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India and poverty

  Jul 07, 2020

India and poverty

Why in news?

Recent report titled “Global Social Mobility Report 2020: Equality, Opportunity and a New Economic Imperative” by world economic Forum(WEF) has held that for India ,“It will take 7 generations for India’s poor to reach mean income”.

What is Global Social Mobility Report all about?

The report tends to find social mobility across the countries. According to the report social mobility entails the “upward” or “downward” movement of an individual in relation to those of their parents. Basically, it evaluates a child’s ability to experience a better life than their parents, while relative social mobility examines how an individual’s socio-economic circumstance inherited at birth has affected their outcome in life. 

For Example - In India it will measure how a child born out of manual scavenger has chances not to end up at the same job. At the same time it will measure how being as a manual scavenger his/her chances got effected as compared to other children in terms of development.

So how is this approach different?

Till now we were measuring development only in relative income terms without considering the overall ecosystem which an individual has to live and thrive.

It measures index of social mobility through five key dimensions - Health,Education (access, quality and equity, lifelong learning)Technology,Work (opportunities, wages, conditions)and Protection and Institutions (social protection and inclusive institutions).

What is India’s position?

Today, Some 220 million Indians sustained on an expenditure level of less than Rs 32 / day — the poverty line for rural India (last headcount of the poor in India in 2013) and  the across the economies, children born in less affluent families tend to experience greater barriers to success than those born in more affluent families, the report has claimed. So for eradicating poverty at the given poverty data combining with Social mobility index of India(76 out of the 82 countries),it will take more than 7 decades.

In India we have for long debated on “Poverty Vicious circle” and the report claims the same

“Born poor invariably leads to longer poverty stints”. In India an individual upliftment is not only decided by his income/salary but his caste, gender, religion, region(Rural/Urban), community, education and heath together decides.

If we go by report, if India wants to break the cycle of poverty we need to take the holistic approach of development rather than just poverty line criteria.

Is India unaware of the issue?

No, India has for long claimed that development has to be exhaustive and not only in growth of per capita income. India is basically a welfare state and to reduce the inequality and to increase the chances of social mobility by economically and socially disadvantaged we have system such as Reservation (affirmative action), pro-policy(such as Ayushman Bharat, PM-Kisan , etc.) and now a Vision of New India to achieve the same.