The State of Inequality in India Report released

By Aditi Joshi|Updated : May 24th, 2022
  • The State of Inequality in India Report was released by Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
  • The report has been written by the Institute for Competitiveness and presents a holistic analysis of the depth and nature of inequality in India.
  • The report compiles information on inequities across sectors of health, education, household characteristics, and the labour market.
  • As the report presents, inequities in these sectors make the population more vulnerable and trigger a descent into multidimensional poverty.
  • The panelists for the launch included Dr. Poonam Gupta, Director General, NCAER and a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Dr. Charan Singh, Chief Executive at Foundation for Economic Growth and Welfare (EGROW), and Professor Suresh Babu of IIT Madras. 

The Report consists of two parts –:

  1. Economic Facets
  2. Socio-Economic Manifestations

These look at five key areas that influence the nature and experience of inequality.

Five Key Areas: These are income distribution, labour market dynamics, health, education and household characteristics.

Major Highlights of the Report:


The concentration of Wealth:

  • Urban areas have a 44.4% wealth concentration in the highest quintile (20%) compared to a meagre 7.1% concentration in rural areas.

Rate of Unemployment:

  • India’s unemployment rate is 4.8% (2019-20), and the worker population ratio is 46.8%.
  • In 2019-20, among different employment categories, the highest percentage was self-employed workers (45.78%), followed by regular salaried workers (33.5%) and casual workers (20.71%).
  • The share of self-employed workers also happens to be the highest in the lowest income categories.

Health Infrastructure:

  • In the area of health infrastructure, there has been a considerable improvement in increasing the infrastructural capacity with a targeted focus on rural areas.
  • From 1,72,608 total health centres in India in 2005, total health centres in 2020 stand at 1,85,505.
  • States and Union Territories like Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh have significantly increased health centres between 2005 and 2020.

Household Conditions:

  • By 2019-20, 95% of schools would have functional toilet facilities on the school premises.
  • 80.16% of schools have functional electricity connections with States and Union Territories like Goa, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry have achieved universal (100%) coverage of functional electricity connections.
  • According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21), 97% of households have electricity access, 70% have improved access to sanitation, and 96% have access to safe drinking water.

Education Sector:

  • The Gross Enrolment Ratio has also increased between 2018-19 and 2019-20 at the primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary.

Health Sector:

  • The results of NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NFHS-5 (2019-21) have shown that 58.6% of women received antenatal check-ups in the first trimester in 2015-16, which increased to 70% by 2019-21.
  • 78% of women received postnatal care from a doctor or auxiliary nurse within two days of delivery, and 79.1% of children received postnatal care within two days of delivery.
  • However, nutritional deprivation in terms of overweight, underweight, and prevalence of anaemia remains areas of huge concern requiring urgent attention.

Report Conclusion:

The information available on inequality, which this report brings out, will help formulate reform strategies, a roadmap for social progress and shared prosperity. Recommendations, like creating income slabs that provide class information, establishing universal basic income, creating jobs, especially among the higher levels of education and increasing the budget for social protection schemes, have been made.

Source: PIB

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