The state of Madhya Pradesh is making rapid strides in the fields of education, health, tourism and industry.
Madhya Pradesh is home to three World Heritage Sites – Khajuraho, Sanchi and Bhimbetka, six Tiger reserves Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Panna, Satpura and Sanjay dubri, two Jyotirlings at Ujjain and Omkareshwar, Bhedaghat a Natural heritage and Pachmarhi a Biosphere. All of this makes the state a wonderful tourist destination. Hari Ranjan Rao, Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation says, “Madhya Pradesh is primarily perceived as a family destination that offers a safe and wholesome vacation which is a good indicator. But over the years, there has been a paradigm shift in the profile of a tourist. They are young professionals with adequate disposable income, adventurous and ready to experiment. Hence, the State realised the potential of this category of tourists and charted out friendly policies that are both responsible and sustainable with public – private partnerships.” With large forest cover and water bodies the tourism department has come up with policies on camping and water borne activities. Curating rural experiences and promoting homestays, heritage monuments being leased out to be converted into heritage hotels, curating heritage walks to familiarise the visitor with historical importance of different cities like Bhopal, Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior through storytelling and food walks are some key elements.
With a lot of natural resources, fuels, minerals, agriculture and biodiversity, the state is primarily agricultural and now has theme based SEZs upcoming near Jabalpur, industry parks in Indore and food parks at multiple locations. A large number of pharmaceutical units are concentrated in the industrial areas of Dewas, Indore, Pithampur, Mandideep and Malanpur. According to an www.ibef.org report, “Between 2011-12 and 2017-18, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) expanded at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.39 per cent (in rupee terms) to US$ 109.70 billion, whereas the Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) expanded at a CAGR of 14.57 per cent to US$ 99.11 billion.” The Madhya Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (MPSIDC) the nodal agency for industrial growth in the state helps to coordinate, activate and ensure implementation of mega infrastructure projects. The Habibganj Railways station in Bhopal is being redeveloped at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore and the state budget 2018-19 has proposed an allocation of US$ 32.44 million under skill development scheme for teh Asian Development Bank projects. Being a textile hub there is also a need to ger investment into the textile sector for which the government has provided an interest subsidy for five years at the rate of 5 per cent for textile projects and 7 per cent for composite textile projects as well as 100 per cent assistance in plant and machinery for eight years under Industrial Investment Promotion Assistance Scheme. Between Indore, Bhopal, Orchha and Jabalpur there are six convention centres with modern amenities. The recent restoration of Minto Hall as a heritage building (the erstwhile Legislative Assembly) at Bhopal, into an International Convention Centre proves a point that the Government understands the contribution that MICE tourism brings to the State’s economy. The UDAN schemes will further benefit the state that will connect many major tourist destinations.
health wise the government has formulated the Madhya Pradesh Public Health Services Corporation Limited (MPPHSCL) a public company to provide healthcare infrastructure services to 1300 plus healthcare institutions under the department of Health & Family Welfare in the state. The MP-Aushadhi is a web based application that manages stocks of drugs and surgical items of varied drug warehouses. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has two departments namely the Department of Health and the Family Welfare Department of Healh Research that implement various health services across the state. The State Government has health schemes like the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Free Drug Distribution Yojna and Free Pathology Diagnostic Services to ensure healthcare is available for all especially the under privileged. The Madhya Pradesh ‘Arogyam’ is being developed as Primary Health Centres and Urban Primary Health Centres/Civil Dispensaries. The Government has kept the focus on women and child’s health through schemes like Rastriya Baal Swasthya Karykarm, Mukhyamantri Baal Shravan Upchar Yojna and Pradhanmantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSA).
Madhya Pradesh is also emerging as an education hub. Starting with primary education, the Madhya Pradesh State Open School Education Board was set up under the Department of School Education to ensure education for all. The state government has taken several initiatives to ensure equal education opportunities. The department has a Part Credit Scheme for students who have passed in High School and Higher Secondary exam to pass the Madhya Pradesh State Open School Education Board after appearing in a maximum of four other subjects. As per the Shreni Sudhar Yojana, a student who wishes to reappear in the exam to improve his or her rank can do so. The Ruk Jana Nahin Yojana is for students who have been able to pass their Class X and Class XII examinations to provide another chance to clear their exams. The State Open School Board also has made available several vocational courses to the students including language education, computer hardware assembly, stenography, food processing and tailoring. Digital evaluation of answer sheets a system that facilitates scanning of the answer sheets of the students has enabled transparency in the examination system. The Madhya Pradesh State Open School Board and National Entrepreneurship Development Corporation for awareness and digital education has developed a ‘World on Wheel’ mobile computer lab that will move from one school to the other. This lab has 20 computers with internet, generator and solar energy panels and helps train beneficiaries. To help students pursue higher education along with a job after ITI, students who clear ITI after passing Class 10 will be considered equivalent to Class 12. The State government has also made arrangements for free education of underprivileged children as well. To ensure an impetus to technical education, 1350 Technical Training Institutes offering programmes in engineering, architecture, computer applications, hotel management, catering technology, industrial training, business administration, pharmacy, polytechnic, and skill development have been setup.
This story first appeared in Spice Route Magazine’s May 2019 issue here: