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Question #

'Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India remain mere show pieces until and unless they are backed by political will'. Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India.

ChatGPT Answer #

Poverty alleviation programs in India have indeed been criticized for their lack of effectiveness and impact in combating poverty. While several programs have been implemented over the years, their success has been limited due to the lack of strong political will and commitment.

One of the major poverty alleviation programs in India is the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). This program guarantees 100 days of employment per household in rural areas. While it has been successful in providing temporary employment and wage security, it has faced significant challenges. The funds allocated to MGNREGA have often been insufficient, leading to delays in wage payments and inadequate implementation. Additionally, corruption and mismanagement have plagued the program, diverting resources away from the intended beneficiaries. This highlights the lack of political will in effectively implementing and monitoring the program.

Another widely debated poverty alleviation program is the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), also known as Aajeevika. This program aims to alleviate rural poverty through self-employment and skill development. Despite the significant potential of NRLM, its impact has been limited due to weak implementation and lack of political support. The program has suffered from a lack of funding and inadequate infrastructure, making it difficult to provide skill training and financial support to the rural poor. Moreover, the political will to ensure that the program reaches the most vulnerable sections of society, such as women and marginalized communities, has been weak.

The Public Distribution System (PDS) is another crucial poverty alleviation program in India, providing subsidized food grains to low-income households. However, the efficacy of the PDS has been undermined by issues such as corruption, leakages, and poor targeting. The diversion of subsidized grains and exclusion of deserving beneficiaries are rampant due to political interference and lack of political will to address these issues. As a result, the intended beneficiaries often don't receive the benefits, while the subsidized grains end up in the hands of middlemen or black marketeers.

Overall, the major poverty alleviation programs in India have fallen short of achieving their desired impact due to the absence of strong political will. Without a genuine commitment from the political leadership to effectively address poverty, these programs remain mere showpieces rather than catalysts for real change. To make a significant difference in poverty reduction, it is crucial to prioritize adequate funding, transparent implementation, and robust monitoring mechanisms. Additionally, addressing corruption, improving targeting strategies, and involving local communities in the decision-making process are essential steps that require political will and commitment.

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