Poverty Alleviation Programmes since Independence

  • Since the early 1950s, the government of India has initiated, sustained, and refined various planning schemes to help the poor attain self-sufficiency in acquisition of food and overcome hunger and poverty
  • All the Five year plans introduced in India, had elements in them to reduce Poverty; of which the following Five year plans(FYP) had explicit provisions in them aimed at Poverty alleviation:

Fifth Plan (1974–1978)

      • It laid stress on employment, poverty alleviation (Garibi Hatao), and justice
      • It also assured a minimum income of Rs. 40 per person per month calculated at 1972-73 prices

Seventh Plan (1985–1990)

      • The thrust areas of the Seventh Five-Year Plan were: social justice, removal of oppression of the weak, using modern technology, agricultural development, anti-poverty programmes, full supply of food, clothing, and shelter, increasing productivity of small- and large-scale farmers, and making India an independent economy
      • From perspective of Poverty, it aimed at improving the living standards of the poor with a significant reduction in the incidence of poverty.

Eighth Plan (1992–1997)

      • The major objectives included, controlling population growth, poverty reduction, employment generation, etc.

Ninth Plan (1997–2002)

      • It offered strong support to the social spheres of the country in an effort to achieve the complete elimination of poverty

Tenth Plan (2002–2007)

      • One of the main objectives of the plan, was Reduction of poverty rate by 5% by 2007

Eleventh Plan (2007–2012)

      • It aimed at Rapid and Inclusive growth(Poverty reduction)

Twelfth Plan (2012–2017)

      • The government intended to reduce poverty by 10% during the tenure of the plan

The major Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India since Independence are as follows:

Scheme/ProgrammeYearObjective/Provisions
Public Distribution SystemPre-Independence
  • This scheme was first started in 1945, during the Second World War, and was launched in the current form after 1947

After the increase in Agricultural production after Green Revolution, the outreach of PDS has been extended to tribal blocks, and areas of high poverty incidence in the 1970s and 1980s

Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)1978
  • It was among the world’s most ambitious programs to alleviate rural poverty by providing income-generating assets to the poorest of the poor
  • Major objective of the scheme was to raise families of identified target group below the poverty line, by creating sustainable opportunities for self-employment in the rural sector
Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme1983
  • This was launched to generate additional employment opportunities for the landless people in the villages.
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana1985
  • The scheme aimed at creating 20 lakh housing units, by giving out loans to people at subsidised rates to make houses
  • It improved the standard of living of rural areas: health, primary education, drinking water, housing, and roads; thereby alleviating some aspects of poverty and addressing the issue of development in the rural areas
Jawahar Rozgar Yojna1989
  • This was launched with the objective of providing 90-100 Days Employment per person particularly in backward districts
  • People below Poverty Line were main targets
Revamped Public Distribution System1992
  • The Revamped PDS was launched in 1992, with a view to strengthen and streamline the PDS as well as to improve its reach in far-flung, hilly, remote and inaccessible areas where substantial section of poor live
Targeted Public Dsitribution System(TPDS)1997
  • In 1997 RPDS became TPDS (Targeted PDS) which established Fair Price Shops for the distribution of food grains at subsidized rates
  • The primary goal was to distribute essential food commodities like rice, wheat and kerosene at highly subsidized rates to the people living below the poverty line. This poverty alleviation scheme has helped in addressing the issue of food insecurity in rural areas of India.
National Maternity Benefit Scheme1999-2000
  • It is for families below the poverty line
  • This scheme provides a sum of ₹6000 to a pregnant mother in three instalments
  • The scheme was updated in 2005-06 into Janani Suraksha Yojana 
Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY)1999
  • The main aim of this program was the development of infrastructure rural areas like roads, schools and hospitals
  • Its secondary objective was to give out sustained wage employment
Annapurna scheme1999-2000
  • This scheme was started to provide food to senior citizens who cannot take care of themselves and are not under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS), and who have no one to take care of them in their village
  • The scheme mostly targeted groups of ‘poorest of the poor and ‘indigent senior citizens’
Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)2000
  • This scheme provides foodgrains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs.2.00 per kg for wheat and Rs.3.00 per kg for rice to the poor families under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)
Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)2001
  • This was a scheme launched by the Government of India to gain the objective of providing gainful employment for the rural poor
  • It was launched by merging the provisions of Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) and Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY)
  • The programme is self-targeting in nature and aims to provide employment and food to people in rural areas who lived below the poverty line
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)2005
  • It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work
  • Another aim of MGNREGA is to create durable assets (such as roads, canals, ponds and wells)
  • Through the process of providing employment on works that address causes of chronic poverty such as drought, deforestation and soil erosion, the Act seeks to strengthen the natural resource base of rural livelihood and create durable assets in rural areas. Effectively implemented, MGNREGA has the potential to transform the geography of poverty
National Rural Livelihood Mission2011
  • Launched with the objective, “To reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self- employment and skilled wage employment opportunities resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong and sustainable grassroots institutions of the poor.”
National Urban Livelihood Mission2013
  • It focuses on organizing urban poor into Self Help Groups, creating opportunities for skill development leading to market-based employment and helping them to set up self-employment ventures by ensuring easy access to credit
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)2016It was launched to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.