February 2nd, 2012
Email this page

National Council for Senior Citizens constituted


Niranjalli Varma

National Council for Senior Citizens will be constituted by the government to advise the Central and State governments on issues related to the welfare of senior citizens. The council headed by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment will suggest special policies and programmes for the physical and financial security of the senior citizens. The Council will comprise of 20 members including the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment.

The council intends to enhance the quality of life of those above 60 years with special reference to policies, programmes and legislative measures; promotion of physical and financial security, health and independent and productive living, and awareness generation and community mobilization.

Other members of the Council include the Minister of State, Social Justice & Empowerment, the oldest Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, representatives of 5 State Governments and one Union Territory by rotation, 5 representatives each from Senior Citizens’ Associations, Pensioners’ Association, NGOs working for Senior Citizens and Experts, and five distinguished  senior citizens who have made their mark.

The setting up of such a council was one of the recommendations made by an experts committee headed by Mohini Giri in the Draft National Policy on Senior Citizens. The report had also recommended that old-age pension scheme cover all senior citizens living below poverty line and the raise the monthly pension to Rs.1000 a month. According to Draft Policy the amount should be revised periodically to prevent its deflation due to the higher purchasing cost.

The report has also sought changes in taxation policies to reflect sensitivity to the financial problems of senior citizens, keeping in mind very high medical costs.

Census data in 1991 recorded 55 million persons aged 60 and over, representing 6.5 per cent of the total population. Life expectancy at birth has reached age 62. The increase in the elderly population between 1951 and 1991 (38 per cent) was greater than for the general population (18.9 per cent). More than four times as many older persons live in the rural areas of India as in urban areas.

According to the US Census Bureau report 2009, India’s older population is projected to quadruple by mid-century. “Although China and India are the world’s most populous countries, their older populations do not represent large percentages of their total populations today,” the report said.

However, these countries do have the largest number of older people, 109 million and 62 million, respectively. 1/8th of the Worlds Elderly Population lives in India. Both countries are projected to undergo more rapid ageing, and by 2050, will have about 350 million and 240 million people 65 and older, respectively, the US census Bureau added.

The demographic profile depicts that in the years 2000-2050, the overall population in India will grow by 55% whereas population of people in their 60 years and above will increase by 326% and those in the age group of 80+ by 700% – the fastest growing group

Geriatric care and the problems related to old age are not addressed in India easily. The need of the elderly in rural area and urban area vary greatly. Community support is weak and the kin network is diffused over a large area and relatively ineffective in urban areas. Social deprivations and exclusion, privatization of health services and changing pattern of morbidity affect the elderly. Changing social institutions and life styles have brought about a need to introduce newer methods to address the social, economic and emotional problems.


Press ctrl+g to toggle between English and Malayalam.