Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development Notes | Study Economic Survey 2021 - UPSC

UPSC: Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development Notes | Study Economic Survey 2021 - UPSC

The document Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development Notes | Study Economic Survey 2021 - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Economic Survey 2021.
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 Page 1


CHAPTER
10
Year 2020 began with the once-in-a-century pandemic, which saw the frontline health 
workers working tirelessly to save human lives from COVID-19. While the pandemic 
caused its ripples on the economy and on the social sector, Governments at the Centre 
and States intervened in a timely manner to respond to the pandemic. India has one 
of the lowest case fatality rates of less than 1.5 per cent. Also, as shown in Chapter 1 
Volume I of the Economic Survey, India has been able to save lakhs of lives through 
its effective policy response. Public spending on social sector was increased in 2020-21 
to mitigate the hardships caused by the pandemic and the loss to livelihood due to the 
lockdown.
During the lockdown, online schooling took off in a big way and the Government 
introduced several measures to make online education accessible to all children. Similarly 
the lockdown period also saw the growth of the gig economy and increasing work from 
home in the organized sector. As per the PLFS report 2018-19, there was an increase 
in workforce totalling 48.78 crore during 2018-19 as compared to 47.14 crore during 
2017- 18. The size of the workforce increased by about 1.64 crore, of which 1.22 crore 
were in rural sector and 0.42 crore in urban sector. The gender composition was 0.92 
crore females and 0.72 crore males. Number of unemployed persons declined by about 
0.79 crore between 2017-18 and 2018-19, largely in the category of females, and in rural 
sector. The females labour force participation rate increased from 17.5 per cent in 2017-
18 to 18.6 per cent in 2018-19. These facts reveal that 2018-19 was a good year for 
employment generation. The net payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation 
(EPFO) as on 20th December, 2020 shows a net increase of new subscribers in EPFO of 
78.58 lakhs in 2019-20 as compared to 61.1 lakhs in 2018-19.The quarterly PLFS, which 
covers the urban areas, shows improvements in the employment situation in Q4-2020 
when compared to Q4-2019. Considering the proportion of the male workforce (15 years 
& above) by status of employment, casual labour decreased by 1 percentage points while 
self-employed and salaried workers increased by 0.6 percentage points and 0.4 percentage 
points, respectively. Similarly, in case of the female workforce (15 years & above), self-
employed increased by 2 percentage points, regular/wage salaried workers decreased by 
0.7 percentage points and casual labour decreased by 1.4 percentage points. The Time 
Use Survey, 2019 reported that females spend relatively more time in unpaid domestic and 
care giving activities (7.5 hours) as compared to employment related activities (5.7 hours) 
per day. This is reported to be one of the main reasons for the low female participation in 
Social Infrastructure, Employment 
and Human Development
Page 2


CHAPTER
10
Year 2020 began with the once-in-a-century pandemic, which saw the frontline health 
workers working tirelessly to save human lives from COVID-19. While the pandemic 
caused its ripples on the economy and on the social sector, Governments at the Centre 
and States intervened in a timely manner to respond to the pandemic. India has one 
of the lowest case fatality rates of less than 1.5 per cent. Also, as shown in Chapter 1 
Volume I of the Economic Survey, India has been able to save lakhs of lives through 
its effective policy response. Public spending on social sector was increased in 2020-21 
to mitigate the hardships caused by the pandemic and the loss to livelihood due to the 
lockdown.
During the lockdown, online schooling took off in a big way and the Government 
introduced several measures to make online education accessible to all children. Similarly 
the lockdown period also saw the growth of the gig economy and increasing work from 
home in the organized sector. As per the PLFS report 2018-19, there was an increase 
in workforce totalling 48.78 crore during 2018-19 as compared to 47.14 crore during 
2017- 18. The size of the workforce increased by about 1.64 crore, of which 1.22 crore 
were in rural sector and 0.42 crore in urban sector. The gender composition was 0.92 
crore females and 0.72 crore males. Number of unemployed persons declined by about 
0.79 crore between 2017-18 and 2018-19, largely in the category of females, and in rural 
sector. The females labour force participation rate increased from 17.5 per cent in 2017-
18 to 18.6 per cent in 2018-19. These facts reveal that 2018-19 was a good year for 
employment generation. The net payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation 
(EPFO) as on 20th December, 2020 shows a net increase of new subscribers in EPFO of 
78.58 lakhs in 2019-20 as compared to 61.1 lakhs in 2018-19.The quarterly PLFS, which 
covers the urban areas, shows improvements in the employment situation in Q4-2020 
when compared to Q4-2019. Considering the proportion of the male workforce (15 years 
& above) by status of employment, casual labour decreased by 1 percentage points while 
self-employed and salaried workers increased by 0.6 percentage points and 0.4 percentage 
points, respectively. Similarly, in case of the female workforce (15 years & above), self-
employed increased by 2 percentage points, regular/wage salaried workers decreased by 
0.7 percentage points and casual labour decreased by 1.4 percentage points. The Time 
Use Survey, 2019 reported that females spend relatively more time in unpaid domestic and 
care giving activities (7.5 hours) as compared to employment related activities (5.7 hours) 
per day. This is reported to be one of the main reasons for the low female participation in 
Social Infrastructure, Employment 
and Human Development
326 Economic Survey 2020-21   V olume 2
INTRODUCTION
10.1 The COVID-19 has brought into focus the vulnerabilities of societies, states and countries 
in facing a pandemic. India imposed a complete lockdown of the economy from 24
th
 March, 
to 31
st
 May 2020, which helped in arresting the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 as well 
as taking precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease and it has helped India 
to save lakhs of lives. However, the lockdown had an inevitable impact on the vulnerable 
and informal sector, the education system, and on the economy as a whole. The Government 
announced the first relief package of ` 1.70 lakh crores under ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan 
Yojana (PMGKY)’ in March, 2020 and comprehensive stimulus cum relief package of  ` 20 
lakh crore under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ in May, 2020. Development and welfare 
schemes being implemented by the Government over the years together with these relief 
measures enabled the country to endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and led to a 
V-shaped economic recovery (Chapter 1 of Volume I).
TRENDS IN SOCIAL SECTOR EXPENDITURE 
10.2 The expenditure on social services (education, health and other social sectors) by Centre 
and States combined as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 to 8.8 per cent during the period 
2014-15 to 2020-21 (BE). This increase was witnessed across all social sectors. For education, 
it increased from 2.8 per cent in 2014-15 to 3.5 per cent and for health, from 1.2 per cent 
to 1.5 per cent during the same period. Relative importance of social services in government 
budget, as measured in terms of the share of expenditure on social services out of total 
budgetary expenditure, has also increased to 26.5 per cent in 2020-21 (BE) from 23.4 per cent in 
2014-15 (Table 1).
the labour market. In the health sector, strengthening of health infrastructure and efficiency 
in health care delivery was reflected in the outcomes of NFHS-5 with infant mortality rate 
and under-five mortality rate showing a decline in most of the selected States in NFHS-5 
as compared to NFHS-4. As shown in the Chapter 9 of Volume I, this reduction resulted 
from the roll out of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana under Ayushman Bharat. 
Allocation for the health sector has flowed towards special requirements in the fight 
against COVID-19 to ensure essential medicines, hand sanitizers, protective equipment 
including masks, PPE Kits, ventilators and adequate testing and treatment facilities as 
well as in vaccinating the population. In 2020-21, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 
induced restrictions on loss of livelihood, the Government has taken various measures 
such as giving incentive to boost employment under the scheme Aatmanirbhar Bharat 
Rojgar Yojana, higher allocation under MGNREGS, Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan for 
migrant workers in the destinations States and has also notified path-breaking labour 
reforms to attract big investment in the economy.
Page 3


CHAPTER
10
Year 2020 began with the once-in-a-century pandemic, which saw the frontline health 
workers working tirelessly to save human lives from COVID-19. While the pandemic 
caused its ripples on the economy and on the social sector, Governments at the Centre 
and States intervened in a timely manner to respond to the pandemic. India has one 
of the lowest case fatality rates of less than 1.5 per cent. Also, as shown in Chapter 1 
Volume I of the Economic Survey, India has been able to save lakhs of lives through 
its effective policy response. Public spending on social sector was increased in 2020-21 
to mitigate the hardships caused by the pandemic and the loss to livelihood due to the 
lockdown.
During the lockdown, online schooling took off in a big way and the Government 
introduced several measures to make online education accessible to all children. Similarly 
the lockdown period also saw the growth of the gig economy and increasing work from 
home in the organized sector. As per the PLFS report 2018-19, there was an increase 
in workforce totalling 48.78 crore during 2018-19 as compared to 47.14 crore during 
2017- 18. The size of the workforce increased by about 1.64 crore, of which 1.22 crore 
were in rural sector and 0.42 crore in urban sector. The gender composition was 0.92 
crore females and 0.72 crore males. Number of unemployed persons declined by about 
0.79 crore between 2017-18 and 2018-19, largely in the category of females, and in rural 
sector. The females labour force participation rate increased from 17.5 per cent in 2017-
18 to 18.6 per cent in 2018-19. These facts reveal that 2018-19 was a good year for 
employment generation. The net payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation 
(EPFO) as on 20th December, 2020 shows a net increase of new subscribers in EPFO of 
78.58 lakhs in 2019-20 as compared to 61.1 lakhs in 2018-19.The quarterly PLFS, which 
covers the urban areas, shows improvements in the employment situation in Q4-2020 
when compared to Q4-2019. Considering the proportion of the male workforce (15 years 
& above) by status of employment, casual labour decreased by 1 percentage points while 
self-employed and salaried workers increased by 0.6 percentage points and 0.4 percentage 
points, respectively. Similarly, in case of the female workforce (15 years & above), self-
employed increased by 2 percentage points, regular/wage salaried workers decreased by 
0.7 percentage points and casual labour decreased by 1.4 percentage points. The Time 
Use Survey, 2019 reported that females spend relatively more time in unpaid domestic and 
care giving activities (7.5 hours) as compared to employment related activities (5.7 hours) 
per day. This is reported to be one of the main reasons for the low female participation in 
Social Infrastructure, Employment 
and Human Development
326 Economic Survey 2020-21   V olume 2
INTRODUCTION
10.1 The COVID-19 has brought into focus the vulnerabilities of societies, states and countries 
in facing a pandemic. India imposed a complete lockdown of the economy from 24
th
 March, 
to 31
st
 May 2020, which helped in arresting the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 as well 
as taking precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease and it has helped India 
to save lakhs of lives. However, the lockdown had an inevitable impact on the vulnerable 
and informal sector, the education system, and on the economy as a whole. The Government 
announced the first relief package of ` 1.70 lakh crores under ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan 
Yojana (PMGKY)’ in March, 2020 and comprehensive stimulus cum relief package of  ` 20 
lakh crore under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ in May, 2020. Development and welfare 
schemes being implemented by the Government over the years together with these relief 
measures enabled the country to endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and led to a 
V-shaped economic recovery (Chapter 1 of Volume I).
TRENDS IN SOCIAL SECTOR EXPENDITURE 
10.2 The expenditure on social services (education, health and other social sectors) by Centre 
and States combined as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 to 8.8 per cent during the period 
2014-15 to 2020-21 (BE). This increase was witnessed across all social sectors. For education, 
it increased from 2.8 per cent in 2014-15 to 3.5 per cent and for health, from 1.2 per cent 
to 1.5 per cent during the same period. Relative importance of social services in government 
budget, as measured in terms of the share of expenditure on social services out of total 
budgetary expenditure, has also increased to 26.5 per cent in 2020-21 (BE) from 23.4 per cent in 
2014-15 (Table 1).
the labour market. In the health sector, strengthening of health infrastructure and efficiency 
in health care delivery was reflected in the outcomes of NFHS-5 with infant mortality rate 
and under-five mortality rate showing a decline in most of the selected States in NFHS-5 
as compared to NFHS-4. As shown in the Chapter 9 of Volume I, this reduction resulted 
from the roll out of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana under Ayushman Bharat. 
Allocation for the health sector has flowed towards special requirements in the fight 
against COVID-19 to ensure essential medicines, hand sanitizers, protective equipment 
including masks, PPE Kits, ventilators and adequate testing and treatment facilities as 
well as in vaccinating the population. In 2020-21, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 
induced restrictions on loss of livelihood, the Government has taken various measures 
such as giving incentive to boost employment under the scheme Aatmanirbhar Bharat 
Rojgar Yojana, higher allocation under MGNREGS, Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan for 
migrant workers in the destinations States and has also notified path-breaking labour 
reforms to attract big investment in the economy.
327 Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development
Table 1: Trends in Social Service Sector Expenditure by General Government 
(Combined Centre and States)
Item 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 
RE
2020-21 
BE
(` in Lakh crore)
Total Budgetary 
Expenditure
32.85 37.61 42.66 45.16 50.41 58.76 64.70
Expenditure on 
Social Services
7.68 9.16 10.41 11.40 12.78 15.31 17.16
          of which:
      i)   Education 3.54 3.92 4.35 4.83 5.26 6.13 6.75
     ii)   Health 1.49 1.75 2.13 2.43 2.66 3.12 3.51
     iii)  Others 2.65 3.48 3.93 4.13 4.86 6.06 6.90
As percentage to GDP
Expenditure on 
Social Services
6.2 6.6 6.8 6.7 6.7 7.5 8.8
          of which:
      i)   Education 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.5
     ii)   Health 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.8
     iii)  Others 2.1 2.5 2.6 2.4 2.6 3.0 3.5
As percentage to total expenditure
Expenditure on 
Social Services
23.4 24.3 24.4 25.2 25.4 26.1 26.5
           of which:
     i)    Education 10.8 10.4 10.2 10.7 10.4 10.4 10.4
     ii)   Health 4.5 4.7 5.0 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.4
     iii)  Others 8.1 9.3 9.2 9.1 9.6 10.3 10.7
As percentage to social services
     i)    Education 46.1 42.8 41.8 42.4 41.2 40.0 39.3
     ii)   Health 19.4 19.1 20.5 21.4 20.8 20.4 20.5
     iii)  Others 34.6 38.0 37.7 36.2 38.0 39.6 40.2
Source: Budget Documents of Union and State Governments, Reserve Bank of India
Note: 
1. Social services include, education, sports, art and culture; medical and public health, family welfare; water 
supply and sanitation; housing; urban development; welfare of SCs, STs and OBCs, labour and labour 
welfare; social security and welfare, nutrition, relief on account of natural calamities etc.
2. Expenditure on ‘Education’ pertains to expenditure on ‘Education, Sports, Arts and Culture’.
3. Expenditure on ‘Health’ includes expenditure on ‘Medical and Public Health’, ‘Family Welfare’ and ‘Water 
Supply and Sanitation’.
4. The ratios to GDP at current market prices are based on 2011-12 base.
5. Data upto 2016-17 pertains to all states. From 2017-18 onwards, it pertains to all states and UTs.
Page 4


CHAPTER
10
Year 2020 began with the once-in-a-century pandemic, which saw the frontline health 
workers working tirelessly to save human lives from COVID-19. While the pandemic 
caused its ripples on the economy and on the social sector, Governments at the Centre 
and States intervened in a timely manner to respond to the pandemic. India has one 
of the lowest case fatality rates of less than 1.5 per cent. Also, as shown in Chapter 1 
Volume I of the Economic Survey, India has been able to save lakhs of lives through 
its effective policy response. Public spending on social sector was increased in 2020-21 
to mitigate the hardships caused by the pandemic and the loss to livelihood due to the 
lockdown.
During the lockdown, online schooling took off in a big way and the Government 
introduced several measures to make online education accessible to all children. Similarly 
the lockdown period also saw the growth of the gig economy and increasing work from 
home in the organized sector. As per the PLFS report 2018-19, there was an increase 
in workforce totalling 48.78 crore during 2018-19 as compared to 47.14 crore during 
2017- 18. The size of the workforce increased by about 1.64 crore, of which 1.22 crore 
were in rural sector and 0.42 crore in urban sector. The gender composition was 0.92 
crore females and 0.72 crore males. Number of unemployed persons declined by about 
0.79 crore between 2017-18 and 2018-19, largely in the category of females, and in rural 
sector. The females labour force participation rate increased from 17.5 per cent in 2017-
18 to 18.6 per cent in 2018-19. These facts reveal that 2018-19 was a good year for 
employment generation. The net payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation 
(EPFO) as on 20th December, 2020 shows a net increase of new subscribers in EPFO of 
78.58 lakhs in 2019-20 as compared to 61.1 lakhs in 2018-19.The quarterly PLFS, which 
covers the urban areas, shows improvements in the employment situation in Q4-2020 
when compared to Q4-2019. Considering the proportion of the male workforce (15 years 
& above) by status of employment, casual labour decreased by 1 percentage points while 
self-employed and salaried workers increased by 0.6 percentage points and 0.4 percentage 
points, respectively. Similarly, in case of the female workforce (15 years & above), self-
employed increased by 2 percentage points, regular/wage salaried workers decreased by 
0.7 percentage points and casual labour decreased by 1.4 percentage points. The Time 
Use Survey, 2019 reported that females spend relatively more time in unpaid domestic and 
care giving activities (7.5 hours) as compared to employment related activities (5.7 hours) 
per day. This is reported to be one of the main reasons for the low female participation in 
Social Infrastructure, Employment 
and Human Development
326 Economic Survey 2020-21   V olume 2
INTRODUCTION
10.1 The COVID-19 has brought into focus the vulnerabilities of societies, states and countries 
in facing a pandemic. India imposed a complete lockdown of the economy from 24
th
 March, 
to 31
st
 May 2020, which helped in arresting the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 as well 
as taking precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease and it has helped India 
to save lakhs of lives. However, the lockdown had an inevitable impact on the vulnerable 
and informal sector, the education system, and on the economy as a whole. The Government 
announced the first relief package of ` 1.70 lakh crores under ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan 
Yojana (PMGKY)’ in March, 2020 and comprehensive stimulus cum relief package of  ` 20 
lakh crore under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ in May, 2020. Development and welfare 
schemes being implemented by the Government over the years together with these relief 
measures enabled the country to endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and led to a 
V-shaped economic recovery (Chapter 1 of Volume I).
TRENDS IN SOCIAL SECTOR EXPENDITURE 
10.2 The expenditure on social services (education, health and other social sectors) by Centre 
and States combined as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 to 8.8 per cent during the period 
2014-15 to 2020-21 (BE). This increase was witnessed across all social sectors. For education, 
it increased from 2.8 per cent in 2014-15 to 3.5 per cent and for health, from 1.2 per cent 
to 1.5 per cent during the same period. Relative importance of social services in government 
budget, as measured in terms of the share of expenditure on social services out of total 
budgetary expenditure, has also increased to 26.5 per cent in 2020-21 (BE) from 23.4 per cent in 
2014-15 (Table 1).
the labour market. In the health sector, strengthening of health infrastructure and efficiency 
in health care delivery was reflected in the outcomes of NFHS-5 with infant mortality rate 
and under-five mortality rate showing a decline in most of the selected States in NFHS-5 
as compared to NFHS-4. As shown in the Chapter 9 of Volume I, this reduction resulted 
from the roll out of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana under Ayushman Bharat. 
Allocation for the health sector has flowed towards special requirements in the fight 
against COVID-19 to ensure essential medicines, hand sanitizers, protective equipment 
including masks, PPE Kits, ventilators and adequate testing and treatment facilities as 
well as in vaccinating the population. In 2020-21, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 
induced restrictions on loss of livelihood, the Government has taken various measures 
such as giving incentive to boost employment under the scheme Aatmanirbhar Bharat 
Rojgar Yojana, higher allocation under MGNREGS, Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan for 
migrant workers in the destinations States and has also notified path-breaking labour 
reforms to attract big investment in the economy.
327 Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development
Table 1: Trends in Social Service Sector Expenditure by General Government 
(Combined Centre and States)
Item 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 
RE
2020-21 
BE
(` in Lakh crore)
Total Budgetary 
Expenditure
32.85 37.61 42.66 45.16 50.41 58.76 64.70
Expenditure on 
Social Services
7.68 9.16 10.41 11.40 12.78 15.31 17.16
          of which:
      i)   Education 3.54 3.92 4.35 4.83 5.26 6.13 6.75
     ii)   Health 1.49 1.75 2.13 2.43 2.66 3.12 3.51
     iii)  Others 2.65 3.48 3.93 4.13 4.86 6.06 6.90
As percentage to GDP
Expenditure on 
Social Services
6.2 6.6 6.8 6.7 6.7 7.5 8.8
          of which:
      i)   Education 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.5
     ii)   Health 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.8
     iii)  Others 2.1 2.5 2.6 2.4 2.6 3.0 3.5
As percentage to total expenditure
Expenditure on 
Social Services
23.4 24.3 24.4 25.2 25.4 26.1 26.5
           of which:
     i)    Education 10.8 10.4 10.2 10.7 10.4 10.4 10.4
     ii)   Health 4.5 4.7 5.0 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.4
     iii)  Others 8.1 9.3 9.2 9.1 9.6 10.3 10.7
As percentage to social services
     i)    Education 46.1 42.8 41.8 42.4 41.2 40.0 39.3
     ii)   Health 19.4 19.1 20.5 21.4 20.8 20.4 20.5
     iii)  Others 34.6 38.0 37.7 36.2 38.0 39.6 40.2
Source: Budget Documents of Union and State Governments, Reserve Bank of India
Note: 
1. Social services include, education, sports, art and culture; medical and public health, family welfare; water 
supply and sanitation; housing; urban development; welfare of SCs, STs and OBCs, labour and labour 
welfare; social security and welfare, nutrition, relief on account of natural calamities etc.
2. Expenditure on ‘Education’ pertains to expenditure on ‘Education, Sports, Arts and Culture’.
3. Expenditure on ‘Health’ includes expenditure on ‘Medical and Public Health’, ‘Family Welfare’ and ‘Water 
Supply and Sanitation’.
4. The ratios to GDP at current market prices are based on 2011-12 base.
5. Data upto 2016-17 pertains to all states. From 2017-18 onwards, it pertains to all states and UTs.
328 Economic Survey 2020-21   V olume 2
10.3 A clarion call for  'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' was announced to revive the economy and 
to address the pandemic. A special economic and comprehensive package of ` 20 lakh 
crore - equivalent to 10 per cent of India’s GDP was announced in May 2020. In subsequent 
announcements, additional support cumulating to ` 29.88 lakh crore up to November 2020 was 
announced. Of these, provision for ` 4.31 lakh crore made for social sector includes PMGKY 
and PMGKY Anna Y ojana, housing and health (including R & D Grant for COVID-19 Suraksha), 
EPF support to worker & employers, street vendors, MGNREGS workers and ABRY etc. 
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
10.4 India’s rank in Human Development Index (HDI)
1
 was 131 in 2019, compared to 129 
in 2018, out of a total 189 countries according to UNDP Human Development Report, 2020. 
It may be mentioned that the decline in HDI ranking by two points in 2019 as compared to 
2018 is relative to other countries. By looking at the sub-component wise performance of HDI 
indicators, India's ‘GNI per capita (2017 PPP $)’ has increased from US$ 6,427 in 2018 to US$ 
6,681 in 2019, and ‘life expectancy at birth’ has improved from 69.4 years in 2018 to 69.7 years 
in 2019, respectively. However, the ‘mean years of schooling’ and ‘expected years of schooling’ 
remained unchanged in 2019 compared to 2018. However, considering the value of Planetary 
pressures adjusted HDI (PHDI)
2
, India was positioned 8 ranks better than HDI rank. If a country 
puts no pressure on the planet, its PHDI and HDI would be equal, but the PHDI falls below the 
HDI as pressure rises. PHDI values are very close to HDI values for countries with an HDI value 
of 0.7 or lower. (Table 2).
Table 2: Trends in India’s HDI Value and its Sub-components
Year 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017 2018 2019
Life expectancy at birth 57.9 62.5 64.5 66.7 68.6 69.2 69.4 69.7
Expected years of schooling
b
7.6 8.3 9.7 10.8 12.0 12.3 12.2 12.2
Mean years of schooling
b
3.0 4.4 4.8 5.4 6.2 6.5 6.5 6.5
GNI per capita
a
 1,787 2,548 3,217 4,182 5,391 6,119 6,427 6,681
HDI value 0.429 0.495 0.536 0.579 0.624 0.640 0.642 0.645
Source: Human Development Report, 2020, UNDP.
Note: 
a
GNI (Gross national income) is based on 2017 dollar purchasing power parity (PPP), 
b
Data refers to 2019 
or the most recent year available.
10.5 The value of HDI for India has increased from 0.579 in 2010 to 0.645 in 2019. The average 
annual HDI growth during 2010-2019 was 1.21 per cent as compared to 1.58 per cent during 
the period 2000-2010. Cross country comparison of average annual HDI growth shows India 
is ahead of BRICS countries (Figure 1). To sustain this momentum, and overcome possible 
fallouts of COVID-19 on human development, the thrust on access to social services such as 
education and health is critical.
1
The Human Development Report (HDR) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 
estimates the human development index (HDI) in terms of three basic parameters: to live a long and healthy life, to 
be educated and knowledgeable, and to enjoy a decent economic standard of living.
2
The adjustment factor for PHDI is calculated as the arithmetic mean of indices measuring carbon dioxide emis-
sions per capita and material footprint per capita.
Page 5


CHAPTER
10
Year 2020 began with the once-in-a-century pandemic, which saw the frontline health 
workers working tirelessly to save human lives from COVID-19. While the pandemic 
caused its ripples on the economy and on the social sector, Governments at the Centre 
and States intervened in a timely manner to respond to the pandemic. India has one 
of the lowest case fatality rates of less than 1.5 per cent. Also, as shown in Chapter 1 
Volume I of the Economic Survey, India has been able to save lakhs of lives through 
its effective policy response. Public spending on social sector was increased in 2020-21 
to mitigate the hardships caused by the pandemic and the loss to livelihood due to the 
lockdown.
During the lockdown, online schooling took off in a big way and the Government 
introduced several measures to make online education accessible to all children. Similarly 
the lockdown period also saw the growth of the gig economy and increasing work from 
home in the organized sector. As per the PLFS report 2018-19, there was an increase 
in workforce totalling 48.78 crore during 2018-19 as compared to 47.14 crore during 
2017- 18. The size of the workforce increased by about 1.64 crore, of which 1.22 crore 
were in rural sector and 0.42 crore in urban sector. The gender composition was 0.92 
crore females and 0.72 crore males. Number of unemployed persons declined by about 
0.79 crore between 2017-18 and 2018-19, largely in the category of females, and in rural 
sector. The females labour force participation rate increased from 17.5 per cent in 2017-
18 to 18.6 per cent in 2018-19. These facts reveal that 2018-19 was a good year for 
employment generation. The net payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation 
(EPFO) as on 20th December, 2020 shows a net increase of new subscribers in EPFO of 
78.58 lakhs in 2019-20 as compared to 61.1 lakhs in 2018-19.The quarterly PLFS, which 
covers the urban areas, shows improvements in the employment situation in Q4-2020 
when compared to Q4-2019. Considering the proportion of the male workforce (15 years 
& above) by status of employment, casual labour decreased by 1 percentage points while 
self-employed and salaried workers increased by 0.6 percentage points and 0.4 percentage 
points, respectively. Similarly, in case of the female workforce (15 years & above), self-
employed increased by 2 percentage points, regular/wage salaried workers decreased by 
0.7 percentage points and casual labour decreased by 1.4 percentage points. The Time 
Use Survey, 2019 reported that females spend relatively more time in unpaid domestic and 
care giving activities (7.5 hours) as compared to employment related activities (5.7 hours) 
per day. This is reported to be one of the main reasons for the low female participation in 
Social Infrastructure, Employment 
and Human Development
326 Economic Survey 2020-21   V olume 2
INTRODUCTION
10.1 The COVID-19 has brought into focus the vulnerabilities of societies, states and countries 
in facing a pandemic. India imposed a complete lockdown of the economy from 24
th
 March, 
to 31
st
 May 2020, which helped in arresting the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 as well 
as taking precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease and it has helped India 
to save lakhs of lives. However, the lockdown had an inevitable impact on the vulnerable 
and informal sector, the education system, and on the economy as a whole. The Government 
announced the first relief package of ` 1.70 lakh crores under ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan 
Yojana (PMGKY)’ in March, 2020 and comprehensive stimulus cum relief package of  ` 20 
lakh crore under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ in May, 2020. Development and welfare 
schemes being implemented by the Government over the years together with these relief 
measures enabled the country to endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and led to a 
V-shaped economic recovery (Chapter 1 of Volume I).
TRENDS IN SOCIAL SECTOR EXPENDITURE 
10.2 The expenditure on social services (education, health and other social sectors) by Centre 
and States combined as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 to 8.8 per cent during the period 
2014-15 to 2020-21 (BE). This increase was witnessed across all social sectors. For education, 
it increased from 2.8 per cent in 2014-15 to 3.5 per cent and for health, from 1.2 per cent 
to 1.5 per cent during the same period. Relative importance of social services in government 
budget, as measured in terms of the share of expenditure on social services out of total 
budgetary expenditure, has also increased to 26.5 per cent in 2020-21 (BE) from 23.4 per cent in 
2014-15 (Table 1).
the labour market. In the health sector, strengthening of health infrastructure and efficiency 
in health care delivery was reflected in the outcomes of NFHS-5 with infant mortality rate 
and under-five mortality rate showing a decline in most of the selected States in NFHS-5 
as compared to NFHS-4. As shown in the Chapter 9 of Volume I, this reduction resulted 
from the roll out of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana under Ayushman Bharat. 
Allocation for the health sector has flowed towards special requirements in the fight 
against COVID-19 to ensure essential medicines, hand sanitizers, protective equipment 
including masks, PPE Kits, ventilators and adequate testing and treatment facilities as 
well as in vaccinating the population. In 2020-21, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 
induced restrictions on loss of livelihood, the Government has taken various measures 
such as giving incentive to boost employment under the scheme Aatmanirbhar Bharat 
Rojgar Yojana, higher allocation under MGNREGS, Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan for 
migrant workers in the destinations States and has also notified path-breaking labour 
reforms to attract big investment in the economy.
327 Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development
Table 1: Trends in Social Service Sector Expenditure by General Government 
(Combined Centre and States)
Item 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 
RE
2020-21 
BE
(` in Lakh crore)
Total Budgetary 
Expenditure
32.85 37.61 42.66 45.16 50.41 58.76 64.70
Expenditure on 
Social Services
7.68 9.16 10.41 11.40 12.78 15.31 17.16
          of which:
      i)   Education 3.54 3.92 4.35 4.83 5.26 6.13 6.75
     ii)   Health 1.49 1.75 2.13 2.43 2.66 3.12 3.51
     iii)  Others 2.65 3.48 3.93 4.13 4.86 6.06 6.90
As percentage to GDP
Expenditure on 
Social Services
6.2 6.6 6.8 6.7 6.7 7.5 8.8
          of which:
      i)   Education 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.5
     ii)   Health 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.8
     iii)  Others 2.1 2.5 2.6 2.4 2.6 3.0 3.5
As percentage to total expenditure
Expenditure on 
Social Services
23.4 24.3 24.4 25.2 25.4 26.1 26.5
           of which:
     i)    Education 10.8 10.4 10.2 10.7 10.4 10.4 10.4
     ii)   Health 4.5 4.7 5.0 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.4
     iii)  Others 8.1 9.3 9.2 9.1 9.6 10.3 10.7
As percentage to social services
     i)    Education 46.1 42.8 41.8 42.4 41.2 40.0 39.3
     ii)   Health 19.4 19.1 20.5 21.4 20.8 20.4 20.5
     iii)  Others 34.6 38.0 37.7 36.2 38.0 39.6 40.2
Source: Budget Documents of Union and State Governments, Reserve Bank of India
Note: 
1. Social services include, education, sports, art and culture; medical and public health, family welfare; water 
supply and sanitation; housing; urban development; welfare of SCs, STs and OBCs, labour and labour 
welfare; social security and welfare, nutrition, relief on account of natural calamities etc.
2. Expenditure on ‘Education’ pertains to expenditure on ‘Education, Sports, Arts and Culture’.
3. Expenditure on ‘Health’ includes expenditure on ‘Medical and Public Health’, ‘Family Welfare’ and ‘Water 
Supply and Sanitation’.
4. The ratios to GDP at current market prices are based on 2011-12 base.
5. Data upto 2016-17 pertains to all states. From 2017-18 onwards, it pertains to all states and UTs.
328 Economic Survey 2020-21   V olume 2
10.3 A clarion call for  'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' was announced to revive the economy and 
to address the pandemic. A special economic and comprehensive package of ` 20 lakh 
crore - equivalent to 10 per cent of India’s GDP was announced in May 2020. In subsequent 
announcements, additional support cumulating to ` 29.88 lakh crore up to November 2020 was 
announced. Of these, provision for ` 4.31 lakh crore made for social sector includes PMGKY 
and PMGKY Anna Y ojana, housing and health (including R & D Grant for COVID-19 Suraksha), 
EPF support to worker & employers, street vendors, MGNREGS workers and ABRY etc. 
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
10.4 India’s rank in Human Development Index (HDI)
1
 was 131 in 2019, compared to 129 
in 2018, out of a total 189 countries according to UNDP Human Development Report, 2020. 
It may be mentioned that the decline in HDI ranking by two points in 2019 as compared to 
2018 is relative to other countries. By looking at the sub-component wise performance of HDI 
indicators, India's ‘GNI per capita (2017 PPP $)’ has increased from US$ 6,427 in 2018 to US$ 
6,681 in 2019, and ‘life expectancy at birth’ has improved from 69.4 years in 2018 to 69.7 years 
in 2019, respectively. However, the ‘mean years of schooling’ and ‘expected years of schooling’ 
remained unchanged in 2019 compared to 2018. However, considering the value of Planetary 
pressures adjusted HDI (PHDI)
2
, India was positioned 8 ranks better than HDI rank. If a country 
puts no pressure on the planet, its PHDI and HDI would be equal, but the PHDI falls below the 
HDI as pressure rises. PHDI values are very close to HDI values for countries with an HDI value 
of 0.7 or lower. (Table 2).
Table 2: Trends in India’s HDI Value and its Sub-components
Year 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017 2018 2019
Life expectancy at birth 57.9 62.5 64.5 66.7 68.6 69.2 69.4 69.7
Expected years of schooling
b
7.6 8.3 9.7 10.8 12.0 12.3 12.2 12.2
Mean years of schooling
b
3.0 4.4 4.8 5.4 6.2 6.5 6.5 6.5
GNI per capita
a
 1,787 2,548 3,217 4,182 5,391 6,119 6,427 6,681
HDI value 0.429 0.495 0.536 0.579 0.624 0.640 0.642 0.645
Source: Human Development Report, 2020, UNDP.
Note: 
a
GNI (Gross national income) is based on 2017 dollar purchasing power parity (PPP), 
b
Data refers to 2019 
or the most recent year available.
10.5 The value of HDI for India has increased from 0.579 in 2010 to 0.645 in 2019. The average 
annual HDI growth during 2010-2019 was 1.21 per cent as compared to 1.58 per cent during 
the period 2000-2010. Cross country comparison of average annual HDI growth shows India 
is ahead of BRICS countries (Figure 1). To sustain this momentum, and overcome possible 
fallouts of COVID-19 on human development, the thrust on access to social services such as 
education and health is critical.
1
The Human Development Report (HDR) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 
estimates the human development index (HDI) in terms of three basic parameters: to live a long and healthy life, to 
be educated and knowledgeable, and to enjoy a decent economic standard of living.
2
The adjustment factor for PHDI is calculated as the arithmetic mean of indices measuring carbon dioxide emis-
sions per capita and material footprint per capita.
329 Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development
Figure 1: Average Annual HDI Growth Rate (per cent), 2010-2019
Fig 1 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1.41 
1.39 
1.21 
0.95 
0.94 
0.86 
0.73 
0.60 
0.59 
0.57 
0.41 
0.24 
0.20 
0.12 
0.00
0.20
0.40
0.60
0.80
1.00
1.20
1.40
1.60
Source: Human Development Report, 2020, UNDP
QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL 
10.6 India will have the highest population of young people in the world over the next decade.
So, our ability to provide high-quality educational opportunities to them will determine the 
future of our country (National Education Policy, 2020). The progress in school and higher 
education infrastructure and gross enrolment at all levels is given in Table 3. As per U-DISE
+
 
2018-19
3
, the physical infrastructure of more than 9.72 lakh government elementary schools has 
improved significantly. Out of these, 90.2 per cent have girls’ toilet, 93.7 per cent have boys’ 
toilet, 95.9 per cent have provision of drinking water facility, 88.1 per cent have hand wash 
facility, 82.1 per cent have wash (drinking water, toilet and hand wash) facility, 84.2 per cent  
have medical check-up facility, 20.7 per cent have computer and 67.4 per cent have electricity 
connection, 74.2 per cent have ramps, 56.5 per cent have boundary wall, 69.3 per cent have 
playground, 83.8 per cent have library, 21.5 per cent have kitchen garden and 13.9 per cent  have 
rainwater harvesting structure, 23.6 per cent have facility for testing of water and 14.8 per cent 
have incinerator.
Table 3: Increase in Number of Recognized Schools, Colleges and Universities Infrastructure
Year Primary & Upper 
Primary schools (in lakhs)
Secondary and 
Sr. Secondary 
Schools (in lakhs)
Colleges Universities
2011-12 11.93 2.12 34852 642
2018-19 12.37 2.76 39931 993
Source: Education Statistics at a Glance, 2018 & U-DISE+ Report and AISHE Report 2018-19, M/o Education
3
The Unified District Information System for Education plus (U-DISE+) collects data on various indicators on 
school education. For the purpose of this report schools with Primary or Upper Primary classes have been referred 
as ‘Elementary Schools’.
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