In the modern times, the society has become more complex. A number of serious problems like poverty, unemployment, social inequality, gender inequality, fundamental blind beliefs, superstitions, communalism, casteism, ignorance, illiteracy, violence corruption and nepotism have afflicted the society.
The state is the main coordinator and regulator of social groups and organizations. So it has to deal with these problems. The sphere of activity of modern state has expanded in proportion to increase in number social problems stated above.
The state is taking active part in spreading education and health facilities and combating social diseases like casteism, communalism and racism, is also required to provide social security to the individual and help him get out of poverty. The progressive steps taken by state in the social, economic and cultural fields have brought many benefits to people. It has assumed the role of a welfare institution.
It is a big challenge for the modern state to overcome many obstacles on the path socio-economic development and to increase the standard of living of people, to establish social unity and justice and promote the overall development of the society.
Backward and developing countries face the problems of political development and modernisation. Necessary social and economic changes should be effected in those countries, because these two changes are the foundation of other changes. Social changes include removal of gender inequality, casteism, untouchability, communalism, child abuse and taking care of widows old and disabled.
Similarly, economic changes comprise removal of poverty, unemployment and economic inequality, social security, fair wages, development of weaker sections of people and the reputation and control of economy by state. By finding solution to these difficult problems, the state will be able to build a beautiful society base on equality and justice.
Now the state is taking active interest in the social and economic development o common people, particularly those who are poor and neglected. Even in industrialised capitalist countries, the state is engaged in some welfare measures.
As a result, the sphere of activity of state has considered. This is likely to curtain freedoms and rights of people, but this danger can be avoided if the limit of state’s control over individual is fairly determined in a democratic way.
In a welfare state, individual and state are not enemies of, each other; in fact, they complement each other. A welfare state is the main instrument of individual’s development and social uplift. If the state fails to serve people, it will be unpopular and invite protest and challenge.