India comes out of the curse of poverty, NITI Aayog’s report suggests a new way, but there is a long way to go -aabtak24


NITI Aayog MPI: Poverty is the biggest challenge facing India even after 75 years of independence. During this time continuous efforts have been made at the government level to remove a large population of the country from the curse of poverty. Despite this, there is still a large section of the country, which is forced to live a life without basic facilities.

Now on this front, some relief news has come out from the figures released by NITI Aayog. According to this report related to poverty of NITI Aayog, 13.5 crore people have come out of poverty in five years.

135 million people came out of poverty in 5 years

NITI Aayog has released this report on July 17 in the name of ‘National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023’. According to this, during the years 2015-16 to 2019-21, 13.5 crore people have been freed from multidimensional poverty. This is the second edition of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by NITI Aayog. The first such version was released in November 2021.

The number of multidimensional poor in the country is 14.96%

The number of multidimensional poor in India was 24.85% of the total population in the year 2015-16, which decreased to 14.96% in 2019-21. That is, during this period there has been a decline of 9.86% in the number of poverty in proportion to the population. About 15 percent of the population in the country is still multidimensionally poor, this is worrying. Much remains to be done to move such a large population out of the category of multidimensional poor.

Poverty index based on 12 parameters

NITI Aayog has determined the Multidimensional Poverty Index keeping in mind 12 parameters related to health, education and standard of living. Indicators related to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations have been included in these standards or scale. These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking gas, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets and bank accounts. NITI Aayog says that there has been significant improvement in the country on all these parameters during this period.

U.P. has the largest deficit

Even though maximum poverty has decreased in UP in numbers, but in terms of percentage of population, maximum poverty has decreased in Bihar. In 2015-16, 51.89% of Bihar’s population was forced to bear the brunt of multidimensional poverty, while during 2019-21 this figure has improved to 33.76%. This figure was 20.63% for Madhya Pradesh and 22.63% for UP.

Despite this progress, Bihar is still the poorest state in the country in terms of percentage of population. After this comes the number of Jharkhand and Meghalaya. Then there is the number of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Nagaland and Rajasthan are among the 10 poorest states by percentage of population.

Kerala is the least poor state in the country

According to the percentage of population, Puducherry is the best on the poverty front among the states and union territories. On the other hand, Kerala is in the best condition among the states. After that comes the number of Goa and Tamil Nadu. This report of NITI Aayog makes it clear that even now Kerala is the least poor state in the country i.e. the average standard of living of its citizens is the best.

Rapid reduction in rural poverty

Disparities in multidimensional poverty between rural and urban areas still exist. Poverty is more widespread in rural areas. It is a matter of relief that poverty has decreased at a faster pace in rural areas than in urban areas. Poverty in urban areas decreased from 8.65% to 5.27%, while poverty in rural areas decreased from 32.59% to  19.28%. NITI Aayog has also expressed concern about this difference between urban and rural areas.

SDG targets will be achieved ahead of schedule

MPI value has almost halved from 0.117 to 0.066 in five years. Due to this  the intensity of poverty has decreased from 47% to 44% between 2015-16 to 2019-21. The intensity of poverty measures the average deprivation among the people living in any country. The result is that India is on track to meet SDG target 1.2 (the target of halving multidimensional poverty at least) well ahead of the 2030 deadline.

Major reason for reduction in multidimensional poverty

NITI Aayog has recognized that improvement in nutrition, years of schooling, sanitation and cooking fuel have been instrumental in reducing poverty. Access to electricity,  access to bank accounts and access to drinking water facilities for economically weaker sections is improving the quality of life of a large population.

For the remarkable progress made on the front of Multidimensional Poverty Index, NITI Aayog has called the health programs run by the government, Swachh Bharat Mission and Jal Jeevan Mission important. It states that programs such as Poshan Abhiyaan and Anemia Mukt Bharat have helped in reducing the gaps in health. Initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission and Jal Jeevan Mission are helping in improving sanitation. Initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Saubhagya, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Samagra Shiksha have been considered very important in reducing poverty in the report of NITI Aayog. PM Ujjwala Yojana is said to have seen an improvement of 14.6% in LPG shortage.

Multidimensional poverty index is such a measure of poverty, which is not only linked to a person’s income or income. The 12 MPI indicators through which the poverty report is prepared focus on quantity as well as quality.

Difference between the multidimensional poor and the real poor

In these 5 years, we have seen a lot of improvement on the front of multidimensional poverty. This does not mean that now the problem of poverty in the country will end soon. Actually there is a difference between multidimensional poverty index and actual poverty. Consider this as an example, according to multidimensional poverty, between 2019-21, 11.90% people were poor on the indicator of nutrition. This is the censored headcount ratio. But in terms of uncensored headcount ratio, more than 31% of the country’s population was poor on the nutrition indicator. Similarly, there is a significant difference between the two types of headcount ratio in 12 indicators.

UNDP figures are worrying as well as relief

United Nations Development Program i.e. UNDP has also released the Global MPI Index recently. In this, the situation described regarding poverty in India is also very positive.  It has been said that between 2005 and 2021, about 41.5 crore people have come out of poverty in India. It states that India is one of 25 countries, including Serbia Vietnam, Morocco, Cambodia, Congo, Honduras, Indonesia, China, which have been able to halve global MPI values ​​within 15 years.

According to UNDP, poverty in India has come down from 55% in 2005-06 to 16% in 2021. However, according to these figures, still more than 23 crore people are poor in India. Apart from this population, UNDP has placed 18.7% in the category of multidimensional poverty in 2001. The number of people falling in this category was more than 26 crores in 2021. These categories are those who are not poor, but are deprived in many of the indicators adopted to measure poverty.

If we combine these two categories of UNDP, then this number in India becomes around 50 crores and this number is a big challenge in the fight against poverty. The country still has a long way to go to meet this challenge.

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