Model Question and Answers for APSC | ‘Despite the implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing.’ Explain by giving reasons.
‘Despite the implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing.’ Explain by giving reasons.
Ans: Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestationsinclude hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.
Many government schemes for poverty eradication:
- With a considerable population, living below the poverty line at the time of independence, its removal became a primary objective for the policymakers.
- Several programs like Public Distribution System, free mandatory elementary education for all, MGNREGA etc have been envisioned with an aim to eradicate poverty.
- However, even by recent estimations, more than a fourth of the population is still not adept to fulfil its most basic needs.
The persistence of poverty:
- Lack of coordination between the various departments defeats the purpose of its implementation.
- Leakages in appropriation and supply chain. In the absence of proper monitoring, several ‘ghost’ rations cards were made and resources diverted in the PDS.
- Policy failure in the context of identification of poor, lack of integration and top-down approach.
- These initiatives have failed to bring about behavioural change among the masses. Thus, programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, institutional delivery schemes etc have suffered.
- Tendency to implement ‘One Size Fits All’ solutions have failed to appreciate the regional disparities. Local bodies need to be given more say in policy formulation and implementation.
- The fruits of subsidies cornered by a small, better-off section of the intended beneficiaries.
Need to adopt capability approach
In the capability perspective, poverty is seen in terms of a shortfall of ‘basic capabilities’ – a kind of ‘basic capability failure’. Such failure involves the inability to achieve certain minimally adequate levels of crucially important functionings, such as being nourished, being clothed and being sheltered. India needs to involve programmes and policies with a bottom-up approach, technological interventions, and a mix of innovative ideas like provision of basic social services, Universal Basic Income, Direct Benefit Transfer etc. augment capability of people.