UPSC MAINS 2019: India has highest number of poor despite 27 crore moving out of poverty in 10 years: report

Topic : India has highest number of poor despite 27 crore moving out of poverty in 10 years: report

Topic in Syllabus: General Studies Paper 1: Indian Society

 

Context:

India has reduced its poverty rate drastically from 55% to 28% in 10 years, with 271 million people moving out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16, according to the Global MPI 2018 Report prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

 

More about on news:

  • The report, covering 105 countries, dedicates a chapter to India because of this remarkable progress.
  • India still had 364 million poor in 2015-16, the largest for any country, although it is down from 635 million in 2005-06.
  • The report measures MPI, or multidimensional poverty index, which it says can be broken down to show “who is poor” and “how they are poor”.
  • This factors in two measures, poverty rate as a percentage of the population, and intensity as the average share of deprivations that poor people experience.
  • The product of these two is MPI. If someone is deprived in a third or more of 10 weighted indicators, the global index identifies them as “MPI poor”.

 

Global key findings:

 

  • Worldwide, 1.3 billion (23%) people live in multidimensional poverty in the 105 developing countries that the report covered.
  • This represents 23%, or nearly a quarter, of the population of these countries.
  • Multidimensional poverty was found in all developing regions of the world.

  • It was seen to be particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. These two regions account together for 83% (more than 1.1 billion) of all multi-dimensionally poor people in the world.
  • Two-thirds of all multi-dimensionally poor people live in middle-income countries.
  • Nearly 889 million people in these countries experience deprivations in nutrition, schooling, and sanitation, just like those in low-income countries.
  • Children account for almost half (49.9%) of the world’s poor.
  • Worldwide, over 665 million children live in multidimensional poverty.
  • In 35 countries, at least half of all children are MPI poor.
  • In South Sudan and Niger, some 93% of all children are MPI poor.

 

India’s scenario:

  • India has reduced its poverty rate drastically from 55% to 28% in 10 years, with 271 million people moving out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16.
  • India still had 364 million poor in 2015-16, the largest for any country, although it is down from 635 million in 2005-06.
  • Poverty reduction among children, the poorest states, Scheduled Tribes, and Muslims was fastest. Of the 364 million people who were MPI poor in 2015- 16, 156 million (34.6%) were children whereas in 2005-06 there were 292 million poor children in India. This represents a 47% decrease or 136 million fewer children growing up in multidimensional poverty.
  • Even though poverty among Muslims and STs has been reduced poverty the most over the 10 years,
  • 80% of ST members were poor in 2005-06 and 50% of them were still poor in 2015-16. While 60% of Muslims were poor in 2005-06, 31% of them were still poor in 2015-16.

 

  • Bihar with more than half its population in poverty was the poorest state in 2015-16.
  • The four poorest states Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh were still home to 196 million MPI poor people, which was over half of all the MPI poor people in India.
  • Jharkhand had shown the greatest improvement, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland.
  • Kerala, one of the least poor regions in 2006, reduced its MPI by around 92%.
  • While 60% of Muslims had been poor in 2005-06, 31% of them were still poor in 2015-16.
  • Every third Muslim is multidimensionally poor, compared to every sixth Christian.

 

 

About Multidimensional Poverty Index:

  • The Multidimensional Poverty Index was launched by the UNDP and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in 2010.
  • Basic philosophy and significance of MPI is that it is based on the idea that poverty is not unidimensional (not just depends on income and one individual may lack several basic needs like education, health etc.), rather it is multidimensional.
  • The MPI measures overlapping deprivations at the household level across the same three dimensions as the Human Development Index (health, education and living standards).
  • The index shows the proportion of poor people and the average number of deprivations each poor person experiences at the same time.

 

The methodology of MPI:

  • The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) identifies multiple deprivations and that is why the index is known as multidimensional.
  • Methodological significance of MPI is that it recognizes poverty from different dimensions compared to the conventional methodology that measures poverty only from the income or monetary terms.
  • For the estimation of deprivation or poverty from different dimensions, the MPI uses three dimensions and ten indicators.
  • The three dimensions are health, education and standard of living. Deprivations are measured for the household and individual levels.
  • The household data are aggregated to derive the national measure of multidimensional poverty.

 

Factors:

  • Poor health
  • Lack of education
  • Inadequate living standard
  • Lack of income
  • Disempowerment
  • Poor quality of work and
  • Threat from violence

 

 

What makes a household/individual ‘multidimensional’ poor?

  • Deprivation of one dimension (like education) alone may not represent poverty.
  • The MPI requires a household to be deprived in multiple indicators at the same time.
  • A person is multidimensionally poor if she/he is deprived in one third or more (means 33% or more) of the weighted indicators (out of the ten indicators).
  • Those who are deprived in one half or more of the weighted indicators are considered living in extreme multidimensional poverty.

What MPI measures – acute poverty or extreme poverty?

  • The MPI is a measure of “acute” poverty because it reflects overlapping deprivation in basic needs.
  • If a person is deprived in 20-33.3% of the weighted indicators they are considered ‘Vulnerable to Poverty’, and if they are deprived in 50% or more, they are identified as being in ‘Severe Poverty’.
  • On the other hand, World Bank’s measure of “extreme” poverty captures with an income criteria of less than $1.90 (in 2011 $PPP) a day.

 

India in the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2016:

  • The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index for 2016 was published by OPHI.
  • It includes 102 countries, covering 75 per cent of the world’s population, or around 5.2 billion people.
  • According to the estimate, nearly 30 per cent of people (1.6 billion) are identified as multidimensionally poor.
  • According to the 2016 Report, India has the highest multidimensional poverty after Afghanistan in South Asia.
  • Nearly 54% of the Indian population is multidimensionally poor compared to 66% in Afghanistan.
  • The poorest region in South Asia is Bihar, followed by ‘South’ Afghanistan.
  • The poorest 15 subnational regions in South Asia are all in India or Afghanistan, plus one region (Baluchistan) of Pakistan.
  • There are more ‘Multidimensional poor people (421 mn) in the eight poorest Indian states (Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal) than in 26 poorest African countries combined (410 mn).

 

What is Multidimensional Poverty?

  • A person who is poor can suffer from multiple disadvantages at the same time – for example they may have poor health or malnutrition, a lack of clean water or electricity, poor quality of work or little schooling.
  • Focusing on one factor alone, such as income, is not enough to capture the true reality of poverty.
  • Multidimensional poverty measures can be used to create a more comprehensive picture.
  • They reveal who is poor and how they are poor – the range of different disadvantages they experience. As well as providing a headline measure of poverty, multidimensional measures can be broken down to reveal the poverty level in different areas of a country, and among different sub-groups of people.

 

Sample Question:

What do you understand by Multidimensional Poverty?  In India, poverty reduction among children, the poorest states, Scheduled Tribes, and Muslims was fastest, justify the statement.