Addressing Societal Imbalances - Eastern Mirror
Monday, May 27, 2024
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Editorial

Addressing Societal Imbalances

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 03, 2024 11:50 pm

Notwithstanding the massive urbanisation push during the last few years, 60 per cent of the country’s population still live in rural areas, devoid of basic facilities. So, if India is serious about its quest to become a developed nation, the urban-rural divide needs to be addressed. To achieve this goal, the country should reassess its development model and consider putting greater focus on small projects instead of opting for only mega developmental projects. This will result in trickle-up growth, rather than long anticipated trickle-down growth. When India embraced New Economic Policy in 1991, it triggered hot debates between the proponents and opponents. While pro-changers advocated for a market devoid of government intervention, the opposition countered it by arguing that introduction of market economy would spell doom for the poorer sections of society. The debate between the two sides has received a new lease of life in recent times with reports of increasing inequality. It is alleged that despite the impressive rise in GDP, the fruits of development have not reached the targeted people, causing imbalance in the society.

To eradicate inequalities, India should adopt plans to improve the standard of living of the rural population. Schemes focused on improving connectivity, employment opportunities, enhancement of healthcare and education standards along with better wages should be introduced p to bridge the urban-rural divide. It may be noted that a number of mega projects are not sufficient to cater to the needs of people all over the country. For instance, construction of a mega city may help the poor rural people to earn their livelihood for a couple of months, but it may not necessarily change their ground realities. So, to serve the people in a more targeted manner, India should focus on micro-level schemes. But as the country has done just the opposite, urbanisation has failed to significantly change the lives of the rural people, despite projects aimed at providing free-electricity to people below poverty line, improving rural road conditions, etc. The divide became more evident during the pandemic with students from rural areas struggling to continue with their studies due to lack of digital devices.

As micro-level plans can pave the way for inclusive growth, policymakers should draw plans to provide such facilities to the rural populace that their urban counterparts are enjoying. These plans should be area-specific to serve rural India in a better manner. A careful examination of the path adopted by developed nations will reveal that these countries have put equal emphasis on developing both rural and urban areas. This is why villages in developed countries enjoy facilities similar to urban areas. India should also develop its rural areas in a similar manner to usher in a new era of development.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 03, 2024 11:50:30 pm
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