Recently, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) released the Quality of Life for Elderly Index.
Key Highlights Quality of Life for Elderly Index:
- Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
- The Index has been created by the Institute for Competitiveness at the request of EAC-PM and it sheds light on an issue often not mentioned- problems faced by the elderly.
- The report identifies the regional patterns of ageing across Indian States and assesses the overall ageing situation in India.
- The report presents a deeper insight into how well India is doing to support the well-being of its ageing population.
- The Index framework includes four pillars:
- Financial Well-being,
- Social Well-being,
- Health System and
- Income Security,
- And eight sub-pillars:
- Economic Empowerment,
- Educational Attainment & Employment,
- Social Status,
- Physical Security,
- Basic Health,
- Psychological Wellbeing,
- Social Security and
- Enabling Environment.
- This index broadens the way we understand the needs and opportunities of the elderly population in India. It goes far beyond the adequacy of pensions and other forms of income support, which, though critical, often narrows policy thinking and debate about the needs of this age group.
- The index highlights that the best way to improve the lives of the current and future generations of older people is by investing in health, education and employment for young people today.
Key Highlights from the Report:
- The Health System pillar observes the highest national average, 66.97 at an all-India level, followed by 62.34 in Social Well-being. Financial Well-being observes a score of 44.7, which is lowered by the low performance of 21 States across the Education Attainment & Employment pillar, which showcases scope for improvement
- States have performed particularly worse in the Income Security pillar because over half of the States have a score below the national average, i.e., 33.03 in Income Security, which is the lowest across all pillars. These pillar-wise analyses help States assess the state of the elderly population and identify existing gaps that obstruct their growth
- Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in Aged and Relatively Aged States, respectively. Chandigarh and Mizoram are top-scoring regions in Union Territory and North-East States category. The Aged States refer to States with an elderly population of more than 5 million, whereas Relatively Aged States refer to States with an Elderly population of less than 5 million.
Why this index needed:
The Quality of Life for Elderly Index has been released to broaden the way we understand the needs and the opportunities of the elderly population in India. This index measures the core domains of Economic, health, and social well-being of older people and provides the in-depth situation of elderly people in India. The index can thus help the nation identify areas that need improvement and grab the current opportunity to start putting positive changes in motion for the next decades. The index also promotes healthy competition among States through fair rankings and highlights the pillars and indicators they can improve. Using this index as a tool, the State governments and the stakeholders can identify the areas they need to work upon to provide their older generation with a comfortable life
Performance of the states
- Among all the states, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in the aged states and relatively aged states categories.
- Rajasthan has a score of 54.61 in the aged states category while Himachal Pradesh has a score of 61.04 in relatively aged states.
- Mizoram has a score of 59.79 among northeastern states while Chandigarh scored 63.78 among the Union Territories.
- Jammu and Kashmir scored the lowest 46.16 among Union Territories.
- Arunachal Pradesh, among the northeastern states, scored the lowest score with 46.16.
- In the aged states and relatively aged states categories, Telangana and Gujarat scored the lowest with 38.19 and 49.00, respectively.
- SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine): It is a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups.
- Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP): To improve the quality of life of older persons by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities, etc.
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY): Aids and assistive living devices are provided to senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category who suffer from age-related disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment, loss of teeth and locomotor disabilities.
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): Financial assistance is provided to persons of 60 years and above and belonging to families living BPL as per the criteria prescribed by Government of India. Central assistance of Rs 200 per month is provided to persons in the age group of 60-79 years and Rs 500 per month to persons of 80 years and above.
- The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana: It is a pension scheme for senior citizens that comes with guaranteed returns on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or on an annual basis for a period of 10 years. It is exclusively available to those who are 60 years of age and above.
- Vayoshreshtha Samman: Conferred as a National award, and given to eminent senior citizens & institutions under various categories for their contributions on International day of older persons on 1st october.
- Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007: To ensure need-based maintenance for Parents and Senior Citizens and their welfare.
- Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030): The Decade of Healthy Ageing was endorsed by the 73rd World Health Assembly (decision making body of the World Health Organisation) in 2020.
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for leaving no one behind and for ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are met for all segments of society, at all ages, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable—including older persons.
- India is often portrayed as a young society, with a consequent demographic dividend. But, as with every country that goes through a fast process of demographic transition, India also has a greying cum aging problem.
- For the welfare and care for the older persons, we must focus on the protection of already existing social support systems/traditional social institutions such as family and kinship, neighborhood bonding, community bonding and community participation must be revived and kins should show sensitivity towards elderly citizens.