SDG 1: No Poverty

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Heading About
Global Picture
  • The fact that global poverty is sliding down can be of little comfort as there is a deceleration in the reduction of extreme poverty
  • Almost 10% of people lived below the poverty line in 2015. However, even with declining poverty rates, it is estimated that in 2030, almost 6% of the world's population would be still living in poverty
  • Acute deprivation, exclusionary processes accentuated by natural calamities conspire to make poverty persist
  • Social protection systems help by ameliorating distress and creating conditions to exit poverty, but often do not reach all intended people or are not enough to meet the goals
    • For instance, even having a job could not help 8% of the world's workers to escape extreme poverty in 2018
    • Only 22% of the unemployed persons access unemployment benefits, only 28% of the severely disabled persons make use of disability benefits and just 41% of new mothers access maternity benefits
  • On the other hand, natural disasters are causing deaths and economic loss in many countries, often reversing poverty escapes by vulnerable groups

Indian Picture
  • A multipronged strategy is in place to eliminate poverty, which lies at the core of India's national development agenda
  • Maintaining an average annual GDP growth rate of 8% in real terms is a critical element of the strategy for the creation of remunerative jobs for new entrants to the labor market as well as those facing redundancy in agriculture or other sectors
  • Secondly, targeted programs facilitate income growth for the economically disadvantaged by developing agriculture infrastructure and support services, creating productive assets, and developing skills and entrepreneurship
  • Social protection measures and mitigation of risks from natural and other disasters ensure that unforeseen exigencies do not disrupt the poverty reduction efforts

Measures Taken by the Indian Government
  • Extreme and Multidimensional Poverty
    • As a result of consistent endeavors, extreme poverty, as measured by the World Bank's International Poverty line, has plummeted from 21.2% in 2011 to 13.4% in 2015
    • Multidimensional poverty also came down by half to 27.5% between 2005- 06 and 2015-16, leading to over 271 million people climbing out of poverty
    • Deprivations significantly reduced in all 10 indicators
      • Nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, and assets
    • India demonstrated clear pro-poor pattern at the sub-national level; poverty reduction in rural areas outpaced that in urban areas
    • Improvement in average attainment in all the above 10 indicators among the bottom, 40% exceeded that among the total population
  • Social Protection and Safety Nets
    • Rural workers are protected against unemployment to the extent of at least 100 days of wage employment per household in a year under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
      • In addition to providing employment guarantee, the program helps build up agricultural infrastructure and productive assets, which improves rural livelihoods opportunities
      • The scheme generated over 2.7 billion person-days of employment during 2018-19 and 1 billion person-days of employment so far during 2019-20
      • A sizeable number of beneficiaries are women, and from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, respectively, accessing 55% and 38% of person-days of work generated during 2018-19
  • Access to Basic Services
    • Access to a range of financial services including banking, credit, insurance, and pension of vulnerable communities are provided under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
      • As many as 377 million accounts have been opened this far with deposits amounting to INR 1079 billion
      • PMJDY also enables direct benefit transfer to the accounts of beneficiaries and improves the effectiveness of social security provisions
    • Universalising primary healthcare is strengthened with the initiation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) program
      • Nearly 1,50,000 Sub-Centres and Primary Health Centres would be transformed into Health and Wellness Centres by 2022 to provide comprehensive, affordable, and quality primary care close to the community, thereby ensuring inclusivity and equity
    • The complementing component under the program, Ayushman Bharat, aims to provide 500 million beneficiaries from over 100 million poor and vulnerable families with health insurance coverage up to INR 5,00,000 per family per year for secondary and tertiary institutional care
      • Under the program, 89.4 million people have already been enrolled, and 3.4 million already accessed the services
    • Disadvantaged and vulnerable persons, including the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities accessed pension under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) under which INR 200 billion was disbursed to 243 million beneficiaries in 2018-19
      • Initiatives have been launched to facilitate access to life insurance, personal accident insurance as well as pension for workers in the unorganized sector
    • Access to safe housing is a critical part of essential services, which is ensured under the initiative “Housing for All by 2022
      • The economically disadvantaged households are provided with financial assistance for constructing houses equipped with basic amenities
    • Access to electricity for all households in the country has been achieved under the Saubhagya scheme
  • Building Resilience
    • India is prone to a multitude of natural disasters
    • Close to 60% of the landmass has a seismic vulnerability, 12% is vulnerable to floods and river erosion; as much as 76% of its rambling coastline of more than 7500 km is exposed to cyclones and tsunamis; while a little above two-thirds of its cultivable area is vulnerable to droughts
    • The risks of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material (CBRN) emergencies, and other human-error disasters also remain high
    • As mandated under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the National Policy on Disaster Management (2009) is in place, which calls for proactive prevention, mitigation, and preparedness-driven approach and marks a paradigm shift from the previous relief-centric strategy
    • The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) focuses on disaster resilience and integrates the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as well as the SDGs
  • Implementation Challenge
    • The commitment of the government to eradicate poverty can be realized if initiatives of States/ Union Territories complement actions at the national levels
    • There is a need for greater coordination among the Centrally Sponsored/ Central Sector schemes, the State government schemes, and the local development initiatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies
  • The Regional Disparities
    • The States of India reflect enormous socio-economic diversities and disparities. Much of India's poverty is concentrated in rural areas and in low-income States
    • The difference among the States/ UTs in terms of the proportion of people living below the poverty line is stark: Chhattisgarh has 39.93% of people living below poverty while the corresponding figure for Andaman & Nicobar Islands is 1%
    • Between 2004-05 to 2011-12, the percentage of people below the poverty line has decreased significantly from 13.8% to 5% in Goa
    • However, Chhattisgarh has seen only a marginal reduction, from 40.9% to 39.93%
  • Rapid Urbanisation
    • While bringing a range of economic benefits, rapid urbanization has brought with its enormous challenges, most noticeably in the form of demand-supply gaps in housing, infrastructure, employment, and other economic opportunities and services
Best and Worst Performers
  • Best: Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir
  • Worst: Jharkhand and Dadar and Nagar Haveli

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