This paper looks at social security as part of the development process and
reviews the current practices followed in various countries and suggests improvement
of the same This paper is organized as under-
B) Social Security in other countries
C) Social Security in India
The world today faces a large number of complex crises
A) Financial crisis,
C) Numerous armed conflicts in recent years
D) Health disasters, such as the HIV/AIDS crisis
E) Natural disasters, such as recurrent droughts and floods earthquakes
and hurricanes, Tsunami etc.
F) Crisis on account of process of making economic as well as political
These crises affect the life of all human beings and again it is the survival of the fittest. Globalization and recent technological changes, exposes societies to greater income insecurity. They affect the poor people more than the others because they are the most insecure group making them vulnerable to the changes these crises bring in with them.
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection, or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. But there is quite a bit of confusion about what social security means, and also about the concept of social protection. The United Nations General Assembly adopted in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that “every member of a society has a right to social security”.
The traditional concept of social security is defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as “the protection which society provides for its members through a series of public measures against the economic and social distress that otherwise would be caused by the stoppage or substantial reduction of earnings resulting from sickness, maternity, employment injury, invalidity and death; the provision of medical care; and the provision of subsidies for families with children”.
The most important of them Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 lays down nine benefits :- sickness benefit, medical benefit, maternity benefit, employment injury benefit, old-age benefit, invalidity benefit, survivors benefit, unemployment benefit and family benefit. But most of the countries including India have not ratified it yet. They cover mainly income which is lost due to the inability to work (including old age) or to obtain remunerative work, or by reason of the death of the Bread winner, Medical coverage, Social insurance etc. The ILO has an administrative concept of social protection, which basically includes social security and labor protection. But this definition has been felt as too narrow for the problems faced by developing countries.
The concept of social security is now generally understood as meaning protection provided by the society to its members through a series of public measures against the economic and social distress that otherwise is caused by the stoppage or substantial reduction of earnings resulting from sickness, maternity, employment injury, occupational diseases, unemployment, invalidity, old age and death Social Security is both a concept as well as a system. It represents basically a
system of protection of individuals who are in need of such protection by the State as an agent of the society. Such protection is relevant in contingencies such as retirement, resignation, retrenchment, death, disablement which are beyond the control of the individual members of the Society.
Social Security in other countries–
Social security is defined in the European Union as social insurance and social assistance arrangements that protect the population against various economic risks Social Security, in Australia, refers to a system of social welfare payments provided by Commonwealth Government of Australia. These payments are administered by a Government body named Centrelink.
Social security payments and other benefits are currently made available under
the following acts of parliament:
A) Social Security Act, 1991
B) New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act, 1999
C) Student Assistance Act, 1973
The French Social Security System is made up of diverse organizations collectively referred to as La Sécu, an abbreviation of Sécurité Sociale. The Social Security is financed by payments from both employers and their employees and is administered and managed by all social partners, typically employee unions and/or companies. However, new funding policies have sought to broaden the base by taking into account all the household income while policies to promote employment led to lighten the burden of contributions on low wages.
It can be classified as
A)- Social Insurance
B)- Maternity / Sickness Insurance
C) – Disability Insurance
D) – Old-Age Insurance
E) – Death Insurance
The core social security in Germany11 is financed collectively by means of a process of redistribution. Social security contributions in Germany are made up of:
A) Health insurance -The basic flat health insurance contribution rate amounts to 14% of the employee’s gross income.
B) Nursing care insurance.
C) Pension insurance. D)Unemployment insurance.
E) Accident insurance.
In USA, the Social Security arose from Great Depression and was started in 1935 after the economic downturn. The three main components of American Social Security system that respond to the needs of millions of Americans are-
A) Retirement and Survivors Insurance:
B) Disability Insurance.
C) Supplemental Security Income
In developed countries, social security covers workers and their dependents against old age, unemployment, health, and other risks. In developing countries, formal sector workers have access to social insurance, and the very poor have some access to social assistance and health services, but large population groups are not covered. Hence a wider concept of social security is needed in order to respond to the realities faced by informal economy workers, who constitute the majority of the world labor force.
Social Security is increasingly seen as an integral part of the development process. It helps to create a more positive attitude not just to structural and technological change but also the challenge of globalization and to its potential benefits in terms of greater efficiency and higher productivity. A formal social security system presupposes the interventionist role of the State on redistribution grounds. Social security measures are generally income, maintenance measures intended to provide a minimum living to the people when they are deprived of the same due to invalidity, unemployment or old age.
Social Security in India–
the role of social security policies in developing countries must be fully integrated into, anti-poverty policies, providing access to productive assets, employment guarantees, minimum wages and food security. This applies to India. Further there is a gender dimension also. Social Security has been recognized as an instrument for social transformation and progress and must be preserved, supported and developed as such. Further social security organized on a firm and
sound basis will promote progress, since once men and women benefit from increased security and are free from anxiety, will become more productive.
The fundamental reason for exclusion from statutory social security coverage is that many workers outside the formal economy are unable or unwilling to contribute a relatively high percentage of their incomes to financing social security benefits that do not meet their priority needs. Structural adjustment, socio-economic changes and low levels of economic development have also produced large vulnerable groups that cannot contribute to social insurance schemes.
The existing social security arrangements in the unorganized sector can be
broadly classified into four groups as follows:
A) Centrally funded social assistance programmes.
B) Social insurance schemes.
C) Social assistance through welfare funds of Central and State Governments, and
D) Public initiatives.
India has always had a Joint Family system that took care of the social security needs of all the members provided it had access/ownership of material assets like land. Most social security systems in developed countries are linked to wage employment. In India the situation is entirely different from that obtaining in developed countries. The key differences are:
A) We do not have an existing universal social security system.
B) We do not face the problem of exit rate from the workplace being higher than the replacement rate. Rather on the contrary lack of employment opportunities is the key concern.
C) 92% of the workforce is in the informal sector which is largely unrecorded and the system of pay roll deduction is difficult to apply.
The dimensions and complexities of the problem in India can be better appreciated by taking into consideration the extent of the labor force in the organized and unorganized sectors. While as per the 1991 census, the total workforce was about 314 million and the organized sector accounted for only 27 million out of this workforce, the NSSO’s survey of 1999-2000 has estimated that the workforce may have increased to about 397 million out of which only 28 million were in the organized sector. Thus, it can be concluded from these findings that there has been a growth of only about one million in the organized sector in comparison the growth of about 55 million in the unorganized sector.
In 1995, the Government of India introduced for the first time an all-India protective type social security scheme, the National Social Assistance Programmes (NSAP).The three main components of this are-
A) the National Old Age Pension Scheme,
B) the National Family Benefit Scheme,
C) the National Maternity Benefit Scheme
Matters relating to Social Security are listed in the Directive Principles of State Policy and the subjects in the Concurrent List.
Directive Principles of State Policy–
Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
Article 42: Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
Social Security schemes are designed to guarantee at least long-term sustenance to families when the earning member retires, dies or suffers a disability. The Government of India has been dealing with a population that has been ever growing. The rapid disorganization of a joint family system due to urbanization is leaving more and more families in secured, vulnerable and devoid of social security. Even though India has achieved self-sufficiency in food production at the national level, food and nutrition security at the household level is yet to be achieved. This is the new challenge. Social Security Benefits in India are Need-based. The best form of social security comes from having a job.
Social Security is a comprehensive approach designed to prevent deprivation, assure the individual of a basic minimum income for himself and his dependents and to protect the individual from any uncertainties. The State bears the primary responsibility for developing appropriate system for providing protection and assistance to its workforce. Social Security is increasingly viewed as an integral part of the development process. It helps to create a more positive attitude to the challenge of globalization and the consequent structural and technological changes.
The social security schemes in India cover only a very small segment of the organized work force, which may be defined as workers who are having a direct regular employer-employee relationship within an organization, while the vast unorganized sector remains insecure.
The unorganized Labor can be categorized broadly into four categories as follows:-
A) Occupation : Small and marginal farmers, landless agricultural laborer, share croppers, fishermen, those engaged in animal husbandry, in beedi rolling beedi labeling and beedi packing workers in building and construction, etc.
B) Nature of Employment: Attached agricultural laborer, bonded laborer migrant workers, contract and casual laborer come under this category.
C) Specially distressed categories: Toddy tappers, scavengers, carriers of head loads, drivers of animal driven vehicles, loaders and unloaders belong to this category.
D) Service categories: Midwives, domestic workers, fishermen and women, barbers, vegetable and fruit vendors, newspaper vendors etc. come under this category.
Ensuring basic social security involves removal of disabilities and lack of opportunities based on prejudices like caste, religion and sex. The nationalist movement took up the cause of the socially excluded by highlighting the need for eliminating oppressive caste based practices like untouchability. The social agenda of the nationalist movement was incorporated into the philosophy of the state in post independence India. Though there are a number of schemes covering various sections and target groups, the focus and efforts get splintered due to numericity of programmes and inflexible rules and problems in implementation.
The urgent necessity is-
A) Assistance to destitute, especially elderly,, handicapped and sick by Providing a pension , linked to some price index.
B) An employment guarantee for the able bodied to do at least casual labor and earn a living in times of distress. C) Programmes for self-employment of the poor by providing financial support, technical assistance and facilitation for marketing worked out at the Panchayat level.
D) Programmes to improve nutritional status of the vulnerable groups like children and women by providing supplementary nutrition and noon-meals.
E) An umbrella legislation for providing minimum social security to the workforce in the unorganized sector.
With a view of development, social security should have holistic features combining social structures, institutional resources, family bonds, community organizations and resources so as to create an environment of strong relationships, which provide safety nets at all levels.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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