Access to Social Services in India: Findings from a Social Equality Index (SEI)

45 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2018

See all articles by Deepanshu Mohan

Deepanshu Mohan

O. P. Jindal Global University - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS); O. P. Jindal Global University

Richa Sekhani

ICRIER; ICRIER

Serene Vaid

ICRIER

Date Written: August 15, 2018

Abstract

Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world in recent years, the average Indian remains relatively poor due to a highly-skewed income distribution and inequitable access to basic social and economic services. The poorer half jostles for less than 4.1% of national wealth while relational inequities continue to rise across states. This gap of more than four times between the richest and the poorest state in India is seen to be responsible for one of the highest level of disparity in the developing world, subsequently affecting delivery mechanisms and access to basic social services such as basic education, healthcare, credit institutions, law enforcement justice mechanisms and other basic amenities (drinking water and sanitation).

This study provides an in-depth assessment of each Indian State’s performance in ensuring access to basic social and economic services (including access to basic health care, education, credit or financial services, water and sanitation facilities and access to justice-law enforcing institutions) to its citizens. The objective of this in-depth data analysis is to initiate policy level discussions on minimizing levels of unequal opportunities for citizens residing across identified states of the country.

We theoretically use a Mini-Max approach (inverse to the Maxi-Min utilitarian principle) in understanding the relative dimensions of social and economic inequality present across states in India. The objective of using such a concept is to promote minimum access to some identified social and economic services that enable people (across states) to develop capabilities which are instrumental towards the maximization of their well-being over a period of time. The five fundamental pillars constituting as basic services to be safeguarded and provided by agencies of the state include:

a) Access to Basic Amenities (Drinking water and sanitation facilities) b) Access to Education c) Access to Basic Healthcare services d) Access to Credit and Financial service e) Access to Justice (Public Institutions of law enforcement).

In terms of methodology, we use a principle component analysis for deriving the index values for each pillar. The states based on index value have been classified as leaders, above average performing states, average performing states, below average performing states and least performing states. The classification acts as a scorecard for the persistence of access inequality in the Indian states and will draw the attention of policymakers towards states that lag behind in the implementation of the various policies and reforms. Such a method of ranking also enables states to identify their counterparts who have successfully ensured greater progress in terms of providing basic social and economic services at nearer proximity and as per the state population needs.

Keywords: Social Equality, Inequality, Indian Economy, Development, Economics

JEL Classification: O00, O20, O1, O15, O18, O53

Suggested Citation

Mohan, Deepanshu and Sekhani, Richa and Vaid, Serene, Access to Social Services in India: Findings from a Social Equality Index (SEI) (August 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3231696 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3231696

Deepanshu Mohan (Contact Author)

O. P. Jindal Global University - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) ( email )

Sonipat Narela Road
Near Jagdishpur Village
Sonipat, Haryana 131 001
India
8396907211 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jsia.edu.in/content/deepanshu-mohan

O. P. Jindal Global University ( email )

Cabin 6, T4 Faculty Offices
O. P. Jindal Global University,Sonipat-Narela Road
SONIPAT, HARYANA 131001
India

Richa Sekhani

ICRIER ( email )

Core 6A, Fourth Floor Lodhi Road
New Delhi, 110003
India

ICRIER ( email )

Core 6A, Fourth Floor Lodhi Road
New Delhi, 110003
India

Serene Vaid

ICRIER ( email )

Core 6A, Fourth Floor Lodhi Road
New Delhi, 110003
India

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
65
Abstract Views
677
rank
402,864
PlumX Metrics