24.82 crore people escaped multidimensional poverty in last nine years. Findings of NITI Aayog’s Discussion Paper ‘Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005-06’ gives credit for this remarkable achievement to significant initiatives of the government to address all dimensions of the poverty between 2013-14 to 2022-23. The discussion paper was released on 15 January by Prof Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog in presence of Shri B. V. R. Subrahmanyam, CEO NITI Aayog. Oxford Policy and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have provided technical inputs for this paper.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is a globally recognized comprehensive measure that captures poverty in multiple dimensions beyond monetary aspects. MPI’s global methodology is based on robust Alkire and Foster (AF) method that identifies people as poor based on universally acknowledged metric designed to assess acute poverty, providing a complementary perspective to conventional monetary poverty measures.
According to the Discussion Paper, India has registered a significant decline in multidimensional poverty in India from 29.17% in 2013-14 to 11.28% in 2022-23 i.e. a reduction of 17.89 percentage points. Uttar Pradesh registered the largest decline in the number of poor with 5.94 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty during the last nine years followed by Bihar at 3.77 crore, Madhya Pradesh at 2.30 crore and Rajasthan at 1.87 crore.
The paper also shows that the pace of decline in poverty headcount ratio using exponential method was much faster between 2015-16 to 2019-21 (10.66% annual rate of decline) compared to period 2005-06 to 2015-16 (7.69% annual rate of decline). All 12 indicators of MPI have recorded significant improvement during the entire study period. To assess the poverty levels in the year 2013-14 against the current scenario (i.e. for the year 2022-23), projected estimates have been used due to data limitations for these specific periods.
Significant initiatives covering all dimensions of poverty have led to 24.82 crore individuals escaping multidimensional poverty in the last 9 years. As a result, India is likely to achieve its SDG target of halving multidimensional poverty well before 2030. The Government’s persistent dedication and resolute commitment to enhancing the lives of the most vulnerable and deprived have been instrumental in this accomplishment.