NEW DELHI: With 21.9 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, the NDA government has come out with a 14-point framework to monitor social progress in the country.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in January 2015 had set up a Committee to work out a mechanism for statistical monitoring of social development which identified 14 goals. Subsequently an Inter-Ministerial group was constituted with 19 social sector ministries as members to finalise the indicators and data. The framework includes ‘abolishing poverty in all its forms’ as ‘Goal 1’ followed by ‘Universal education up to secondary level for both the genders and empowerment and safety of women. The 14 goals also include skill development amongst youth, universal financial inclusion, cleanliness and safe drinking water, e-governance and new technology in agriculture and allied sectors.
The report mentioned that in spite of the significant reduction in poverty headcount ratio, at an all-India level, the rural-urban gap persisted. In 2011-12, both in rural areas and urban areas, poverty was higher among Scheduled Tribe groups compared to Scheduled Caste groups. “Over the years, there is slight increase in the public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP though the share is very low. In 2012-13, only 4.29 per cent of the GDP was spent on education,” the report said.
The literacy rate for seven plus years in urban areas is higher than in rural areas. The literacy rate of males in urban areas is 88.8 per cent and for rural areas, it is 77.1 per cent. The literacy rate for females in urban areas is 79.1 per cent whereas the same for rural areas is 57.9 per cent. In 2014-15, there was an increase of 12.15 per cent in the number of Scheduled Caste students availing post-metric scholarships.
The Report also said that as on March 31, 2015, there were 99.2 million broadband subscribers in India. The year to year increase in the number of broadband subscribers is 62.97 per cent.