Poverty and development are important topics for the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE). The CSE is a competitive exam that is taken by candidates who aspire to join the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other central government services.
Poverty refers to the state of being poor, or not having enough resources or income to meet basic needs. Poverty is a complex issue that affects people in many different ways, including lack of access to education, healthcare, and other essential services. It can also lead to social exclusion and discrimination.
Development refers to the process of improving the well-being of individuals, communities, and societies. It involves economic, social, and political changes that enable people to live more fulfilling and productive lives.
There are various approaches to addressing poverty and promoting development, including:
- Economic growth: Promoting economic growth through policies that encourage investment and job creation can help reduce poverty by creating more opportunities for people to earn a livelihood.
- Social protection: Providing social protection measures such as cash transfers, food security programs, and healthcare can help address the immediate needs of poor and vulnerable groups.
- Human capital development: Investing in human capital development through education, training, and healthcare can help individuals and communities build the skills and knowledge needed to participate fully in society and to take advantage of economic opportunities.
- Infrastructure development: Building infrastructure such as roads, schools, and hospitals can help improve access to essential services and facilitate economic growth.
- Governance and institutions: Strengthening governance and institutions can help ensure that development policies and programs are implemented effectively and that they benefit the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
It is important to understand the various factors that contribute to poverty and to develop a holistic approach to addressing it. This may include addressing issues of inequality, discrimination, and exclusion, as well as promoting economic growth and social development.
Based on its social, economic, and political characteristics, Poverty can be categorised as follows:
- Absolute destitution
Extreme or abject poverty is characterised by a lack of food, clean water, health care, housing, education, and information.
Those living in abject poverty struggle to survive and incur a high number of child fatalities due to avoidable illnesses.
Absolute poverty is often rare in wealthy nations.
The “dollar a day” poverty level, which was initially adopted in 1990, defined absolute poverty by the criteria of the world’s poorest nations; in 2015, the World Bank updated it to $1.90 a day.
This value is debatable; consequently, each country has its own absolute poverty threshold.
- Comparative Poverty
It is characterised from a sociological standpoint, as living standard relative to the economic standards of the surrounding population. Consequently, it is a measure of income disparity.
Typically, relative poverty is assessed as the proportion of the population whose income is below a set percentage of the median income.
It is a common method for determining poverty rates in affluent, industrialised nations.
- Situational Destitution
It is a sort of temporary poverty caused by an unpleasant event such as an environmental disaster, job loss, or serious health crisis.
As poverty results from a series of misfortunes, people may help themselves with even minimal aid.
- Persistent Poverty
It is passed down via families and individuals from one generation to the next.
This is more difficult since there is no escape because the individuals are ensnared in its cause and cannot obtain the necessary tools to leave.
- Regional Poverty
This occurs in remote places when there are less employment prospects, services, disability assistance, and decent educational chances.
People here rely mostly on agriculture and other accessible manual labour to support themselves.
- City Poverty
Due to Poverty, the urban population faces the following significant obstacles:
- limited health and educational resources
- Substandard housing and services
- Due to overpopulation, the environment is violent and unhealthy, and there are little or no social protective mechanisms.
Poverty and Development
Poverty and development are interdependent on one another. The notion of growth is really one of the most important parts of the country’s development.
In contrast to the quantitative character of growth, development is qualitative in nature. A country’s growth is not always indicative of its development. When a nation’s growth is negative, there is insufficient progress. This causes inequality in the nation.
When disparity increases in a nation, it is claimed that the nation is in a condition of poverty, and with poverty comes poor development. Thus, it is evident that the cycle is recurring. This is also known as the poverty cycle.
The regions of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Jharkhand, and Odisha, among others, are notoriously prone to drought. In India, these places are also noted for their extreme poverty. This is mostly due to the absence of strong administration and basic services in these regions. These regions lack a fundamental infrastructure for efficient mobility.
While Eastern India is rich in natural and energy resources, its development rate is limited and it contains some of the poorest states, such as Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Goals for Sustainable Development and Poverty
The first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to eradicate all kinds of poverty.
“Ensure significant mobilisation of resources from diverse sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, particularly least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.”
The SDGs also aim to establish sound policy frameworks at the national and regional levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, so that by 2030, all men and women have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology, and financial services, including microfinance.