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EAC-PM releases Quality of Life for Elderly Index

Context:

Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Issues related to Health of the Elderly, Management of Social Sector or Social Services)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Quality of Life for Elderly Index
  2. Highlights of Quality of Life for Elderly Index
  3. Directive Principle that talks about supporting the elderly
  4. Steps taken by the government to support the Elderly

About the Quality of Life for Elderly Index

  • The Quality of Life for Elderly Index as been created by the Institute for Competitiveness at the request of EAC-PM and it sheds light on an issue often not mentioned- problems faced by the elderly.
  • The report identifies the regional patterns of ageing across the Indian States and assesses the overall ageing situation in India.
  • The report presents a deeper insight into how well India is doing to support the well-being of its ageing population.
  • The Index framework includes four pillars:
    • Financial Well-being
    • Social Well-being
    • Health System and
    • Income Security
  • It has eight sub-pillars: Economic Empowerment, Educational Attainment & Employment, Social Status, Physical Security, Basic Health, Psychological Wellbeing, Social Security and Enabling Environment.

Significance of the report

  • This index broadens the way we understand the needs and opportunities of the elderly population in India.
  • It goes far beyond the adequacy of pensions and other forms of income support, which, though critical, often narrows policy thinking and debate about the needs of this age group.
  • The index highlights that the best way to improve the lives of the current and future generations of older people is by investing in health, education and employment for young people today.
  • India is often portrayed as a young society, with a consequent demographic dividend. But, as with every country that goes through a fast process of demographic transition, India also has greying cum aging problem.
  • Without a proper diagnostic tool to understand the implications of its ageing population, planning for the elderly can become a challenge for policymakers.

Highlights of Quality of Life for Elderly Index

  • The Health System pillar observes the highest national average, 66.97 at an all-India level, followed by 62.34 in Social Well-being.
  • Financial Well-being observes a score of 44.7, which is lowered by the low performance of 21 States across the Education Attainment & Employment pillar, which showcases scope for improvement
  • States have performed particularly worse in the Income Security pillar because over half of the States have a score below the national average, i.e., 33.03 in Income Security, which is the lowest across all pillars.

Performance of the states

  • Among all the states, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in the aged states and relatively aged states categories.
  • Rajasthan has a score of 54.61 in the aged states category while Himachal Pradesh has a score of 61.04 in relatively aged states.
  • Mizoram has a score of 59.79 among northeastern states while Chandigarh scored 63.78 among the Union Territories.
  • Jammu and Kashmir scored the lowest 46.16 among Union Territories.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, among the northeastern states, scored the lowest score with 46.16.
  • In the aged states and relatively aged states categories, Telangana and Gujarat scored the lowest with 38.19 and 49.00, respectively.

Directive Principle that talks about supporting the elderly

  • Article 41: Support regarding Work, Education and Public Assistance in certain cases (Socialist Principle) – seeks to establish a Welfare State that provides assistance to citizens who are at a disadvantage due to disability, old age, sickness, unemployment etc.
  • Article 41 is used as a guiding principle for various social sector schemes such as social assistance programmes, right to food security, old age pension scheme, schemes for sick and disabled, MGNREGA etc.

Steps taken by the government to support the Elderly

  • SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine): It is a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups.
  • Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP): To improve the quality of life of older persons by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities, etc.
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY): Aids and assistive living devices are provided to senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category who suffer from age-related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, loss of teeth and locomotor disabilities.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana: It is a pension scheme for senior citizens that comes with guaranteed returns on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or on an annual basis for a period of 10 years. It is exclusively available to those who are 60 years of age and above.

-Source: Hindustan Times

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September 2022
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