Q1. Describe how the poverty line is estimated in India.


  • While determining the poverty line in India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational and medical requirement etc. are determined for subsistence.
  • The present formula for food requirement while estimating the poverty line is based on the desired calorie requirement.
  • The accepted average calorie requirement in India is 2400 calorie per person per day in rural areas and 2100 calorie per person per day in urban areas.
  • On the basis of income, for the year 2000 the poverty line a person was fixed at Rs. 328 per month for the rural areas and Rs. 454 for the urban areas.
  • It means a person living in rural area and earning less than Rs 328 and in urban area Rs 454, per month will be below the poverty line.

Q2. Do you think that present methodology of poverty estimation is appropriate?


  • I don’t think that present methodology of poverty estimation is appropriate.
  • Levels of income and consumption also takes into consideration.
  • poverty should be looked through other social indicators such as illiteracy level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack of access to health care, lack of job opportunity, lack of safe drinking water, sanitation etc.
  • Poverty should also be looked through on the basis of social exclusion and vulnerability.

Q3. describe poverty trends in India since 1973.


  • There is a substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 55% in 1973 to 36% in 1993.
  • The proportion of people below poverty line further came down to about 26% in 2000.
  • If the trends continues, people below poverty line further comes down to less than 20% in the next few years.

Q4. Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India.


  • British rule in India– the low level of economic development under the British rule. the policies of the colonial government ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged development of industries like textiles.
  • Lack of job opportunities– due to lack of job opportunities many people forced to work as rickshaw pullers, vendors, construction workers and domestic servants. with irregular small incomes these people started living in slums.
  • Income inequalities– the major reason for income inequality is unequal distribution of land and other resources. state governments take major policy decisions which aimed at redistribution of assets in rural areas but have not been implemented properly.
  • Indebtedness– poor farmers hardly have any savings, they borrow and unable to repay because of poverty, they become victims of indebtedness.

Q5. Identify the social and economic groups which are most vulnerable to poverty in India.

Ans. Social groups– scheduled caste and scheduled tribes.

Economic groups– rural agricultural labour and urban casual labour households.

Q6. Give an account of interstate disparities of poverty in India.


  • Recent estimates show that in 20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than the national average.
  • Poverty is still a serious problem in states like Odisha, Bihar, Assam, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
  • There is a significant decline in poverty in Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu, Gujrat and West Bengal.

Q7. Describe the global poverty trends.


  • Poverty declined substantially in China and South East Asian countries due to rapid economic growth and investment in human resource development. Number of poor in China has come down from 606 million in 1981 to 212 million in 2001.
  • In the countries of South Asia- India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan the decline has not been as rapid.
  • In Sub Saharan Africa, poverty in fact rose from 41% in 1981 to 46% in 2001.
  • In Latin America, the ratio of poverty remained the same. Poverty has also resurfaced in some of the former socialist countries like Russia.

Q8. Describe current government strategy of poverty alleviation.

Ans. The government strategy of poverty alleviation is divided in two parts-

i) Promotion of economic growth

ii) Targeted anti-poverty programmes

i) Promotion of economic growth

  • Till the early 80’s there were little per capita income growth and not much reduction in poverty.
  • Since the 80’s India’s economic growth has been on of the fastest in the world.
  • The growth rate jumped from the average of about 3.5% in 1970’s to 6% in 1980’s & 1990’s.

ii) Targeted anti-poverty programmes – The government has started several anti-poverty schemes to eliminate poverty.

  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) 2005- The Act provides 100 days assured employment every year to every rural household. in first step it started in 200 districts.
  • National Food for Work Programme (NFWP) 2004- This scheme is launched in 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country. the programme is open to all rural poor, who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work.
  • Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojna (PMRY)1993- The aim of the programme is to create self-employment opportunities for educated unemployed youth in rural areas and small towns.
  • Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) 1995- The aim of this scheme is the same as Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna.
  • Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY) 1999
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojna (PMGY) 2000-
  • Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY)

Q9. Answer the following questions briefly.

i) What do you understand by human poverty?

Ans. Human poverty is a concept that goes beyond the limited view of poverty due to lack of income. It refers to the denial of political, social and economic opportunities to an individual .

ii) Who are the poorest of the poor?

Ans. Women children and old people are the poorest of the poor.

iii) What are the main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005?


  • The Act provides 100 days assured employment every year to every rural households.
  • In the first step it started in 200 districts of the country.
  • 1/3 of the employment is reserved for women.
  • If the applicant is not provided employment within 15 days, he/she will be entitled to a daily unemployment allowance.
  • Later it renamed as MGNREGA MG stands for Mahatma Gandhi.