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India has achieved 44% reduction in the percentage of poor people between 2001 and 2011: PEW Survey

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

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Between 2001 and 2011, India has managed to reduce the percentage of people below poverty line by almost a half.

According to the survey conducted by the PEW Research Center, around 35.4% Indians were below poverty line in 2001, which has been reduced to just 19.8% in 2011. That means, a percentage point change of (-15.6) or a reduction of 44% in the percentage of poor people. Indeed, it is a huge leap for the country.

This reduction in poverty can also be seen across the globe as percentage of poor people reduced from 29% in 2001 to 15% in 2011.

In terms of absolute numbers, India’s population grew from 1.028 billion in 2001 to 1.21 billion in 2011. For the same period, the number of poor people reduced from 364 million to around 240 million.

This is a good sign as far as India is concerned. It comes as an affirmation of the success of its poverty alleviation programs.

India has been struggling to overcome poverty right from its Independence days. According to the estimates published by B.S.Minhas, the Indian poverty rate was around 65% during 1956-57. Since Independence, successive governments have implemented various measures to uplift people out of poverty.

Taking note of India’s efforts at poverty reduction, the World Bank’s Global Monitoring Report for 2014-15 had stated that India has been the biggest contributor to poverty reduction between 2008 and 2011, with around 140 million or so lifted out of absolute poverty.

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The PEW survey divided the world population into five categories based on their income levels: Poor, Low income, Middle income, Upper-middle income and High income. It categorized people with per capita daily earning less than $2 under “Poor”. Similarly, people earning between $2.01 and $10 were put under “Low income” and those earning between $10.01 and $20 were put under “Middle income”. The people with per capita income above $20 and up to $50 were put under “Upper-middle income” and those earning above $50 were put in “High income” category.

Therefore, the percentage of Indians earning less than $2 a day now stands at 19.8%. But, this reduction in poverty isn’t getting reflected as increase in the middle-income class. Instead, a large chunk of people have moved to low income category.

Percentage of people in low income category was 62.9% in 2001. It has increased to 76.9% in 2011. That is, a percentage point increase of 14, showing that a majority of poor people have made a transition to low-income level.

The percentage of middle income population rose to 2.6% in 2011, from 1.4% in 2001, showing only a marginal rise of 1.2 percentage point in middle income people. The rise is even lesser in case of upper-middle income and high income population with only a percentage point rise of 0.3 and 0.1 respectively.

The global percentage point change for various categories has been as follows: Poor (-14), Low income (6), Middle income (6), Upper-middle income (2) and High income (1).

Therefore, the trend in India is in line with global trend. Both in India and around the world, there has been a large transition of people from poverty to low income levels. The transition of people into middle income level has been moderate and the transition is only marginal in case of upper-middle income and high income levels.

The Indian government should take the results of this survey into consideration and focus its efforts not only on poverty alleviation programs, but also on ways in which people can increase their income levels.

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

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It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

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President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)