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How China reduced poverty; lessons for India

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Indian Economy


Directions: This is taken from the explained section of Indian Express. Go through it once, you can use it for value addition.

Source: Indian Express

Context:  Last week, the World Bank released its latest report on global poverty. That stated that covid pandemic and war in Ukraine have caused an outright reversal of poverty reduction.


What is extreme poverty? How is it defined?

The World Bank (WB):  Anyone living on less than $2.15 a day is considered to be living in extreme poverty. About 648 million people globally were in this situation in 2019.


The very first international poverty line — a dollar a day — was constructed in 1990 using the 1985 prices. It was then raised to $1.08 a day in 1993, $1.25 a day in 2005 and $1.90 a day in 2011. The $2.15 one is based on 2017 prices.


What has the World Bank stated about India’s poverty levels?— According to the WB, India is the country with the highest number of poor people (over 5 crores in 2020).


What did China achieve?

The World Bank found that between 1978 and 2019,  China lifted 765 million (76.5 crores) people from extreme poverty in the last 4 decades.

  • In 2021, China declared that it has eradicated extreme poverty.
  • Life expectancy at birth went from 66 years in 1978 to 77 years by 2019
  • he infant mortality rate dropped from 52 in 1978 to 6.8 per thousand infants in 2019.


How did China do it?

Learning for India from China’s approach to eradicate poverty:

  • Effective governance, involving decentralized implementation arrangements, with significant scope for local experimentation.
  • Promoting a high degree of competition among local governments to achieve coherence.
  • Investment in Education and Healthcare.
  • Social protection policies for poor households and included specific programs in social assistance, social insurance, social welfare, and other targeted social policies
  • Area-based approach, targeting poor regions and villages as a whole, to a set of interventions targeted at poor households.
  • Creating economic opportunities as a means to escape poverty.


Insta Links

Poverty and Unemployment

Mains Links:

Q. ‘Despite the implementation of various programs for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing.’ Explain by giving reasons. (UPSC Mains 2018)