Development Strategies for Poverty Alleviation in India | Sociology IQ

Development Strategies for Poverty Alleviation in India | Sociology IQ


The post-independence leadership in India under the leadership of Nehru adopted a development model based on the strategy, ‘growth as the instrument with poverty alleviation as the objective’. The National planning committee that was formed in 1938 had favoured this growth-centred strategy. This strategy eventually influenced India’s development design post-independence. The First Five-Year Plan 1951-52-1955-56 emphasized on ‘growing the pie’ meaning to increase production (per capita GDP) and at the same time redistribution of wealth to remove existing inequalities.

It was founded on the Constitutional norms relating to the protection and development of the people belonging to the weaker sections. This led to the implementation of Community Development Programme with the objective of facilitating socio-economic change primarily in the rural population through participatory approach. The Third Five-Year Plan envisaged programme of rural works with the objective of generating additional employment opportunities and utilizing the large reserve of rural labour force for accelerating the process of economic development.

Despite this positive development the performance of the third plan remained far below expectation on account of national security triggered by wars with china (1962) and with Pakistan (1965) and huge costs thereof. On the eve of the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79), the policymakers realized that the set of people, who failed to derive the benefits from the growth process were much widespread and diverse in character. There were evidences that poverty had been more sensitive among wage labourers, scheduled tribes and scheduled castes and people inhabiting the backward regions. These provided the logic for complementing extension promoting policies with increasing number of direct operation in the form of targeted programmes precede for a much larger set of disadvantaged population groups.

Thus, a number of pick out income and employment generation programmes were introduced as a element of the development policy of the fifth five-year plan with the goal of improving the living conditions of the defect part of the society.

The decade of the 70’s is thus examine as a landmark with the initiation of a series of programmes based on a three-pronged approach to attack poverty and unequal distribution which contain Creation of income-generating asset base for the rural poor. Generation of opportunities for wage employment; and Area development programmes in backward regions like dry land, rain-fed, drought prone, tribal, hills and desert areas.

The eighth five year plan underscored the human and social development policies as crucial components of the strategy for ensuring development with social justice. The focus was primarily on health care and education along with special component plan for scheduled castes or scheduled tribes. The emphasis in the planning process also changed accordingly with the introduction of a large number of programmes meant for these disadvantaged sections. The decade of the nineties focused on sustainable development to the forefront and influenced the planning and strategy spheres in addressing the conflicts between growth-promoting policies and degradation of the environment and their implications for the livelihood of the poor.

Ninth five year plan (1997-2002) objectives included:
Accelerating the growth rate of the economy with stable prices.
Confirming food and nutritional security for all particularly the vulnerable sections of society.
Administer the basic minimum services of safe drinking water, primary health care facilities, universal primary education, shelter and connectivity to all in a time bound manner. Containing the growth rate of population.
Promoting and developing people participatory institutions like Panchayati Raj Institutions, Cooperative and Self Help Group and strengthening efforts to build self-reliance.

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