Ans. One historical reason is the low level of economic development under the British colonial administration. The policies of the colonial government ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged development of industries like textiles. The low rate of growth persisted until the nineteen-eighties. This resulted in less job opportunities and low growth rate of incomes. This was accompanied by a high growth rate of population. The two combined to make the growth rate of per capita income very low. The failure at both the fronts: promotion of economic growth and population control perpetuated the cycle of poverty.
Ans. The following groups are vulnerable to poverty:
Social groups - Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty are scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households.
Economic groups - Among the economic groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labour households and the urban casual labour households.
Inequality of incomes within a family - Apart from these social groups, there is also inequality of incomes within a family. In poor families all suffer, but some suffer more than others. Women, elderly people and female infants are systematically denied equal access to resources available to the family.
Ans. The official definition of poverty, however, captures only a limited part of what poverty really means to people. It is about a “minimum” subsistence level of living rather than a “reasonable” level of living. With development, the definition of what constitutes poverty also changes. It is no longer confined to economic factors alone. A large number of people may have been able to feed themselves. But they do not have education or shelter or health care or job security or self-confidence. They are not free from caste and gender discrimination. The practice of child labour is still common. To overcome poverty entirely, all the above mentioned factors also need to be kept in consideration.
Ans. A person is considered poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below a given “minimum level” necessary to fulfill basic needs. The two methods used to estimate poverty line are:
Income Method: 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. These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices in rupees.
Consumption Method: 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 calories per person per day in rural areas and 2100 calories per person per day in urban areas. A person consuming less than this amount is considered to be living below the poverty line.
Ans. The major reasons for poverty in India are:
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