Q. A welfare policy is as good as its inclusive and sensitive implementation. Explain. (250 words)12 Mar, 2020 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions
- Briefly highlight what welfare policies and state mean.
- Highlight how inclusiveness and sensitivity in implementation can enhance welfare policies and status of a nation.
- Suggest measures to overcome some of the challenges faced in ensuring sensitive and inclusive policy implementation.
Welfare refers to a range of government programs that provide financial or other aid to individuals or groups who cannot support themselves. This includes providing them basic necessities like education, healthcare, security, ensuring the protection of fundamental rights etc. so they are able to utilise their capacity to the fullest. Welfare policy’s efficacy is gauged by its inclusiveness and sensitivity in implementation to achieve these goals.
- Inclusiveness entails covering all sections of the society, especially depressed and vulnerable like in case of India, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Women, Old Age, Divyangs, etc.
- This ensures a utilitarian aspect of the policy enabling benefits to those in need which will result in better human resource development by letting them overcome social, economic and other kinds of barriers not of their own making.
- Inclusiveness ensures equatability of opportunities in the country. This eventually leads to a strong economy which in turn builds a strong nation.
- Sensitivity in implementation means an empathetic attitude in governance.
- This allows us to appreciate unique situations that may demand morally right action but not strictly in productive terms, for example, giving preference to old age people at counters over others.
- This, in turn, raises trust and responsiveness of citizens towards such welfare policies and lays the ground for being an active participant in its conducive implementation. For example, in case of Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan where people’s participation increased when sensitivity was shown towards personal cleanliness in the policy.
Challenges and Measures to ensure inclusivity and sensitiveness in implementation
- Corruption and Leakages could be addressed by better monitoring and legal measures along with usage of technology like Prevention of Corruption Act to punish wrongdoers, AI-based monitoring, use of Aadhar for direct benefit transfer etc.
- Communication and Information gap could be reduced by better awareness creation like the use of social media, Krishi Vigyaan Kendra for better dissemination.
- Insensitive and rule-book bureaucratic attitudes of public officials can be improved with measures like regular training and capacity building, making Citizen Charters, Performance Appraisal etc.
The ethos of Equality, Liberty and Justice form the bedrock of modern democratic states. In order to fulfil them, welfare policies are envisaged. For example, the Directive Principle of State policy under the Indian constitution provides for the welfare state. Making these policies more inclusive and sensitive will go a long way not only in the betterment of vulnerable sections of a particular country, but will also add to overall global peace and harmony.
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