BPSC Mains Solution 63rd paper-II Q8

Queation 8: Discussing the estimation of poverty in India, explain the factors responsible for poverty. Which programs are being run by the Indian government to remove Poverty?


A. Estimation of Poverty in India- 

History of Estimation of Poverty in India:-

Pre- independence one of the earliest estimation of poverty was done by Dadabhai Naoroji in his book ‘Poverty and Un-British rule in India’. He has formulated poverty line as Rs 16 to Rs 35 per capita per year based on 1867-68.

In 1938 by National Planning Committee,poverty line estimated as Rs 15 to 20 per capita per month.

Post Independence, planning commission has constituted working group for estimation of poverty in 1962, and poverty line was Rs 20 to 25 per capita per month.

Alagh committee in 1979 estimated as poverty line . Lakdawala Committee( 1993) has used CPI-IL (Consumer Price Index for Industrial Laborers) and CPI- AL (Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Laborers) for estimation of poverty.

Recent Scenario:-

Expert Group under the chairmanship of Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar constituted by the Planning Commission in 2005 to review the methodology of estimation of poverty has submitted its recommendations in December 2009. Poverty line Rs 816 in rural and Rs 1000 in urban per capita per month with national average poor is 21.9%.

Difference in basis of Expert Group (Tendulkar) & Expert Group (Rangarajan):-

l Expert Group( Tendulkar) has used National Accounts Statistics ( NAS) data while Expert Group ( Rangarajan) has used NSSO ( National sample Survey Organisation) data.

l Expert Group( Tendulkar) has not used calorie norms for poverty estimation while Expert Group ( Rangarajan) has calorie norms.

l Expert Group( Tendulkar) has used all India urban poverty line to derive urban and rural poverty while Expert Group (Rangarajan) has used two separate norms for rural and urban basket lines.

Methodology of Expert Group (Rangarajan Committee )- 

1. Poverty line should be based on normative level of nourishment, Education, Clothing, House, conveyance and non food items.

2. Average requirement of calories, protein and fats with consideration of age, gender and activity for urban and rural regions. Accordingly energy requirement 2155 kcal per person per day in rural area and 2090 kcal per person per day in urban area. Protein and fat requirement 48 grams and 28 grams in rural and 50 gms and 26 gms in urban  per person per day respectively.  

3. A food basket meet all the normative requirements define the poverty line. Average monthly per capita consumption expenditure on food is Rs 554 in rural and Rs 656 in Urban areas.

4. Value of clothing Housing rent, conveyance, education is Rs 141 for rural and Rs 407 in urban per capita per month. All other non food expenses Rs 277 for rural and Rs 344 in urban per capita per month.

5. Thus new poverty line monthly per capita consumption expenditure of Rs 972 in rural and Rs 1407 in 2011-12.

6. State-level poverty ratio was estimated as weighted average of the rural and urban poverty ratios and the national poverty ratio was computed again as the population-weighted average of state-wise poverty ratios.

7. Therefore committee estimates that the 30.9% of the rural population and 26.4% of the urban population was below the poverty line in 2011-12. National average 29.5 %.

Current Scenario:

Since Planning commission has been replaced with NITI aayog on 01.01.2015. Poverty estimation is being done by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). A task force has been created by NITI aayog for estimation of poverty line in March 2015 under the Chairmanship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

This committee will give report on Minimum expenditure required for poverty line, Basket of goods necessary to satisfy human needs and proportion of population below poverty line called poverty ratio or headcount ratio.

B. Main Factors Responsible for Poverty in India:- Basic essential facility required for life is food, shelter, cloth, medical facility, education etc. Non availability of these are reason for poverty.

1. Population- Rapid population growth India leads to high population density. Limited resources being used by large population, makes it scarcity of facility of population. India population density is 382 persons per square kM.

2. Unemployment- Majority of the Indian population is unemployed or under employed means they don’t have job for full time or they are not in the job as per their qualification. Due to this their earning are low, it leads to poverty.

3. Education– In India , literacy rate is ~73%. Also only ~8 % of the population are graduate. And hence they area not enough qualified to get jobs. Technical knowledge is at low level.

4. Scarcity of food and low production per acre and improper implementation of food security and PDS and storage ware house.

5. Medical facility issues – Improper Government medical facility implementation and low (only 1% of GDP) allocation for medical. Due to this part of the money of the poor goes for medical and many could not get medical and hence reduce the working population.

6. Dependency on agriculture– 80% of the Indian poor depend on the agriculture and major agriculture in India depend on monsoon. Low productivity leads to poverty.

7. Improper Implementation of Govt schemes- There are many government schemes for poverty alleviation, but due to its improper implementation , actual needy could not get the benefit. Lack of education is one of the main reason for that.

8. Inflation and food prices: Food price inflation Is the main reason. Although Govt is providing staple food , but some times it is not reach to the needy in the required quantity.

9. Unequal distribution of income. :– It makes rich more rich and poor more poor, and poverty increases.

10. Caste based systems- caste based employment category is the reason for poverty. But now days all caste is involved in the getting higher education and getting the highly paid jobs.

11. Regional poverty- Some states are poor and some are rich . Unequal distribution of grant by centre and different population density is the reason.

12. Size of family- Joint family structure makes the low employment and scarcity of facilities.

13. Unequal distribution of land

C. Programme run by Government to remove Poverty:

80% of India poor are living in the rural area and their livelihood directly or indirectly depends on the agriculture. But agriculture grows inherently slow. Two strategy needed. First to modernize agriculture and accelerate agriculture growth and second create job opportunities in Industry and services for farmers wishing to exit agriculture.

Following schemes has been initiated by government to remove poverty:-

1. National Food Security act 2013: Aim to provide food and nutritional security to human life cycle to ensure quality of food at affordable price to live people a life with dignity. Coverage of 75 % rural an 50 % urban population thru subsidised food grain thru targeted Public Distribution System. 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains will be provided thru PDS.

2. Midday Meal scheme for nutrition- It is the world largest school feeding programme reaching to 12 crores children. Meal is served to primary and upper primary children. Its aim to enhance school enrollment and improve nutritional values.

3. MGNREGA- It was launched in 2005. It will provide 100 days ensured employment to every household every year. 1/3 rd job reserved to women. If applicant not provided with job within 15 days then applicant will be paid unemployment allowance.

4. Rural Housing – Indira Awaas Yojana: Aim to provide free housing to Below Poverty Line families in Rural areas with main target of ST& ST.

5. Pradhan Mantri Kausal Vikash Yojana- Initiated in March 2015, to provide skill development training to youth. It will help the youth to became able to get employment.

6. National Rural Lively Hood Mission – Ajeevika( 2011)- is is the poverty alleviation programme for rural poor by providing skill and placement and provide then jobs with regular monthly income. Self Help Groups are formed at village level to help needy.

7. Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)– Objective is generation of wage employment, Creation of economic infrastructure, and provision of food and security to poor.

8. RTE- Right to Education Act 2002: Provide education to age 6 to years to ensure literacy to all, so that they could ensure their right to life. Education is the essential to eradicate poverty.

9. Minimum wage revision- Government revised minimum wage time to time based on Consumer price index variation to ensure standard payment of wages.