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Ahluwalia urges diaspora to invest in health, education


New Delhi : Inviting overseas Indians to invest in health and education, deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia Tuesday said that India needed more investment in these sectors to take the country to a higher growth circuit.

Speaking at the Sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Ahluwalia said that the main area of concern for the government would in providing social services.

“It is true that the indicators for health and education are not in line of a country that has transited and hopes to transit to a higher growth curve,” Ahluwalia said.

He said there was room to involve the private sector in health and education, and also for private-public partnership in these sectors.

Ahluwalia also explained the United Progressive Alliance government’s plan to bring a health insurance scheme for the poor, with 75 percent to be paid by the central and the rest by the state governments.

The idea of a health insurance scheme was also enthusiastically taken up by Analjit Singh, chairman of the Max India group of companies. “Health insurance is the next big thing to happen,” said Singh.

But, at the same time, Singh underscored the challenge of health insurance in a country where only one percent of population is covered by individual insurance and 10 percent by group insurance.

Sankara Netharalaya’s S.S. Badrinath urged the diaspora to take interest in projects like telemedicine and mobile clinics.

Meanwhile, the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPIO) said that their project for improving the health sector in rural areas is set to kick off in April following the signing of a MoU with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

AAPIO president Hemant Patel said they were negotiating with the health ministry to sign an agreement for co-operation in the field of emergency care and trauma.