Social Progress In Gujarat – Has The State Lived Up To Its Dreams?

by Debraj Bhattacharya - Nov 23, 2022 06:10 PM +05:30 IST
Social Progress In Gujarat – Has The State Lived Up To Its Dreams?Education and health infrastructure in Gujarat
  • As Gujarat goes to polls next month, let us take a look at key developments the state has witnessed in the education and health sectors over the past few years.

As the State of Gujarat goes to polls in December, here’s a two-part series to study how Gujarat has fared across 5 S’s –

  • ‘Shiksha’ (education),

  • ‘Swasth’ (health),

  • ‘Sushasan’ (public governance),

  • Samriddhi’ (general well-being), and

  • ‘Shanti’ (law and order). 

The first part will focus on the crucial aspects of education and public health infrastructure. 


A lot of focus has been on Gujarat’s education model off late, with the AAP particularly talking of the Delhi model to compare how Gujarat is just not up to the mark in this space. 

While definitive concerns remain around girl-child education and around some other parameters in Gujarat’s education space, a lot remains unnoticed by the general populace. 

Let us look at key developments that the state has witnessed in education sector over past few years. 

  • Gujarat has allocated over 15 per cent of it’s budget over the past eight years to the education sector. In the past 20 years, 185,000 teachers have been recruited in the state. 

  • It is the first state to launch learning outcome-based students’ report card. Gujarat has also launched a centre called Vidya Samiksha Kendra to monitor school education systems online. Around 10 billion data points have been collected through this platform. 

  • Under the famed Gyankunj Project, over 15,000 smart classrooms have been built across Gujarat. In 2022-23, around 24,000 more such classrooms are expected to be made functional. 

  • Around 11.5 million is the daily online attendance across all schools in the state. All public elementary schools and field officers have been provided with tablets. 

  • Over 350 million virtual classroom sessions have been conducted on MS Teams. YouTube is also being leveraged for live interactive classes for students in Grades 9 to 12. 

  • G-Shala app, that stands for Gujarat Students’ Holistic Adaptive Learning App, has been beneficial to impart education content to students from classes 1 to 12.

    It was an app developed by the State Education Department, and is free for government school students. The app is also available for private school students at a fee. 

  • Under two schemes – Mid-Day meal scheme and Doodh Sanjivani Yojna (DSY) – around 7 million students in the state get free meals and flavoured milk.

    DSY primarily caters to 78 tribal and developing blocks, providing them with 200 ml of milk per child per day. 

  • In March of 2021, World Bank had approved $500 million for a program termed Outcomes for Accelerated Learning Program (GOAL) to improve education outcomes in Gujarat.

    More than 400,000 teachers, greater than 11 million students between ages of 6 and 17 in nearly 54,000 schools are in process of getting benefited from this ambitious program.

    A significant synergy is getting built as part of this program with World Bank – supported Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS), which primarily focuses on improving education across six states. 

  • During the launch of this program, World Bank country Director had mentioned – “Through this program the Government of Gujarat will strengthen implementation at the district level, invest in stakeholder engagement and in teacher capacity to ensure a learning environment where no child of any background is left behind.”

    This will keep reaping greater improvements to Gujarat’s education model in days and months to come. 

In the period from 2015 to 2018, the highest number of Universities among states was set up in Gujarat. A total of 19 Universities were set up in the state.

On 31 March 2022, Gujarat Assembly passed the Gujarat Private Universities (Amendment) Bill 2022, allowing 11 new private Universities to be set up in the state. That will make Gujarat the state with highest number of private Universities.

Some concerns remained though on the timing of introducing the Bill, as it was done on the last day of the state’s Budget session, and was passed without much debate or discussion.


Gujarat has come a long way in health infrastructure over past few years. Let us look at some key developments for the state in this space. 

  • Death rate has decreased from 7.8 in 2001 to 5.6 in 2019. 

  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has reduced drastically from 202 during 1999-01 to 75 in 2016-18. 

  • Infant Mortality Rate has gone down from 60 in 2001 to 25 in 2019. 

  • At end of October 2021, the state had 345 community health centers, 1,477 primary health centers, and 9,231 sub centers functioning. 

  • Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, as on 10 June 2022, 41 lakh people in Gujarat, many of them women and tribals, have received free treatment.

  • Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogaya Yojana, 1.55 crore Ayushman cards have been created and a total of 2,756 hospitals have been empanelled in Gujarat effective 19 September 2022. 

  • In 2001, there were nine medical colleges in Gujarat. That has gone up to 30 in 2022. While there were 1,100 MBBS seats in 2001 in the state, there are now 5,700 in 2022. PG seats have increased from 800 to around 2,000.   

  • Malnutrition in women continues to be a major health hazard in India for women and their kids alike. From 1 January 2017, central government had launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana’ (PMMVY).

    Under this maternity benefit programme, a cash incentive of Rs 5,000 is provided directly to the bank and PO account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) for first living child subject to fulfilling specific conditions.

    As of 18 June 2022, benefits amounting to Rs 400 crores have been given to 9 lakh women in Gujarat under PMMVY.

  • Poshan Abhiyaan, that was launched by PM on 8 March 2018, has been leading multiple initiatives to enhance nutritional status of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children in the 0-6 years bracket of age.

    Poshan Panchayats for Poshan Maah (that is celebrated over September 2022), seminars, Ayush for anemia, and multiple programs have been organised as part of this scheme.

    From FY 2017-18 to FY 2021-22, Rs 299.8 crore has been released by centre to Gujarat for this scheme. 

  • Under the National Health Mission, a safe motherhood intervention program called Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is being nationally implemented to promote institutional delivery among poor pregnant women, with an aim to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

    In 2020-21, about 2 lakh pregnant women were covered under this scheme in Gujarat. As of October 2021, for 2021-22, around 84,000 pregnant women had been covered. 

  • On 18 June 2022, PM had launched Gujarat’s Mukhyamantri Mantru Shakti Yojana and Poshan Sudha Yojana in the state’s 14 tribal areas. 

  • The AM Naik Healthcare Complex and Nirali Multispecialty Hospital was inaugurated in Navsari on10 June this year. 28 May saw inauguration of Matushri KDP Multispecialty Hospital in Rajkot. 

  • WHO has had a leadership role in promoting traditional medicine, when founded on the pillars of evidence, innovation, and sustainability.

    To this effect, the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM), a knowledge centre for traditional medicine, was inaugurated in Jamnagar on 19 April 2022. An investment of $250 million from GoI will support this Centre.     

  • Under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), AIIMS Rajkot is being set up with an aim to reduce ‘gaps’ in affordable tertiary health care. 

“Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong”, said John F Kennedy. The close interrelation of ‘swasth’ and ‘shiksha’ is what Gujarat is aiming at through the slew of aforementioned measures.

Come December, and the state’s populace will decide if these have indeed yielded positive results for the masses, or a lot has remained wanting. 

Also Read: Why Monsoon, Markets, And MSP Could Give A Boost To BJP In Rural Gujarat

Debraj is a management and digital transformation consultant, and has worked with leading consulting organizations globally. His sectoral expertise is Retail (apparel, grocery) and Consumer Goods. He had done his MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad, and he harbours an avid interest in policy-making.
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