What are your views on the glaring targeting challenge in the welfare programs in India?
Most of the socio-economic programs in India are based on the data from the Socio-Economic Caste Census SECC. There have been significant differences observed in the identification of the most backward districts in the country when the data is taken from different sources.
The districts have been ranked in five subsets on the basis of deprived households as per the identification criteria outlined by the SECC. A nearly same exercise was also undertaken as per the data obtained under the ownership of assets from the Census of India. Likewise, the percentage of poor households in India is also identified by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative based on the Multidimensional Poverty Index. Latter is based on the data obtained from the National Family Health Survey.
There is a great overlap of 48% between the data of the most deprived derived from MPI and Census despite the fact that they have been taken five years apart. Surprisingly, the data from SECC and Census only shows 40% overlap even though they were recorded in the same year. Likewise, there is only a 25% match between the data from SECC and MPI. Such facts point towards glaring discrepancies in the targeting of welfare programs which need to be plugged for real success of the latter on the ground.