Today's Practice Question
Sep 04, 2020
Today's Practice Question
Que. 1. “An essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation.” Substantiate this statement with suitable examples. (UPSC - 2016) [150 Words]
Ans. Poverty is a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living. It can be defined objectively and applied consistently only in terms of the concept of relative deprivation and deprivation is a condition of lacking or not having something. Therefore, poverty and deprivation are closely related. So poverty is a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses not only economic deprivation, but also deprivation of opportunities as well as deprivation of basic needs such as health, education, housing etc.
To eradicate poverty, it is essential to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation.
It is possible by ensuring adequate foods, education, skill sets, free healthcare services, and a job to fulfil their economic needs.
Recognising this, the government policies have shifted away from traditional poverty alleviation schemes to a more multipronged approach to end this process of deprivation.
- Healthcare: Essential healthcare service can alleviate the issues faced by the rural as well as urban population. National Health Mission — to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care service across rural and urban areas. The central and state government should implement the Ayushman Bharat program jointly to ensure proper health care services, cashless benefits, and an effective health insurance facility.
- Education: Proper education facilities can upgrade the situation of the next generation of the poor family that will ultimately improve the situation from every aspect. Schemes like Sava Shiksha Abhiyan and Right to Education Act and the New education policy could play a crucial role.
- Skill sets: The skill development process will enable them to secure a job to sustain their livelihood. Programs like Skill India Mission and the New education policy that also recommended vocational training from class six could provide momentum in the vision of the Skill India Program.
- Employment: Unskilled labour can also contribute to the development process. Schemes like MGNREGA ensures a hundred days of employment with wages in a year to the adult members of rural households.
The steps taken by the government are in the right direction and will go a long way in ending the process of deprivation if implemented effectively.
Que. 2. What is the capability theory of poverty? How it is considered better than the traditional material theory of poverty? [150 Words]
Nobel Laurette Amartya Sen has given “Capability theory of poverty” which introduced a paradigm shift in the way that poverty is not only the lack of income or resource but also incapability the poor to do something.
- Poverty according to capability theory is a complex and multidimensional concept which needs to take into consideration people’s diverse characteristics and circumstances. So, he has defined capability theory in terms of in terms of ‘functioning’ and ‘capability’. Functioning is the ability of a person to be and do something and capability is the access to some important functioning which are essential for life.
- The poor generally lack not only income, but education, health, justice, credit and other productive resources, and opportunities. Thus, poverty should be seen as deprivation of capabilities, which then limits the freedoms to achieve something, rather than lowness of income.
- In the capability approach, poverty is a situation where people lack the most basic capabilities to lead a reasonable life.
Is it better than traditional material theory of poverty which takes into consideration only economic notion of poverty because :
- It recognizes multi dimensions and facets of poverty rather than just economic notion and therefore more helpful in addressing the real cause of poverty.
- Rather than goods and resources (the inputs), the focus of capability approach is people and their capabilities (the end-results).
- It provides an alternative and more comprehensive perspective on the issues like poverty, inequality, gender bias, and social exclusion that are hardly touched by the economic perspective.
- Capability approach is both comprehensive and flexible and is people centric. Where people are no more robotic producers and consumers.
- People are considered as ‘Agents of Change’ as it provides them capability and freedom by which they can themselves build the environment in which they can be educated, healthy and speak freely and participate, and so on.
- There are instances when income does not automatically ensure better capabilities. For example, in the discriminated sections of society, say for instance, the lowest caste community in India good enough income does not automatically ensures social or political equality. In such cases, belonging to a discriminated community becomes a disability (and a cause for reduced freedom and capabilities).
Thus all these highlights that capability theory of poverty is considered better than traditional material theory of poverty.