Socioeconomic status is commonly
conceptualized as the social standing or class of an individual or group. It is
often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation. Socio
economic status (SES) of the people in a country is very essential as it is one
of the important factor determining the health, education, mortality, morbidity
and nutritional status of an individual. Socioeconomic status also determines
the people’s ability to access, afford, accept and utilize the health care
services available in the society. The socioeconomic status (SES) is widely
recognized as one of the important factors affecting the health condition of an
individual or a family.
India is the second largest populated
country and Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev
Shukla in a written statement to RajyaSabha has stated that 27 crore people
live below the poverty line in the country. (India Today).
The Planning commission said that the
number of those below the poverty line declined to 21.9% of the population in
2011-12, from 29.8% in 2009-10 and 37.2% in 2004-05.The estimate, based on a
survey of household consumer expenditure, showed rural poverty declined to
25.7% from 41.8% in 2004-05, while in urban areas it fell to 13.7% from 25.7%.
(Economic Times – 2013)
India as a vast democratic country, there
is a need in identifying the actual beneficiaries who will be benefitted by the
government programs/subsidies. Socio economic status scales are widely used to
classify the SES and it is important to analyze that these tools are effective
in identifying the SES of the family.
Many different scales are available to
measure the SES of a family and most widely used scale in urban community is
Kuppuswamy scale (Modified) and it is based 3 categories – education,
occupation of the head of the family and Income from all the sources. Modified
Prasad scale has been widely used in India and it is mainly based on per capita
monthly income. Pareek SES classification scale is used in rural areas and it
is based on nine charecteristics caste, occupation, education, level of social
participation of head of the family, landholding, housing, farm power, material
possession and total members in the family.A conversion factor is calculated
based on current All India Consumer Price Index (AICPI) to get current income
group. The Government of India in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS -II)
had used the Standard of Living Index (SLI) scale which contains 11 items viz.
house type, source of lighting, toilet facility, main fuel for cooking, source
of drinking water, separate room for cooking, ownership of the house, ownership
of agricultural land, ownership of irrigated land, ownership of livestock,
ownership of durable goods for measuring the SES both urban and rural areas for
the entire country. However each of these scales available for measurement have
their own advantages and disadvantages.
The present study had
explored the reliability of a newly developed scale which need replication to
assess the validity of the tool. It can be used in both urban and rural.
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