Why in news?
- The Indian economy is going through a severe crisis: a slowdown as well as a structural crisis.
- In the words of the former Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind Subramanian, it is headed towards the ICU.
- Almost all sectors of the economy are in decline: the rate of growth of the national GDP has declined
These developments have had an adverse impact on the bottom 30%-40% of the population.
- The incidence of absolute poverty, which has been falling since 1972-73, has increased to 30% (4% jump).
- As the Human Development Report (2019) has shown, more than 44% of the Indian population is under the multi-dimensional poverty line.
- The poorest 50% population at present owns only 4.1% of the national wealth, while the richest 10% people own 73% of the total wealth in India (Suisse Credit 2019).
- India has 15.2% population malnourished (women 15%) as against 9.3% in China. And 50% of the malnourished children in the world are in India.
- India’s global hunger rank has gone up to 112 while Brazil is 18, China is 25 and South Africa, 59.
- UN report (2015) said, overall literacy in India is 74.04% (more than the 25% are totally illiterate) against 94.3% in South Africa, 96.6% in China and 92.6% in Brazil.
- Almost 40-45% population is either illiterate or has studied up to standard 4.
- Given the quality of education in India, the overall population is very poorly educated, with the share of ‘educated unemployment’ rising by leaps and bounds.
Though the bottom population depends on the government for basic health and elementary education (and also for access to higher educational opportunities), the government spends just 1.4% of GDP on health (against the norm of 4-6% of GDP) and 3% of GDP on education (against the norm of 6-8% of GDP