Recent Social Security Initiatives in India

World Development-Volume 98, October 2017, Pages 5
There has been a major expansion of social security programs in India during the last 15 years or so, along with wider recognition of economic and social rights. This paper discusses five programs that can be seen as partial foundations of a possible social security system for India: school meals, child care services, employment guarantee, food subsidies, and social security pensions. The record of these programs varies a great deal between Indian states, but there is growing evidence that they make an important contribution to human well-being, and also that the achievements of the leading states are gradually spreading to other states as well. Much scope remains for extending these efforts: despite the recent expansion, India’s social security system is still very limited in international perspective. The paper also discusses some general issues of social policy in India, such as the arguments for universalization versus targeting and the value of a rights approach to social security.
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