Describe poverty trends in India since 1973

In this post, we are providing detailed notes on poverty trends in India since 1973, poverty reasons, causes, and the poverty line. And we have covered all the important notes like, Poverty Estimates, Vulnerable groups, State level trends in poverty, and many more.

poverty trends in India
Poverty trends in India

Poverty trends in India since 1973

In this post, we are providing you all the details regarding the poverty trends in India, its reason, and major. And we also cover the poverty line, global poverty trends, and all the related topics which are important and many more. But first, we should know that what is poverty trends.

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About poverty trends

Poverty trends mean to changes in the number of people living in poverty over time. Poverty trends have shown a gradual decline globally over the past few decades.

In India, there is a substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 55 percent in 1973 to 36 percent in 1993. Over the years, there has been a gradual decline in poverty rates. The Indian government has implemented many poverty programs such as the MGNREGA and the NRLM.

Reason of poverty in India

The Major reasons for poverty in India are given below:

  1. Population: India also comes as the most populous country in the world, with a large population placing immense pressure on resources and infrastructure. The high population density leads to increased competition for limited resources and opportunities.
  2. Unemployment: The lack of sufficient job opportunities especially in rural areas contributes to poverty. Limited access to quality education and vocational training further exacerbates the problem.
  3. Economic inequality: India experiences significant economic disparities between different regions, social groups, and income brackets. The concentration of wealth and resources in the hands of a few exacerbates poverty. Marginalized groups, such as Dalits (formerly known as “untouchables”), tribal communities, and religious minorities, often face discrimination and limited access to opportunities.
  4. Agricultural challenges: Agriculture is a significant source of livelihood for a large portion of the Indian population. Factors like fragmented land holdings, outdated farming practices, lack of irrigation facilities, climate change, and unpredictable weather patterns affect agricultural productivity.
  5. Social and gender inequalities: Discrimination based on caste religion, gender, and ethnicity persists in India. Gender inequality and lack of empowerment hinder the socioeconomic progress of women and contribute to poverty.
  6. Lack of access to basic services: Many people in India lack access to essential services such as clean water, sanitation facilities, healthcare, and education. Limited access to quality healthcare leads to high medical expenses and a cycle of poverty. Lack of education perpetuates intergenerational poverty as it restricts opportunities for upward mobility.
  7. Weak infrastructure: Insufficient infrastructure, including roads, transportation, electricity, and communication networks, hampers economic development and access to markets. It affects trade, employment opportunities, and overall growth, particularly in remote and rural areas.

Four major causes of poverty in India

There are many causes that affect poverty in India but the four causes are main the four major causes of poverty in India are given below:

  1. Rising Population: India has a rapidly growing population which adds pressure on resources, infrastructure, and the job market.
  2. Slow Economic Development: While India has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, there are still areas and sectors that lag behind. The pace of economic development has not been uniform, leading to regional disparities and income inequality. Certain regions and marginalized communities face limited access to resources, education, and employment opportunities, thereby perpetuating poverty.
  3. Unemployment: Unemployment particularly among the youth is a significant challenge in India. Limited job opportunities, a lack of skill development programs, and a growing labor force contribute to high levels of unemployment and underemployment.
  4. Unequal Distribution of Income and Resources: Income and wealth disparities in India are pronounced with a significant portion of the population living in poverty while a small percentage enjoys considerable wealth. Limited access to education, healthcare, and basic services further exacerbate these inequalities.

There are many causes that affect poverty in India. It includes include limited access to credit and financial services, poor agricultural infrastructure, insufficient investment in education, corruption, and more.

Poverty as seen by social scientists

Social scientists involve economic, social, and cultural factors. This goes beyond income and it includes access to education, health care, housing, and social services. Power relations and social hierarchies contribute to poverty, with some groups facing marginalization.

Poverty is understood in terms of human capabilities and opportunities, focusing on the ability of individuals to lead full lives. It is shaped by specific historical, cultural, and geographical contexts. Social scientists study the dynamics and inter-generational transmission of poverty and evaluate policy interventions for poverty alleviation.

Poverty line

A poverty line is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. One of the earliest estimations of poverty was done by Dadabhai Naoroji in his book, ‘Poverty and the Un-British Rule in India’.

The specific poverty line varies between countries and is based on factors like the cost of living and household size. In India, 2100 calories are required to reach above the poverty line for a rural person. Individuals or households whose income falls below the poverty line are considered to be living in poverty.

Poverty Estimates

Poverty estimates refer to the calculations or measurements used to determine the number or percentage of individuals or households living in poverty within a specific population or geographic area. These estimates are typically based on various data sources, including surveys, censuses, and administrative records.

The methodology for estimating poverty can vary between countries and organizations. Poverty estimates provide valuable information for policymakers, researchers, and organizations to understand the extent of poverty, monitor trends over time, and develop targeted interventions to alleviate poverty.

Vulnerable groups

Vulnerable groups refer to populations that are at greater risk of experiencing social, economic, and health harm than the general population. These groups often face various forms of marginalization, discrimination, or exclusion due to factors such as age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or migration status.

Examples of vulnerable groups include children, elderly persons, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, refugees and asylum seekers, and people living in poverty. Vulnerable groups require specific attention and targeted interventions to meet their specific needs, promote equality, and ensure their access to essential services and opportunities.

State level trends in poverty

State-level trends in poverty refer to the patterns and changes in poverty rates within specific states or regions. These trends can vary significantly across different states due to variations in economic conditions, demographic composition, policy approaches, and other factors.

It enables policymakers and researchers to assess the effectiveness of state-specific poverty reduction initiatives, target resources, and develop tailored interventions. Monitoring state-level trends in poverty is crucial for addressing regional disparities, promoting equitable development, and formulating targeted policies to alleviate poverty at the local level.

Interstate Disparities of Poverty in India

India is a diverse country with varied regional characteristics and experiences significant interstate disparities in poverty. Poverty levels vary greatly across states due to factors such as economic development, social indicators, and governance.

States such as Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh generally have higher poverty rates, while states such as Kerala, Goa, and Punjab have lower poverty rates. These disparities can be attributed to factors such as infrastructure, educational attainment, healthcare access, agricultural productivity, and industrial development.

Global poverty trends

Significant progress has been made in Trends of global poverty over the past few years, but challenges remain. According to World Bank data, the global poverty rate is steadily declining. Millions of people still live in extreme poverty, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. There are the factors such as economic growth, improvements in education, and healthcare programs have contributed to poverty reduction.

FAQs on poverty trends in India

  1. How the poverty line is estimated in India?

    The poverty line is determined using data from the National Sample Survey (NSS) on consumption patterns and prices. The methodology considers caloric intake, nutrition, and essential non-food items. The poverty line is updated from time to time to take into account inflation and changes in consumption patterns.

  2. In India’s unemployment, in 1973 and 2003 which sector had the maximum share of GDP?

    In India, in 1973, the agricultural sector had the largest share of the GDP. Agriculture was the primary sector of the Indian economy at that time, employing a significant portion of the population. From 2003, there was a significant change in the economy, and the service sector overtook agriculture as the sector with the maximum share of GDP. The service sector includes industries such as banking, telecommunications, IT services, tourism, and other service-oriented activities.

  3. What are the main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005?

    The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) 2005, now known as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), guarantees 100 days of wage employment per year to rural households in India. Its salient features include providing job opportunities for rural residents, empowering women, ensuring minimum wages, promoting sustainable development, enhancing livelihood security, and transparent governance through a social audit. And implementing accountability mechanisms.

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