India's progress against multidimensional poverty -Francine Pickup

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published Published on Oct 30, 2018   modified Modified on Oct 30, 2018
-Livemint.com

There is a growing recognition among policymakers of the need for a multidimensional approach to assess deprivation

There's been some good news for India over the last month. Three different robust, credible measures of poverty have recorded a dramatic reduction in the incidence of poverty in India. The most straightforward of these, the World Bank's estimate of the number of people living on less than $1.90 per day on a purchasing power parity basis (the international poverty line), found that poverty declined from 21.6% to an estimated 13.4% between 2011 and 2015. The 2018 update to the United Nations Development Programme?s (UNDP?s) human development index (HDI) said that between 1990 and 2017, India?s HDI value has increased by nearly 50%?emblematic of the country?s remarkable achievement in lifting millions out of poverty. And, according to perhaps the most comprehensive measure of poverty, the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) released by UNDP and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), India has lifted 271 million people out of multi-dimensional poverty in the 10 years between 2005-06 and 2015-16. Even though traditionally marginalized population groups such as rural populations, scheduled castes and tribes, Muslims, and young children remained the poorest in 2015-16, they were also ?catching up??that is, they also showed the largest reduction in MPI.

This is, of course, extremely encouraging news, not just for India but also the rest of the world. India?s success is pivotal for the realization of the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs) that aim to leave no one behind. These reports are a sure sign that India is heading in the right direction, even if there is still some way to go before poverty is eliminated from the country.

India?s performance on the MPI is truly remarkable because, unlike the World Bank?s $1.90 numbers, the MPI is not limited to an income-based measure of poverty. Instead, the MPI complements income measures of poverty and captures the multiple, overlapping disadvantages poor people can face?such as poor sanitation, malnutrition, poor quality of housing and lack of education. This is important because overlapping deprivations undermine people?s capacity to pursue a life trajectory of their choosing and chart a course out of poverty.

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Livemint.com, 17 October, 2018, https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/coC24OVUOgC7MbUWSWXPYL/Opinion--Indias-progress-against-multidimensional-poverty.html


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