesses why Indians do well any where in the world, except in India.
  • Education. This is absolutely shameful. Right to Education has taken a long time coming.
  • Health. Lack of clean drinking water, lack of vaccinations, malnourishment, and inadequate health infrastructre all add to this low ranking.
  • Safety & Security. Displacement, political violence, and crime are to blame for this ranking.
  • Personal freedom. Low individual freedom and low tolerance of immigrants (thanks to the Thackerey's and likes) are responsible for this.
  • Social Capital. This exists primarily on account of family and religious ties.
Lot of this may be disputed, but then a study covering 110 countries would be better at looking at all these indices, than an individual with his own opinions and perceptions.

In short, there is a long way to go to achieving the dream of an India where every Indian can have at least roti, kapda, makaan, healthcare, and then move onto getting some food for his brain too, through free and compulsory education.

Those interested can view the complete Index at




Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Listening to the debates on TimesNow on the corruption and Lokpal issues, what struck me - what is the best gift that we can leave behind for our children, and their generation.

I believe it would be to leave behind a better world; a better country; a better city; a better home for them than what we  inherited.