Both topics are equally important on the behalf of General Studies Paper – II
On the Margin : How Demonetisation has affected Refugees in India :-
Since Demonetisation was introduced, the Government is pushing people for more Digital Payments & now making Aadhaar as a unified financial infrastructure, those without Aadhaar will soon find themselves excluded from the economy. One such group will be the refugees living in India.
But as refugees are meant to be illegal immigrants & they do not have a formal identity. Therefore, they can not have an access to Aadhaar card.
How Refugees have been impacted through Demonetisation & Aadhaar ?
- They are now dependent on parallel economy.
- Women have lost their avenue for sustenance.
- Lack of legal documents refused them to convert their old cash into new currency.
- Struggling to meet daily needs & medical services.
Present Scenario of Refugees in India :-
- Refugees tend to have a refugee card & some of them have temporary visas but these documents are not legal enough to open their bank accounts. Bank clearly refused these documents to be legal.
- Now Aadhaar becoming more important as unified financial structure as “Aadhaar Act states that anyone residing in India for 6 of the 12 months preceding the date of the application is eligible to obtain the card” but they have been turned away by local Aadhaar centres.
What Govt needs to do now ?
- Government needs to grant a formal legal identity to refugees and issue uniform documentation to this community.
- Regard to Aadhaar, Govt needs to clarify the policies whether refugees can have them or not.
- Government can also explore the possibility of allowing refugees to use other forms of documentation such as their refugee card and visa, to access basic financial services.
Conclusion :- Without such measures, the core objective of demonetisation — eliminating the underground economy and achieving full financial inclusion — will remain an unfulfilled vision
Plotting Social Progress :-
Accomplishments of modern India are recognised around the world. A country has now transformed itself into one of the the fastest growing major economies despite a long colonial rule.
But the potential for growth remains strong despite some slackening.
The societal reach of this economic growth still remains un-quantified. There have been efforts to track individual social outcomes such as health, education and safety but none of them helps us. What we need is a common measure to quantify the social progress of Indian States that can pinpoint the achievements and the challenges. A Social Progress Index which could bridge this gap.
So what Govt do now to look at Social Progress?
Govt ranked States using social and environmental indicators on the basis of their capability
- To provide for basic needs such as shelter, water, and sanitation
- Foundation for well-being with education, health, and communication facilities
- Analysing the prejudices that prevail in a region prohibiting people from making their personal decisions
- Evaluating whether citizens have personal rights and freedom or whether they are susceptible to child labour, human trafficking, corruption, etc.
The study (2005-2016) helps analyse whether States, especially using social and environmental indicators, are heading in the right direction :-
- The overall social progress score for the country now stands at 57.03 (on a 0-100 scale), approximately eight points higher than in 2005. The country performs better in the provision of basic human needs rather than opportunities for its citizens.
- All the States have climbed the social progress ladder, with the group of States that had the worst performance in 2005 — Tripura, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Bihar — now showing improvement. This suggests that States with a relatively low level of social progress can improve rapidly. Similarly, in States that have achieved a threshold level of social progress, driving improvements becomes more difficult. This is backed by the fact that average improvement is the lowest among the group of States that were categorised as “Very High Social Progress” in 2005.
- Greatest improvements have been in areas where social progress most often accompanies economic prosperity. For instance, “Access to Information & Communication and Inclusion” depicts a strong relationship with per capita GDP and are the ones that have improved the most over the years. And “Health and Wellness & Environmental Quality”, that are least correlated with economic development, have eroded.
Conclusion :- There is an urgent need to identify and focus on social parameters. The reliance on the idea that economic development will automatically transform social conditions will hamper further improvements in social progress. Social progress needs to be stimulated by focusing on policies directly targeting social issues.
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