Economics Notes (Class 11)

CBSE Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 Poverty

Written by cbselearners
Relative poverty refers to the poverty of people in comparison to other people in different region or nations.

Absolute Poverty

Absolute poverty refers to the total number of people living below the poverty line.

Absolute poverty is measured on the basis of two criteria:-

  1. Minimum Calories Consumption Criteria
  2. Minimum Consumption Expenditure Criteria

1. Minimum Calories Consumption:- People who are not getting 2400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 2100 calories in an urban area is considered to be living below the poverty line.

2. Minimum Consumption Expenditure Criteria:- The new poverty line, thus, translates to a monthly per capita consumption expenditure of Rs 972 in rural areas and Rs 1,407 in urban areas in 2011-12. Or, Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 47 in urban areas on a per capita daily basis.

Poverty Line

Poverty line refers to that line which expresses per capita average monthly expenditure that is essentially required by the people to satisfy their minimum needs. As per the Tendulkar committee, the poverty line is estimated on a monthly basis as Rs. 816 in rural areas and Rs. 1000 in urban areas. People who are not able to earn even such amount in a month are considered below the poverty line.
According to a survey, approx. 22% population in India is below the poverty line.
Estimation of the poverty line:
Calories based estimation— For rural area intake calorie was estimated at 2,400 calories and for the urban area it is 2,100 calories,
In 1999-2000 new ways of measuring started i.e. monthly per capita expenditure–it estimates for the rural area as consumption worth Rs. 816 per persons and for urban areas it is Rs. 1000 Presently as per Tendulkar committee.
Three approaches of govt to combat poverty.

Approach towards Poverty

  • Enhancing Economic Growth
  • Specific Programmes for Poverty Alleviation
  • Fulfilling Minimum Needs of the poor
Vicious Circle of Poverty:- It refers to the situation of self-reinforcing forces in which there are certain factors that are related in a circular way and results in the continuation of poverty and under development.

Causes of Poverty

  1. The rapid increase in population.
  2. Low level of National product.
  3. The rise in price.
  4. Unemployment.
  5. The low rate of growth.
  6. Capital deficiency.
  7. Rural Indebtedness
  8. Exploitation under British rule
  9. Low education
  10. Inflationary Pressure
  11. High Level of Migration from  rural areas
  12. Failure to implement land reforms.

Measures adopted by the Government to remove Poverty

  1. Food for work programme.
  2. Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana.
  3. Pradhan Mantri Gramodoya Yojana.
  4. Sompoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana.
  5. Swarn Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana.
  6. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
  7. Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana

Programme adopted by Govt. to help elderly and poor people and also destitute women

  1. National social assistance programme which includes the National Old Age Pension Scheme, National Family Benefit Scheme, National Maternity benefit scheme.
  2. Annapurna Yojana
  3. On the job training

NCERT Solutions

Question 1. Why calorie – the based norm is not adequate to identify the poor?
Answer. the Calorie-based norm for identifying poor focuses on a single aspect, i.e. consumption of food. While it can be an ideal tool to identify all the poor as a group, it cannot reveal other aspects of poverty. It cannot help in identifying those poor who really need assistance.
Question 2. What is meant by ‘Food for Work’ programme?
Answer. ‘Food for Work’ programme involves those programmes which provide predefined minimum wages to the poor in lieu of some work. MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is an example of ‘Food for Work’ programme.
Question 3. Why are employment generation programmes important in poverty alleviation in India?
Answer. Employment generation programmes assist the poor people in becoming self-employed. It is assumed that once a person becomes employed, he can develop a regular source of income and may not need assistance in the long run. While financial help can have short-term benefits, employment generation programmes can have long-term benefits for poverty alleviation.
Question 4. How can the creation of income earning assets address the problem of poverty?
Answer. Once a person is able to create income earning assets, he would get a regular source of income. A regular source of income; no matter how small; can help a person in at least fulfilling the basic needs. Thus, the creation of income earning assets addresses the problem of poverty to some extent.
Question 5. The three-dimensional attack on poverty adopted by the government has not succeeded in poverty alleviation in India. Comment.
Answer. All the poverty alleviation programmes have definitely succeeded in addressing the issue. This is verified by the low level of poor people in villages as compared to the national average. But there are many factors which hamper in the all-out success of such programmes. Experts believe that low motivation, lack of training and susceptibility to corruption among the government and bank officials are the main reasons for the relatively less success of these programmes. Non-involvement of local institutions is another major factor. Last but not least, the resource allocation is unable to cope with the gargantuan scale of poverty in India.
Question 6. What programmes has the government adopted to help the elderly people and poor and destitute women?
Answer. The government has initiated the National Social Assistance Programme to help special groups of poor. Under this programme, elderly people who do not have anybody to take care are given financial assistance in the form of monthly pension. Destitute women and windows are also given similar assistance.
Question 7. Is there any relationship between unemployment and poverty? Explain.
Answer. Unemployment is a major reason for poverty. If a person is unemployed or suffers from seasonal of hidden unemployment, he may not earn enough meet even the basic needs. An unemployed person often falls in the vicious cycle of penury and debt trap and may not be able to come out of it.
Question 8. Suppose you are from a poor family and you wish to get help from the government to set up a petty shop. Under which scheme will you apply for assistance and why?
Answer. I will apply under the PMRY (Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojna) because this programme provides bank loans for starting a business.
Question 9. Illustrate the difference between rural and urban poverty. Is it correct to say that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas? Use the trends in poverty ratio to support your answer.
Answer. There are differences between rural and urban poverty. If we consider the calorie-based criteria then calorie requirement for a rural person has been kept at a higher level than that for an urban person. In 1973-74, more than 80% of poor in India lived in villages. This figure has come down significantly in 2003-04. At present, the percentage of poor in rural areas is less than that in urban areas. Large-scale migration from villages to cities; in search of alternate employment is cited as the main reason for this trend. Hence, this can be said that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas.
Question 10. Suppose you are a resident of a village, suggest a few measures to tackle the problem of poverty.
Answer. The best way to tackle the problem of poverty in a village is to generate employment avenues. People should be trained in vocational skills so that they can start some manufacturing units. For this, the banks should provide financial assistance. Those engaged in manufacturing should also be taught the importance of quality. These steps can help in reducing poverty in rural areas.


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