Economic Survey For IAS | Volume 2 | Chapter 9 |Part 2 | Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development


Child Labour

A multi-pronged strategy to tackle the problem of child labour

  • Statutory and legislative measures <amendment to child labour act>
  • Rehabilitation of children withdrawn from work through specific schemes and universal Social Infrastructure
  • Employment and Human Development
  • Elementary education #supplemented with economic rehabilitation of their families by way of convergence with existing programmes and schemes

Amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986



  • Complete prohibition on employment of children below 14 years
  • Two exceptions
  • 1. work done in family enterprises and on farmlands provided it is done after school hours and during vacations
  • 2. working as artists in audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials  except the circus, provided that such work does not affect the school education.
  • linking the age of prohibition with the age under the RTE Act 2009, and stricter punishment for employers
  • barred employment of adolescents (14 to 18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes like chemicals and mines
  • no penalty for parents for the first offence, the employer will be liable for punishment even for first violation



  • amendments partially legitimises child labour
  • how it would be ensured that the child is working in a non-hazardous family enterprise and that he/she would be doing so only after school hours

National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme

  • Under this children rescued from work in the age group of 9-14 years are enrolled in NCLP special training centers
  • they are provided bridge education, vocational training, midday meal, stipend, health care, etc., before being mainstreamed into formal education system.
  • Children in the age group of 5-8 years are directly linked to the formal education system through close coordination with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)

Skills Gap and Employment

Why skill india


  1. Nearly 90% of employable people did not receive any vocational training <80% of German workforce formally skilled>
  2. Imparting vocational education and training is an effective way of developing skills for improving the employability of the population

Why vocational education not popular in India

  • perception that vocational education and skill development are meant for people who have failed to join mainstream education <attitudinal factors>
  • perception is strengthened by the significantly lower wages paid to employees with vocational training vis-à-vis those with formal education

What has govt done so far?

  1. Setting up of the NSDC
  2. establishment of the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) <it will facilitate increased adoption of skill development programmes, with availability of pathways for progression between higher education and skill development
  3. funding initiatives such as the Standard Training and Assessment Reward (STAR) scheme <can you tell us more about STAR?> <What is Udaan scheme?>
  4. Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) -autonomous industry led bodies
  5. create National Occupational Standards (NOSs) and Qualification Packs (QP) for each job role in the sector
  6. develop competency frameworks, conduct training of trainers
  7. conduct skill gap studies and assess through independent agencies
  8. certify trainees on the curriculum aligned to NOSs developed by them

Four big schemes

  1. National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  2. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  3. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)
  4. National Action Plan (NAP) for skill training  target of skilling 5 lakh differently-abled persons in next three years

For detail about these schemes read this story-  Mammoth task of skilling India  and this blog

Towards A Healthy India

Goal is to provide accessible, affordable and equitable quality health care, especially to the marginalized and vulnerable sections of the population

Challenge – paucity of resources (both financial -1.2% of GDP on Health and human, 1 doctor per 1400 as compared to WHO norm of min 1 doctor per 1000), weak social and environmental determinants such as age at marriage, nutrition, pollution, access to potable water and hygienic sanitation facilities

Health system in India –

Mix of Public – Sub Centre, Primary Health Centre, Community Health Centre, District Hospital, Medical Colleges and private as well as informal quacks

Outreach and community level services – provided through coordination b/w ASHA <Accredited Social Health Activist>, Anganwadi Workers (AWW) and the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM)

  • Note 1– AWW works under ICDS scheme run by WCD ministry.
  • Note 2 – ASHA is a woman resident of the village  married/ widowed/ divorced, preferably in the age group of 25 to 45 years educated up to class 10.  Her Primary role is community mobilization. She works under National Health Mission of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Imp. Points from NSSO survey -Key Indicators of social consumption in India: Health, 2015


  1. Private sector continues to play a significant role in the provision of outpatient and hospitalized care
  2. there has been a nearly two-fold jump in the institutional deliveries since the last such survey.
  3.  >60 % of all institutional deliveries are in the public sector and the Out of Pocket expenditures for childbirth in the public sector is about 1/10 that in the private sector
  4. >70% (72 % <decreased from 78%> in the rural areas and 79 % in the urban areas) of non hospitalised treatment was sought in the private sector
  5. 58% hospitalized treatment in private hospital in rural while 68% in Urban
  6. > 85% population outside health insurance – coverage by government-funded insurance schemes only 13.1 % of rural India and 12 % of urban population
  7. treatment in a private hospital costs four times as much as it does in a public hospital on an average

Health Indicators and MDG

Under five mortality -declined from 126 in 1990 to 49 in 2013, much faster than global rate of decline during the same period <target was to reduce it to 1/3 by 2015 i.e 42>

Maternal Mortality– declined from 437 to 167 <target was to reduce by 3/4 i.e. 109>

Immunization – From 36 % fully immunized in NFHS- 1,improved to 44 % in NFHS- 3 <NFHS 4 data is available only for 12 states>

Imp. – % of children who are fully immunized is lower in urban areas compared to rural areas in majority of the States. It indicates that the availability of preventive health care is through the public health system, which needs strengthening in urban areas and hence National Urban Health mission has been launched.

Source-World Health Statistics 2015
Source-World Health Statistics 2015


What is govt doing?

  1. Mission Indradhanush
  2. Four new Vaccines – IPV, MR, Rotavac, Adult JE vaccine
  3. National Iron Plus Initiative – to address anemia among children (6 months to 19 years) and women in reproductive age including pregnant and lactating women in both rural and urban areas
  4. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)
  5. Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)
  6. National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancers, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS)- jointly by MoHFW and Ministry of AYUSH on pilot basis in six districts
  7. Jan Aushadhi Scheme < what’s the differenece b/w generics and branded drugs>
  8. Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, or National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) – new name of RSBY – Cover of 1lakh plus additional cover of 30K for senior citizens
  9. National Dialysis Service Programme – to provide dialysis facilities of chronic Kidney Disease Patients under PPP mode

Human Resource shortfall (Rural Health Statistics 2015)

  • At the all-India level, CHCs are short of surgeons by 83 per cent of the total requirement <more shortfall in more backward states>
  • Only 27 per cent of the sanctioned posts have been filled

The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) index

  • developed by the World Bank to measure the progress made in health sector
  • 4 indicators – immunization, diarrhea treatment, impoverishment (financial protection), inpatient admission
  • India ranks 143 among 190 countries in terms of per capita expenditure on health ($146 PPP in 2011).
  • It has 157th position according to per capita government spending on health which is just about $44 PPP

Housing Amenities, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health (Social Determinants of Health) (2011)

  • access to drinking water within premises – 46.6 %
  • access to tap water – 35.5 %
  • latrine facilities within the household premises – 46. 9 %
  • Great disparities among states

What is the govt doing?

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

  • achieve universal sanitation coverage and eliminate open defecation by 2 October 2019 <150 b’day of Gandhi>
  • aims to promote better hygiene amongst the population and improve cleanliness by initiating Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) projects

It will show results only if the constructed toilets are maintained after construction and also utilized by the beneficiaries <need attitude, mindset and behaviour change>


Absolute Poverty – Basic needs are not fulfilled i.e food, clothing, shelter <basic needs can be anything, in modern societies electricity even internet>

Relative Poverty – it is in relation to something, say all those earning less than 2/3rd of median income to be considered poor or say bottom 1/3rd to be considered poor

Poverty line – consumption or income level below which people are considered poor

Calculating Poverty Line

Disclaimer- It’s a very crude way just for understanding

  1. Basically idea is to compute minimum consumption level below which someone would be considered poor <consumption can include anything based on sensitivity so starvation line/ destitute line would include only calorie, some others would include health, education, recreation etc. as well>
  2. Then assign a poverty line basket i.e 10 chapatis a day, 100 gm dal, 1 bananana based on a survey <you get the point, right>
  3. Do a sample survey to find out how many people consume less than the poverty line consumption
  4. It would give you % of people living BPL i.e So called Head Count Ratio of country as a whole as well as different states
  5. Assign monetary value to the poverty line basket items based on prices in different states<price of roti, dal, health check up, education cost, rent charges etc.>
  6. It would give you monetary value of poverty line
  7. Poverty line would be different in different states as cost of living and inflation is different
  8. We know how many people are poor in each state but we still don’t know who the poor are <we have only done a sample survey yet>. So now comes the identification problem
  9. To identify the poor, we have to do census <so called BPL census>

N.C Saxena Committee submitted the methodology for BPL census in rural areas, Hashim Committee in Urban areas <inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria and ranking points based on assets, income, social status, other vulnerabilities etc.> <For More Info Google with the name of committess, this is to give you concept of poverty>

Recently Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) was done which can also be used to better identify poor


We presently use poverty line submitted by Tendulakar Committee but before we come to Tendulkar let’s look at the history of poverty estimation briefly

Pre independence poverty estimates: by Dadabhai Naoroji in his book, Poverty and the Un-British Rule in India

The poverty line proposed by him was based on the cost of a subsistence diet consisting of rice or flour, dhal, mutton, vegetables, ghee, vegetable oil and salt

National Planning Committee (1938) estimates were also based on mimium std of living perspective

Post independence poverty estimates:

1. Alagh Committee  (1979) – poverty line for rural and urban areas on the basis of nutritional requirements <Rural 2400 KCal, urban 2100 KCal>

For subsequent years adjust poverty line basket items price levels for inflation to arrive at poverty line

2. Lakdawala Committee (1993): consumption expenditure based on calorie consumption as earlier but suggested constructing state specific poverty lines

Updating them using the Consumer Price Index of Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) in urban areas and Consumer Price Index of Agricultural Labour (CPI-AL) in rural areas <assumes that the basket of goods and services used to calculate CPI-IW and CPI-AL reflect the consumption patterns of the poor>

Tendulkar Committee (2009) –  it was constituted due to 3 perceived shortcomings in the earlier methodologies

(i) Consumption patterns were linked to the 1973-74 poverty line baskets (PLBs) whereas there were significant changes in the consumption patterns of the poor since that time

(ii) issues with the adjustment of prices for inflation

(iii) earlier poverty lines assumed that health and education would be provided by the State and formulated poverty lines accordingly i.e did not include expenditure on health and education

It recommended following major changes

  1. a shift away from calorie consumption based poverty estimation
  2. a uniform poverty line basket (PLB) across rural and urban India <alag committee 2400 kcal for rural, 2100 for urban>
  3. incorporation of private expenditure on health and education while estimating poverty
  4. updating poverty lines based on changes in prices and patterns of consumption, using the consumption basket of people close to the poverty line
  5. Poverty line was in form of Rs per capita per month

The Committee recommended using Mixed Reference Period (MRP) based estimates, as opposed to Uniform Reference Period (URP) based estimates that were used earlier <mixed meaning for some items you would ask how much did you consume in last 1 year say for footwear, clothing etc while for others in last 1 month. On the other hand, in uniform every consumption in just last 1 month>

4. Rangarajan Committee: Poverty line should be based on

  1. Certain normative levels of ‘adequate nourishment’ plus clothing, house rent, conveyance, education < normative means desirable> < average requirements of calories, proteins and fats based on ICMR norms>
  2. A behaviorally determined level of other non-food expenses <behavioral is consumption as per general behavior>


  1. It reverted to old system of separate poverty line baskets for Rural and urban areas a<contrast with Tendulkar>
  2. Used Modified Mixed reference period <MMRP> < Aparat from 1 month and 1 year data, it included last week data for some items like egg, fish meat>
  3. It used Monthly expenditure of Household of five for the poverty line as living together decreases cost

We use Tendular data and based on this incidence of poverty declined from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 21.9% in 2011-12 <rural poverty 25.7%, urban 13.7%>

Discuss – Criticism of poverty line and Tendulkar methodology

World Bank Poverty Line – US $1.90 a day on Purchasing Power Parity basis


P.S. – Human Development Index will be discussed in the next part in detail

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments