Anti-Poverty Schemes in India: Poverty is a state of severe deprivation of basic human needs, in which a person is unable to meet the basic requirements for survival. According to the United Nations’ 2018 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), over 270 million people in India have risen out of poverty since 2005-06. However, India is home to 26% of the world’s extreme poor. India was ranked 103rd out of 119 countries in the 2018 Global Hunger Index.

This can be accomplished by promoting economic growth, which will generate employment and, in turn, reduce poverty. As a result, a country’s poverty-reduction strategy must be comprehensive. Governments in India have been attempting to implement schemes and strategies for job creation and poverty reduction since independence.

What is Poverty?

  • Poverty is defined as a state or condition in which a person or a community lacks the financial resources and necessities for a basic standard of living.
  • It is a situation in which one’s earnings from work are insufficient to meet basic human needs.
  • In 2011, 21.9 percent of India’s population was living below the national poverty line. In 2018, nearly 8% of the world’s workers and their families were living on less than $1.90 per day (international poverty line).
  • Poverty, according to the World Bank, is a severe lack of well-being that has many dimensions. Low incomes and the inability to obtain the basic goods and services required for a dignified existence are examples.
  • Poverty also includes poor health and education, a lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, a lack of physical security, a lack of voice, and a lack of capacity and opportunity to improve one’s life.

Types of Poverty

Poverty is divided into two categories: material and non-material poverty.

  1. Absolute Poverty: When a household’s income falls below the level required to maintain basic living standards (food, shelter, housing). This condition allows comparisons to be made between countries as well as over time. The “dollar a day” poverty line, first introduced in 1990, measured absolute poverty according to the standards of the world’s poorest countries. The World Bank raised it to $1.90 per day in October 2015.
  2. Relative Poverty: It is defined from a social perspective as a living standard that is lower than the economic standards of the surrounding population. As a result, it is a measure of income disparity. In most cases, relative poverty is defined as the percentage of the population earning less than a certain percentage of median income.

Statistics about Poverty in India: Anti-Poverty Schemes in India

  • According to the 2011 National Poverty Line, approximately 21.9 percent of the population lives in poverty.
  • In rural areas, the poverty line is 1,059.42 Indian rupees (62 PPP USD) per month, while in urban areas, the poverty line is 1,286 Indian rupees (75 PPP USD) per month.
  • The NITI Aayog task force calculates the poverty line based on data collected by the National Sample Survey Office, which is part of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
  • Consumer expenditure surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Organization are used to determine poverty. A poor household is defined as one that spends less than a certain amount per month.
  • The Alagh Committee (1979) established a poverty line based on an adult’s daily calorie requirement of 2400 and 2100 calories, respectively, in rural and urban areas.
  • Following that, various committees were formed to estimate poverty: the Lakdawala Committee (1993), the Tendulkar Committee (2009), and the Rangarajan Committee (2012).
  • According to the Rangarajan committee report (2014), the poverty line is set at Rs. 1407 per capita in urban areas and Rs. 972 in rural areas.

Causes of Poverty in India

  • Under British colonial administration, there was a low level of economic development.
  • This resulted in fewer open positions and a low salary growth rate, which was accompanied by a rapid population growth rate.
  • The two converged, resulting in a significantly slower rate of per capita pay growth.
  • Green Revolution has had limited effects in some parts of India.
  • Manufacturing units, both public and private, did not provide enough jobs to accommodate all of the job seekers.
  • Due to irregular income, jobless people began to live in slums in deplorable conditions, making poverty an urban phenomenon.
  • Huge income disparities, owing to unequal distribution of land and other resources.
  • Other sociocultural and economic factors include spending a lot of money to meet social obligations and paying attention to specific functions.
  • Little ranchers use their newly acquired cash to purchase rural information sources such as seeds, manure, pesticides, and so on.
  • They become survivors of obligation when they are unable to pay their debt due to destitution.
  • As a result, both the circumstances and the logical outcomes of neediness are the result of significant levels of obligation.

Poverty Alleviation in India: Anti-Poverty Schemes in India

  • Poverty eradication is still a major challenge for planned economic development. Different states’ experiences with economic growth and poverty reduction have been so diverse that it’s difficult to make any broad policy recommendations. In the 1980s, poverty was at an all-time low.
  • Recent estimates suggest, however, that the Ninth Plan’s projections for reducing the proportion and number of people living in poverty have not been realised in the first two years of the plan period.
  • Poverty Alleviation Programs aim to reduce the country’s poverty rate by providing adequate access to food, financial assistance, and basic necessities to households and families living below the poverty line.
  • According to the Planning Commission of India, consumer expenditure surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation can be used to estimate the level of poverty in a country.
  • This article will discuss the various Poverty Alleviation Programs in India as well as the Government of India’s efforts to alleviate poverty.

Poverty Alleviation in India- Five Year Plans

  1. The first five-year plan, which ran from 1951 to 1956, was primarily concerned with agriculture and irrigation, with the goal of achieving a well-balanced development.
  2. The Second Five-Year Plan (1956-1961) emphasised the expansion of basic and heavy industries, increased employment opportunities, and a 25% increase in national income.
  3. The Third Five-Year Plan (from 1961 to 1966): The third five-year plan was a complete failure due to Chinese aggression in 1962, the Indo-Pak war in 1965, and the worst drought in history. From 1966 to 1969, three annual plans were in place to replace it.
  4. The Fourth Five-Year Plan (1966-1974) aimed to increase national income by 5.5%, create economic stability, reduce income inequalities, and achieve social justice through equality.
  5. The Fifth Five-Year Plan (1974-1979) was primarily concerned with eradicating poverty (Garibi Hatao) and bringing larger segments of the poor population above the poverty line. It also guaranteed a monthly minimum income of Rs. 40 per person, based on 1972-73 prices. When the Janata Government came to power in 1978, rather than 1979, the plan was terminated.
  6. The Sixth Five-Year Plan (from 1980 to 1985): The sixth five-year plan’s main goal was to eradicate poverty, with a particular emphasis on economic growth, job creation, technological self-sufficiency, and improving the living standards of the poor.
  7. Seventh Five-Year Plan (1985-90): The Seventh Five-Year Plan aimed to improve the poor’s living standards while significantly lowering poverty rates.
  8. The Eighth Five-Year Plan (1992-97) was designed to increase employment, but it fell short of most of its goals.
  9. The ninth five-year plan, which ran from 1997 to 2002, focused on agriculture, employment, poverty, and infrastructure.
  10. The tenth five-year plan (2002-2007) aimed to reduce poverty from 26% to 21% by 2007, as well as to assist children in completing five years of schooling by 2007.
  11. Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-2012): The eleventh five-year plan aims to reduce poverty by ten percentage points, create 7 crore new job opportunities, and connect all villages to electricity.

Measures and programmes taken by government For Poverty Alleviation In India

  • MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act): Every rural household receives 100 days of guaranteed employment each year as a result of the Act. Women would be eligible for one-third of the proposed jobs. If an applicant is not hired within 15 days, he or she will be eligible for a daily unemployment allowance under the programme.
  • Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP): The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was established in 1978-79 with the goal of providing assistance to the rural poor in the form of subsidies and bank loans for productive employment opportunities over the course of several plan periods.
  • Jawahar Gram Samriddhi Yojana (JRY): The Jawahar Gram Samriddhi Yojana (JRY) was created to provide meaningful employment opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed in rural areas by building economic infrastructure and community and social assets.
  • National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM): It focuses on forming Self Help Groups among the urban poor, providing opportunities for skill development that leads to market-based employment, and assisting them in establishing self-employment ventures by providing easy access to credit.
  • Pradhan Kaushal, Mantri Vikas Yojana (Vikas Yojana): It will concentrate on newcomers to the labour market, particularly dropouts from classes X and XII.
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission: Ajeevika (2011): It arose from a need to diversify the needs of the rural poor by providing them with jobs that pay on a monthly basis. To assist the poor, Self Help Groups are formed at the village level.
  • Food for Work Program: It aims to improve food security by providing wage employment. Food grains are provided free of charge to states, but deliveries from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns have been slow.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi: This scheme aims to provide financial assistance to all landholding farmers in the form of working capital support. This introduces the concept of a universal basic income for Indian farmers.
  • Annapurna: In 1999–2000, the government launched this programme to provide food to senior citizens who are unable to care for themselves and are not covered by the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS). This programme would provide eligible senior citizens with 10 kg of free food grains each month. They primarily target ‘poorest of the poor’ and ‘indigent senior citizens’ groups.
  • Jan Dhan Yojana of Pradhan Mantri: It aimed to transfer subsidy, pension, and insurance benefits directly to beneficiaries, and it met its goal of opening 1.5 million bank accounts. The scheme is aimed primarily at the unbanked poor.
  • HRIDAY: It stands for National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana. The HRIDAY scheme was launched on January 21, 2015, with the goal of preserving and revitalising the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Urban Development Ministry launched this Rs. 500 crore programme in New Delhi. Amritsar, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Ajmer, Mathura, Dwarka, Badami, Velankanni, Kanchipuram, Warangal, and Amarvati are the first cities to receive it. These programmes have played/are playing a critical role in the development of all segments of society, ensuring that the concept of holistic development is realised.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana:  Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana consists of two parts: the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Grameen) and the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Grameen) (Urban). It was first released in 2015. It brings together programmes such as the Ujjwala Yojana (which provides LPG to BPL households), access to toilets, water, and drinking water, and the Saubhagya Yojana (electricity).

FAQs: Anti-Poverty Schemes in India

Q1 What exactly is poverty alleviation?

Answer Poverty alleviation refers to all of the methods, approaches, and techniques used by the government, non-governmental organisations, and wealthy individuals to reduce or eliminate poverty in the country.

Q2 What is the significance of poverty alleviation programmes?

Answer Poverty alleviation programmes use tools like free education, free school meals for children, debt relief for small farmers, free healthcare for the poor, and so on to improve the living conditions of those who are unable to meet even the most basic needs of life.

Q3 What are the main causes of India’s poverty?

Answer Increased population growth, lower agricultural productivity, less resource utilisation, a slow rate of economic development, rising prices, and so on are the main causes of poverty.

Q4 What steps has the government taken to alleviate poverty?

Answer The Integrated Rural Development Programme,Jawahar Rozgar Yojana /Jawahar Gram Samriddhi Yojana (JGSY),Employment Assurance Scheme,Food for Work Programme,Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana, Rural Housing – Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY), and Rural Housing – Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY).

Q5 What are the methods for reducing and eliminating poverty?

Answer Poverty alleviation strategies can be divided into four categories: community-based microfinance, capability and social security, market-based, and good governance. Microfinance, which aims to lift the poor out of poverty, is a common strategy for poverty alleviation.

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