Poverty alleviation refers to the set of measures and government interventions — both, economic & humanitarian — to lift people out of the vicious circle of poverty. It is the prerogative of the government of a country to ensure the well-being of its citizens by providing them opportunities to emerge out of poverty.
This can be done by fostering economic growth, which, in turn, will generate employment; thereby reducing poverty. Hence, a country needs to have a comprehensive poverty-reduction strategy. In India, governments since Independence, have been trying to implement schemes and strategies for employment generation and poverty reduction.
We will cover a few important ones in this article. But before that, let us first understand the concept of poverty.
Poverty is a condition wherein an individual lacks the financial resources & essential conditions for meeting the minimum standard of living. It refers to the condition wherein the economic condition of a person is so low that even the most basic needs are not met.
The two major types of poverty are Absolute Poverty and Relative Poverty. Let us discuss each of them briefly:
Absolute poverty refers to the condition wherein an individual is bereft of even the basic necessities, including food, shelter, and clothing to meet the basic living standards. Introduced in 1990, it identified those living below “a dollar a day” as being in absolute poverty. In 2015, the World Bank reconsidered it and reset the poverty line to $1.90 a day.
Relative poverty is the condition in which people lack the minimum amount of income needed to maintain the average standard of living in their respective society. Hence, it is a measure of income inequality within a country.
Considering the importance of poverty alleviation, to foster economic growth in a country, the government of India has, since independence, taken various measures in the form of initiatives and schemes to alleviate poverty and to generate employment. Some of these initiatives are given below.
The initiatives undertaken by the government of India since independence for employment generation are:
This was a brief overview of the topic, including a list of the government-run schemes to alleviate poverty and generation of employment. You need to prepare this in more detail for the RBI Grade-B Main Exam. Make sure you know a bit more about the schemes, such as the date/year on/in which they were launched, under which Ministry, and the primary objectives.