Why in News: –
After novel corona-virus pandemic, new architecture of economic growth must begin with to create better lives (shelter, food, &water to drink) for the majority. India must “build back better”, and create a new, more resilient, and more just economy.
GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources/Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- India a $5 trillion economy dream, the Indian government and its advisers are keen to recover the many lost quarters of GDP growth.
- Government lost sight of how poorly India’s economic growth has been serving its citizens.
- India ranked 102 among 117 countries.
- The GHI (Global Hunger Index) 2020 report jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, has placed India 94th position among 107 countries, much behind Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.
- The situation is grim and the country is battling widespread hunger.
- Government said, International observers are wrong, because Indians are very kind people, who even give sweets to a dog when she delivers her puppies, and such kind people would never ever allow a human being to go hungry.
- The World Happiness Report 2020 released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network According to the report, Indian citizens is amongst the least happy in the world: India ranks a very low 144th out off 156 countries.
- Nearly 70% of water being contaminated, India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index, “Composite Water Management Index,” a report published by Niti Aayog in June 2018.
- India has ranked 168th out of 180 countries in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), according to researchers at Yale and Columbia universities, Report says say India de-carbonization agenda needs to accelerate, and the country faces a number of serious environmental health risks, including poor air quality.
- The rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 were announced for cities with a population of more than a million, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad best cities in EoLI 2020 (Million plus Category).
Inequities have widened in India:
- According to the 2015 World Wealth Report, India had 198,000 high net worth individuals’ annual income over $1 million with a combined wealth of $785 billion.
- While India’s stock markets rose during the pandemic and the very rich became even richer, the number of people who are poor in India with incomes of $2 or less a day is estimated to have increased by 75 million.
- According to a report released by the World Bank, This accounts for nearly 60% of the global increase in poverty, the report says.
- The global changes in employment and working hours, and highlighting some key inequalities of impact by country, income, gender, age, and type of work.
- New ways must be adopted to create a new post-pandemic normal. Sadly, the old ways are returning.
- The government is back to chasing its $5 trillion GDP target.
- Wealth creators (large companies and wealthy individuals) are being touted as the solution for growth.
- Economic Power is being centralised.
- Governance of the many by a few politically and economically powerful persons may work for a few, stroke-of-the-pen, bold reforms.
- However, insufficiently tested vaccines and medicines, the side-effects of these bold solutions can cause great harm to the overall health of the system.
- The best medical treatments are those that help the system to heal itself.
- Therefore, communities must be allowed to, and assisted to, find their own solutions to complex problems.
- The government of India has begun a massive “[email protected]” campaign to celebrate, in 2022, the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
- India old Approach and the size of its GDP, the numbers of billionaires, the numbers of Indian multinationals, and the reach of its rockets in space, Or the condition of our holy Mother Earth ravaged by economic progress, and the conditions of hundreds of millions of citizens left behind.
- Unemployment has also increased in many countries affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Since 2006-08 there has been a huge reduction in the inequality of social welfare between countries.
- This is not because well-being has become more equal — it has not, due to the huge fall in well-being in India.
- But life expectancy has become much more equal, and the seven years increase in sub-Saharan Africa is truly remarkable.
- The old global economy Approach was very good for migrant capital, which could move around the world at will, its life made easier by countries vying to attract foreign capital, even bending their environmental and labour regulations to make it easier to do business.
- The pandemic has revealed that the old economy was not good for migrant workers, however.
- Their “ease of living” was often sacrificed for capital’s “ease of doing business”.
- India urgently needs a new strategy for growth, founded on new pillars.
- One is broader progress measures. GDP does not account for vital environmental and social conditions that contribute to human well-being and the sustainability of the planet.
- These factors are ignored as what really matters including the health of the environment, and the condition of societies like public services, equal access to opportunities, etc
- The ‘scientific’ approach does enable objective rankings of countries. However, as the Happiness Report explains, this ‘objective’ approach misses the point that happiness and well-being are always ‘subjective’.
- What matters to people depends also on the conditions of others around them.
- Wealthy people can be unhappy when they have less wealth than other wealthy people.
- Everywhere, fairness, and trust in others and in institutions, contributes greatly to well-being.
- Therefore, countries in which the spirit of community is high, such as the ‘socialist’ countries of Northern Europe, come on top of well-being rankings even when their per capita incomes are not the highest.
Way Forward: –
- The Indian economy must grow to create more incomes for its billion-plus citizens.
- Until the incomes of all rises, India will be a poor country from the perspective of the majority of its citizens, no matter how large it’s GDP.
- Moreover, economic growth must no longer be at the cost of the environment.
- A multi-pronged approach is needed to deal with the crisis.
- More than 90 percent of the world’s workforce lived in countries where business closures were still in place for at least some sectors.
Discuss how India should focus on sustainable employment to increase India’s economic growth.