15 June 2024

India achieves remarkable milestone: Elimination of extreme poverty, Brookings report confirms


In a momentous development, India has achieved a significant milestone by eliminating extreme poverty, according to a recent report by the Brookings Institution. This landmark achievement marks a significant triumph in India’s ongoing efforts to address poverty and improve the living standards of its citizens. In this article, we’ll delve into the findings of the Brookings report, examine the factors contributing to India’s success, and discuss the implications of this accomplishment.

Confirmation of India's achievement:

The Brookings report, titled “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2024: Global Reckonings and New Realities,” confirms that India has successfully eliminated extreme poverty, as defined by living on less than $1.90 per day. This achievement reflects a remarkable turnaround from previous decades when India grappled with widespread poverty and deprivation.

In the chart provided below, it illustrates India’s Headcount Ratio (HCR) for both the $1.90 and $3.20 purchasing power parity (PPP) thresholds from the fiscal year 1977-78 onwards. The notable shift in the slope of the HCR curve for the $3.20 poverty line serves as a visual indicator of the substantial degree of inclusive growth witnessed in India during the past decade.

he reduction in the Headcount Ratio (HCR) for both poverty thresholds underscore this observation. Notably, the limited decline observed at the lower poverty line accentuates the challenge of alleviating poverty at this threshold. Interestingly, the substantial decrease in HCR at the higher poverty line is noteworthy, particularly considering that it took India three decades to achieve a comparable reduction in poverty levels, whereas the current decline occurred within just 11 years.

Key Factors Contributing to India's Success:

Several factors have contributed to India’s success in eliminating extreme poverty:

  1. 1. Robust Economic Growth: India’s sustained economic growth over the past few decades has played a pivotal role in lifting millions of people out of poverty. Economic reforms, liberalization policies, and investments in infrastructure have created new opportunities for employment and income generation, enabling millions to escape the poverty trap.


  3. 2. Social Welfare Programs: The Indian government’s commitment to poverty alleviation through targeted social welfare programs has been instrumental in reducing poverty levels. Initiatives such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the National Food Security Act (NFSA), and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) have provided critical support to vulnerable populations, ensuring access to employment, food, and housing.


  5. 3. Investments in Human Capital: India’s focus on investing in human capital, including education and healthcare, has empowered individuals to break free from the cycle of poverty. Efforts to expand access to education, improve healthcare infrastructure, and enhance skill development have enabled people to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in the country’s economic growth.


  7. 4. Inclusive Development Policies: India’s emphasis on inclusive development policies, which prioritize the needs of marginalized communities and disadvantaged groups, has helped reduce disparities and promote social inclusion. Targeted interventions to address the needs of rural communities, women, and minorities have ensured that the benefits of development reach those who need them the most.

Implications of India's Achievement:

India’s successful elimination of extreme poverty has significant implications for the country’s socio-economic landscape:

  1. 1. Improved Quality of Life: The elimination of extreme poverty will lead to a substantial improvement in the quality of life for millions of Indians, providing them with greater access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education.


  3. 2. Enhanced Economic Productivity: A reduction in poverty levels is likely to result in increased economic productivity and consumption, contributing to overall economic growth and development.


  5. 3. Global Recognition: India’s achievement of eliminating extreme poverty is likely to garner international recognition and admiration, positioning the country as a global leader in poverty alleviation efforts.


India’s successful elimination of extreme poverty, as confirmed by the Brookings report, is a testament to the country’s commitment to inclusive and sustainable development. While this milestone is indeed cause for celebration, it is essential to remain vigilant and continue efforts to address remaining challenges, including income inequality, regional disparities, and social exclusion. By building on the momentum generated by this achievement and redoubling efforts to promote inclusive growth and social welfare, India can further consolidate its gains and create a more prosperous and equitable society for all its citizens.

Nitesh Kumar Singh

Technical content writer l Website developer

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