Q.10) Poverty is still the biggest challenge for good governance in India still today. Evaluate how far successive governments have progressed in dealing with this humongous problem. Suggest measures for improvement. (15 mark) (250 words)

The Indian economy is booming. Despite this, poverty in India is very high. According to 2011 government data, 65 million Indians live in places lacking basic amenities, putting them at danger of diseases and hunger, both of which can be fatal.

Progress of successive governments in Poverty alleviation:

  • Poverty reduction: Between 2006 and 2016, India moved 271 million people out of poverty, according to a UNDP report.
  • Less poverty: According to the World Bank, India’s yearly growth rate has exceeded 7% for the last 15 years, halving poverty during the 1990s. Between 2011 and 2015, the World Bank calculated that the percentage of individuals living on less than $1.90 per day fell from 21.6 percent to 13.4 percent.
  • In 2018, India no longer has the world’s most acute poverty. The Brookings Institution says extreme poverty is declining in India.

Poverty persists in India:

  • 364 million people are below the poverty line in India.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic has pushed over 100 million more workers into poverty worldwide, the UN labour agency ILO’s annual World Employment and Social Outlook 2021 report.
  • 50% of the population identified as “multidimensionally poor”.

Measures for improvement

  • Building human resource capacity, access to education and health services, and empowering the underprivileged through partnerships are vital.
  • Empowerment of women and girls must be a priority. India’s poor nutrition outcomes are a result of long-standing inequality against women and girls.
  • The most vulnerable populations must be prioritised in policymaking: newborns, children under five, school-aged children, adolescent girls, and women.
  • Capacity building and transparency at the local government level can improve outcomes, as can focusing MGNREGA activities on generating productivity and income-enhancing community assets.

The National Food Security Act, the Mid-day Meal Scheme, and MGNREGA have all been implemented by the government. 

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