[Solved] ‘Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India remain mere show pieces until and unless they are backed by political will’. Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India ( UPSC GS-2 Mains 2017)

[Solved] ‘Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India remain mere show pieces until and unless they are backed by political will’. Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India  ( UPSC GS-2 Mains 2017)

Poverty, hunger and unemployment have been the bane for India since long so the successive governments have taken active role in forming the poverty alleviation programmes. The programmes have been implemented considering wide dimensions like Health, education, malnutrition etc.

 Success:

 • NREGA has been relatively successful in reaching the rural poor with shift in the pressure of newly mobilised political outsiders, including an activist judiciary and civil society groups.

 • The programme reduced poverty by up to 32 per cent and prevented 14 million people from falling into poverty

 • Rich states have done better at poverty alleviation than in the past as they had better resources and political will

 • Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, most states did well at poverty alleviation It is because of string political like states in Tamilnadu where were taken like universal PDS to alleviate poor and it has largely been successful there.

 – involves technological interventions

 – drawing up innovative fool-proof delivery mechanisms

 – surprise checks and constant reviews

 – fixing responsibility at each level

 Failure:

 • Planning process is faulty with respect to:

 – Identifying the ‘poor

 – Defining ‘poor’

 – Processing of the identification involves too many stages.

 –  lack of technology up gradation.

 –  The program focuses on benefitting a small group of the peoplein a big w – Ideally the programs should be broader based.

 – Disjointed programsBeneficiaries overlap, thesame rural areas benefited from served programs.

 • Implementation of programs:

 – Corrupt officials/ staffs.

 – Lack of involvement.

 – Local politics. (selection of beneficiaries)

 – Improper follow up of program/ review or revision is practicallynone existed. III. Lack of support from the credit and marketing system:

 – Role of local money lenders and banks.

 – Inability to sustain income generation from the asset credited • Awareness issue:

 • Still most of the people especially in rural areas are illiterate that’s why they are not getting loans or initial capital for self-employment.

 • Fund allocation especially for NREGA continued to be unpredictable. The change in government state has taken away a key ingredient that contributed to the success of the MGNREGA: Political will and belief in the act

 Way forward:

 • Corruption needs to be dealt with harshly, but cutting funds to development programmes is definitely not a plausible solution.

 • Lessons from China:China’s Internet-based poverty alleviation method has set an example for the rest of the world. The government’s plan is to take e-business to more than 80 percent of villages by 2020.

 India can follow this model to carry out poverty alleviation efforts.

 • By adopting multiple approaches, there has been a noticeable decrease in the head count ratio of poverty i.e. from 55% in 1973 to about 30% presently. However, the absolute number has reduced only slightly.

  • India is still home to 1/5th of world’s poor people, about 300 million people. With the recent Food Security Act, Insurance driven social safety net, and focus on SHGs, it can be hoped that India will make bigger strides towards completely eradicating the poverty.
  • The plethora of programmes that have been launched by the various departments, more or less for the same objective, covering by and large the same target group in the same area, has created quite a bit administrative confusion. Another weakness in the implementation side relates to the lack of political will which is quite obvious in the rural development area. The main point of deficient implementation can be summarized as under: Half-hearted implementation of the programme
  • Lack of political commitment or strong leadership behind it Faulty administrative structure and also its incapability in translating policy into programmes and plans into action Limited ways of checking corruption and leakages that diverts the flow of benefits.
  • However, not all can be termed a failure. For instance, NREGA, another flagship scheme is universalistic by design, promises employment and a guaranteed income to households. It has been hailed by politicians and experts alike.

 Causes of failure

  • There is no systematic attempt to identify people who are in poverty, determine their needs, address them and enable them to move above the poverty line.
  • There is no commitment by the government to support an individual or a household for getting minimum level of subsistence through any program.
  • The resources allocated to anti-poverty programs are inadequate.
  • There is no method to ensure that programs reach everybody they are meant for.
  • As things stand, many of those living in poverty today will continue to remain poor over time. The magnitude of the problem, demands that we address the poverty challenge on a priority basis.
  • Steps taken & problems
  • A lot of initiatives have been taken by the government but they don’t continue with the same intensity till the end.
  • The corruption involved during the time of the selection of the beneficiaries.
  • Lack of funds, management, and governance.
  • Minimum wage problem in MGNREGs.
  • Lack of awareness about various government schemes.
  • Lack of strong leadership behind the implementation program Wayforward
  • Increasing minimum wages for unskilled sectors.
  • High-quality child care and providing them early education facilities.
  • Introduction of free-market policies to promote economic growth.
  • Creating opportunities for self-sufficiency (Atma Nirbhar Bharat).
  • The welfare development program for farmers.

 Further reading..

  • Poverty alleviation scheme is India started since era of Indira Gandhi, still we could not eradicating poverty. These scheme lack political will.
  • Govts starts new programs but they don’t continue the same spirit till the end. Serious political interventions in selecting the beneficiaries, not allocating sufficient funds, lack accountability on the part of bureaucracy, corruption are some of the problems.
  • For example scheme like NFSA (National food security act), which provides food grains at subsidized rates. Some of the states are wantedly delaying the implementation of this scheme. Though it implemented with one or other pretext they are removing genuine beneficiaries in some cases.
  • Most of the dealers diverting these grains. So food grains finally not reaching the intended beneficiaries.
  • The program called MGNREGA, working well and women and SC participation is considerable, lack of robust IT system payments are getting delayed and unscrupulous beneficiaries are also receiving the benefits.

 Various insurance schemes are also not working to that extent in informal sector. People are not aware about most of the schemes. So unless there is political will there schemes will not be implemented properly. Serious actions against wrong doers, immediate relief in case of distress, proper allocation of budget, periodic review and necessary changes are made will improve the situation.

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