Teacher. (Dr) D. Mukhopadhyay
It was a persistent effort by human civilization to elevate its socio-economic status from caveman to 21st century citizen whose daily life and economic activities are harnessed by digital technology. Simply put, increasing the standard of living in terms of quality of life is the ultimate goal of any society in the 21st century. Human development is assumed to be the ultimate goal of economic activities pursued by a nation. Human development seems to be in place when it guarantees long life expectancy, better health, better sanitation and hygiene, quality education and the right to live in dignity. It may be a valid assumption that economic growth and human development are positively correlated, as economic growth appears to be an important contributor to human development, provided that national income in terms of gross domestic product distribution (GDP) is not biased and that it is on the contrary. a significant step on the egalitarian line reflected in the Lorenz curve which is hardly a reality as far as India is concerned. Seventy-five years have passed since it gained its “dominion status” from the colonized rule of two hundred years. It is indeed a sad theme in the context of issues of national income and wealth distribution and is transparently highlighted in the latest Global Inequality Report, a joint intellectually groundbreaking contribution from the World Inequality Lab, Lucas Chancel and economists such as Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. This literature is an embodiment of thinking about the unequal distribution of income and wealth across the world. To be precise, regarding the distribution of income, the richest 10% of the world’s population would have benefited from 52% of the world’s income and only 8.5% of the world’s income belongs to the poorest half of the population. . It is truly a shocking finding by researchers to point out the skewed degree of inequality in the distribution of income and wealth. The same report paints a dismal picture of India’s economic performance. He reported a bleak picture of income inequality and wealth distribution in India and this appears to be a serious issue demanding the attention of policy makers and decision makers on a priority basis. The results categorically report that “India stands out as a poor and highly unequal country, with a wealthy elite”. More specifically, the richest 1% and 10% benefit respectively from 22% and 57% of the GDP and only 13% of the national income goes to the poorest 50% of the population. The report presented a glaring and frustrating spectacle of gender inequality and carbon. It is pertinent to mention that only 18% being the lowest income in the world is shared by Indian female labor force and same is average of 15% and 21% in Middle East and Asia, excluding China ranked 85th in the HDI. Ranking list respectively. Interestingly, a person from the bottom 50% of India’s population is responsible, on average, for five times lower carbon emissions than the bottom 50% in the European Union and 10 times lower than the 50% lower. the United States. It can be critically observed that the global per capita income of the bottom 50% is considered to be attributed to a much higher upward trend if India is excluded from the list of countries in 189 countries while calculating the income per capita of the bottom 50% which is an indicator of an erratic picture of the inequality of income distribution in India. India has tried to adopt the model of rapid economic growth to stop poverty and address issues related to unequal distribution of income through economic empowerment by providing many income generating programs such as MGNREGA project, subsidized or even free rations up to the “poverty line”, i.e. around 30% of the bottom 50% of the general population.
On the contrary, India could neither overcome nor sustain the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Pursuing GDP growth alone has been proven to be summarily ineffective in many countries around the world. “The bottom of the pyramid” has little access to quality education, better health services and housing based on sanitation and hygiene. Moreover, policy makers may also not have access to real data. The administration of a nationwide census every ten years, which was due to take place in 2021 but could not be undertaken due to the ongoing pandemic situation, has been a feature. To formulate an appropriate economic development strategy and make decisions at the macro level and implementation at the micro level, the availability of real and reliable data is sine qua non. It is one side of the coin on uneven economic development leading to poor human development of the country. The government plays a central role in reducing the gap in the distribution of income and wealth. In order to fight against inequalities, it is imperative to adopt a progressive model of generation and allocation of resources which consists in taking charge of public expenditure because it is a tool for improving the index of human development (HDI). In the context of human development, scholars have prescribed “three ratios” such as “government expenditure ratio”, i.e. government expenditure in different sectors as a proportion of gross national product (GNP) and not GDP. Secondly, the HD allocation ratio which represents the allocation of resources for the HD sectors as a proportion of GNP and finally, the HD priority ratio which represents the public expenditure for the priority sector as a proportion of GNP. Some expenditures such as expenditures for basic and secondary education in the HD sectors are much more effective in terms of progressing the human development index compared to other expenditures for higher education. In the context of determining priority sectors or priority areas, the particularities and individual stage of development of the country must be taken into account, since researchers are considered essential to enable a general group of expenditures to be considered as priority areas it normally varies from country to country. In addition, the researchers also cautioned that the degree of inherent variation between countries exists in the ratios mentioned above, implying that the same level of GNP may remain associated with different levels of public spending priorities for human development. . Public expenditure in the education sector being the priority sector, can be a catalyst for technological progress both in innovation and in the use of technology and thus becomes the contributor in the aftermath of the economic growth which is human development.
Social technological transformation is possible when the workforce, business developers, and entrepreneurs are exposed to techno-managerial skills and capabilities enhanced through vocational education and training, especially in the . fields of engineering and technology, accounting and management. Apart from education and skills enhancement initiatives, the quantity and quality as well as domestic and foreign investments in conjunction with government policies also influence economic growth and development trajectory. Furthermore, the human development of a nation is invariably dependent on health, hygiene and sanitation and education and the cumulative effect of these variables is the determinant of labor productivity. work of a country. The high degree of low human development is mainly due to the poor performance of the country almost at all levels and the insignificant access to education, health and basic infrastructure in Indian regions and states and it is universally accepted that every nation must deal with it. priorities for achieving sustainable development. Regional economic imbalance in terms of intra-regional inequality is an eye-catching phenomenon in India. The causality between economic growth and human development can be seen clearly in the rate of investment and the distribution of income, the effectiveness of governance and institutional efficiency. The growing attention given to the low human development index stems, to a greater extent, from the unequal distribution of income and wealth and the significant presence of regional inequalities among Indian states. The low human development index as reflected in research reports is due to the staggering income and wealth inequalities among Indians. Spatial inequalities at the micro level have been reflected in many researches in all their forms and dimensions which act as a bottleneck in achieving the targeted rate of sustainable development. The majority of the population still lacks access to quality health services, a hygienic environment, education, comfortable transport and other infrastructure. The HDI is an objective measure to assess the long-term progress of three fundamental variables, such as life expectancy, education and standard of living, occupying a dominant position in the human development of a nation. .
The UNDP published its first Human Development Report in 1990 based on the seminal work of Dr Amartya Sen and Dr Mahbub-Ul-Haq and focused on the assumption – “Human development is a process of expanding people’s choices” (HDRO, 1990). ). Therefore, India needs to focus basically on long-term projects for employment and income generation and distribute national income evenly among different sectors according to priority, which perhaps could be a solution. to boost the HDI. Infrastructure projects, increasing the percentage of resource allocation to education and health services should be priorities for public spending. Furthermore, the theory of political populism for free distribution of goods and services should not be used by any government, but rather economic empowerment by creating and providing jobs to people to generate a sustainable level of income and the people’s ability to buy “needs” with this income is a long-term solution to earning a healthy HDI in all countries.
(The author is an independent researcher and practicing barrister, Calcutta High Court)