An Assessment of Poverty Studies in India with Special Reference to Economic Reforms

Basanta K. Pradhan, M. R. Saluja


As it is well-known, the study of poverty is extremely
important on moral and philosophical and also, political grounds.
Further, evidences are available to show that poverty affects growth
adversely. We, therefore, have made an attempt to review some of the
important studies on poverty in India. The concept of poverty relates to
socially perceived deprivation with respect to basic minimum needs. In
the Indian context, poverty is measured in terms of a specified
normative poverty line reflecting the minimum living standard of the
people. Defining a poverty line is, therefore, the first step in
estimating poverty. According to the Expert Group (1993), a poverty
line, dividing the poor from the non-poor, is used by putting a price on
the minimum required consumption levels of food, clothing, shelter, fuel
and health care, etc. In equal practice however, the poverty lines are
normative only in terms of calorie requirements of the diet.

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