Kochi: Stressing the need to ensure that
benefits of economic growth reaches all sections, Vice
President Hamid M Ansari on saturday said the state has a
constitutional and moral duty to expand opportunities for
those being left behind.
"Inequality is a problem in the long run especially when
it kills aspiration for personal and societal betterment. In
India, the matrix of inequality spans gender, the rural-urban
divide, class, caste, tribe, linguistic and cultural groups,"
Ansari said in his inaugural address on the occasion of the
97th birthday celebrations of former Supreme Court judge V R
Krishna Iyer here.
"While growth is a necessary condition for societal
welfare, it is not sufficient and does not automatically lead
to equality in accessing development and opportunities for
growth," he said.
"Securing to all citizens equality of status and
opportunity is a solemn resolve that finds mention in the
preamble of our Constitution. The state has a constitutional
and moral duty to expand opportunities for those being left
behind," he said.
"The state on the one hand focused on affirmative action
and provision of a social safety net for those marginalised,
while on the other it moves to improving the capabilities of
citizens to be more productive through skills and improved
infrastructure", he said.
Referring to the Human Development Report-2011 of the
UNDP published last week, Ansari said it demonstrated that
around a quarter of the human development at the global level
was lost due to inequality. The South Asian region suffers the
second largest human development losses due to inequality
after Sub Saharan Africa, he said.
In India, there was an overall human development loss of
over 28 per cent due to inequality. The loss due to inequality
of human development achievements in education were the
highest in India and amounted to over 40 per cent, he said.