17 Short Questions with Answers on “Poverty in India”

1. Mention any three features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005.

(i) The Act provides 100 days assured employment every year to every rural household in all over India.

(ii) If an applicant is not provided employment within 15 days he or she will be entitled to a daily unemployment allowance.

(iii) One third of the proposed jobs would be reserved for women.

(iv) Central and state government will establish funds for the scheme.

2. Describe in three points the poverty trends in India since 1973.

(i) Substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from 55 percent to 36 percent in 1993 and 26 percent in 2000.

(ii) The number of person living below poverty line has come down to 26 crore.

(iii) The number of people below poverty line is still high due to the large size of population.

3. How the policy of colonial Government was responsible for poverty in India?

(i) Colonial Government ruined traditional handicraft industry.

(ii) Discouraged development of Industries.

4. Define Poverty Line. Explain the two methods used in India to determine the poverty line.

Poverty line is an imaginary line drawn by the Economist by which those who are able to fulfill their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are above the poverty line and those who are not able to fulfill it are below the poverty line. There are two methods used in India to determine the poverty line.

I. Income Method:

A person is considered poor if his or her income falls below a given ‘minimum level’ necessary to fulfill basic needs.

II. Expenditure Method:

A minimum nutritional food requirement for survival is estimated and energy obtained is measured in calories. The minimum value of clothes etc. is also added. The total amount is considered as poverty line and families spending less than this are considered below poverty line.

5. Explain three ways in which the poverty line is estimated in India.

To estimate the poverty line in India:

(i) A common method used to measure poverty is based on the income or consumption levels.

(ii) While determining the poverty line in India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, foot wear, fuel and light, educational and medical requirement etc. are determined for subsistence.

(iii) While estimating the poverty line is based on the desired Calory requirement. The accepted average of calory requirement in India is 2400 calories per person per day in rural area and 2100 calories as per person per day in urban areas.

Eg. In the year 2000 the poverty line for a person was fixed at Rs. 328 per month for the rural areas and Rs. 434 for the urban areas.

6. What is social exclusion? Give one example of it.

Social Exclusion:

According to this concept poverty must be seen in terms of the poor having to live only in poor surroundings with other poor people, excluded from enjoying social equality with better-off people in better surroundings.

It is a process through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and opportunities that others enjoy. Example – caste system.

7. Explain any two anti-poverty programmes imitated by the India govt.

(i) Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana (PMRY):

a. Started in 1993

b. Self employment opportunity for educated unemployed youth in rural and small town

c. Set small business

(ii) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA):

a. Started in 2005

b. 100 days assured employment

c. 1/3 proposed seats reserved for women

d. State funded through national funds.

(iii) Swaranjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY):

a. Launched in 1999

b. Assistance to BPL families by organising them into self-help groups

c. Provide bank-credit/subsidy.

8. Explain the principal measures taken in Punjab, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh to reduce Poverty.

The principal measures taken in some successful state to reduce poverty are:

(i) The state like Punjab and Haryana has traditionally succeeded in reducing poverty with the help of high agricultural growth rate.

(ii) Kerala has focused more on human resource development.

(iii) In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu public distributions of foodgrains could have been responsible for the improvement.

9. “In poor families all suffer but some suffer more than others.” Explain.

Within a poor household, all members of the family suffer from poverty. But some members suffer more than the others. Some members are given a special treatment; they have the first right of consumption over the available resources, house owner meagre. To this group belong adult males and male infants.

Other members of the family have to submit on left ones. This group consists of women, elderly people and female infants.

10. What is poverty line? Give the income for poverty line fixed for the rural and urban area in India according to 2000?

Poverty line:

A person is considered poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below a given ‘minimum level’ necessary to fulfill basic needs. This minimum level is considered as a poverty line. It is different at different times and in different countries.

The poverty line fixed for the rural and urban areas in India according to 2000 census was Rs 328 and Rs. 454 per month per person respectively. It is higher in urban areas because of high prices of many essential products in urban centers.

11. Describe Social Exclusion; Vulnerability and Illiteracy are major dimensions of poverty.

Major dimensions of poverty:

(i) Social Exclusion:

Process of excluding individual from facilities and benefits others avail typical in case of caste system.

(ii) Vulnerability:

Describes greater probability of certain communities of becoming or remaining poor in coming years. Typically in case of Backward classes, Widow or physically challenged.

(iii) Illiteracy:

leads to lack of training and efficiency and thus low income.

12. Who are the most vulnerable group as far as poverty is concerned? Explain the poverty line suggested by World Bank.

(i) Most vulnerable group consists of SC, ST, OBC, economically backward classes, aged, women, children, physically and mentally challenged.

(ii) People earning less than 1 $ per days is the Poverty Line given by World Bank.

13. Name the social and economic groups which are more vulnerable to poverty in India. Mention two steps taken by the government to alleviate poverty in rural areas.

Social groups vulnerable to poverty in India:

i. Scheduled Castes household.

ii. Scheduled Tribes household.

Economic groups vulnerable to poverty in India:

i. Rural agricultural labour households.

ii. Urban casual labour households.

Two steps to alleviate poverty in rural areas:

i. The Swaranjayati Gram Swrojgar Yojana (SGSY)

ii. Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP)

iii. Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY)

iv. National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)

v. National Food for Work Programme (NFWP)

vi. Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana (PMRY)

vii. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)

14. Give one positive and one negative side of poverty conditions in India, and mention the major weaknesses of poverty alleviation programmes.

(i) On the positive side, the incidence of poverty has declined in India. There has been significant fall in poverty ratio during the decades of 1980s and 1990s.

(ii) One the negative side, poverty reduction remains India’s most compelling challenge. About one fourth of India’s total population that is about 260 million people lives below the line of poverty.

(iii) The major weakness of these programmes is the lack of proper implementation, lack of right targets, overlapping schemes.

15. There is a strong link between economic growth and poverty reduction. Explain.

(i) Economic growth widens opportunities and provides the resources needed to invest human development.

(ii) It encourages people to send their children to schools in the hope of getting better return.

(iii) It widens job opportunities and thus solves unemployment.

16. Explain the economic factors responsible for poverty in India.

(i) Lack of job opportunities: Many job opportunities were created in the rural sector as a result of the spread of irrigation and the Green Revolution. However in urban areas all job seekers could not be absorbed by industries. They work as rickshaw pullers, vendors, construction workers, etc. With irregular incomes they live in slums and are the urban poor.

(ii) Unequal distribution of land and other resources has also led to poverty as millions of rural poor are landless.

(iii)Small farmers borrow money for seeds, fertilizers and pesticides etc. Unable to repay the loan they become indebted.

17. What is means by ‘vulnerability’ to poverty? Which economic categories are more vulnerable to poverty in India?

Vulnerability to poverty is a measure which describes the greater probability of certain communities of becoming or remaining poor in the coming years. It is determined by options available for finding an alternative living in terms of assets, health, education and job opportunities. These groups face greater risk when natural disasters occur.

Two vulnerable economic categories are: Rural agricultural labour urban casual labour.