Q1. Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges.
Inclusive growth is economic growth that creates opportunity for all segments of the population and distributes the dividends of increased prosperity, both in monetary and non-monetary terms, fairly across society. Forces of globalization, revolution in information and communication technology, research and development in agricultural and science and technology have provided people across the globe ample opportunity to break shackles of poverty and underdevelopment. However, India has not kept the pace, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world, with a very skewed distribution of resources. One of the reasons responsible is quality of human capital. Among Indian work forces, mean year of schooling is just 4 years compared to global average of 6.5 years. Only 2% of population has formal training, digital literacy is less than 10%. More tragically less than 50% of graduates are employable in modern market place. Another trend observed in India is that people are engaged in unproductive work (useless work). For example, Involvement of more than required population in agriculture and some small scale industries, which is causing disguised unemployment. People are also ignorant about their rights and duties, law of the land and significance of water, electricity and environment etc are examples of careless population. It is not just careless and useless manpower but also poor policy implementation in health and education sector that is acting as obstacle to inclusive growth. For example, Public expenditure on education is just 3.5% of GDP whereas requirement is 6.5% and in health sector, public expenditure is meager 1%. These sectors are mostly dominated by private sector which makes quality health and education service inaccessible to poor. Poor quality of human capital has led to several missed opportunities and acting as a hurdle on path to inclusive growth. To overcome this hurdle, the state has topmost responsibility.
Following are the measures can be taken facing these challenges
The government must invest in social infrastructure like education, health and skill development.
• In past the focus in education sector was more on infrastructure development, now it should shift to improving learning outcome. Teachers should be held accountable for performance of students.
• It has been adequately proved that poor health leads to poor intellectual development. Hence, government should invest in upgrading and building health infrastructure which is really very inefficient and weak.
• Skill education should not be considered as a taboo (i.e. it is meant for those with low grades ), it should be made integral part of school curriculum.
• Digital literacy should be increased to tap full opportunities provided by information and communication technology.
• Many government programs like Digital India Skill India, Right to Education, Universal Healthcare scheme, etc seems to be steps in the for improving quality of human capital.
Q2. Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India.
Land reform is an integrated program which aims at removing barrier to socio-economic development arising due to deficiency in land tenure. Land reforms in India broadly have two dimensions. One was change in land tenure system which saw legislative initiative like abolition of Zamindari System, new tenancy law, Ceiling Act including voluntary initiative like Bhoodan and Gramdan movements.
This phase had limited impact on agricultural development. Since above mentioned laws were not implemented uniformly their impact on agriculture was not significant. Till late 1960s, India was food scarce nation, productivity of soil was very poor and hence agriculture still remained sustenance based. Second phase of land reforms pertains to institutional reform which saw use of technology like HYV seed, spread of canal and tubewell irrigation along with growth in institutional credit, and distribution of fertilisers and pesticides. Minimum Support Price was announced to encourage farmers.
Impact on agricultural development due to these measures were more pronounced. India became one of the largest producers of food grains, vegetable and fruits and became self-sufficient. Average income of farmers grew, productivity of soil increased. New research helped in improving yield.
Factors that led to success of Land reforms
• Political will to insert the 9th Schedule in the Constitution and abolish the right to property.
• Land being a state subject, these land reform measures were particularly successful in states of Kerala and West Bengal, which had communist governments for several decades.
• Increasing literacy and awareness regarding land rights and constitutional provisions.
• Advent of various NGOs and co-operatives helped farmers reap the benefits of such laws.
• High Yield Variety (HYV) seeds, inorganic fertilizers and subsidies on diesel and electricity increased productivity manifold during Green Revolution.
Land reforms are an ongoing process, and the post-independence reforms helped several landless farmers get their fair share of landholdings. It is imperative that newer reforms such proper Cr rotation, organic farming and sustainable agriculture should be promoted so that India can lead the world in farm production.
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