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Twelfth five year plan and national development

The twelfth five year plan commences in 2012-13. But before the plan itself is unveiled , the Planning Commission normally prepares an’ approach paper ‘which lays out the major targets , the key challenges in meeting them and broad approach that must be followed to achieve the desired objectives. This approach paper has to get the approval of the Cabinet and National Development Council which includes all the Chief ministers of the states. This approach paper is the frame on which the plan is detailed.

To develop an inclusive and participative approach the planning commission decided that the approach paper be put on Web for the interested citizens to participate and help in building better India.

A gender analysis of the approach paper of the Twelfth five year plan suggest that women must be recognized as growth agents in India’s political economy across all sectors. The group of economist who were set up by the Planning Commission to look though the gender lens have advocated moving beyond the focus area ‘women and children’ to looking at women as ‘ growth agents’. And there by gendering the public policy into macro economic space. 

Though the approach paper to the Twelfth plan advocates inclusive growth it is still far from making it gender sensitive and lacks clarity on how inclusiveness should take place.

Inclusive growth was envisaged in the Eleventh plan too, but without a road map to show how it will include the marginalized / excluded group the inclusiveness through the planned development has remained elusive. The Planning Commission has pointed out that inclusive growth should result in the lower incidence of poverty , significant in health, universal access of children to school with skilled development, better opportunity for employment and lively hood and improvement in the provision of basic amenities with particular attention to Schedule caste (SC)and Schedule tribe(ST) and Other backward class(OBC) and women belong to Minority group .

Inclusive group implies that gains of development are shared between all citizens in ways that are just, but unfortunately it is the women to form the major group which suffer from hunger, poor health and ignorance .They are the neglected lot who get no share.

Women also suffer when it comes to education and are deprived from it because of family reservations and women also suffer discrimination in employment and are paid less for the same kind of work when compared to men . They also face atrocities and the crime against them is ever increasing according to the Crime record bureau . Health is another most glaring form of gender discrimination which is visibly manifested in ever growing male/ female sex ratio and it has been pointed out that pubic expenditure on health care is very low in India. The Twelfth plan mentions and increase in GDP to 2.5% in health sector. But in this number adequate and will it reach to the maximum number of women ?

For women, cutting across barriers is quite challenging. It is important that their interest and concern be heard. Their role in governance, where they can play an active role in developmental planning is necessary. Women’s participation in politics will help in implementing the inclusive programs at grass root level, more correctly and effectively and this can ensure the social policies that will universalize their education, health and social security.

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