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Positive Trends in Multidimensional Poverty Reduction in India


The NITI Aayog’s recent Discussion Paper, “Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005-06,” reveals encouraging progress, with 24.82 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty over the past nine years. The paper draws on data from the National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) conducted in 2005-06, 2015-16, and 2019-21 to analyze the long-term trends in poverty.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)
  2. Key Highlights of the Multidimensional Poverty Index in India Since 2005-2006
  3. NITI Aayog

National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

Dimensions and Indicators:

  • Measures deprivations across three equally weighted dimensions: Health, Education, and Standard of Living.
  • Represented by 12 Sustainable Development Goals-aligned indicators.

Inclusive Indicators:

  • Indicators include Nutrition, Child and Adolescent mortality, Maternal Health, Years of schooling, School Attendance, Cooking fuel, Sanitation, Drinking water, Electricity, Housing, Assets, and Bank Accounts.

Global Methodology:

  • MPI utilizes the robust Alkire and Foster (AF) method on a global scale.
  • Identifies poverty based on universally acknowledged metrics, providing a comprehensive view beyond conventional monetary poverty measures.

Key Highlights of the Multidimensional Poverty Index in India Since 2005-2006

Significant Reduction in Multidimensional Poverty:

  • India witnessed a substantial decrease in multidimensional poverty from 29.17% in 2013-14 to 11.28% in 2022-23, marking a decline of 17.89 percentage points.
  • Approximately 24.82 crore people escaped multidimensional poverty in the last nine years, credited to government initiatives.

State-wise Progress:

  • Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan experienced the sharpest decline in the number of people classified as poor according to the MPI.
  • Uttar Pradesh led with 5.94 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty, followed by Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Improvement in All 12 MPI Indicators:

  • All 12 indicators of the MPI exhibited significant improvement, reflecting progress in Health, Education, and Standard of Living dimensions.

Severity of Deprivation (SoD) Trends:

  • SoD declined at a slightly lower rate between 2015-16 and 2019-21 compared to 2005-06 and 2013-14.
  • Reduction in the share of MPI poor out of the total population accelerated after 2015-16, indicating faster progress.

Progress Towards SDG Target 1.2:

  • India is on track to achieve SDG Target 1.2 well before 2030.
  • Indicators related to the standard of living dimension showed significant improvements, including reduced deprivation in cooking fuel, sanitation facilities, and access to bank accounts.

Impact of Government Initiatives:

  • Initiatives like Poshan Abhiyan and Anemia Mukt Bharat have improved healthcare access, leading to decreased deprivation.
  • Flagship programs, such as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, and PM Awas Yojana, have contributed to financial inclusion and safe housing for the underprivileged.

Comprehensive Government Programs:

  • Food Security programs like the Targeted Public Distribution System cover 81.35 crore beneficiaries.
  • Decisions like extending free food grain distribution under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for five more years showcase the government’s commitment.
  • Various campaigns, including Swachh Bharat Mission and Jal Jeevan Mission, have collectively elevated living conditions and well-being.

NITI Aayog

Establishment and Purpose:

  • NITI Aayog, established on January 1, 2015, replaced the Planning Commission.
  • Emphasis on a ‘Bottom-Up’ approach, reflecting the vision of “Maximum Governance, Minimum Government” and promoting ‘Cooperative Federalism.’

Team India Hub:

  • Serves as an interface facilitating collaboration between States and the Centre.
  • Aims to foster cooperation and coordination in the planning and execution of policies and programs.

Knowledge and Innovation Hub:

  • Focuses on enhancing the think-tank capabilities of NITI Aayog.
  • Engages in research, innovation, and knowledge creation to inform policy formulation and decision-making.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024