India Inequality Report 2021 UPSC | Explained

India Inequality Report 2021 UPSC | Explained | Why In The News ?

The report titled “India Inequality Report 2021: India’s Unequal Healthcare Story” released by Oxfam India

India Inequality Report 2021 UPSC | Explained

India Inequality Report 2021 UPSC : Key Findings of the 2021 Report

Female Literacy
  • Literacy rate for women in the general category is 18.6 percent higher than SC women and 27.9 percent higher than ST women.
  • Inequality is evident in the attainment of female literacy with a gap of 55.1% between the top and bottom 20 percent of population in 2015-16 
  • Two out of three households have access to improved, non-shared sanitation facilities in the general category.
  • While SC households are 28.5 percent behind them, and ST are 39.8 percent behind them.
  • Only 30.2 % of Total Households have piped water into residence 
Health Expenditure
  • 81 percent of the total hospitalisation expenditure is covered through the savings of the household while one in every six rupees spent is through borrowing
  • More than 50 percent of out of pocket expenditure is utilized in purchasing medicines and another 10 percent in medical and diagnostic labs.
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  • The share of institutional deliveries in india has increased from 38.7 percent in 2005-06 to 78.9 percent in 2015-16, indicating a rise of 40.2 percent in a decade.
  • Institutional births in ST households was 15% below the general category in 2015- 16.
  • 810 women lose their lives daily from preventable pregnancy and/or childbirth-related causes.
  • Teenage childbearing has gone down significantly from 16 percent in 2005-06 to 8 percent in 2015-16: a 50 percent decline.
  • The percentage of mothers who have received full antenatal care has declined from 37 percent in 2005- 06 to 21 percent in 2015-16.  Full antenatal care for urban areas is close to two times that of rural areas.
Infant Mortality Rate
  • IMR is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age.
  • IMR has dropped to 32 in 2018, which is closer to the world average of 28.9.
  • SCs still have IMR 13.1 higher than the general category, while infant deaths in STs are 12.3 more.
  • Under-five mortality rate (U5MR) has dropped to 36 in 2018, close to the world average of 38.6.
Child Wasting
  • Percentage of wasted children (deficient in weight- for-height) has increased from 19.8 to 21 percent between 2005-06 and 2015-16. 
  • One in every two children are anaemic in India (50 percent), with three out of every five children anaemic in SC and ST households (60 percent)
Child Stunting
  • The percentage of stunted children (deficient in height-for-age) has decreased from 48% to 38.4% between 2005-06 and 2015-16 in India.
  • The difference between stunted children in SC and ST households and those in households belonging to the general category is 12.6 and 13.6 percent, respectively.
Government Interventions
  • The National Health Profile in 2017 recorded one government allopathic doctor for every 10,189 people and one state-run hospital for every 90,343 people.
  • In the 2021-22 budget, the health ministry has been allocated a total of INR 76,901 crore, a decline of 9.8 percent from INR 85,250 crore from the revised estimates of 2020-21.
  • The public expenditure on health by the central government as a percentage of GDP was a mere 0.32 percent in 2019-20.
  • The combined expenditure by state and central government was about 1.16 percent of the GDP in 2019 rising marginally by 0.02 percent from 2018
  • 1.58 lakh sub centres, 26 thousand PHCs and 5.6 thousand CHC.
  • There is a shortfall of 43,736 sub-centres (23 percent), 8764 PHC (28 percent) and 2865 CHC (37 percent) across the country
  • The private health sector accounts for 66% of hospitalization and non-hospitalization cases and 33% of institutional births. This growth has been boosted by government concessions
  • Only 14 percent of both SC and ST households are registered with the PM-JAY. 

Recommendations : 

  • The right to health should be enacted as a fundamental right.
  • The free vaccine policy should adopt an inclusive model.
  • Increase health spending to 2.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Widen the ambit of insurance schemes.
  • Institutionalize a centrally-sponsored scheme.
  • Regulate the private health sector by ensuring that all state governments adopt and effectively implement Clinical Establishments Act or equivalent state legislation.
  • Extend the price capping policy
  • Augment and strengthen human resources and infrastructure
  • Establishing contingency plans.


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