Day 18 – Q 1. What are the challenges associated with targeting for distributing government initiatives? Explain with the help of suitable examples. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • February 17, 2022
  • 0
GS 3, Indian Economy, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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1. What are the challenges associated with targeting for distributing government initiatives? Explain with the help of suitable examples. (10 Marks)

सरकारी पहलों को वितरित करने के लिए लक्ष्यीकरण से जुड़ी चुनौतियाँ क्या हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से स्पष्ट कीजिए।


Candidates need to write about the basic challenges and problems associated with targeting the government scheme beneficiaries also explain it with the suitable examples. 


Government schemes aim at welfare of people via distribution of benefits. However, most times the benefits do not reach the intended beneficiaries rendering the schemes ineffective.


  • Ghost Cards: Another indicator of inaccurate classification of beneficiaries is the existence of ghost cards in several states. “Ghost cards” are cards made in the name of non-existent people. 
  • Double Counting Error: Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have issued a large number of excess ration cards over the number of households. If the overall APL-BPL break-up of the ration cards in circulation is assumed, it is possible to arrive at estimates of leakages of BPL quota of grains through this mode of corruption.
  • Unreliable SECC: Most of the government initiatives depend on either land records which are often patchy or on a dated database based on 2011 numbers: the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC). 
  • For the PMJDY payment, BPL and non-BPL households record similar receipt transfers. For example, nearly half of poor women are unlikely to receive PMJDY transfers.
  • Overstating in survey: Respondents had a vested interest to overstate the extent of their deprivation in order to be identified as beneficiaries of welfare schemes.
  • For example Data from round-3 of the DCVTS-3 report, suggests that 21 per cent of farm households received transfers through PM-KISAN. However, 42 per cent of such households belonged to the wealthiest.
  • Politicization and patronage: Tendency of politicians to abuse targeted programs by converting them into instruments of patronage. 
  • Social exclusion: Targeted programs create tensions between those who are excluded. For example lack of disabled friendly infrastructure, social discrimination, does not help in assimilating the disabled community with the mainstream society.


Technology-based evidence based reforms is needed for effective targeting of the social schemes. It can be further strengthened by the increased public participation through social audits and participation of SHGs, Cooperatives and NGOs in ensuring the transparency at ground level.

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