The reach of social policy in India has expanded significantly in recent years. Facilities such as schools and anganwadis, health centres, nutrition programmes, public works and social security pensions are reaching larger numbers of people than before. Some of these benefits now take the form of enforceable legal entitlements.Yet the performance of these social programmes is far from ideal. Most Indian states still have a long way to go in putting in place effective social policies that directly address the interests, demands and rights of the unprivileged.This collection of essays, previously published in the Economic and Political Weekly, has been clustered around six major themes: health, education, food security, employment guarantee, pensions and cash transfers, and inequality and social exclusion. With wide-ranging analyses by distinguished scholars brought together in a single volume, and an introduction by Jean Drèze, Social Policy will be an indispensible read for students and scholars of sociology, economics, political science and development studies.
Jean Dreze (Ed.), Social Policy, Essays from Economic and Political Weekly, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2016, 496 pp