Poverty in India

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Poverty in India
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Percent of population living below the poverty line, over the final quarter of the 20th century.

Poverty is widespread in India, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world's poor. According to a 2005 World Bank estimate, 41.6% of the total Indian population falls below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms Indian Rupee ₹ 21.6 a day in urban areas and Indian Rupee ₹ 14.3 in rural areas).[1] Contents

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* 1 Poverty estimates
* 2 Impact of poverty
* 3 Causes of poverty in India
o 3.1 Caste system
o 3.2 British era
o 3.3 India's economic policies
o 3.4 Liberalization policies and their effects
* 4 Reduction in Poverty
* 5 Efforts to alleviate poverty
o 5.1 Outlook for poverty alleviation
o 5.2 Controversy over extent of poverty reduction o 5.3 Persistence of malnutrition among children
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links

[edit] Poverty estimates

There has been no uniform measure of poverty in India[2][3]. The Planning Commission of India has accepted the Tendulkar Committee report which says that 37% of people in India live below the poverty line.[4]

The Arjun Sengupta Report (from National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector) states that 77% of Indians live on less than Indian Rupee ₹ 20 a day (about $0.50 per day)[5], also N.C. Saxena Committee report states that 50% of Indians live below the poverty line.

A study by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative using a Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) found that there were 645 million[6] poor living under the MPI in India, 421 million of whom are concentrated in eight North Indian and East Indian states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. This number is higher than the 410 million poor living in the 26 poorest African nations.[7]

Estimates by NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research) show that 48% of the Indian households earn more than Indian Rupee ₹90,000 (US$1,998) annually (or more than US$ 3 PPP per person). According to NCAER, in 2009, of the 222 million households in India, the absolutely poor households (annual incomes below Indian Rupee ₹ 45,000) accounted for only 15.6% of them or about 35 million (about 200 million Indians). Another 80 million households are in income levels of Indian Rupee ₹ 45,000– 90,000 per year. These numbers also are more or less in line with the latest World Bank estimates of the “below-the-poverty-line” households that may total about 100 million (or about 456 million individuals)[8]

The World Bank estimates that 80% of India's population lives on less than $2 a day[9][10] which means a higher proportion of its population lives on less than $2 per day as compared with sub-Saharan Africa.[10] [edit] Impact of poverty

Since the 1950s, the Indian government and non-governmental organizations have initiated several programs to alleviate poverty, including subsidizing food and other necessities, increased access to loans, improving agricultural techniques and price supports, and promoting education and family planning. These measures have helped eliminate famines, cut absolute poverty levels by more than half, and reduced illiteracy and malnutrition.[11]

Presence of a massive parallel economy in the form of black (hidden) money stashed in overseas tax havens and underutilisation of foreign aid have also contributed to the slow pace of poverty alleviation in India.[12][13][14]

Although the Indian economy has grown steadily over the last two decades, its growth has been uneven when comparing different social groups, economic groups, geographic regions, and rural and urban areas.[15][11] Between 1999 and 2008, the annualized...
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