Poverty Rate in India declined significantly from 21.2% to 8.5%

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A research paper by the economic think tank NCAER has revealed a significant decline in poverty in India, estimating a decrease from 21.2% in 2011-12 to 8.5% in 2022-24, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The paper, titled ‘Rethinking Social Safety Nets in a Changing Society’, authored by Sonalde Desai of NCAER, utilized data from the newly completed Wave 3 of the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) as well as data from Waves 1 and 2 of the IHDS.

Trends in Poverty Decline:

The paper highlighted that poverty declined notably between 2004-2005 and 2011-12, and this downward trend continued between 2011-12 and 2022-24, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. It emphasized the need for nimble social protection programs in response to the dynamic climate created by economic growth and poverty decline.

Shift in Strategies:

Traditional strategies aimed at addressing chronic poverty may be becoming less effective as accidents of birth become less important than accidents of life. This shift underscores the need for social protection systems to keep pace with the rapid social transformation, presenting a key challenge for India as it strives towards equitable development.

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Impact of Economic Growth:

The paper suggested that during an era of economic growth, the long-term determinants of poverty may decline while accidents of life associated with natural disasters, illness, and changes in occupation-specific opportunities become more important. It noted that accidents of birth are more likely to affect long-term chronic poverty, whereas accidents of life may have a transitory effect on moving in and out of poverty.

Recent Findings and Data:

NITI Aayog CEO B V R Subrahmanyam indicated that the latest consumer expenditure survey suggests a decline in poverty to 5% in the country, with increasing prosperity in both rural and urban areas. Additionally, data from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) revealed a significant increase in per capita monthly household expenditure in 2022-23 as compared to 2011-12.

Poverty Thresholds:

The poverty line recommended by the Tendulkar Committee Report was adjusted to Rs 860 and Rs 1,000 for 2011-12, differing between rural and urban areas. These adjustments reflect the evolving landscape of poverty in India.

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Conclusion:

The decline in poverty rates in India amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic reflects the complex interplay of economic growth, social transformation, and the evolving nature of poverty. As India progresses towards equitable development, the adaptation of social protection systems and strategies remains paramount in addressing the changing dynamics of poverty.

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