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13.5 Crore Indians Escaped Multidimensional Poverty in Just 5 Years: NITI Ayog Report

The report's findings underscore the government's unwavering commitment to improving citizens' lives through consistent implementation of a diverse set of interconnected programs & initiatives and creating a brighter and more equitable future for all.

Shivam Dwivedi
13.5 Crore Indians Escaped Multidimensional Poverty in Just 5 Years: NITI Ayog Report (Photo Source: Pixabay)
13.5 Crore Indians Escaped Multidimensional Poverty in Just 5 Years: NITI Ayog Report (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) presented a report yesterday that revealed a tremendous reduction in multidimensional poverty in the country. According to the paper titled 'National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023,' between 2015-16 and 2019-21, an incredible 13.5 crore people moved out of multidimensional poverty.

Suman Bery, the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, presided over the report's release event, which was also attended by NITI Aayog members Dr. V K. Paul, Dr. Arvind Virmani, and B. V. R. Subrahmanyam, the CEO of NITI Aayog.

Based on data gathered from the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5, 2019-21), this second edition of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) demonstrates India's progress in combating multidimensional poverty between NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NFHS-5 (2019-21). The index follows a global methodology and measures deprivations across three equally weighted dimensions: health, education, and standard of living.

These dimensions are represented by 12 SDG-aligned indicators, including nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts. Encouragingly, there have been marked improvements across all 12 indicators.

The report reveals a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in the number of India's multidimensionally poor, reducing the figure from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-21. Notably, rural areas experienced the fastest decline in poverty, with the percentage dropping from 32.59% to 19.28%. Meanwhile, urban areas witnessed a reduction from 8.65% to 5.27%. Uttar Pradesh registered the most substantial decline, with 3.43 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty.

The report provides multidimensional poverty estimates for all 36 States and Union Territories, as well as 707 Administrative Districts, revealing that the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan saw the fastest reduction in the proportion of multidimensional poor.

Between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the MPI value nearly halved, decreasing from 0.117 to 0.066, while the intensity of poverty reduced from 47% to 44%. These achievements demonstrate India's promising trajectory towards achieving SDG Target 1.2, which aims to reduce multidimensional poverty by at least half before 2030.

The report highlights the government's strategic focus on sustainable and equitable development, emphasizing its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Indian government's relentless efforts to improve access to sanitation, nutrition, cooking fuel, financial inclusion, drinking water, and electricity have significantly contributed to these advancements.

Key flagship programs like Poshan Abhiyan and Anaemia Mukt Bharat have played a crucial role in reducing health deprivations. Initiatives such as Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) have been instrumental in enhancing sanitation across the nation. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), providing subsidized cooking fuel, has positively transformed lives, leading to a 14.6 percentage points improvement in cooking fuel deprivations.

Other initiatives like Saubhagya, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), and Samagra Shiksha have also played a pivotal role in significantly reducing multidimensional poverty in India.

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