The debate around social development in India has heightened with the arrival of neoliberalism. It is argued that the gap between growth and well-being, income and wealth distribution, and the rich and the poor has widened. The progress in the improvement of living standards has been slow, and the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women, and religious minorities face deprivation and exclusion the most.
The India: Social Development Report 2012 evaluates the life conditions of Indian citizens by assessing social development indicators — political, social and cultural. It combines empirical studies and critical analyses to explain the impact of policy interventions on social development and the challenges that remain. Concentrating on the minorities with respect to the key indicators of education, income, food security, and health, this Report addresses the relationship between the country’s developmental process and social policy discourse in contemporary India. It:
Focusses on the flaws in the Right to Education Act and how school-going children belonging to the poor and vulnerable social groups are affected due to this.
Examines the conditions of the large number of people who are poor even by the most modest standards of living.
Highlights the need to link food security with other policies for infrastructural and technological development.
Reveals the need for adequate provision and expenditure in health care services.
Includes a Social Development Index which, with its useful set of statistical indicators, attempts to assess the level of development among various groups on lines of caste, religion, and gender.