Chapter 4 - UNIT UNIT III CURRENT CHALLENGES FACING INDIAN...

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C URRENT C HALLENGES F ACING THE I NDIAN E CONOMY UNIT III
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Some of the most challenging issues facing India today are poverty, development of rural India and building infrastructure. We are a billion-strong country today and our human capital is the biggest asset; it needs investment in health and education. We also need to understand the concept of employment and the need for creating more employment in our country. We will also look at the implications of development on our environment and call for sustainable development. There is a need to critically assess government initiatives in tackling all these issues each of which has been taken up separately in this unit.
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After studying this chapter, the learners will understand the various attributes of poverty comprehend the diverse dimensions relating to the concept of poverty critically appreciate the way poverty is estimated appreciate and be able to assess existing poverty alleviation programmes. P OVERTY 4
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60 INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 4.1 I NTRODUCTION In previous chapters, you have studied the economic policies that India has taken in the last five and a half decades and the outcome of these policies with relation to the various developmental indicators. Providing minimum basic needs to the people and reduction of poverty have been the major aims of independent India. The pattern of development that the successive five year plans envisaged laid emphasis on the upliftment of the poorest of the poor ( Antyodaya ), integrating the poor into the mainstream and achieving a minimum standard of living for all. While addressing the Constituent Assembly in 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru had said, “This achievement (Independence) is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the great triumphs and achievements that await us… the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.” However we need to know where we stand today. Poverty is not only a challenge for India, as more than one- fifth of the world’s poor live in India alone; but also for the world, where more than 260 million people are not able to meet their basic needs. Poverty has many faces, which have been changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways. Most often, poverty is a situation that people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action — for the poor and the wealthy alike — a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities. To know what helps to reduce poverty, what works and what does not, what changes over time, poverty has to be defined, measured and studied — and even experienced. As poverty has many dimensions, it has to be looked at through a variety of indicators — levels of income and consumption, social indicators, and indicators of vulnerability to risks and of socio/political access. 4.2 W HO ARE THE P OOR ?
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Chapter 4 - UNIT UNIT III CURRENT CHALLENGES FACING INDIAN...

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