[Answered]Despite Consistent experience of High growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual Introduction.

Body. Mention various issues making development elusive. Suggest some measures.

Conclusion. Way forward.

India today is among the largest economies of the world. However, according to the United Nations Human Development Index report 2018, India ranks 130 out of 189 countries.India has grown rapidly since 1991. While India is surging ahead in terms of GDP growth, it is faring poorly on the human development front which means that millions of Indians have pooraccess to healthcare and education than in more advanced countries or even in emerging Economies like the BRICS.

Issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive:

  1. Jobless growth: Since India’s growth is led by services (which is not a labor-intensive sector),it has been considered as jobless growth as the employment growth has declined for the same level of economic growth. Thus growth has only affected a very small section of India.
  2. Uneven growth:The growth has been uneven across sectors and locations. For instance, agriculture has been lagging behind and in countries such as India and China, some regions have advanced faster than others. Policies are also relatively ignored the agriculture sector.
  3. Casteism: A major weakness is that the growth is not perceived as being adequately inclusive for many groups, especially Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and weaker section. Development will not be inclusive if some groups are discriminated against, overtly or covertly.
  4. Gender Inequality: In a hugely patriarchal country like India, one cannot expect India to score high on gender equality.As much as 50 percent of malnutrition is caused, not by a lack of food or poor diets, but due to poor water, poor sanitation facilities, and unhygienic practices.
  5. Unequal Distribution of Wealth: In the last five years, only 1% of the wealthiest in India increased their share in wealth of around 60% and the richest 10% in India own more than four times more wealth than the remaining 90%. This results in an uneven distribution of wealth across the various sections of the society and it marks the prevalence of high inequality in the Indian socio-economic paradigm which led Non-inclusive growth and low human development.
  6. Jobless growth: With increasing economic growth, the rate of growth of employment has declined. According to NSSO, unemployment is India is highest in 45 years. With rising population and, consequently, the labour force, India will soon experience demographic disaster rather than a demographic dividend.
  7. Poor Education and Health:On comparison with similarly placed emerging economies, India spends way too low in the education and health sector. India spends 3% of GDP on education and 1.5% of GDP on health. Independent India retained the largely colonial superstructure of primary, secondary, and tertiary education, which emphasis on rote learning and obsession with marks in the exams. Consequently access, quality, and outcomes all are far lower than what anyone would have desired.
  8. Malnutrition: Even after many government schemes, both the infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate remains high. There is a high prevalence of malnutrition in Indian children, reflected in a high percentage of Child stunting, wasting and underweight. The neglect of women’s health, in particular, is a big issue. Apart from it, India features the highest deaths in the world due to air pollution.

Some measures:

  1. India needs to ensure access and quality through effective implementation of schemes such as Digital India and Skill India.
  2. For a higher standard of living, it should ensure that work is quantitatively and qualitatively enhanced in the country. The country’s efforts in terms of employment guarantee schemes have been lauded for its role in reducing unemployment. But it is by no means a long-term remedy. .
  3. Indian government must also focus on improving quality and access in education. Education has a major role in promoting inclusive economic development. It can particularly help reduce the share of informal employment going forward and promote social inclusion.
  4. India needs to reform its rigid labour market governed by obsolete laws, address problems of child labour and forced labour, and bring about wage equality.
  5. Policy makers and government officials need to work on agriculture productivity, in order to be more inclusive.
  6. Efforts are needed to increase energy and resource efficiency, notably through lower fossil fuel subsidies, and accelerate the adoption of clean technologies.

Though the government has initiated many schemes for enhancing human capital i.e. Skill India, Digital India, Startup India, Ayushman Bharat. However, the results are not yet promising.India needs to address the various parameters of human development separatelyand simultaneously.We also need to handle the challenges such as urbanisation, the housing deficit, access to power, water, education and health care. A central focus on social indicators is necessary for India to break free from its position as an underachiever and bring inclusive development.

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