Fourth of global ‘extreme poors’ in just eight Indian states

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New Delhi: Over a fourth of the world’s people living in extreme poverty, or 440 million out of the global figure of 1.6 billion, are in just eight Indian states, parliament was informed on Thursday.

These states are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

“As per Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released on June 22 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, approximately 440 million MPI poor people are living in poorest eight major Indian states out of total 1.6 billion people globally.

“The multi-dimensional poverty headcount ratio is calculated as the ratio of the number of households who are ‘multi-dimensionally poor’ to the total number of households,” Rao Inderjit Singh, minister of state (independent charge) for planning and minister of state for defence, told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The multi-dimensional poverty headcount ratio is calculated as the ratio of the number of households who are ‘multi-dimensionally poor’ to the total number of households. A household is defined as multi-dimensionally poor if it is deprived in some combination of two to six ‘indicators’ (or more than 30 percent of the weighted indicators) from among a list of 10 indicators in the areas of education, health and living standard.

The indicators are – years of schooling and child enrolment in the area of education, child mortality and nutrition in the area of health, and electricity, sanitation, drinking water, floor space, cooking fuel and assets in the area of living standard.

The methodology for estimation of poverty followed by the erstwhile Planning Commission was based on the recommendations made by the experts in the field from time to time, the minister informed.

These poverty estimates have been computed from the Large Sample Surveys on Household Consumer Expenditure carried out by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

These surveys are normally conducted once in five years. The latest data of Large Sample Survey on Household Consumer Expenditure has been collected by NSSO in its 68th round conducted in 2011-12.

In another written answer, the minister said according to the 2011-12 survey, about 270 million persons are living below poverty line in the country.

He, however, mentioned that according to the Cabinet Secretariat Resolution dated January 1, 2015 NITI Aayog has not been given a specific mandate to undertake a national survey to determine the number of people living below the poverty line.

 

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