India has fared better in providing social security like health care, education and child welfare to its people than China and Malaysia, as per a new index brought out by the Asian Development Bank.
In a list of 31 Asia-Pacific countries, India ranked at 10th place, above China and Malaysia, but below Uzbekistan, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan, which topped the ADB's Social Protection Index (SPI).
Apart from China and Malaysia, the countries which are ranked below India include Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Pakistan was ranked at the bottom, next only to Papua New Guinea.
The ADB, in the new Index, has established that providing social protection is not subject to the wealth of a nation. Even poor countries like India can afford to provide social cover in the form of health insurance, labour market, child protection, education among other things, if there is government will.
On a scale between zero and 1, India has scored 0.46 points, with Japan topping the chart with 0.96 points. However, the ranking of India shows that although people are getting some level of social protection, the impact of social protection programs on the incomes of the poor is low.
Social protection is basically a term coined for showing the extent to which Asia-Pacific countries provide for welfare, labour market, social security, health insurance, micro-credit, child protection, education, and health support programmes to their citizens, mainly to those living below the poverty line.
The ranking is expected to have some effect on international donors who work for supporting social protection activities.