Inclusive growth is defined as an economic concept which promotes equitable opportunities for economic participants during economic growth with benefits incurred by every section of society. The concept doesn’t just include the generation of wealth for everyone but also focuses on overall development, such as equity in healthcare opportunities, education, environmental quality etc.
In the modern world, the economic and social gaps between people are huge. The middle class is way above the lower class, yet still it is nothing in comparison to the wealthy class, which includes just a fraction (usually 1%) of the population but controls a disproportionate amount of wealth. However, it may not be a myth after all.
In India, various steps have been taken throughout history to ensure better social and economic inclusion of every section of the society. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), one of the largest social safety network in India, has improved the standard of living of people and has been able to check migration to a great extent. Apart from this, the Government has launched various flagship programmes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Bharat Nirman etc. to bring about improvement in the area of education, health and infrastructure thereby making growth more inclusive.
Even in more recent times, with the unveiling initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Start-Up India, the government has tried to ensure that the youth gets better education, skill development and entrepreneurial support. However, most, if not all, of these missions have fallen well short of their targets. They have failed to rise the status of enough people and structural and institutional problems still exist.
So where exactly does the problem lie? The people of the country definitely want inclusive growth and the government too tried to do its fair share to ensure that, but even by 2018, we live in a world where the richest few travel in private jets and the poorest few (well not really) struggle to have 2 square meals a month, let alone a day.
First of all, tangible work on the ground zero level needs to be seen. If there are programmes that promote skill development, then properly skilled instructors need to be hired. To generate gainful employment, more factories and service points need to be set up, especially in the rural areas so as to reduce the urban-rural divide.
Besides these, it needs to be ensured that everyone gets at least basic medical care for free. That means better equipped government hospitals and clinics. An insurance contract with the private clinics would not be a bad idea either. This also rolls over to the fact that there needs to be better social security. Every person, no matter how poor or rich, should have the peace of mind that lest something go wrong, my government and my people will be there to help me.
In conclusion, it can be said that even though right now, today, inclusive growth is just a myth, a proper well planned and well executed approach can bring it to reality. As much as the government needs to do its part, the onus also lies on private players to ensure the well being of the people of the land where they operate, and it also lies on the people themselves, who should be able to identify opportunities and work towards their goals of personal betterment, which would lead to the betterment of the society as a whole.
If you were the head of a state, how would you ensure inclusive growth? Tell me about it in the comments section below. Also, do not forget to follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already. For any queries or collaboration, you can always contact me.