[Solved] Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of policy process Discuss ( UPSC GS-2 Mains 2019)

The government schemes are carried out for the welfare of the vulnerable sections. The vulnerable sections include SC, ST, OBCs, backward classes, women, senior citizens, children, Divyang, third gender, minorities. The welfare includes the overall human, social, political, economic development of these sections with a view to achieve dignity and liberty of individuals by enhancing choices and offering avenues of Growth.

 Twenty-five years after economic reforms that promised to create more jobs, remove the license permit raj and poverty, most of the disadvantaged groups in India — women, Dalits, tribal, Muslims, informal sector workers, the poor, the elderly and the disabled — continue to be excluded from access to four key public goods — pensions, digital access, land, labour & resources and legal justice.

 Vulnerable groups are the groups which would be vulnerable under any circumstances (e.g.

 where the adults are unable to provide an adequate livelihood for the household for reasons of disability, illness, age or some other characteristic), and groups whose resource endowment is inadequate to provide sufficient income from any available source

 Absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of policy process There are mainly 5 stages of policy process, where non involvement and lack of awareness leads to Inefficient and Ineffective performance:

 • Identification of the problem – At the time of identification the people for whom the scheme is carried out do not know about the scheme. The people needed to be involved in the policy making process so that their valuable inputs can enhance the process.

 • Formation – While policy formulation takes place, it is really important to involve people. If the people are not aware then that might affect the better targeting of the policy. The policy may lose sight of the target population and hence become ineffective.

 • Grievance redressal mechanism: No administration can claim to be accountable, responsive and user-friendly unless it has established an efficient and effective grievance redress mechanism.

 • Solution adopting – While adopting solution the people’s wisdom can contribute to the enhance of democratic and participatory process and Bottom-Top approach of solving problems by taking view of people’s views and recommendations. If lacking then policy might not achieve its objectives.

 • Implementation – At the level of implementation if people are not aware then implementing is merely in letter and not in spirit. Thus people’s participation is also necessary for the transparent processes and procedures. The people will themselves act as check on inefficiencies.

 • Evaluation and Monitoring – The people’s involvement can pave for the better accountability.

 Thereby the processes, outcomes of the schemes can be monitored and evaluated effectively.

 • Planning and Coordination: Though schemes provide broader guidelines, yet at gross root level planning is required for implementing of scheme taking various parameters of development into account.

 • Structural discrimination directly impedes equal access to health services by way of exclusion.

 For example a scheme aimed at skill development of minorities in Jammu and Kashmir will not give results without the social awareness of the people and the active involvement of the people at grassroots level. The technology, media, existing democratic structures at local, state levels, civil society, NGOs, private players can be used to raise awareness and involve people.

 Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective because:

 ● Poverty and socio-economic constraints digitally exclude the people belonging to lower rungs of the economic ladder as they cannot afford new communication technologies.

 What adds to their woes is poor network coverage which is denying them public goods and services.

 ● In India, members of gender, caste, class, and ethnic identity experience structural discrimination that impact their health and access to healthcare.

 ● Structural discrimination directly impedes equal access to health services by way of exclusion.

 ● The negative attitude of the health professionals towards these groups also acts as a barrier to receiving quality healthcare from the health system.

 ● A major proportion of the lower castes and Dalits are still dependent on others for their livelihood. Dalits does not refer to a caste but suggests group who are in a state of oppression, social disability and who are helpless and poor.

 ● Human Resource and Skills: Though most of the government run scheme faces the challenge of both number and quality man power while implementing, this is most visible in Sarv Shikhya Abhiyan which was started to ensure Right to Education Policy for children however reports shows the poor pupil to teacher ratio and quality of education is such that student of class VII are not able to read the textbook of class III and do basic arithmetic.

 ● Field Level Monitoring and Beneficiary verification: Insufficient monitoring by the central government, misalignment of incentives which encourage rent seeking activities and finally, a lack of accountability which distorts the management of funds.

 ● Grievance redressal mechanism: No administration can claim to be accountable, responsive and user-friendly unless it has established an efficient and effective grievance redress mechanism

 ● Financial Resources: In most of the central scheme’sfunds are devolve to district through corresponding states, many a time funds stuck at state level due to various political and administrative reasons and district administration feel crunch of funds.

 ● Planning and Coordination: Though schemes provide broader guidelines, yet at gross root level planning is required for implementing of scheme taking various parameters of development into account.

 These vulnerable sections need special assistance and care from the state for their wellbeing. Without state help, they will have to face many disadvantages and will not be able to avail fair and equal life choices as those enjoyed by other citizens.

 Conclusion

 Hence, Participatory and collaborative approach enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the welfare schemes and can lead to better targeting and outcomes. After all the people’s participation is very much necessary to carry out Good Governance. This good governance is reflected in the performance of various welfare schemes aimed at the welfare and development of the vulnerable sections of the society.

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