IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Ageing population in India

3rd March, 2022 Social Issues

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Context: The Number of India’s elderly will double by 2050.



  • The United Nations projects that Indians over the age of 60 years will double by 2050, constituting almost 19.6 % of the total population.



  • In the 2011 census, the senior citizen population accounted for 8.6% of population, accounting for 103 million elderly people. Growing at around 3% annually, the number will rise to 319 million in 2050.
  • 75% of them suffer from one or the other chronic disease, 40% have one or the other disability and 20% have issues related to mental health, said the report prepared by the International Institute for Population Sciences.
  • Feminization of Ageing; the average life expectancy at birth in India for women is 70.7 years and men is 68.2 years, thus the majority of elderly population in India are women.
  • Functional Limitations in Daily life activities; which include dressing, putting on slippers or shoes, walking across a room, bathing, eating difficulties, getting in or out of bed.
  • Lack of Old Age Security, Loopholes of Healthcare, Social disharmony, Digital illiteracy.
  • Income insecurity, lack of adequate access to quality health Care.
  • Isolation, Disintegration of joint family system.
  • Non-availability of caregivers, Migration of Youth Urbanization and Occupational changes, there are around 6% of people aged 60 years and above who live alone.
  • Elderly women, mainly widows, are vulnerable with no income, no assets and full financial dependence.

Steps taken by the Government:

  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.
  • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme.
  • National Program for Elderly.
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana: Physical aids to senior citizens.
  • Atal Pension Yojana.
  • National Social Assistance Program: Pension to BPL above 60 years.


Way Forward:

  • Ensure the Inclusion of target beneficiaries.
  • Establish an autonomous National Social Security organization.
  • Develop a social security investment plan with innovative financing mechanisms.
  • Focus on public awareness.
  • Consider Universal Health Coverage as part of social security.
  • Bring Legislative and legal reforms.
  • Establish code on social security and welfare.
  • Adopt Assam model at National level: Assam Employees PRANAM Act, under which each government employee is Compelled to Contribute 10% of his/her Salary towards taking Care of his/her parents.
  • Since Independence, Life expectancy has shown considerable improvement. But these added years are dominated by declines in physical and mental capacities. Therefore, the need of the hour is to take an integrative approach to align the needs of elderly as well as older adults in programmes and policies.