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The Economic Survey 2013-14 presented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitely as precursor to the Union Budget presents an analysis of India’s human development, social and woemn empowerment schemes.
The survey points out that the country's performance continues to be below global average in most of indicators like life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling and even per capita income.
It also says huge investment is required to uplift social infrastructure and women empowerment programmes..
The outlook and challenges surrounding the social sector outlined in the Economic Survey are:
The outlook for India on the human development front can be positive given the large demographic dividend awaiting to be tapped. This demographic dividend will benefit India if its population is healthy, educated and adequately skilled.
Unleashing the time-bound potential of demographic dividend is the biggest challenge for India. This calls for massive investment in social infrastructure, skill development and empowerment of women.
A mere mark up each year in the Budget for existing programmes or starting some new programmes will not suffice. What is needed is a ‘zero budgeting’ approach with a revamp, reorganisation and convergence of social-sector schemes with a minimum size prescribed for the schemes.
There is a need for greater degree of accessibility to information for the public, especially about the role, rights, and entitlements of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
Focussed attention on raising the awareness levels and capacity-building activities at gram sabha level and devolution of powers in real terms, i.e. funds, function, and functionaries to the PRIs will lead to better and more effective planning, execution, monitoring and social audit of panchayat centric programmes.
(Press Information Bureau)