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Question- 2. Most welfare schemes contribute to improving human development outcomes, also resulting in higher growth. Explain

 

AnswerThe discussion on the demerits of ‘freebies’ distributed to the public as a result of election promises is not new in India.

However, there is often confusion on what constitutes ‘freebies’, with a number of services that the Government provides to meet its constitutional obligations towards citizens also being clubbed in this category.

Human development through welfare schemes

  • The basic argument is that these are a waste of resources and place a burden on already stressed fiscal resources.
  • In such discussions, ‘freebies’ not only include the free distribution of what may be considered ‘club goods’ such as televisions and gold chains but also welfare schemes such as free or subsidized rations under the Public Distribution System (PDS), cooked meals under the mid­day meal scheme, supplementary nutrition through anganwadis, and work provided through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • Welfare schemes that are repeatedly berated as adding to the ‘subsidy’ burden of the state also contribute to human development and protection of the basic rights of the people to nutrition, work, etc., essentially the right to life with dignity.
  • A number of other schemes such as old age, single women and disabled pensions, community kitchens in urban areas, free uniforms and textbooks for children in government schools, and free health care services play a critical role in providing social security and access to basic entitlements in our country.

Thus, it is important to recognize that most welfare schemes contribute to improving human development outcomes, which also results in higher economic growth in future.

Tags: GS 2 (Governance)
By- Raghunandan

Updated on 04 Aug 2022 |   Added on .04 Aug 2022  |  by admin