2022 GS2 Answer

Q. Besides the welfare schemes, India needs deft management of inflation and unemployment to serve the poor and the underprivileged sections of the society. Discuss.

Question from UPSC Mains 2022 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

India’s Economic Growth and Development

India’s economic growth and development are vital for addressing the needs of its diverse population, particularly the poor and underprivileged sections of society. While welfare schemes are essential in providing social safety nets, deft management of inflation and unemployment is equally crucial to ensure sustainable improvements in living standards. This answer will discuss the importance of managing inflation and unemployment in addressing the needs of the poor and underprivileged.

Inflation Management:

Inflation refers to the sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services, which reduces the purchasing power of money. High inflation can disproportionately affect the poor and underprivileged, as their incomes may not keep pace with rising prices.

Managing inflation is essential for several reasons:

a. Protecting purchasing power: By keeping inflation under control, the purchasing power of the poor and underprivileged is protected, ensuring their ability to afford essential goods and services.

b. Reducing income inequality: High inflation can exacerbate income inequality, as wealthier individuals may be better equipped to manage rising prices through investments and other means. Managing inflation can help reduce the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

c. Encouraging investment: Low and stable inflation encourages investment, as it reduces uncertainty and helps investors make informed decisions. Increased investment can lead to economic growth, job creation, and ultimately, poverty reduction.

d. Maintaining macroeconomic stability: Inflation management is vital for maintaining overall macroeconomic stability, which is a prerequisite for sustainable growth and development. Stable economic conditions are more conducive to addressing the needs of the poor and underprivileged.

Unemployment Management:

Unemployment refers to the situation where individuals who are willing and able to work cannot find jobs. High unemployment rates can have severe social and economic consequences, particularly for the poor and underprivileged sections of society.

Managing unemployment is crucial for several reasons:

a. Poverty alleviation: Reducing unemployment is essential for poverty alleviation, as employment provides individuals with a steady source of income, allowing them to meet their basic needs and improve their living standards.

b. Social cohesion: High unemployment rates can lead to social unrest, crime, and other social issues, particularly among disadvantaged groups. Reducing unemployment can help promote social cohesion and reduce the incidence of social problems.

c. Economic growth: Employment is a significant driver of economic growth, as it contributes to increased production, consumption, and investment. By managing unemployment, policymakers can help ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

d. Human capital development: Reducing unemployment can also help in better utilization of the country’s human capital, enabling individuals to contribute to the economy and society to their full potential.

To effectively manage inflation and unemployment, India needs a combination of sound macroeconomic policies, targeted interventions, and structural reforms. This may involve pursuing a prudent fiscal and monetary policy, investing in infrastructure, promoting skill development and education, and implementing labor market reforms, among others. By addressing inflation and unemployment, India can not only support the welfare of the poor and underprivileged but also foster sustainable and inclusive growth for the entire population.

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