Chapter 3 : Poverty as a Challenge - Ncert Solutions for Class 9 Economics CBSE
Chapter 3 - Poverty as a Challenge Exercise 40
While determining the poverty line in India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational and medical requirements, etc., are determined for subsistence. These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices in rupees, and thereby the poverty line is arrived at. The numbers involved in the calculation of the poverty line vary. Since the economics of living in the rural parts of the country is different from that of living in the urban parts, the poverty line deducted for individuals living in the rural areas is different from that deducted for individuals living in the urban areas.
The present methodology of poverty estimation does not look appropriate. It only takes one factor in view and that is the economic factor. Moreover it considers about a "minimum" subsistence level of living rather than a "reasonable" level of living.
Poverty has many dimensions. It is no longer confined to economic factors alone. With development, the definitions of what constitutes poverty also changes. Its concept has broadened to human poverty. A few persons may have been able to feed themselves but if they are without education, without shelter, without health-care, without job security, without self-confidence, without social equality, they are considered poor. If poverty is to be removed in real sense and the people are to be brought above the poverty line, not only that we need to increase their income but also, we have to provide the people with education, shelter, health-care, job-security, respect, dignity all.
Therefore, the present methodology of poverty estimation needs to be modified and broadened in order to make it an appropriate method.
Rural and urban poor: The poverty trends also indicate that the problem of poverty is a much bigger menace in the rural areas than it is in the urban areas. As the greater part of the Indian population resides in the villages, the greater number of the poor also resides in the villages.
Vulnerable groups: Looked at from the point of view of the various social and economic groups in the country, the scheduled tribes, the scheduled castes, the rural agricultural labourers and the urban casual labourers turn out to be the groups most vulnerable to poverty. Though the average for people below poverty line for all groups in India is 26, the averages of these groups are higher than the average Indian poverty ratio.
Poor states: The poverty trends also show that though there has been a decline in poverty in every state from the early seventies, the success rate of reducing poverty has varied from state to state. In 20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than the national average of 26. In others, the poverty ratios are higher than the national average. Among these, Orrisa and Bihar continue to be the two poorest states with poverty ratios of 47 and 43 per cent respectively. On the other hand, states like Kerala, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have shown a significant decline in poverty.
There are various reasons for poverty in India which are outlined below -
(1) Prolonged Colonial Administration
The policies of British Colonial government shattered the Indian economy so much that it could not be revived until the 1980s.
(2) Unabated Population Growth
The failures to promote both the required economic growth and population control have been the main cause of poverty today.
Illiteracy is also an important cause of poverty in our country.
(4) Disparity in the Ownership of Land-holdings
The unequal distribution of land, lack of land resources and failure in the proper implementation of land reform policies have been the major causes of poverty in rural areas.
Lack of job security and unemployment are other causes.
(6) Widening Inequalities of Income
This is a feature of high poverty. Money has been concentrating in fewer hands, thus rendering a majority of people poor.
(7) Slow Growth of Employment Opportunities
Despite the implementation of various employment generating programmes our government has failed to provide the necessary employment opportunities.
(8) Socio-cultural Factors
In order to fulfill social obligations such as marriage etc. and religious ceremonies people in India including the poor spend a lot of money which makes some people even poorer.
(1) Scheduled Castes households.
(2) Scheduled Tribes households.
Economic Groups vulnerable to Poverty
(1) Rural Agricultural labour households.
(2) Urban Casual labour households.
(1) Poverty declined in China and South-East Asian countries as a result of rapid economic growth and huge investments in the development of human resources.
(2) In Latin America, the ratio of poverty remained almost the same.
(3) In sub-Saharan Africa, poverty saw an upward trend rather than a downward trend. It rose from 41% in 1981 to 46% in 2001.
(4) Poverty ha surfaced itself in some of the former socialist countries like Russia, where formerly it was non-existent.
Economic growth widens opportunities and provides resources needed to invest in human development. Also, so that the poor can take advantage of this economic growth, the government has formulated several anti-poverty schemes to affect poverty directly or indirectly. Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana, Rural Employment Generation Programme, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana, Antyodaya Anna Yojana, National Food for Work Programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, and proposals for establishing National and State Employment Guarantee Funds are some of the anti-poverty schemes of the government.
However, despite the good intentions of these schemes, the benefits have not fully reached the deserving poor. Hence, the major emphasis in recent years has been on proper monitoring of all the poverty alleviation programmes.
(ii) Women, female infants and elderly people are the poorest of the poor. Within a poor family, such individuals suffer more than the others. They are systematically denied equal access to the resources available to the family.
(iii) Main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005:
(a) The Act assures 100 days employment every year to every household.
(b) Initially covering 200 districts, the Act would be extended later on to cover 600 districts.
(c) One-third of the jobs are reserved for women.
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