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Effective States and Inclusive Development

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Inclusive Development is a multidimensional concept. It covers social, economic and financial inclusion across communities, castes, gender, regions.There are many elements to consider in pursuing inclusive development. A vital one is how to create productive and gainful employment along-with effective and efficient social safety nets to protect those who cannot work or earn little. It is essential to enhance public services such as education, healthcare, providing access to basic necessities - water, sanitation, electricity and transportation. Particular attention needs to be paid to the marginalized sections of the society, minorities and other excluded groups to bring them into the mainstream. Government has a strong role to play in this through enhanced public investment and economic governance to ensure that everyone has access to vital public services. Government therefore has to formulate strategies, fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth and reduce poverty.

To achieve inclusiveness multiple interventions are required and success depends not only on introducing new policies and government programmes, but on efficient institutions as well for proper implementation of programmes. Inclusive development should result in lower incidence of poverty, improvement in health outcomes, access for children to school, access to higher education, improved quality of education, skill development, better opportunities for wage employment, improvement in provision of basic amenities like water, electricity, roads, sanitation and housing.

The objective of the Eleventh Plan was faster and inclusive growth; hence several Flagship programmes aimed at building rural and urban infrastructure, providing basic services in order to ensure inclusiveness and reduce poverty have been implemented. In some States these programmes have been successful whereas in some States there have been shortfalls. The reasons for shortfall may be attributed to many reasons like lack of capacity of local governments who implement these schemes, funds not being transferred on time, inadequate assessment of requirement of the scheme in the region or lacuna in the design of the scheme. This raises the question of capacities that enable states to deliver inclusive development. Effective State in terms of capacity of officials who are responsible for implementing schemes, proper institutional mechanism to monitor and evaluate the schemes, proper designing of schemes as per the requirement of the State. The other factor for securing inclusive development is political commitment. Development can be inclusive only if all groups of people contribute to creating opportunities, share the benefits of development and participate in decision-making.

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