Inclusiveness through Employment Programmes

One of the most important interventions for fostering inclusion during Eleventh Plan was the MGNREGA. While its achievements in ameliorating poverty and preventing acute distress during times of drought have been appreciated, there are also some complaints against MGNREGA, primarily on the grounds that it is a dole, involving huge expenditures that could have been spent more productively. There are also complaints that it is leading to increase in wages of agricultural labour and construction workers. If rising wages squeeze farm profitability, the solution lies in raising farm productivity to accommodate higher wages.

Other Backward Classes (OBCs)

Central assistance is provided to states for educational development of OBCs. Under the Pre-Matric Scholarship for OBCs Scheme, against an allocation of Rs. 50 crore during 2012-13, Rs. 35.45 crore was released to states up to December 2012. Under the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, the target is to provide scholarship to 17.25 lakh OBC students. To provide hostel facilities to OBC students studying in middle and secondary schools, colleges, and universities and enable them to pursue higher studies, Rs. 6.13 crore was released up to December 2012 against an allocation of Rs. 45 crore in 2012-13.

Inclusive development includes social inclusion along with financial inclusion, as in most cases the socially excluded are also financially excluded. Many segment s of the population like landless agricultural labourers, marginal farmers, scheduled castes (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs), and other backward classes (OBCs) continue to suffer social and financial exclusion.

SCs and STs

Introduction

Planning in India has traditionally focused on the need to provide special support to historically disadvantaged groups. Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), have a special status under the Constitution. Other disadvantaged groups needing special support are Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Minorities and also other marginalised and vulnerable groups which suffer from handicaps such as Persons with Disabilities, senior citizens, street children, beggars and victims of substance abuse. The �faster and inclusive growth� objective of

Eleventh Plan called for a three – pronged strategy consisting of: Social Empowerment; (ii) Economic Empowerment; and (iii) Social Justice, to ensure removal of disparities and elimination of exploitation.

The incidence of poverty has been most pronounced among the SCs and STs, across social groups. Although the incidence of poverty among these groups has declined over the years, the headcount ratio (HCR) for SCs and STs is still higher than the national average. However, poverty has declined at an accelerated rate between 2004�05 and 2009�10 for SCs and STs. The annual rate of decline of HCR for SCs and STs in the period between 2004�05 and 2009�10 has been higher than the overall annual rate of decline of HCR. For SCs, the annual rate of decline accelerated sharply from 0.80 percentage points per annum in the period between 1993�94 and 2004�05 to 2.25 percentage points per annum in the period between 2004�05 and 2009�10.

The annual pace of poverty reduction amongst STs was disappointingly low in the period between 1993�94 and 2004�05 (0.34 percentage points per annum). However, in the period between 2004�05 and 2009�10, the annual rate of decline increased steeply to 2.98 percentage points per annum, exceeding the pace of overall poverty reduction.

Written by princy

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