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Welfare state

According to kent, A welfare state is a state which provides for its citizens a wide range of social services.

According to Arthur Schlesinger, The welfare state is a system wherein government agrees to underwrite certain levels of employment, income, education, medical, social Security and housing for all its citizens.

The essential of the welfare state are population, fixed territory, government and sovereignty.

Important Function Of The Welfare State:

  1. Protection of life and liberty: The first and foremost duty of the state is to protect the life and property of the individual. If the individual is worried about the security of his life, he will not be able to make any progress. Thus, for the progress of the individual the first important concern of the state should be the protection of the life and property of citizens.
     
  2. Protection from external invasions: In order to maintain it's existence the state has to protect its external sovereignty. If state fails to do so, it loses its identity. In order to achieve this objective the state has to maintain a strong standing army. The state which is unable to protect itself from internal and external threats shall not be able to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens.
     
  3. Maintenance of law and order: One of the important function of the state is the maintenance of law and order. The state makes adequate arrangements for curtailing crimes, punishing the criminals and for the protection of life and property of its citizens. The state makes provision of police and courts to apprehend culprits and to punish them. 
     
  4. Social and economic security: The contemporary state also makes arrangements for economic and social Security of its citizens. Facilities of old age pensions, subsistence allowances to the crippled and unemployed and pensions after retirement of service are also granted by the state.
     
  5. Eradication of poverty: No state can make progress if it's citizens are poor and are not able to meet and bear necessities of their lives. It should be the duty of the state to eradicate poverty and the citizens may be well provided with the necessities of life like food, clothing and shelter. For this purpose, the welfare state makes various plans, creates employment opportunities, distributes free food to the persons living below poverty line etc.
     
  6. Development of natural resources: The natural resources are a great asset of the state. These resources significantly contribute to the progress and development in the country. The state develops and preserves the forests, exploits the mineral resources and utilises the water resources of land for benefits of the people.
     
  7. Imposition and collection of taxes: The state needs financial resources to under take the various welfare projects for the people. The state also takes necessary steps  to stablise monetary position and to control inflation. It also regulates banking system, fixes interest rates for borrowing and lending and prints current acc. to need etc.
     
  8. Provision of political equality: Political equality is an essential conditions for the establishment of welfare state and the state without political equality cannot claim to be a welfare state. To establish political equality, the state provides for equal political rights to all. All the citizens of the state are given the right to vote, right to contest election, right to contest election, right to hold public office, right to petition etc without making any discrimination. 

Objectives Of Welfare State:

  1. To provide economic security: The  purpose of the welfare state is to provide economic security to an individual. The basic needs of an individual viz foods, cloth and shelter are fulfilled in a welfare state, otherwise the political freedoms granted to him become meaningless. The basic purpose of welfare is to provide economic security to old age, sickness, unemployment etc.
     
  2. Social equality: To provide social equality is also the objective of welfare state. No discrimination should be made with any body on the basis of his caste, religion, colour and creed etc and everybody should be given equal status. In case any individual become a threat to social equality, proper legal action should be taken against him.
     
  3. Political security: It means that without making any discrimination, everybody should be given equal rights to take part in political activities. He should be given freedom to express his view freely about the problem of the country. Thus, impartial judiciary have made for the protection of their rights.
     
  4. To seek public welfare: The chief purpose of welfare state is to seek public welfare, so it provides all the opportunities to an individual for his sided development. The responsibility of physical, economic, political and social development of an individual is that of the state and of an individual is that of the state and for this state create necessary environment.
     
  5. To achieve international cooperation: A welfare state is also concerned with the welfare of the people living in all countries of the world. A welfare state does not want the devastation of other states rather it want peace, harmonious and prosperous world and for this it is believe in international cooperation. 

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