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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Assess the effectiveness of India's flagship welfare schemes in promoting social justice and reducing inequality. Discuss with examples. (250 Words)

    02 Apr, 2024 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance

    Approach

    • Start the answer by introducing the Social Justice.
    • Illustrate the effectiveness of India's flagship welfare schemes in promoting social justice.
    • Analyze the relevance of welfare schemes in reducing inequality.
    • Conclude suitably.

    Introduction

    India's flagship welfare schemes have been instrumental in promoting social justice and reducing inequality. These schemes, aimed at uplifting marginalized communities and ensuring inclusive growth, have played a significant role in addressing various socio-economic challenges.

    Body

    Effectiveness in Promoting Social Justice and Reducing Inequality:

    1. Impact on Poverty Alleviation:

    • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) with its rights-based framework for 100 days of guaranteed unskilled work in rural India has provided employment opportunities to millions of rural households, reducing poverty and improving livelihoods.
    • According to a World Bank report, MGNREGA has contributed to a reduction in poverty rates and increased rural consumption.
    • Example: MGNREGA provided livelihood support to migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing a deeper economic crisis.

    2. Enhancing Food Security:

    • The National Food Security Act (NFSA) aims to provide subsidized food grains to two-thirds of the population.
    • NFSA has improved food security and nutrition outcomes, especially for vulnerable groups.
    • Example: The provision of nutritious food through Anganwadi centers has helped in reducing malnutrition among children.

    3. Improving Healthcare Access:

    • The Ayushman Bharat scheme, which includes the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), aims to provide health insurance coverage to vulnerable families.
    • PMJAY has facilitated access to healthcare services for millions, reducing the financial burden of medical expenses.
    • Example: PMJAY covered the medical expenses of a family in a remote village, enabling them to afford life-saving treatment.

    4. Empowering Women:

    • Schemes like the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) and the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) aim to improve the status of women in society.
    • BBBP has led to increased awareness about the importance of the girl child and has contributed to a decline in the sex ratio imbalance in certain regions.
    • Example: PMMVY provides financial assistance to pregnant and lactating mothers, enabling them to access healthcare services and nutrition.

    5. Promoting Education:

    • The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) aim to enhance access to quality education.
    • SSA has led to an increase in school enrollment and retention rates, especially among marginalized communities.
    • Example: MDMS has improved the nutritional status of children and has encouraged regular attendance in schools.

    6. Addressing Housing and Infrastructure Needs:

    • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) aims to provide affordable housing to all by 2022.
    • PMAY has facilitated the construction of houses for the homeless and those living in inadequate housing conditions.
    • Example: PMAY-Grameen has provided pucca houses to rural households, improving their living standards.

    Conclusion:

    India's flagship welfare schemes have been effective in promoting social justice and reducing inequality by addressing various socio-economic challenges. These schemes have not only improved the lives of millions but have also contributed to the overall development of the country. However, there is a need for continuous evaluation and improvement to ensure that these schemes reach the intended beneficiaries and achieve their objectives effectively.

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