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Class 10 Class 12

What does poverty imply?

Poverty implies inability to get minimum requirements for life, health and efficiency.


What are the various policies and programmes towards poverty alleviation of the government?

The second five year plan (1956-61) has pointed out that 'the benefits of economic development must accrue more and more to the relatively less privileged classes of society'.

The government's approach to poverty reduction is of three dimensions:

1. Growth-oriented approach : It is based on the expectation that the effects of economic growth that is rapid increase in the gross domestic product and per capita income of a nation would spread to all sections of society. Rapid industrial development and transformation of agriculture through Green Revolution in select regions would benefit under developed regions and more backward sections of the community.

2. Food for work : In 1970, food for work programme was started. The policy-makers started thinking that incomes and employment for the poor could be increased through the creation of incremental assets and by means of work generation through specific poverty alleviation programmes. Under self-employment programmes, financial assistance is given to families or individuals.

3. Provision of minimum basic amenities : Through public expenditure on social consumption needs such as education, health, water supply and sanitation, people's standard of living could be improved. Programmes under this approach are expected to supplement the consumption of the poor, create employment opportunities and improvements in health and education. For this purpose Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojna, Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojna and National Social Assistance Programme were started.


Write some measures to remove poverty in India.

Following steps should be taken to remove poverty in India:

1. Creation of employment opportunities : There should be greater encouragement to small scale industries in rural areas, poultry farming, dairy farming and piggeries should be developed.

2. Population control : Population growth is a hinderance in overcoming the problem of population.

3. Economic development : There should be improvement in agriculture and industries.

4. Provision of minimum needs : The government should provide water, housing, sanitation, other facilities.

5. Removal of economic inequalities : The government should encourage small industries and agriculture. It should give incentives to industries in rural areas. The taxation policy should be progressive

What are the causes of poverty in India?

These are causes for poverty in India as under:

1. Unemployment : Widespread unemployment is responsible for poverty in India. The problem of unemployment has many forms such as open unemployment, disguised unemployment, under employment, seasonal unemployment etc.

2. Backwardness of Agriculture : The inadequate supply of water, fertilizers, pesticides and low level of technology are the main causes responsible for the backwardness of agriculture in India.

3. Low Level of Technology : Use of low technology results in low level of productivity and consequently country remains in a state of poverty.

4. Under-Utilisation of Natural Resources : India possesses vast and rich natural resources but a large part of our water, forest energy and mineral resources is either unutilised or under-utilised.

5. Inequalities of Income and Wealth : To a large extent, inequalities of income and wealth are also responsible for poverty in India.

6. Rapid rise in population : Due to increase in population, the level of per capita income and consumption is not increasing much.

7. Social Factors : Illiteracy, ignorance, backwardness, outdated technology, social infrastructure and unscientific outlook are also responsible for poverty in India.

8. Government Policies : Taxation and expenditure policies of the government have not been used effectively to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

9. Inflation : Inflation is also a cause of poverty, because of inflation people cannot buy much with their incomes.

10. Regional Disparities : There is a wide regional disparity in India. Some states are very well off while others are poor. Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh are rich because of agricultural activities and Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab have lots of industrial activities.


When you visit a village, you notice that many people are looking for work and their living conditions are poor. The roads are in bad conditions. There is no safe drinking water. What will you do?                                         

Most of the people in villages are underemployed and unemployed. Their standard of living is very poor. The government policies have failed to remove the poor condition of rural people. High growth alone is not sufficient to reduce poverty. Without the active participation of poor, no successful implementation of programmes is possible. Implementation of poverty alleviation programmes requires active involvement of poor. This is possible through a process of social mobilization encouraging poor people to participate and get them empowered. It will also create employment opportunities, which may lead to increase in levels of income, skill development, health and literacy. It is necessary to identify poverty striken areas and provide infrastructure such as schools, roads, power, telecom, information technology, training institutes. The villagers can get help from Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojna etc.


In the post-independent period, the government attempted to work out a mechanism to indentify a study group. In 1979, a task force on projections of minimum needs and effective consumption demands was formed. In 1989, an 'Expert Group' was constituted for the same purpose. Individual economists have also attempted to develop the mechanism and estimated the number of poor.

These mechanisms do not satisfactorily identify the poor households in the country. These mechanisms have taken consumption expenditure on food and a few select items as proxy for income. This mechanism is helpful in identifying the poor as a group to be taken care of by the government. There are factors other than income and assets which are associated with poverty. It does not help in identifying factors that cause and sustain poverty.