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India's much euphoric growth rate of Gross Domestic Product seems to be a partial success only when we come across the poverty scenario. Poverty in India can be defined as a situation only when a section of peoples are unable to satisfy the basic needs of life. The definition and methods of measuring poverty differs from country to country. According to an expert group of Planning Commission, poverty line in rural areas are drawn with an intake of 2400 calories in rural areas and 2100 calories in urban areas. If the person is unable to get that minimum level of calories is considered as being below poverty line.

The Planning Commission made a survey for finding out the number of persons below poverty line and estimated that 18.96% of the total peoples live below poverty line as of the year 1993-94.

The poverty in India can be defined on the basis of rural poverty as well as urban poverty.

Rural Poverty In India

India is a more rural based country highly dependent on agricultural sector. There is higher concentration of poverty in the rural India as to the given statistics. Government's plans and procedures have failed in many times. The important reasons for country's poverty are as follows:

1) Alarming population Growth

2) Lack of Investment

3) Lower Literacy Rate

4) Regional inequalities

5) Failure Of PDS system

The Government of India has taken various steps from time to time to reduce Rural poverty in India. The recent steps are as follows:

  • Small Farmers Development Programme
  • Draught Area Development Programme
  • Food For Work Programme
  • Minimum Needs Programme
  • Integrated Rural Development Programme
  • National Rural Employment Programme
  • Rural Labour Employment Guaranty Programme
  • Assurance on Employment

    Urban Poverty In India                                                          

    India is stepping forward for becoming a country with more urbanized. The recent experiences tell that the urban areas are facing the same problem of poverty as of the rural areas. The reasons behind urban poverty are as follows:

    1) Improper Training

    2) Growing population

    3) Slower job Growth

    4) Failure of PDS System

    Government's policy initiatives for eradicating the problem of urban poverty are as follows:
  • Nehru Rozgar Yojana
  • Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana
  • National Social Assistance Programme
  • Urban Basic Services for the Poor Programme

    The following table shows the over all poverty in India over various years given by Tenth Five Year Plan.

    Year Poverty Ratio (Per cent) Number Of Poor (Millions)
    Rural Urban Combined Rural Urban Combined
    1977-78 53.1 45.2 51.3 264.3 64.4 328.9
    1983 45.7 40.8 44.5 252.0 70.9 322.9
    1987-88 39.1 38.2 38.9 231.9 75.2 307.1
    1993-94 37.3 32.4 36.0 244.0 76.3 320.3
    1999-00 27.1 23.6 26.1 193.2 67.1 260.3
    2007* 21.1 15.1 19.3 170.5 49.6 220.1

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