Policies for Social Inclusion

Some of the most vulnerable sections of India’s population such as, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, religious minorities, women, children, and persons with disabilities, have lagged behind others in terms of several development indicators. There are numerous factors underlying this deep-rooted problem in the country like the unequal social structures, discrimination, and patriarchy, among others; however, gaps in public policies and poor implementation of some of the government interventions are also considered an important factor in this regard.

In this context, there is a need to recognise the concern that different sections of the country’s population have not benefited equally from public policies and public spending over the last six decades. Since the 1970s, the Government of India has acknowledged the need for making a distinction between ‘incidental’ benefits for a certain disadvantaged community and ‘direct’ policy-driven benefits for the community from public expenditure. This recognition had led to the adoption of policy strategies like, the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) for Scheduled Tribes, the Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes (SCP for SCs), Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme for Minorities, and Gender Responsive Budgeting.

These strategies aimed to make planning and government budgeting in the country more responsive to the needs of the vulnerable sections by addressing the additional challenges confronting them in various sectors.  However, a number of concerns have been raised with regard to the design of these strategies as well as their implementation. CBGA focuses on identifying both the gaps and the better practices in this domain, i.e. in the design of these fiscal policy strategies for vulnerable sections and the way these are being pursued by various government ministries/departments. Apart from analysing these issues with in depth scrutiny of budgets, we also try to enhance public understanding of these important policy strategies.

Related Publications

  • Co-authored module on “Social Protection”; and module on “Social and Economic Policies to reduce Poverty and Ensure Child Rights”

    Malini Chakravarty

    2014

  • Chapter (coauthored) in Reducing Inequality: Learning lessons for the post-2015 agenda – India case study, Save the Children (Report)

    Malini Chakravarty

    2013

  • Adivasis and Entitlement to Work: NREGA in Nandurbar

    Chandrika Singh

    2009