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Current Affairs

Increasing spending on social sector

Date: 11 January 2021 Tags: World Economy


Experts have argued for the need to ramp up Budget allocations for education and health sectors in India.



  • A look at the social sector expenditure over the last few years shows that the share of education as a percentage of GDP has been stagnant around 2.8-3 per cent during 2014-15 to 2019-20.

  • In the case of health, the expenditure as a percentage of GDP increased from 1.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent. This is lower than the required 2-3 per cent of GDP.

  • There seems to be an increase in expenditure on other services like sports, art and culture, family welfare, water supply and sanitation, labour and labour welfare etc.

  • India’s progress in the social sector has been much slower compared to its GDP growth. The two primary factors that adversely affect India’s human development are low levels of health attainments and education.

  • India’s social sector in general, and health and education in particular, encounter significant regional, social and gender disparities, slow growth in public expenditures and problems in delivery systems.

  • An increase in health expenditure is important to take care of the present and future pandemics. It is essential to have a huge increase in public expenditure on health and provide accessible, affordable and quality health coverage to all.

  • Another important issue in the social sector is that of undernutrition. There is a need to raise allocations for ICDS and other nutrition programmes.

  • Quality education is key for raising human development. The pandemic has enhanced inequalities in education and has revealed the widening digital gap.

  • Equality of opportunity in terms of quality education is the key to raising human development and for reducing inequalities in the labour market. 

Social sectors

Social sector  includes several important component such as education, health and medical care, water supply and sanitation, poverty alleviation, housing conditions etc. that play a vital contribution in human development.