Gujarat Model of Development

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1056 , Published on 03 November 2014

A state which was nowhere in the list of highly developed states in the India in terms of GDP in 2000 is now rank 5 in the same list, beating many well established states like Punjab, Karnataka, West Bengal and alike. In terms of Human Development Index (based on Consumption), it is also way above states like West Bengal, Karnataka and also the National average.

Gujarat hosts many industries including the world’s largest refinery of Reliance, world’s largest shipbreaking yard, India’s only Liquid Chemical Port and many more. The state is has the largest WAN connection in Asia connecting over 26 districts. In the nation where over 30% of population is not connected by proper roads, the state has almost 90% connectivity through tar roads. In the nation where people face an average of 3 hours of power cuts, the state has almost 100% of its rural population getting 24 hours electricity. The state has also registered a powerful double digit growth in agriculture over past 10 years when the nation could make barely 2% in the same. Malnourishment in Gujarat improved by over 30% as compared to 9% nationally. It has the lowest levels of unemployment in India. In the past decade, the state experienced a GDP growth over 10% when the rest of nation was growing at a rate of ~7.5%. Achieving a balance between both the industry and the agriculture; the urban and the rural, the state has surpassed almost all the regions in the country in terms of development.

This miracle is attributed to the 10 years reign of the BJP government under the then CM Narendra Modi. The change which he has brought into this semi-arid largely rural state was so drastic that his methodology became known as the Gujarat Model. Now that he has become the Prime Minister of India, we expect him to perform the same extra-ordinary feat at the national level. Let us first understand how this model worked.

What is the Gujarat Model-?

The initiative taken by Modi government could be classified under 6 heads-

1. Power sector reforms

2. Agricultural sector & Water reforms

3. Infrastructure build-up

4. Industry & Investment sector reforms

5. Healthcare reforms

6. Women empowerment

The success of the model lies in formulating and implementing schemes targeting a specific population, which makes it more effective. The Jyotigram Yojana has promised to provide 24 hours domestic power supply and a minimum of 8 hours power supply for irrigation throughout the 18000 villages in the state. Aided by statewide tar roads and innovative ideas in irrigation, including check dams, has boosted the agricultural growth way faster the national average.

Gujarat government has implemented many schemes not only for development of agriculture but also for increasing the awareness about them in public. This is evident from the festival celebrations of Krishi Mahostav and other such activities.

Other such festivals are Gunostav, for assessing the quality of primary school education and Kanya Kelwani, for promoting the enrolment of girl child in schools. These programs have increased the primary school enrolments from 73% to 86% and literacy rate among women from 53% to 71%.

One of the main aspects of growth of Gujarat model has been the decentralized growth. This was achieved by many programs like rural electrification, transport facilities, water management programs etc. to bring the growth of villages at par with the cities in terms of human development.

In line with providing focused schemes for most suitable target population, schemes like Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (for tribal population), Sagarkhedu Yojana (for coastal fishermen) etc. have put focused efforts for development of those parts of the society which generally remain untouched. To take one step forward in decentralizing governance and empowering local self-governance bodies, Apno Taluko, Vibrant Taluko system and Jan Vikas Kendra have been formulated to increase the effectiveness of the implementation of the schemes at village level.

The e-governance initiatives have also put the growth on fast track in addition to bringing transparency in the whole system. It has made acquisition of legal documents like land papers, domicile certificate etc. a convenient process even at district level.

The government has been pro-industry in Gujarat throughout. This has attracted industries to the state from not only the whole country but also from all over the world. With single window clearance for all licensing requirements, super-fast processing of applications, tax concession to certain capital intensive industries, regulatory concessions to newly established businesses, smooth connectivity to all hubs of transport, easy land acquisition process, dependable power supply and many other schemes, the industry has grown here at an unprecedented rate. The fact was acknowledged by none other than World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim in July this year.

Where it lags-

On one hand where the state has done exceedingly well on the fronts of industrial development, it has not performed so well in terms of sustained Human development. The national ranks could be misleading when compared to grossly underdeveloped states like Bihar and Jharkhand. With 12.5% expenditure on education, the state has spent marginally less on education as compared to national average of 13.5%. The infant mortality and maternal mortality rates are also on the higher side in the state which should be brought to attention. The healthcare sector in Gujarat is not at satisfactory levels. Lack of hospital facilities, well-trained doctors and specialist and poor public health facilities have constrained the well-being of the people. The limitations of Gujarat model have also been realized in terms of women literacy, access to drinking water and pukka housing where the state has continuously improving but still has not made to a level to be called a developed state.

Taking it to the National Level-

Of course the Gujarat model is not perfect and has some limitations. It needs some modifications before it can be taken to the national level.

Essentially, the Gujarat model has 4 basic pillars-

1. Heavy focus on development of industry and agriculture;

2. Wide scale implementation of urban infrastructure throughout the state;

3. Encouraging private players in areas like education, sanitation & public health;

4. Decentralized model of governance with tailor made schemes for targeted populations.

What we have seen from the numerous schemes implemented by the government in past 68 years is that the schemes do not reach the people who need them the most. This can be taken care by implementing focused schemes like the Modi government has done in Gujarat. Aided with empowerment of local self-governance and e-governance, they will be more effective than otherwise. In a country heavily burdened with corruption, the e-governance will bring the much needed transparency in the system. The SWAGAT online program for providing solutions for grievances of the public on the taluka level has won UNO’s Best Public Service Award. Such scheme is very much required to be implemented on a national level.

Schemes which are targeted for niche groups like the Vanbandhu Yojana, Sagarkhedu Yojana will have to be taken forward by empowering the local self-governance bodies. They can be scaled up easily to fit the whole nation.

Schemes like electrification, water management, transport facilities etc. were comparatively easy to implement in Gujarat. However, to implement them on a national level, customized approach needs to be maintained for each state and union territory.

The approach of Gujarat model has been bottom-up rather top-down. Blindly extrapolating this model to the vast nation like India having states as diverse as Jharkhand and Kashmir and Mizoram and Punjab is in no way wise. We need to take into account the needs and resources availability of each state and tailor the model accordingly. We need a national-model which will be supported by smaller state-models, which will be based on the Gujarat model.

The implementation on national scale could also be cost effective. Gujarat has managed this bringing down the debts as a part of state’s GDP from 36% to 23% in the past 10 years. According to the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, the Jyotigram Yojana which took ~2000Cr. for implementation could cost ~65000Cr. if we wish to scale it up nationwide, including inflation. Same is more or less true for other schemes.

Final Takeaway-

The schemes implemented by Mr. Modi under Gujarat model are not out-of-the-world innovative techniques. Many of them have been envisioned by our forefathers to a greater extent. However, they not been implemented effectively throughout the nation due to a number of reasons. What we expect is that since Mr. Modi has been able to implement them so well in his home state, he will be able to implement the model with some modifications on a much larger scale. His term in Gujarat has seen one of the best implementation of schemes like JNNURM, PURA etc. A way to better implement the existing schemes; along with some of the innovative schemes with proven success under Gujarat model approach is needed to propel the country towards progress.

This article has been authored by Vaibhav Tyagi & Chinmay Ingole from NMIMS 








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