* economy is now at a point when it can achieve sustained economic expansion * These positive factors notwithstanding, a major weakness in the economy is that the growth is not perceived as being sufficiently inclusive for many groups * especially Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and minorities * Gender inequality
* adverse effect on women
* The lack of inclusiveness is borne out by data on several dimensions of performance. * rate of decline in poverty has not accelerated along with the growth in GDP * the incidence of poverty among certain marginalized groups, for example the STs, has hardly declined at all. * proportion of the population deprived of a minimum level of living is much higher * National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) shows that almost 46% of the children in the 0 to 3 years’ age group suffered from malnutrition in 2005–06 * 47% reported in 1998 by NFHS-2
* Indicators of human development such as literacy and education, and maternal and infant mortality rates, show steady improvement, but they also suggest that the progress is slow and we continue to lag behind several other Asian countries * While the literacy rate has gone up from 18.3% in 1951 to 64.8% in 2001, the number of illiterate persons still exceeds 304 million * country with the highest number of illiterate persons in the world * Life expectancy at birth has increased from approximately 32 years for both males and females in 1951 to 63.9 years for males and 66.9 years for females in 2001–06. Yet this is well below the life expectancy of around 80 years in industrialized countries and 72 years in China * India’s maternal and infant mortality rates are much higher than those of countries in East Asia, showing poor access to essential health care services * Agriculture has grown very slowly from the Ninth Plan onwards and this has widened the rural–urban divide and also contributed to the severe distress in rural areas in some regions * Total employment in the economy has improved in recent years, but the labour force has grown even faster, leading to an increase in the unemployment rate * Also, economic growth across regions has not been balanced, with some of the most backward areas yet to experience any significant growth * The delivery of essential social services at the grass roots level is also poor and this is a major causative factor in unequal development * These features suggest that while there are significant economic achievements that India can celebrate in its 60th year of Independence, it is still far from redeeming the pledge which Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru made on the eve of Independence: ‘[…] for ending of poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity’
VISION FOR THE ELEVENTH PLAN
* ensures broad-based improvement in the quality of life of the people, especially the poor, SCs/STs, other backward castes (OBCs), minorities and women * However the target is not just faster growth but also inclusive growth, that is, a growth process which yields broad-based benefits and ensures equality of opportunity for all. * This broad vision of the Eleventh Plan includes several inter-related components: rapid growth that reduces poverty and creates employment opportunities, access to essential services in health and education especially for the poor, equality of opportunity, empowerment through education and skill development, employment opportunities underpinned by the National Rural Employ-ment Guarantee, environmental sustainability, recognition of women’s agency and good governance. * balanced to rapidly create jobs in the industrial and services sectors. This is necessary if a significant portion of the labour force is to shift out of agriculture, where it is currently engaged in low productivity employment, into a non-agricultural activity that can provide higher real incomes per head * This must be accompanied by efforts to improve...
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