Post-liberalisation, India has seen more inequalities in income, health, education and other dimensions of well-being, a report said on Friday. According to ‘Reducing Inequality – India Case Study’ — a report by NGO Save the Children, income inequality undermines long-term economic growth and inequalities between groups of people pose a barrier to further progress in human well-being. ‘Inequalities in India are observed in terms of income, health, education and other dimensions of human development as well as between the states, rural and urban areas and different social groups. ‘There is evidence to suggest that the poorer sections of India were actually further marginalised under the neo-liberal economic regime introduced in India in the early 1990s. States that experienced more ‘growth’ actually had worsening inequalities,’ said the report.
‘Eradicating poverty and preventable child deaths require a dedication to reaching the hardest to reach,’ it said. According to another report released by the NGO, the end of extreme poverty was in sight because of remarkable progress in improving the lives of millions over the last two decades. For example, the number of under-five deaths worldwide declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to under seven million in 2011. It, however, warned of a failure to tackle inequality in the framework would mean progress would be too slow and some groups would be left behind.
The reports were released to analyse the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, the deadline for which is 2015. Releasing the reports, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said: ‘Innovation will play a big role post-2015 and India is committed to such innovations as are suggested by this report’. UNICEF representative Louis George, drawing attention to how critical India’s role was, said: ‘India has the lion’s share of the world’s children and any impact here is going to make a big difference to the global agenda for children.’