Constituent policy

[email protected] survey: Indians support rural development and government jobs policy

How should India be governed? About 53% of urban Indians would prefer a tax cut to cash transfers for the poor; 58% would like the government to be the provider of jobs, compared to 42% who want it to be a facilitator of jobs in the private sector. When given a choice between two policies, the needle is bound to tilt in one direction, but there is no cohesive ideology driving these individual preferences, shows the latest round of l YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey.

The survey reveals the presence of both state and capitalist tendencies – an inherent contradiction – among Indians. It is no wonder that all governments, as representatives of the people, have so far been reluctant to follow a singular economic ideology.

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The Indian idea of ​​well-being

The survey covered 10,271 respondents in 204 cities and towns. It was done online in June and July. It was conducted jointly by the Indian branch of global market research firm YouGov, Mint, and the Delhi-based think tank, the Center for Policy Research (CPR). This was the eighth in a series of bi-annual online surveys aimed at examining the aspirations, anxieties and attitudes of digital natives in India.

The debate over “freebie” versus “wellness” has recently intensified. The survey shows limited consensus on the interpretation of well-being itself. A significant majority favors reducing income inequality rather than high growth, but would like the government to keep fuel prices low instead of promoting public transport. They may prefer free health care and education for the poor, but not cash transfers.

An overwhelming 74% of respondents would like rural development to take priority over making our cities high-tech or shiny like London or Tokyo.

Younger and small-town Indians are more likely to expect the government to support cash transfers for the poor and provide them with jobs.

Reservation debate

Two-thirds of respondents would prefer caste reservation in public sector jobs to be phased out rather than extended to the private sector. Sentiment against caste reservation is strongest among the older generation, higher-income, better-educated respondents and those living in large cities. Those who identify with the Bharatiya Janata Party or no political party are more likely to oppose caste-based reservations than supporters of other political parties.

The survey question did not distinguish between reservation for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC). Caste reservation, which was originally reserved for the most disadvantaged SCs and STs, was later extended to OBCs, covering even the dominant castes. Most political parties bypass the reservations debate to rethink it, fearing to offend one group or the other.

National versus local

Our discourse has undeniably become nationalized in recent years, and has moved away from local concerns. National security, secularism, inflation have taken over topics like potholes, garbage disposal, community parks, etc. This is also confirmed by the results of the survey. National issues matter more than city issues for 57% of respondents, compared to 43% who think the opposite. The most educated respondents are more concerned about city problems. There was no clear pattern based on income, age, or city level.

When asked to select their city’s three biggest problems over the next five years, 55% chose air pollution. This is hardly surprising given the fatal air quality in a number of Indian cities, many of which are notoriously listed among the world’s most polluted cities. 42% chose waste management, followed by 38% for drinking water. Only 17% and 16% chose the housing crisis and the electricity shortage, respectively.

The first three choices correlate with environmental degradation and sustainability issues, which now deserve more attention from policy makers, after the voter has become more distrustful of them.

This is one of six parts in a series on data journalism based on the YouGov-Mint-CPR survey conducted in the run-up to Indian independence. Read all parts here

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