Nature and causes of poverty in India Upsc

Nature and causes of poverty in India

The two big problems faced by several developing countries are poverty and unemployment. These two things are interconnected. The reason why people are poor is that they do not have income, and its reason is unemployment.

In some cases, employed people are also poor. Reducing poverty is one of the main goals of Planning in India. In order to reduce the poverty, we need to have precise data about people’s social and economic circumstances.

These data are highly useful for the state to adopt effective policies to eradicate poverty.

World Bank Definition of Poverty

Poverty Meaning – The World Bank in 1990 defined poverty as “the inability to attain a minimal standard of living.”

Thus lack of adequate income to purchase the basic goods for subsistence living is an important element in the definitions of poverty.

nature and causes of poverty in india Upsc
poverty effects in india By Willoughby Wallace Hooper – Photograph from a personal copy of a copyright expired publication, Public Domain,

Types of poverty

Poverty can be classified into two types, they are Absolute and Relative Poverty.

Absolute and Relative poverty

Absolute Poverty is the one when people do not have enough food, clothes, and House to live.

Relative Poverty is the one, where there is a difference in income among the various groups of people. Example: Poverty in One country is different from another country.

Temporary or chronic poverty

In some countries, people tend to fall into the poverty sample temporarily. For example, A farmer falls into poverty when there is poor rainfall, poor harvest, etc. But when people are poor for so long, then it is called Chronic or Structural poverty.

Primary and Secondary Poverty

Primary Poverty as said by Rowntree(1901) – “families whose total earnings are insufficient to
obtain the minimum necessities for the maintenance of merely physical efficiency

Secondary Poverty as said by Rowntree(1901) – “Secondary poverty refers to a condition in which earnings would be sufficient for the maintenance for merely physical efficiency were it not that some portion of it is absorbed by other expenditure, either useful or wasteful such as drink, gambling and inefficient housekeeping.

Rowntree went to say that secondary poverty prevents most people from meeting the “Human Needs Standard” than the Primary Poverty.

Rural and Urban Poverty

The major of people in the Village are Poor, as they do not own assets like land. They work as agricultural laborers and also their employment is seasonal and their wages are extremely low.

They depend upon their landlord for food and other benefits, and their landlords exploit them.

Similarly, the Urban Poors work for long hours and but they have low income are most of them work in the Informal and Unorganized sectors.

They are mostly “sub-employed“.

It means People who work part but actually need full-time work.

Family heads working full time who do not earn enough to bring their families over the poverty line.

Discouraged workers who no longer seek work.

The poverty line in India

The monthly per capita consumption expenditure of Rs.972 in villages and Rs.1407 in Urban areas is recommended as the Poverty Line in India.

Accordingly, those who spend below this limit are considered as living Below Poverty Line (BPL).

Causes of Poverty in India

  • High Population
  • High dependence on Agriculture
  • Under utilization of Resources
  • Show economic development
  • Inflation
  • Unemployment
  • Caste system
  • Lack of Inclusive growth
  • Poor implementation of Land reforms
  • Underemployment
  • Inadequate access to resources
  • Lack of Infrastructure
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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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