These NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge Questions and Answers are prepared by our highly skilled subject experts to help students while preparing for their exams.
Poverty as a Challenge NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3
Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge InText Questions and Answers
Discuss the following:
Why do different countries use different poverty lines? (Textbook Page 32)
Different countries use different poverty lines because the calorie requirement of different human races is different depending on their physical condition and eating habits. Also, the per capita income in different countries is different. It is higher in developed countries as compared to developing countries. A person not having a car in the United States may be considered poor, but in India, owning a car is still considered a luxury.
What do you think would be the ‘minimum necessary level’ in your locality? (Textbook Page 32)
The ‘minimum necessary level’ in my locality should be ₹ 2000 per person per month.
Study Table 3.1 given below and answer the following questions:
Table 1: Estimates of Poverty in India
Source: Economic Survey 2013-14, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
Even if the poverty ratio declined between 1993-94 and 2004-05, why did the number of poor remain at about 407 million? (Textbook Page 33)
The reason is that the population of the country kept on increasing during the same period. A good number of them got jobs due to the establishment of more industries and the growth of the tertiary sector. This caused a decline in the poverty ratio.
Are the dynamics of poverty reduction the same in rural and urban India? (Textbook Page 33)
- No, It is because the conditions in rural and urban areas are completely different. In urban areas, employment opportunities have increased due to the expansion of the tertiary sector and increased industrialization.
- This has encouraged rural people to migrate to urban areas.
- Poverty in rural areas has reduced due to improved agricultural practices. This has enabled the rural people to earn a higher income.
Observe some of the poor families around you and try to find the following:
Which social and economic group do they belong to? (Textbook Page 35)
A few poor families live around our colony. All these families are living below the poverty line and belong to the lowest socio-economic group.
Who are the earning members in the family? (Textbook Page 35)
Both husbands and wives do hard work from dawn to dusk to earn money. Most of them are working as casual labourers at construction sites.
What is the condition of the old people in the family? (Textbook Page 35)
The condition of the old people in these families is very pathetic. They are physically weak and suffering from old age diseases. They are leading a very tough life due to a lack of proper care and medical aid.
Are all the children (boys and girls) attending schools? (Textbook Page 35)
Only boys are attending schools. Girls stay at home to help their parents with household work.
Study the graph given below and do the following.
Graph: Poverty Ratio in the Selected Indian States, 2011-2012
Source: Economic Survey 2013-14, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
Identify the three states where the poverty ratio is the highest. (Textbook Page 36)
Bihar, Odisha, and Assam.
Identify the three states where the poverty ratio is the lowest. (Textbook Page 36)
Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab.
Study the graph given below and do the following.
Graph: Number of poor by region ($1.25 per day) in millions
Source: World Development Indicators 2014, The World Bank.
Identify the areas of the world, where poverty ratios have declined. (Textbook Page 37)
South Asia, East Asia, and Pacific and China.
Identify the areas of the globe which has the largest concentration of the poor. (Textbook Page 37)
South Asia has the largest concentration of the poor.
Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge Textbook Questions and Answers
Describe how the poverty line is estimated in India.
In India, the poverty line is estimated considering the following factors required for subsistence:
- A minimum level of food requirement
- Fuel and light
- Educational and medical requirements, etc.
These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices in rupees. The present formula for food requirements while estimating the poverty line is based on the desired calorie requirement. On the basis of these calculations, for the year 2011-12, the poverty line for a person was fixed at ₹ 816 per month for the rural areas and ₹ 1000 for the urban areas. People earning more than this amount are considered above the poverty line and those earning less than this amount are considered below the poverty line.
Do you think that the present methodology of poverty estimation is appropriate?
I don’t think that the present methodology of poverty estimation is appropriate because it only takes economic factors into view and leaves other important factors like health care, self-confidence, gender equality, etc. The present methodology of poverty estimation does not look appropriate from yet another point of view. It considers a ‘minimum’ subsistence level of living rather than a ‘reasonable level of living. Poverty has many facets. It will be wrong to confine it to economic factors only. With the passage of time, the definition of Constitution poverty has changed.
Now many scholars have broadened the concept into human poverty. A large number of people may have been able to feed themselves but if they lack education, job security, self-confidence, dignity, gender equality, they are considered poor. If we really want to remove poverty, we will have to take into consideration many points along with income. We will have to provide the people with health care, education and job security, gender equality and dignity to all are also important points which need to be achieved.
Describe poverty trends in India since 1973.
- There is a substantial decline in poverty ratios in India from about 55 percent in 1973 to 45 percent in 1993.
- The proportion of people below the poverty line further came down 45 percent in 1993-94 to 37.2 percent in 2004-05.
- This proportion further came down to about 21.9 percent in 2011-12.
If the trend continues, people below the poverty line may come down to less than 20 percent in the next few years. Although the percentage of people living under poverty declined in the earlier two decades (1973-1993), the number of poor declined from 407.1 million in 2004-05 to 269.3 million in 2011-12.
Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India.
The major reasons for poverty in India are given below:
(i) The economic development under the British colonial administration was at a low level. The policies of the colonial government ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged the development of industries like textiles. The low rate of growth remained till the Nineteen-eighties. As a result, job opportunities became less. The promotion of economic growth would have changed the scenario but it could not be done.
(ii) The ever-increasing population is also a major reason for poverty in our country. Population control measures failed to achieve the desired goal. This perpetuated the cycle of poverty.
(iii) There are huge income inequalities in our country. One of the major reasons for this is the unequal distribution of land and other resources. Major policy initiatives like land reforms which aimed at the redistribution of assets in rural areas have not been implemented properly and effectively by most of the state governments.
(iv) The socio-cultural and economic factors are also responsible for poverty. People in India, including the very poor, spend a lot of money on religious ceremonies.
(v) Small farmers have hardly any savings. So, they borrow money to buy agricultural inputs like seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, etc. Unable to repay, they become victims of indebtedness which pushes them into poverty.
Identify the social and economic groups which are most vulnerable to poverty in India.
- Social groups which are most vulnerable to poverty in India are scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households.
- Among the economic groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural labour households and the urban casual labour households.
- In poor families, all suffer, but some suffer more than others. Women, elderly people, and female infants are the poorest of the poor because they are denied equal access to resources available to the family.
Give an account of interstate disparities of poverty in India.
(i) In India, we see interstate disparities of poverty. What this means is that the proportion of poor people is not the same in every state. Though there has been a decline in poverty in every state of India from the early seventies, the success rate of reducing poverty has varied from state to state. Many states and union territories have a poverty ratio less than the national average of 21.9. But there are also some states where the poverty ratios are higher than the national average.
(ii) Bihar and Odisha continue to be the two poorest states with poverty ratios of 33.7 and 37.6 percent respectively. Along with rural poverty, urban poverty is also high in states like Odisha, Mad¬hya Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.
(iii) States like Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and West Bengal show a significant decline in poverty. Punjab and Haryana have traditionally succeeded in reducing poverty with the help of high agricultural growth rates.
Describe global poverty trends.
(i) There has been a substantial reduction in global poverty but it is marked with great regional differences. Poverty declined substantially in China and Southeast Asian countries as a result of rapid economic growth and massive investments in human resource development. The number of poors in China has come down from 85 percent in 1981 to 14 percent in 2008 to 6 percent in 2011.
(ii) In countries of South Asia i.e. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, the decline has not been as rapid. Despite the decline in the percentage of the poor, the number of poor has declined marginally from 61 percent in 1981 to 36 percent in 2008.
(iii) In sub-Saharan Africa, poverty declined from 51 percent in 1981 to 47 percent in 2008. In Latin America, the ratio of poverty remained the same. It has declined from 11 percent in 1981 to 6.4 percent in 2008.
(iv) Poverty can also be seen again in some of the former socialist countries like Russia, where officially it was non-existent earlier.
Describe the current government strategy of poverty alleviation?
Removal of poverty has been a major objective of the Indian development strategy. The current anti-poverty strategy of the government is based on two planks:
- Promotion of economic growth
- Targeted anti-poverty programmes
(i) Promotion of economic growth: Since the eighties, India’s economic growth has been one of the fastest in the world. The growth rate jumped from an average of about 3.5 percent a year in the 1970s to about 6 percent during the 1980s and 1990s. The higher growth rates have helped significantly in the reduction of poverty.
(ii) Targeted anti-poverty programmes: The government has started many schemes for the removal of poverty. Some of them are:
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (MGNREGA) 2005 aims to provide 100 days of wage employment to every household to ensure livelihood security in rural areas.
- Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) was started in 1993 with an aim to create self-employment opportunities for educated unemployed youth in rural areas and small towns.
- Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) was launched in 1995. Its aim is to create self-employment opportunities in rural areas and small towns.
- Swamajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) was launched in 1999. The programme aims at bringing the assisted poor families above the poverty line by organising them into self-help groups through a mix of bank credit and government subsidies.
- Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Rozgar Yojana was launched in 2000. Under this scheme, additional central assistance is given to states for basic services such as primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water, and rural electrification.
Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) What do you understand by human poverty?
(ii) Who are the poorest of the poor?
(iii) What are the main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005?
(i) Human poverty is a concept that goes beyond the limited view of poverty which only focuses on lack of income. It is more concerned with a ‘reasonable level of living than a ‘minimum level of living. A large number of people may be able to feed themselves but if they lack education, health care, self-confidence, job security, dignity, etc. They are considered poor. Thus, the major components of human poverty are illiteracy, caste and gender discrimination, lack of proper health care and sanitation.
(ii) Women, children (especially the girl child), and old people are the poorest of the poor because they are systematically denied equal access to resources available to the family.
(iii) Main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005:
- The Act aims to provide 100 days of wage employment to every household to ensure livelihood security in rural areas.
- It also aims at sustainable development to address the cause of drought, deforestation, and soil erosion.
- One-third of the proposed jobs have been reserved for women.