Poverty in India - 5 Major Causes of Poverty in India

By Durga Prashanna Mishra|Updated : October 10th, 2022

There are so many Causes of Poverty in India, and it has become one of the major social issues. Poverty affects a significant part of the population in India. Estimation of poverty in India is made on the basis of consumption expenditure and not by income levels. The Causes of Poverty in India include rapid growth of population, less economic development, unemployment, income inequality, price rise, political factors, and social factors. In this article, we will be discussing the Causes of Poverty in India in detail.

Candidates preparing for the UPSC exam should know that the questions related to the Causes of Poverty in India can be asked in the UPSC exam. Aspirants need to be prepared with all the information related to the causes of poverty so that they can answer the questions easily.

Table of Content

Causes of Poverty in India: An Overview

Poverty, the definition in India, is the state in which an individual or a group lacks the financial means and necessities of a basic level of living. It is also defined as a situation in which one's earnings are not enough to meet basic human requirements. The World Bank defines poverty as individuals living less than $1.90 per day, which is also known as the International poverty line.

Causes of Poverty in India PDF

Traditionally Poverty refers to the only lack of the basic necessities of life, but modern economists have extended the term to include access to education, healthcare, and even transportation. Even though there are various Causes of Poverty in India, the key factors that lead to poverty include bad governance, conflict, exploitation, an inflationary economy, etc.

Latest News on Causes of Poverty in India

As per the Pew Research Center, the number of poor in India has more than doubled from 60 million to 134 million within a year only because of the Covid-19 Pandemic-induced recession. It means that India has returned to a stage where it's called a " Country of Mass Poverty" after 45 years.

Economic Causes of Poverty in India

Although there are too many things that contribute to it, let's discuss the major economic Causes of Poverty in India below:

  • Low tax base, high tax evasion, and avoidance by rich people.
  • Formation of a vicious cycle where people are poor and hence low tax collection and which in turn leads to lower expenditure on welfare schemes for the poor.
  • Regional inequality, like in North East and East India, leads to poverty as well as the emergence of issues like Naxalism, which further breeds poverty.
  • Corruption and leakages in government schemes and Programmes.
  • The poor condition of health and education infrastructure could have been an accelerator for poverty removal.
  • Disguise unemployment in agriculture and Agriculture is not a profitable sector as more than 50% population is engaged in agriculture, it still contributes to just around 15% of GDP. It shows that most of the poor people are concentrated in the agriculture sector.
  • jobless growth, which was witnessed after 1990, where although the GDP size has increased, most of the jobs were created in skilled sectors, and hence income does not get downward filtrated to the lower strata of people.

Social Causes of Poverty in India

Social factors like untouchability, caste system, etc., are major Causes of Poverty in India. Let's discuss them below in detail.

  • Untouchability- in some of the backward areas of the country, individuals with lower castes are deprived of democratic rights. They are rejected by society and forced into poverty.
  • Caste System- caste system divides people in society and prevents them from seeking work outside of their caste. Due to this, the poor become poorer while the wealthy become wealthier.
  • Unethical use of Power- when the power is abused, it leads to various disadvantages for poor people. The corrupt administration is one of the major reasons of poverty in India.

Geographical Causes of Poverty in India

There are some geographical causes of poverty in India as well, which we have mentioned below.

  • Rising population:india is the second most populated country in the world, and it is facing a population crisis. The rate of population in India has increased by 2.2% every year in the past 45 years, which has a direct impact on the demand for resources.
  • In equal Soil Fertility- the soil fertility varies depending on the place, and it is not the same in every region. It results in infertile lands and which again leads to poverty.
  • Differences between rural and urban poverty: the difference between urban and rural life has various consequences as well in terms of poverty.

Causes of Poverty in India: Climatic Factors

Let's discuss the Causes of Poverty in India due to climatic factors below.

  • Flooding- the flood is a natural disaster that can have a significant negative impact on agricultural output. This can lead to poverty which is rarely addressed by the government.
  • Droughts- it is another climatic factor that results in poverty. Droughts can last a long period of time, and they can be a constant reason for poverty in the majority of countries.
  • Inadequate seasonal rainfall- irregularities in seasonal rainfall can also lead to poverty issues. In some parts of India, the lack of forecasted rainfall and agricultural produce is disrupted, and due to this, it is one of the Causes of Poverty in India.

Causes of Poverty UPSC

Poverty in India is one of the topics in the UPSC Syllabus, and candidates need to be aware of all things related to this topic. In this article, we have covered the Causes of Poverty UPSC notes which would help the candidates during their preparation for both the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exam. Apart from this, candidates must analyze this topic thoroughly with the help of the right UPSC Books and study materials.

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FAQs on Poverty in India

  • There are various factors behind poverty in India. However, the major Causes of Poverty in India include the Rising population, lack of economic development, unemployment, social aspects, unequal distribution of sources, etc.

  • There are many ways to reduce poverty in India, such as speeding economic growth, rural growth, quick development of Infrastructure, speeding up human resource development, etc.

  • Poverty can be defined as the state of an Individual or group who lacks the financial means to afford the basic necessities in life. The Causes of Poverty in India include rapid population growth, caste system, and unequal distribution of money and resources.

  • The two main Causes of Poverty in India are significant growth of population and unemployment. Both these factors heavily contribute to the poverty situation in India.

  • The things which are measured are also acted upon. Further, India has a Welfare state so, it is the duty of the government to check the impoverishment caused by poverty. It is also added under different directives in PART 4 of the constitution. Also, the Identification of the poor is needed for the targeted delivery of schemes

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