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Inequality: Hindrance to India's Development



  Jun 10, 2024

Combatting Inequality: Key to India's Development as a Prosperous Economy



Economic inequality remains a substantial obstacle to India’s aspiration to become a developed economy by 2047. Despite significant growth and development since independence, the disparity in income and wealth distribution has hindered overall progress.

Historical Context and Current Scenario

From the colonial era to post-independence, India’s economy has seen varied growth rates. The per capita income and gross national income have increased over the decades, yet this growth has not been uniformly distributed. The gap between the rich and the poor has widened, leading to pronounced social and economic divides.

Impact of Inequality on Development

1. Poverty and Hunger: India’s position on the global hunger index remains low, indicating severe levels of hunger among its population. Despite economic growth, a significant portion of the population still struggles with food insecurity and malnutrition.

2. Unemployment and Underemployment: High unemployment rates, particularly post-demonetisation and during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflect the challenges in job creation. The informal sector, which employs a large part of the population, often offers poor-quality jobs with low wages and minimal job security.

3. Education and Health Disparities: Inequality in access to education and healthcare services perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Poorer segments of society have limited access to quality education and healthcare, impacting their ability to improve their socio-economic status.

4. Savings and Debt: Declining private household savings and increasing debt burdens exacerbate financial instability for many families. This limits their ability to invest in better opportunities, further entrenching economic disparities.

5. Social Stability: High levels of inequality can lead to social unrest and instability. Discontent among disadvantaged groups can result in conflicts, hampering economic progress and development efforts.

Addressing Inequality for Sustainable Growth

To achieve the goal of becoming a developed economy, India must focus on reducing inequality through:

1. Inclusive Policies: Implementing policies that promote inclusive growth, ensuring that the benefits of economic development reach all segments of society.

2. Improving Education and Healthcare: Investing in quality education and healthcare services for all, particularly the underprivileged, to enhance human capital.

3. Job Creation: Fostering job creation, particularly in the formal sector, to provide stable and well-paying employment opportunities.

4. Social Security: Strengthening social security measures to support those in need and reduce vulnerability to economic shocks.

5. Data Transparency: Ensuring transparency in data collection and dissemination to accurately assess and address socio-economic issues.

By addressing these challenges, India can create a more equitable society, laying a stronger foundation for sustainable economic growth and development.



SRIRAM’s


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