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Provisioning of social security for the poor and vulnerable sections of population constitutes an important task of the state and in a country like India where different social groups are economically marginalized; the task becomes crucial, particularly in an age of reforms that has seen a significant withdrawal of the state from its traditional welfarist role. In this empirically rich and finely argued book, the author critically examines two aspects namely, financing and institutional provisioning relating to social security measures, with major emphasis on Orissa, the poorest state in India.This research work, on the basis of secondary data as well as data from sample households from different social groups, has identified the shortfall in the provisioning of social security to the vulnerable section of the population. The analysis is clear-cut and results are quite revealing, which have important implications for policy implementation. This book has a foreword by Andrew Shepherd, Director, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, UK (www.chronicpoverty.org).