The Union Budget 2019-20 saw an increased focus on food fortification. India is currently suffering from nutrition insecurity despite the progress made in food production capacity and food security. Regardless of all the poverty alleviation and food security schemes, currently, 38% of children under 5 years are stunted, 36% are underweight and 21% are wasted (too thin for their height). This is a sign of acute under-nutrition. Furthermore, 59% of women and 53% of children are anaemic. The government’s intervention to address this issue is a need of the hour.
Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, 2019 – report that was recently published showed the bleak picture of the hunger and malnutrition amongst children in India. Regardless of all measures taken by the Indian government to ensure economic growth, implementation of numerous government schemes to eradicate poverty and malnutrition, undernourishment remains high among the poor in Indian society. If the situation is not addressed soon, the aspiration to achieve SDG-2 may become far more difficult.
India, being one of the fastest-growing economies, despite the international tensions like Trade war and rising isolationism in the current times, is reducing the poverty ratio of its population at a rapid pace.
However, several of the Indians are still suffering due to extreme poverty. According to the Brooking report, about 3% of the Indian population is suffering due to extreme poverty.
With enormous resources and skills, India has the potential to help its entire population overcome poverty. This is of essence as it indirectly slows down the economic growth of the country and hinders the government’s ambition to become $5 Trillion economy by 2024.
Reading Time:5mins Recently, the union government has introduced 124th Constitution Amendment Bill (10% Quota Bill) in the Parliament to provide for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) among the general category candidates in higher education and government employment.
Sikkim is set to become the first state in India to launch Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea of universal basic income has gained popularity in the western nations due to the threat of automation-induced job losses. In India, the idea gained ground due to the chronic poverty & inequality and the government’s failure to provide subsidies effectively to poor people. Moreover, the persistent farm distress and poor wage growth across occupations also highlight the need for an income support scheme in India.
Reading Time:4mins While listing out the achievements of the government in social welfare measures, President Ram Nath Kovind recently mentioned that, under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, 6 crore women had become members of self-help groups and the government had provided loans worth over Rs 75,000 crore to such groups.
Reading Time:6mins According to the Asia-Pacific wealth report, Japan’s richest persons have the largest wealth accumulation in the Asia-Pacific region, however, Chinese millionaires are also catching up to them. Meanwhile, Indian millionaires are adding wealth at the fastest in the region, which India can take pride in it. But the reality is that the bottom 60%, the majority of the population, owns less than 5% of the country’s wealth. This growing inequality threatens to destroy the fabric of Indian democracy.