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Poverty Alleviation : The Task Ahead

Considered as a world wide problem since historic times, poverty can be defined as a condition where an individual or a community lacks the resources and the favourable environment to meet and fulfill the basic requirement of life.

Indian Scenario
Despite tireless & renewed efforts by the country since independence, poverty is still rampant in India. Still the country is the home for third of the total poor of the world.

The major causes of poverty in India are high population growth, unscientific agriculture practices, agrarian from of agriculture, illiteracy, unemployment, caste based politics, urban rural divide and discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and religion.

Initiative by the government

In order to alleviate poverty, the government has initiated a number of programmes such as providing subsidised food and other necessities, advanced agriculture methods and price support & loan scheme etc. Among the new flagship programmes launched, the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) was launched

in February 2006 & extended to several backward districts to provide assured wage employment to the rural poors. The objective of the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (launched in April 1999) was to bring the daily wages earners above the poverty line by providing them income generating tools through government subsidy and bank credit. In addition to these, the government is about to complete a legislation to provide food entitlement to both rural and urban poor. This would for sure provide a more safe and reliable place to the poor in the society.

World Bank Report

As per a recently released World Bank Report, India is indicating a slow & steady progress against poverty since the 1980's. It shows the poverty rate declining at a little under one percent point per year.

In order to attain a higher & faster rate of poverty alleviation, India will have to insure to ensure the active participation of the poor people in the growth process. Poverty alleviation process is expected to attain a comparative higher role in the coming 50 years than as a trickle down effect of the growing middle class. Apart from this development in the field of education, employment, women empowerment and uplifting of the weaker section of the society would certainly contribute in the poverty alleviation.

Importance from the examination point of view

i) Short Notes - MGNREGS, SGSY ii) Related Topic - Main - 1994 - Paper II Can excessive economic backwardness itself is a cause of excess population. iii) What are the various causes of poverty in India. Discuss in brief various initiatives taken by the government to alleviate the same. iv) Short Essay - Poverty and its causes in India.

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