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Multidimensional Poverty in India

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • NITI Aayog has released its discussion paper‘Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005-06’.
About Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

·       The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) serves as a comprehensive global measure designed to capture poverty in diverse dimensions beyond the conventional monetary indicators.

·       It consists of three equally weighted dimensions: Health, Education, and Standard of living, which are delineated by 12 indicators.

·       The index has been adapted to reflect national priorities by incorporating two additional indicators—Maternal Health and Bank Accounts.


Understanding Poverty

·       Poverty is a multifaceted condition characterized by a lack of financial resources and essentials required for a minimal standard of living.

·       Individuals and families experiencing poverty may face challenges such as inadequate housing, lack of clean water, insufficient access to healthy food, and limited medical attention.

·       Poverty is not only an individual concern but also a broader social issue that requires comprehensive interventions.

·       Government welfare programs play a crucial role in alleviating poverty, recognizing that it is influenced by various factors beyond income alone.



Key Findings

  • India has witnessed a noteworthy reduction in multidimensional poverty, with a decline from 29.17% in 2013-14 to 11.28% in 2022-23, marking a substantial reduction of 17.89 percentage points.
  • Uttar Pradesh stands out with the largest decline, as 5.94 crore individuals escaped multidimensional poverty over the last nine years. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan also demonstrated significant progress.
  • The exponential method used for calculating the poverty headcount ratio revealed a faster pace of decline between 2015-16 to 2019-21 (10.66% annual rate) compared to the period from 2005-06 to 2015-16 (7.69% annual rate).
  • All 12 indicators of the MPI exhibited substantial improvement during the study period, indicating progress across various dimensions.
  • Government initiatives addressing different aspects of poverty contributed to 24.82 crore individuals escaping multidimensional poverty in the last nine years.
  • The optimistic trajectory suggests that India is on track to achieve its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of halving multidimensional poverty well before the 2030 deadline.


Government Interventions to Reduce MPI

  • Poshan Abhiyan and Anaemia Mukt Bharat: These initiatives have played a pivotal role in enhancing access to health facilities, resulting in a significant reduction in health-related deprivation.
  • National Food Security Act (NFSA): The NFSA has ensured the provision of foodgrains to 81.35 crore beneficiaries, covering 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population.
  • Mission Poshan 2.0 and Saksham Anganwadi: These missions have made substantial contributions to fostering a healthier India by implementing key schemes like POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anganwadi Services, and the Scheme for Adolescent Girls.
  • Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN): As the world’s largest school feeding scheme, PM POSHAN aims to address the dual challenges of improving the nutritional status and school enrolment of children.
  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan: This initiative focuses on improving maternal health by offering assured, comprehensive, and quality antenatal care to all pregnant women on the 9th of each month.
  • PM Ujjwala Yojana: With an impressive distribution of 10 crore LPG connections benefiting 31 crore individuals, this initiative not only provides clean cooking fuel but also protects women from chronic respiratory disorders.
  • Saubhagya: Saubhagya has achieved almost 100% electricity coverage, benefiting an additional 2.86 crore households and eliminating the need for kerosene lamps, thereby improving respiratory health and eyesight.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM): These missions have created a nationwide wave of improved sanitation facilities, providing 14 crores tap water connections and constructing 11.33 crore Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) in rural areas.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): PMJDY has been a transformative force, witnessing the opening of over 50 crore bank accounts in recent years and bringing a significant section of the population into the formal financial system.
  • PM Awas Yojana: Revolutionizing living conditions in both urban and rural areas, PM Awas Yojana has facilitated the construction of over 4 crore homes for the underprivileged.

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