Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. India is developing country and has implemented growth strategies in different sectors to enhance its economic status. At global scale. It has continually shown high growth rate during the post-liberalisation period through the execution of economic reforms in the beginning of 1990s. After independence, development of the country and the community has always been the major objective of the government. It has attained excellence in several key areas that range from information technology and pharmaceuticals to automotive parts, and is currently considered as one of the rapidly growing economies of the world. Though India has gained success in some areas and there is positive developments, it is still among the countries with some of the lowest indicators of human development. The levels of malnutrition, illiteracy and poverty are unsatisfactorily high in India. There are numerous issues like the increase in income disparities and regional discrepancies which disrupt the growth of nation. Though employment opportunities have increased but the jobs created are not of high quality. Although there has been an increase in several social services like health, nutrition and education, the quality of most of these services remains poor in most of the rural areas. Major issue is irresistible majority of the population deprived of basic social protection. Policy-makers are facing with inconsistency in the persistence of deprivations and increasing uncertainties among majority of public in growing wealth and prosperity for some groups.
The Constitution of India authorised the Government to establish a democratic social order to secure the people and provide social, economic and political justice. Therefore, the country embarked onto a path of planned socio-economic development to attain the goals of justice. However, the patterns of development have changed with time based on experiences. During the early decades, development was considered in terms of economic development and the importance was on a growing public sector with huge investments in basic and heavy industries. Major objectives of development were formulated and prioritized by a centralized planning system. Actually, it was basically a ‘government-led, bureaucracy managed and expert- guided’ enterprise. Main aim of government for development was to attain material affluence through economic, industrial and infrastructural development. This basic approach to development continued to guide policy makers for the subsequent few decades until new realizations started dawning upon them.
Mahbubul Haq, the originator of the UN’s HDR stated that “The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people’s choices”. It means creating and permitting environment for them to exercise choices. Any development strategy, must aim at human development by focusing on facilitating greater access to knowledge; Better nutrition and health services; More secure livelihoods; Security against crime and physical violence; Satisfying leisurely hours; Political and cultural freedoms; and A sense of participation in community activities. Likewise, Nobel laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen specified that “development meant expansion of human freedoms, i.e. enhancement of the capacity of individuals to fully lead the ‘kind of lives they value”
It has been said by economists that if certain basic rights of the individuals, such as the right to elementary education, right to basic health care, right to work is secured then there will be rapid growth of the country. In other words, development must move beyond economic growth. It must incorporate major social goals such as reducing poverty, enhanced opportunities for better education and health and, in general, improved quality of life.
In earlier period, there was more focus of government to accumulate wealth. Economic growth itself was regarded as the function of capital inputs in the decades of 80s. The main quest of economic policy was to organize the resources required for achieving a desired rate of growth. Acceleration in the rate of growth was supposed to take care of both economic and social problems. Several contemporary developmental economists such as Mahboob-ul-Haq, Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz and others stressed the failures of governance in terms of human and social development in the developing world including India.
Though government has effectual polices in health care, there are numerous issues in implementing schemes. Availability of health care services both in public and private sectors taken together is quantitatively insufficient due to huge unavailability of healthcare specialists. Another concern is affordability of health care which pose serious problem for the majority of the population, especially in tertiary care and due to government’s over reliance on private provision of healthcare. It has been observed that Quality of healthcare services varies significantly in both the public and private sectors. Though there has been action on curative healthcare, but there are no adequate and effective interventions in the sphere of public health that will include preventive healthcare, such as provision of safe drinking water supply, improved sanitation, immunization, nutritious food, hygiene, and good feeding practices. Other issues related to health care are that Health personnel not well-trained, Initiatives towards community empowerment, improving monitoring and accountability not effective, most of the public health institutions are not well-equipped to conduct deliveries, and Utilization of public facilities for chronic disease remains low.
In India, there is growing rate of young population and government put more emphasis to offer better facilities to equip youth for future development of country. School education and literacy was accorded a very high priority in the 11th Plan as an instrument for achieving human development and inclusive growth. Recognising the importance of education in national development, the 12th Plan also puts an extraordinary focus on the expansion of education, on significantly improving the quality of education imparted and on ensuring that educational opportunities are available to all segments of the society.
Government’s policy in the field of education has been to increase access to education at all three levels such as elementary, secondary and post-secondary and also improve the quality of education. The four main priorities for education policy have been
Following are the initiative of the government in the field of education:
RTE (Right to Education): For national development, India has been committed to offering free and compulsory education to all children. Indian Parliament has enacted legislation (RTE Act, 2009) making free and compulsory education a Right of every child in the age group 6-14 years which has come into force from 1st April 2010. This act has the following attributes:
First is the Psychological Uncertainty. There has been a sense of insecurity into the minds of people from all the sections of society on the clause pertaining to reservation of 25 per cent of seats for children with disadvantaged background. While parents have raised concern against the behavioural traits their child is likely to learn on mixing with children from underprivileged background and the long term impact of such an environment later in life. Teachers are worried on the issue of handling children with different academic credentials, home environment and cultural backgrounds and have expressed their incapability to do so.
Though the enactment of The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 which guarantees free and compulsory education, several schools are charging capitation fees for education in pre-primary. They are also interviewing parents and/or children. Parents also complaints that several schools took their interview and asked questions about their family income, car, income certificates, pan card details and even the size of their flats, one of the schools even asked parents to get a character clearance certificate from the local police station. Other issue is teachers training. The existing teacher‘s training and education programs are not good to meet the contemporary understanding of students’ needs.
2. SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan): The already running Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) towards universalisation of primary education has been integrated with RTE Act. This scheme is one of India’s major programmes, which addresses the national resolve of universalizing the elementary education (UEE). Major objective of this scheme are mentioned below:
3. MDMS (Mid-Day Meal Scheme): MDMS is the major programme that provides cooked mid-day meal to children. In keeping with the Constitutional provisions to raise the level of nutrition of children and allow them to develop in a healthy manner, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a CSS in 1995. But there are several issues in implementation of the MDMS such as;
Major issue of this program is improper food preparation which causes ill health and sometimes death of children. Other issues range from delayed payments, poor food quality, worms in the food, cooks not receiving pay and food not being delivered or being wasted. There is even embezzlement of the money by way of fake enrolments.
4. Sakshar Bharat (National Mission on Female Literacy: an adult education programme): Saakshar Bharat has been articulated in 2009 with the objective of achieving 80% literacy level by 2012 at national level, by focusing on adult women literacy seeking to reduce the gap between male and female literacy to not more than 10 percentage points . The mission has four broader objectives, namely imparting functional literacy and numeracy to non-literates; acquiring equivalency to formal educational system; imparting relevant skill development programme; and promote a leaning society by providing opportunities for continuing education.
5. RMSY (Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan): It has been launched recently as a step to universalize secondary education. Concurrently, efforts are being made to create a robust and massive system of higher and technical education. This is a major scheme launched in March 2009. It has the following objectives:-
6. Model School Scheme: The Model School scheme aims to offer quality education to talented rural children through setting up of 6,000 model schools at the rate of one school per block as benchmark of excellence. The scheme has the following objectives:
7. RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan): Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions. The central funding (in the ratio of 65:35 for general category States and 90:10 for special category states) would be norm based and outcome dependent. The funding would flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions. The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
Skill development: The Skill Development Mission has been launched to skill at least 50 million individuals by the end of the 12th Plan. Skill development programmes in the past have been run mainly by the government, with inadequate connection to market demand. To make sure that skills match demand, special efforts are needed to ensure that employers and enterprises play an integral role in the conception and implementation of vocational training programmes, including managing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and in the development of faculty.
National Skill Development Mission: ‘National Skill Development Initiative will authorize all individuals through improved skills, knowledge, nationally and internationally recognized qualifications to gain access to decent employment and ensure India’s competitiveness in the global market’.
Major objectives of this program are as follows:
Major functions of proposed National Skill Development Authority:
The first problem in the skill acquisition process is under-investment by all stakeholders. This is because the cost of skill acquisition exceeds the benefit to any single stakeholder. Since the benefits of skill attainment do not accrue exclusively to the trainees, It can be viewed that training as a public good and formulate the unwillingness to invest in skill acquisition or the under-provision of training as the free rider problem. Another issue is that Students are unwilling to invest because they do not fully understand the benefits of acquiring training and are not assured of jobs on completion of the training program. It is also observed that Employers or private firms are unwilling to invest in training employees or contributing towards training the unemployed due to the possibility of the trainee choosing to work for another firm after training. The skills imparted by the training institutes are not sufficiently relevant to the industry, which makes them reluctant to recruit graduates from such institutes. According to the 11th Five Year Plan document, India has about 5,114 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). Additionally, the Central Government provides training for topics like electronics and process instrumentation through six Advanced Training Institutes (ATIs). However, none of the courses cater to people who have not completed Class 8. The existing infrastructure is totally insufficient considering the projected demand for skilled labour. There are also acute regional differences in the spread of ITIs and ITCs, with over half of them located in the southern states. The employment in skill institutes like ITIs, ITCs and polytechnics, has remained relatively low. Private skill institutes often face very high drop-out rates, in excess of 50% at some institutes. One of the major challenges faced by skill institutes is the lack of good trainers. Student-teacher ratios vary from 9 to 50 at different ITIs depending on capacity utilization. Other issue is that the current formal education system provides limited options for vocational training, while vocational training systems have limited options involving mathematics and language learning. This lack of options makes it difficult for a candidate enrolled in the formal education system to get industry relevant skills and leaves a person enrolled in vocational training with limited soft skills.
Structural Framework of the Education and Skill Development Sector in India (Source: FICCI)
4. Rural development: Rural development is the priority of Indian government for enhancement of nation. Government has made the development efforts to create adequate livelihood opportunities and providing for a better quality life of the poor populace. The 12th plan focuses on enlargement of income opportunities in the farm sector and a progressive absorption into non-agricultural activity as one of the strongest method to lessen rural poverty.
Government program under rural development include the following:
1. Employment programmes, for example, the MGNREGA and the SGSY/NRLM:
The achievements of MGNREGA include the following:
Issues of its design and implementation are Lack of flexibility with respect to choice of work, does not result in creation of durable and valuable assets, poor quality work, not truly ‘demand- driven’ work, not-so-successful in preventing distress migration.
Another effective program, NRLM is the restructured form of the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SSGSY) that was launched in April 1999 after reforming the IRDP and allied programmes. It is a type of self-employment programme which has objective to offer sustainable income to rural BPL families. Main features of NRLM include Social mobilization, Institution building, Financial inclusion, Livelihoods promotion, Convergence and partnerships.
Issues of SGSY: The SGSY policy was that the poor need to be structured and their capacities built up systematically so that they can access self-employment opportunities. In the 10 years of implementing SGSY, there is a widespread acceptance in the country of the need for poor to be organised into SHGs and SHG federations as a prerequisite for their poverty reduction.
2. Bharat Nirman: This flagship program was launched by government of India during 2005-06, to build infrastructure particularly in rural India. This programme was a time-bound business plan implemented in partnership with State Governments and PRIs over a period of four years from 2005-06 to 2008-09. The programme had following components:
3. Housing via the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY): Indira Awas Yojana which has been in operation since 1985-86, has been brought under Bharat Nirman. An effectual scheme provide houses for BPL families in rural areas. Major issue with this scheme is that there has been continuous problem of shelter-less-ness in rural India on a large scale despite such ambitious programmes & schemes. Quality of housing has not been acceptable.
4. Sanitation through the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC): The main objectives of the TSC are as follows:
Major issues of this scheme include:
5. Provision of drinking water: It is provided through the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). This program concentrate on following factors:
6. Watershed development: It can be done through the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP). The benefit of this program are to increase in availability of surface water and groundwater, changes in cropping pattern from one to two crops annually, increase in fodder availability, increase in milk yield, and increase in agriculture.
7. Road connectivity: The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is implemented to fulfil this goal. This program was launched on 25 December 2000 as a fully-funded CSS to provide road connectivity in rural areas of the country.
8. Electrification: There is the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) for this. This scheme was launched by the Government of India in April 2005 as a comprehensive scheme for providing access of electricity to all rural households. The scheme involved electrification of all un-electrified villages and a free connection for BPL households.
9. Social security: It can be provided through the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS), and the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS).
Women and child development: The Eleventh Plan acknowledged women as change agents and understand the rights of children regardless of vulnerabilities of their class, caste, religion, ethnicity, regional, and gender status. The Plan anticipated inclusive growth and encouraged to stop the exclusion and discrimination faced by women and children.
There are many programs run by government in this area:
1. ICDS -implemented by MoWCD: The ICDS programme for children and pregnant and lactating women, is the world’s largest programme for early childhood development and care. The services offered by ICDS include:
2. Sabala/RGSEAG (Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls): The morbidity and mortality rates for women and children have revealed limited improvement. Since the health and well-being of a new born is intrinsically linked to the health of her mother, improvements in nutritional standards of girl children are essential to break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition. The scheme is intended to empower adolescent girls along with improving their nutritional and health status. Major goals of this effectual scheme are as follows:
3. IGMSY (Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana): The Eleventh Plan was dedicated to conditional maternity benefits. It provides cash to a pregnant woman immediately before and after delivery to ensure that she receives adequate rest and nutrition and is able to breastfeed her child. The scheme was introduced in October’ 2010. Main objective of this scheme is to improve the health and nutrition status of the pregnant and lactating women and their young infants by promoting appropriate practices. The scheme aims to promote, precise maternal and young infant feeding behaviours, increase demand for health services and also provide partial compensation for the wage loss so that the woman is not under compulsion to work till last stage of pregnancy and can take adequate rest before and after delivery.
4. NMEW (National Mission for Empowerment of Women): The National Mission for Empowerment of Women was launched by the Government of India on International Women’s Day in 2010 with the aim to support overall processes that promote all-round Development of women. It has the mandate to strengthen the inter-sector convergence; facilitate the process of coordinating all the women’s welfare and socio-economic development programmes across ministries and departments. The Mission aims to provide a single window service for all programmes run by the Government for Women under aegis of various Central Ministries. Major strategies of this program are
5. RMK (Rashtriya Mahila Kosha): Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) was launched by the Government of India in March, 1993 as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women & Child Development. It was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860. The major objectives of the Kosh are to assume activities for the promotion of credit as an instrument of socio-economic change and development through the provision of package of financial and social development services, to establish and replicate participatory approaches in the organization of women’s groups for effective utilization of credit resources leading to self-reliance, to promote and support experiments in the voluntary and formal sector using innovative methodologies, to promote research, study, documentation and analysis, to promote the federation and networking of women’s organisations for shaping and exchange of experience and information and to develop skills in response management & social mobilization, to promote and support the expansion of entrepreneurship skills among women, and promote and support grassroots level societies and organisations and other participatory structures for providing for women actual access to decision making.
6. Policies to address violence against women such as PWDVA: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 was launched by government of India to protect females. This act addresses these unspoken and usually unmentioned issues and provides a legal recourse to women (wives and live in partners) facing domestic violence be it physical, mental, sexual, emotional or economical.
Issues: There are many challenges that create obstacle in implementation of polices for women’s right in India are –
6. Social security: After Independence in 1947, India has created complex social security system. Purpose of social security is to give individuals and families the confidence that their level of living and quality of life will not corrode by social or economic contingency, to provide medical care and income security against the consequences of defined contingencies, to facilitate the victims of physical and vocational rehabilitation, to prevent or reduce ill health and accidents in the occupations, to protect against unemployment by maintenance and promotion of job creation and to provide benefit for the maintenance of any children.
Contingencies of social security
In India, three types of social security schemes are formulated that include preventive, promotion and protected schemes.
1. AABY (Aam Admi Bima Yojana): Aam Admi Bima Yojana, a Social Security Scheme for rural landless household was launched on 2nd October, 2007. The head of the family or one earning member in the family of such a household is covered under the scheme. The premium of Rs.200/- per person per annum is shared equally by the Central Government and the State Government. The member to be covered should be aged between 18 and 59 years.
2. RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana): RSBY has been launched by Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India to offer health insurance coverage for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The objective of RSBY is to provide protection to BPL households from financial liabilities arising out of health shocks that involve hospitalization. Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalization coverage up to Rs. 30,000/- for most of the diseases that require hospitalization. Government has even fixed the package rates for the hospitals for a large number of interventions. Pre-existing conditions are covered from day one and there is no age limit. Coverage extends to five members of the family which includes the head of household, spouse and up to three dependents. Beneficiaries need to pay only Rs. 30/- as registration fee while Central and State Government pays the premium to the insurer selected by the State Government on the basis of a competitive bidding.
3. SSAs (Social Security Agreements): The Indian social security system provides retirement and insurance benefits to employees working in factories or other establishments covered by the system, in India. The system is governed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952 (PF Act) and the schemes made there under, namely, the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme (EPF) and the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS). The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), a statutory body established by the government of India, administers the social security regulations in India.
4. The Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008: The main features of this act are as follows:
5. NSAP (National Social Assistance Programme): The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) was implemented from 15th August, 1995. It represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 of the Constitution. The programme introduced a National Policy for Social Assistance for the poor and aims at ensuring minimum national standard for social assistance in addition to the benefits that states are currently providing or might provide in future. NSAP at present, comprises of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS), Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and Annapurna.
Issues with all these schemes are that they are not demand driven schemes. Every scheme has a fixed annual target to achieve, they cannot provide more than that. And each scheme is meant only for the people who are below poverty line.
6. Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO): The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) was set up under the 1952 EPFO Act. It is an unusual national provident fund in three respects. First, it administers two separate schemes: (i) a defined contribution scheme (EPF) and (ii) a defined benefit scheme (Employees’ Pension Scheme).
Main issue with EPFO scheme is that it has made partial progress to reshape its investment policies and performance. Its assets are primarily in public sector debt instruments. It has begun trading in debt instruments, and is considering investing in passive index-linked equity products. It has no development investment management expertise in-house, and therefore continues to out-source investment activities. Recently, some contestability has been introduced as investment managers are now chosen through a bidding process. This has the potential to reduce investment management costs.
Major challenges of EPFO are as under:
7. Civil service pensions: Civil servants are beneficiaries of pension schemes as well as being formulators and implementers of the schemes. To improve its civil service pension system, the Government of India introduced in January 2004 the New Pension Scheme (NPS), a defined contribution scheme with distinct mandatory and voluntary components. The NPS architecture consists of a Central Record-keeping Agency (CRA), auctioning of investment mandates, and points of presence (PoP), which acts as distributional and collection agent.
6. Urban Development: Major initiatives taken under the 11th Plan are as follows:
1. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM): JNNURM was launched in December 2005. It has a mission period of seven years with the objectives of empowerment of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), planned and holistic development of cities and making them inclusive. The scheme mandated preparation of City Development Plans (CDP) and a set of urban reforms at State and Municipal levels. Thus, JNNURM renewed the focus on urban renewal and gave impetus to many urban reforms.
Main issues related to this scheme during implementation are as follows:
Other major inadequacy was the limited success in leveraging of JNNURM fund by locating non-budgetary financial resources including funds under PPP framework.
2. National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM): The National Urban Livelihoods Mission aims to lessen poverty of urban poor households by offering them avenues for self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities. It will also provide shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. It is intended to address the livelihood concerns of urban street vendors by earmarking suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills to them.
Under the programme, City Livelihood Centres will be established in mission cities to provide a platform to the urban poor to market their services and access information on self-employment, skill training and other benefits. The NULM will target all cities with a population of one lakh or more and district headquarter towns with a population of less than one lakh as per Census 2011.
Issues: It has been observed that main conception of National Urban Livelihoods Mission is that the poor are entrepreneurial and have innate desire to come out of poverty. The challenge is to uncheck their capabilities to generate meaningful and sustainable livelihoods. The first step in this process is motivating the urban poor to form their own institutions. They and their institutions need to be provided sufficient capacity so that they can manage the external environment, access finance, expand their skills, enterprises and assets. This requires continuous and carefully designed handholding support. An external, dedicated and sensitive support structure, from the national level to the city and community levels, is required to induce social mobilisation, institution building and livelihoods promotion.
To summarize, the Government of India has vital role for the overall development of nation and offer best facilities for normal living of all sections of inhabitants. Since many years, the government has launched various schemes and policies for people of India. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment works towards educational development, economic and social empowerment of needy people. Though schemes in various sectors are designed tactfully but some implementation issues are there in some policies.