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Vast changes in political ideology and economic policies across the world have occurred in the last few decades. People of different countries have been affected differently, but everywhere, always in a significant way.
Since liberation, Goa has achieved remarkable progress. Liberation's greatest gain has been the sense of self-respect regained, the opening of opportunity portals, particularly to the vast mass of people who've been denied upward mobility over the centuries and perhaps millennia. In key sectors, such as education, great strides have been made.
The literacy rate here in 1961 was 30 percent. If we exclude some persons over the age of 50 and a section of migrant labor, Goa is now a fully literate state. Mainly by private institutions, this has been achieved. Regrettably, government schools are in appalling condition themselves.
As a result, they are only sent to government schools for those who can not afford to enroll their children in private schools. Our Constitution enshrines the fundamental right to education for all children up to the age of 14 years.
'Free education' means not only tuition fees but also adequate classrooms and teachers, free uniforms, textbooks, and other educational materials. In the Computer Era, inequalities in education will be accentuated. Only if necessary steps are taken right now can the dangerous "digital divide" be prevented.
The ideal is the "Common school system" in each location where all children go, regardless of social class or religious affiliation, with quality government schools are known as "neighborhood schools." In Scandinavia and other educationally advanced countries, this is the system that persists.
At the national and international level, Goa University should be a center of academic excellence. It should be a great instrument to enable Goa's youth and the country at large to deal with and thrive in today's increasingly competitive world.
In 1987, the Official Language Act was enacted. It was intended to strengthen our common cultural heritage and to achieve greater unity and harmony between our people. Yet, those who write Konkani in the Roman script are entitled to the same protection available to those who write in Devanagari in the process of implementing the Act.
Tourism was adopted as the main sector for Goa's development in the 1960s, primarily because of its potential to generate employment in a state with an increasingly educated workforce and limited industrial growth. To a large extent, the employment objective has been achieved in as much as almost one-third of the population of Goa is engaged in tourism-related activities.
As Goa is a small state, however, its carrying capacity should be considered in terms of its size, the facilities available, and ecological fragility. Until a decade ago, there was very little awareness of the need for sustainable tourism development among policymakers in Goa or elsewhere in the world.
That is their constitutional right and it is derived from Article 29(1) of the constitution of India. Konkani, however, should only be taught in schools using the Devanagari script. The reason is that children learn the Roman script through the study of English, which is important for international communication and to take advantage of the country's increasing employment opportunities. Equally important for access to Indian culture and other Indian languages is Devanagari.
Three fundamental elements, economic, social, and environmental, are considered in the sustainable development of tourism. To avoid consumer dissatisfaction, economic sustainability consists of maintaining the growth rate at a manageable level.
In Goa, the basic physical infrastructure requires to be updated. The ability of society to absorb tourist arrivals without adversely affecting local well-being and value systems refers to social sustainability. Environmental sustainability relates to the environmental capacity to manage the impact of the population without damage.
The landscape of Goa has been transformed by mega construction projects. Mega buildings have now progressed from the coastline into the hinterland and harm the local population's lifestyle. Scientifically, non-disposal of waste often assumes threatening proportions. In our state, there is apprehension about the influx of "outsiders." The people from other states who come here mostly for employment are called "outsiders".
The first Goa Migration Survey was published by the Department of NRI Affairs in 2008. In 43 countries, it identified the Goan Diaspora and stated that "the actual number of countries would be much larger. Goans are found all over the world and it would be hard to name a country without a community of Goans."
Under the heading "Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development," the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP) released its annual Human Development Report. The report deals entirely with migration within and between countries. It finds that migrants improve economic output and immigration generally improves employment in host communities, does not swarm or crowd, contrary to commonly held beliefs.
While these people of Goa can be justifiably proud of the vast social and economic progress accomplished over the last five decades, at this point, we are also facing many challenges. With confidence and commitment to values that shape a forward-moving and progressive society, we should confront them.