UNIVERSAL SOCIAL SECURITY  I   RACE IAS : Best IAS Coaching in Lucknow I  Current Affairs


Main Examination: General Studies 2,3

(Issues related to Social Justice)

Reference :

  • In the era of globalization, the question of social security is no longer an issue of any one country but has become universal.
  • Any action plan of social security is possible only with the united efforts of workers, employers, government and labor organizations. Labor organizations around the world influence labor reforms and decisions based on their ideology.
  • Recently, in the Labor-20 organized under the G-20 in India, Indian and international labor organizations have shown solidarity towards social security, which is very important for achieving the goals of sustainable development.

Social Security :

  • According to the International Labor Organization, the security that the society, through appropriate organizations, presents to prevent certain incidents and risks that may happen to its members, is social security.
  • Social security covers risk, sickness, maternity, disability, old age and premature death.
  • According to the ILO, there are at least nine pillars of social security. These include health care, sickness insurance benefits, unemployment allowance, old age pension, compensation at workplace, family security, maternity benefits, disability and survivorship benefits.

Issues related to social security of Labor-20 Working Group in Annual Conference of G-20:

  • The issue of universal social security is under discussion at the annual G-20 conference chaired by India. There are five broad issues raised by Labor-20 in its working group. First, international migration of workers, second, social security of unorganized sector workers, third, skill training and skill upgradation (role and responsibility of the employer), fourth, changing nature of work and fifth, promotion of sustainable and dignified livelihoods.
  • All these five issues are related to universal social security.

Status of Social Security at the International Level:

According to the World Social Security Report 2020-22 released by the International Labor Organization (ILO)-

  • 53 percent of the world's population is deprived of social security, in which only 46 percent people are able to get the benefits of any one social security like employment, education, health, pension.
  • 18.6 percent unemployed youth hardly get unemployment allowance. Only 26.4 percent of children have access to social security. Only 33.4 percent people with severe disability are included in the mainstream of the society.
  • 46 percent women are deprived of maternity leave. Thirty-three percent of the population is to be brought under the ambit of health-related social security schemes. 22 percent of the elderly are deprived of old age pension.
  • 61 percent of the world's total workforce comes from the unorganized sector. 85.8 percent of jobs in Africa are in the unorganized sector. In Asia and the Pacific region, 68.6 and 68.6 percent in Arab countries and 40 percent in America and 25.1 percent in Europe.
  • About 1.4 percent of GDP is spent on social security in India. It is 1.3 percent in Indonesia, 5.5 in South Africa, 7.7 in China, 15.1 in Britain and 18.9 percent in America.
  • 64.3 percent in the Americas, 44 in Asia and the Pacific, 40 in Arab countries, while only 17.4 percent in African countries have any social security.

Provisions related to Social Security in India:

These Acts have been made to provide social related facilities in India:

  • Employees' Provident Fund Act, 1952
  • Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1948
  • Workmen's Compensation Revised, 1984
  • Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
  • State Insurance Amendment Act, 1984
  • Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
  • Payment of Ex-gratia Amendment Act, 1984
  • Social Security Certificate, 1982
  • Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 etc.

Schemes of Government of India related to Social Security:

  • Pradhan MantriShramyogiMaan-DhanYojana
  • National Pension Scheme
  • Pradhan MantriJeevanJyotiYojana
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana
  • Atal Pension Yojana
  • National SafaiKaramcharis Finance and Development Corporation
  • Self employment scheme for rehabilitation of manual scavengers

Way Forward:

  • Universal social security is an essential condition for achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals declared by the United Nations. The level of social security is the most important means of ending poverty, inequality, caste and gender discrimination. Through this, the formal sector can be transformed into an organized workforce.
  • Since 85% of the world's trade takes place between the G-20 countries, there is a need to address all issues related to social security by the Labour-20 Working Group at the G-20 Summit to be held in India.
  • Unorganized sector should be converted into organized sector by making universal social security level effective.
  • Migrant workers should be given benefits of schemes like provident fund, health, education to solve the challenges of migration at domestic and international level.
  • Bilateral agreement between two countries to give benefits of social security scheme to migrant workers should be done by BRICS, BIMSTEC and African Union like EU.
  • Sustainable development goals can be achieved only by increasing the expenditure on social security schemes. First of all, these schemes should create a system of sustainable finance at the domestic level to finance and raise resources.
  • The 'Integrated National Finance Framework' came into existence during the G-20 Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It has not yet been implemented practically.


  • Universal social security should be such that it is financially accessible to every person, while it should be affordable. This will also remove regional disparity. Social security coverage is not much better even in economic superpowers. In Europe and Central Asia, schemes based on social empowerment are limited to government-sponsored initiatives.
  • The G-7 (US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and UK) included in the G-20 also have the important responsibility of providing sustainable finance necessary for universal social security. These countries have 87 percent of the world's economic resources.
  • The current G-20 event is a great opportunity for India to be the voice of the Global South. This will ultimately reduce the economic inequality gap between the Global North and the Global South.
  • Social security schemes are being given a new height through Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) in India. 318 Central schemes and 720 State schemes are linked through Aadhaar. This is the best option to make the cash transfer scheme successful. According to the Economic Survey 2022-23, 135.2 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued.
  • In this, Aadhaar is being used as an identity card to provide ration to 75.3 crore citizens and to deliver LPG cylinders to 27.9 crore consumers.
  • Similarly 75.4 crore bank accounts have been linked with Aadhaar. MNREGA, the world's largest employment guarantee scheme, has become a major source of economic and social empowerment.
  • Eighty percent of the people in India are in the unorganized sector. According to the ILO, 24.4 percent of the country's population is covered by social security. Overall speaking, the more the expenditure on social protection, the lower the level of poverty.


Mains Exam Question

What do you understand by social security? Highlight the need for Universal Social Security with reference to the present status of the unorganized sector in India.