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Poverty in India

Poverty line is identified in terms of per capita consumption expenditure required to get the minimum calorie intake. As per the Indian planning commission, poverty line is drawn on the basis of barest minimum desirable nutritional standards of 2,400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 2,100 calories for urban areas. The Planning Commission has been estimating the incidence of poverty at the national as well as state levels. For this, it uses large sample surveys on household consumer expenditure conducted once in 5 years by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). NSSO uses two types of recall periods:

Uniform Recall Period (URP)

It uses 30-day recall/reference period for all items of consumption.

Mixed Recall Period (MRP)

It uses 365 day recall/reference period for 5 infrequently purchased non food items viz., clothing, footwear, durable goods, education and institutional medical expenses


All India
The Planning Commission, the nodal agency for estimating the number and proportion of people living below poverty line, has constituted an Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Prof. Suresh D. Tendulkar, which submitted its report in December 2009. The committee recommended that poverty estimates should be based on MRP based NSSO data on private household consumption expenditure and not on the basis of calorie intake. According to which, if a person living in rural and his monthly consumption expenditure is less than ₹ 446.68 and ₹ 578.80 in urban areas, according to 2004-05 prices is considered to be poor. According to which there are 37.2 % of the total population living below poverty line. Though there is a considerable fall of 8.1% in poverty data compared to 1993-94, which was 45.3%, Malnutrition is very high. Around 46% children below 3 years of age are underweight and malnourished in 2005-06.
The Human Development Report (HDR) 2010 measures poverty in terms of Multidimensional Poverty Line (MPI). MPI shows the share of population which is poor in terms of living standards, health and education. Accordingly India’s poverty index is 0.283 with a rank of 119 out of 169 countries.

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