UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 1 Mains 2023
As per the economic survey of 2022-23, India became the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of nominal GDP. However, according to the Human Development report of 2021-22, India ranks 132 out of 191 countries, behind Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Reason why human development failed to keep pace with economic development in India is as follows:-
- Income inequality – high income inequality has limited trickle down effect of economic growth. Example- according to the world inequality report, the top 10% of the country’s population account for 57% of the national income, of which, 22% is held by the top 1%.
- Lack of accessibility to basic services:- limited access to healthcare, education and sanitation has hindered human development. Example- According to the National family health survey (NFHS-5), which was conducted in 2022-23, there are an estimated 16.2 million children in India aged 6-17 years who are not attending school.
- Informal jobs – about 90% of the workforce is involved in the informal sector, lacking social security.
- Income Inequality – (example) As per Oxfam report the wealth of India, top 1% exceeds the wealth of the entire middle class(40% of population).
- Gender inequality- (example)WEFs global gender gap report in which India ranks 127 out of 146 countries in 2022.
- Lopsided industrialisation – manufacturing in India has largely remained stagnant at 15% in 2017 and 17% in 2022 to Indian GDP with an idealised goal of reaching 20 trillion dollars by 2047.
- Inadequate hinterland connectivity – Poor hinterland connectivity with SEZ via rail, road, highways.
- Corruption and governance issue – corruption in public services and inefficiency in governance impede human development efforts.
- Example- red Tapism in bureaucracy and bribery can hinder access to government programs and services.
- Agricultural dependency – A large portion of the population relies on agriculture, which is vulnerable to the factors like climate, change and market fluctuation
- Example-farmers suicide due to debt and crop failure in certain regions.
- Regional disparities – disparity in economic development across states have led to varying levels of human development.
- Example-Southern states have better human development indicators compare to north Indian states like UP, Bihar, indicating their regional disparity
Measures to ensure human development with economic development :-
- Invest in Education – Needs a holistic investment in the education sector as only 3% of the country’s GDP is invested in education by promoting vocational training, PM-SHRI Scheme.
- Enhancement in healthcare facility – ex Ayushmann Bharat and national rural health scheme.
- Income redistribution– implement progressive taxation and social welfare programmes.
- Promoting gender equality- upholding article – 39D
- Labour market reforms
- Article 43 (State shall endeavor to secure to all workers a living wage and a decent standard of life).
- Atal pension scheme.
- Social inclusions – Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, digital India program.
- Rural development- Mission Antyodaya, Pradhan Mantri gram sadak yojana, national rural Livelihood Mission.
Hence, India’s ambition to become the 3rd largest economy by 2030 cannot be achieved by existing disparity between human development and economic growth. Addressing this gap requires concentrated efforts in areas such as education, healthcare, income distribution and government reforms to ensure that the benefits of economic growth reach all segments of society.
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