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Thursday, 2 June 2011

£400 Million of British Foreign Aid Given to India Had No Effect

£400 Million Foreign Aid Given to India Had No Effect

Hundreds of millions of pounds of British money sent to improve India’s schools has been wasted, as a governmental report reveals the country’s education standards are in fact falling.
Over the last eight years, LibLabCon governments have pumped £388 million into India’s education system and plan to spend another £117 million by 2013.
However, the Annual Status of Education Report into Indian schools revealed that much of the money has been wasted and that levels of reading, writing and arithmetic have dropped.
Standards in some regions have fallen to such an extent that national figures show up to a quarter of primary school teachers are routinely absent, half of ten-year-olds cannot read a sentence and only a third can do a simple sum.
The report, announced by Indian vice president Shri Hamid Ansari, found that the money sent by Britain has made no impact. It concluded: ‘Close scrutiny of India’s education system reveals a sobering truth – that this large investment has been spent poorly.
The highly regarded independent report found that, while there had been an increase in the number of children attending school, results are now considerably worse than those three years earlier: ‘The changes that can be discerned in the system as a whole are minor and often imperceptible,’ it read.
The news comes amid Coalition plans to enshrine in law an increase in British aid spending of over £12 billion and rising a year at a time when public services are facing sweeping cuts.
The Department for International Development (DfID) has already received criticism of its funding for India’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan education programme after investigations exposed corruption within the scheme, with up to £70 million going astray.
Britain is the only major country in the world set to meet an international target to spend 0.7 per cent of its annual income on foreign aid by 2014. We already contribute twice the G8 average of 0.28 per cent.
Incredibly, International Development Minister Alan Duncan defended Britain’s exorbitant foreign aid packages by saying they make Britain ‘popular’ aboard.
The Conservative minister also denounced criticism of foreign aid as ‘aid bashing’ and ‘illogical’ and employed the David Cameron trick of baseless claiming it stops immigration and terrorism.
He ridiculously tried to defend Britain’s foreign aid wastage by saying, ‘If you had a pound, would you give a halfpenny to stop someone dying in the street? The answer is you probably would, actually,’ seemingly unaware that it is not his ‘halfpenny’ that he is giving away.
India is the chief beneficiary of British aid, despite having its own space, nuclear and foreign aid programmes. It gets £295 million a year from British taxpayers.
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