Skip to main content

World Bank's full marks to UPA? Poverty rates "sharply reduced" in 2005-12, despite severe drought in 2009-10

By Rajiv Shah
A new World Bank study, released ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi completing two years in office, has said that the India’s national poverty rates fell much more sharply between 2005 and 2012, when the UPA government ruled the country, compared the decade between 1994 and 2005.
The study, carried out by Ambar Narayan and Rinku Murgai, and circulated as a policy research paper, says that poverty rates “decreased from 45 to 37 percent of the population between 1994 and 2005”, and “fell a further 15 percentage points in the next seven years, with similar patterns seen in both rural and urban areas”.
“This was a three‐fold increase in pace, as the country reduced poverty by 2.2 percentage points per year during 2005‐12, relative to the 0.7 percentage point per year decline between 1994 and 2005”, the World Bank study, titled “Looking Back on Two Decades of Poverty and Well-Being in India”, says.
Even during the period between 2005 and 2012, the study says, there were “two distinct phases: a moderate rate of poverty reduction till 2010 (which was still more than twice the rate of change seen between 1994 and 2005), followed by sharp and unprecedented reduction between 2010 and 2012.”
The study underlines, “Some of this volatility needs to be seen in the context of 2009‐10 being a year of particularly severe droughts, which is likely to have dampened the gains between 2005 and 2010 and conversely, accentuated the apparent progress from 2010 to 2012 as the economy rebounded to its ‘trend’ performance.”
In absolute numbers, the study, while accounting for the rise in population, says that the number of poor people remained “stubbornly high” at over 400 million in the eleven years between 1994 and 2005. However, in the next seven years, 137 million people (roughly 20 million per year) escaped poverty”, with 270 million people living in poverty in 2012.
“Poverty reduction in India was fueled by rising consumption levels, while consumption inequality remained more or less stable since 2005”, the study says, adding, “Consumption inequality measured by the Gini coefficient, after rising appreciably between 1994 and 2005, has remained almost unchanged in both rural and urban areas since then.”
“Consumption growth of the bottom 40% averaged an anemic 0.8 percent per year between 1994 and 2005, and increased four‐fold to 3.3 percent per year between 2005 and 2012, averaging more than 5 percent annually during the last two years of this period”, the study says.
“With upward mobility, the middle class has expanded sharply and is the fastest growing group between 2005 and 2012”, the study says, adding, “The middle class increased from 23 percent to 34 percent of the population.”
Coming to “non‐monetary dimensions of welfare”, the study says, “Between 2005 and 2012, significant improvements occurred in infant and child (under age 5) mortality rates, literacy rate among working adults, and the share of children under age 5 who are not underweight.”
“The decline in illiteracy among adults – from 38 percent in 2005 to 30 percent in 2012 – is matched by a 9 percent increase in the share of adults who have completed secondary education or more during this period”, the study says.
It adds, “This indicates a positive trend of skilling of the Indian labour force as secondary school enrollments and completion have increased over the years. This trend could also have an impact in terms of reducing vulnerability.”
However, it regrets, “Progress in access to piped water, sanitation and reducing stunting among children under age 5 has been much slower.”
---
Download study HERE

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.