Jal Shakti Abhiyan


According to 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) from the UN Development Program (UNDP), incidence of multidimensional poverty almost halved between 2005-06 and 2015-16, climbing down to 27.5 percent, indicating that the number of poor people in India fell by more than 271 million within 10 years.


  • The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) shows that, in the 101 countries assessed, 31 low income, 68 middle income and 2 high income, about 1.3 billion people are “multi-dimensionally poor”.
  • Though incidence of multidimensional poverty halved in India due to faster progress among the poorest in the country.

State-wise reporting:

  • Among states, Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind.
  • However, Bihar was still the poorest state in 2015- 16, with more than half of its population living in poverty.
  • In 2015-16, the four poorest states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, were home to 196 million multidimensional poor people, over half of all the people living in multidimensional poverty in India.

District-wise reporting:

  • The report also mapped India’s 640 districts for data on poverty.
  • The 2015-16 district-level data for India reveal deep pockets of poverty but also impressive progress across the country.
  • The poorest district is Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh, where 76.5 percent of people are poor. Only eight countries have higher rates of MPI.
  • In four districts, located in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, more than 70 percent of people are poor, while twenty-seven districts have 60-70 percent of their people in poverty.
  • At the other end of the scale, in 19 districts less than 1 percent of people are poor, and in 42 districts, poverty rates are between 2 percent and 5 percent.

Religions and caste groups:

  • The positive trend of pro-poor poverty reduction was seen also across religions and caste groups.
  • In both cases, the poorest groups (Muslims and Scheduled Tribes) reduced poverty the most over the ten years from 2005-06 to 2015-16.
  • Yet these two groups still have the highest rates of poverty.

Scheduled Tribes:

  • Scheduled Tribe had been poor in 2005-06, in 2015-16, 50% of people belonging Scheduled Tribes were still poor.
  • By looking at the societal distribution of deprivations in India among the poor, vulnerable, and non-poor, the report finds that whereas 91 percent of people experienced deprivation in 2005-06, it was 82.4 percent in 2015-16.


  • On the basis of nearly 80,000 images
  • India has significantly reduced deprivations in key indicators:
    • Assets
    • Cooking fuel
    • Sanitation
    • Nutrition
  • The data from the National Health and Family Survey round three and four (NHFS 2005-06 and 2015-16) was used for the MPI index survey and shows deprivation in nutrition has come down from 44.3 percent in 2005-06 to 21.2 percent 2015-16.
  • India was also among the only 4 countries, along with Cambodia, Haiti and Peru, where poverty reduction in rural areas outpaced that in urban areas–demonstrating pro-poor development.


  • The index shows that, in the 101 countries studied, 31 low income, 68 middle income and 2 high income – 1.3 billion people are “multidimensionally poor”.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are home to the largest proportion of poor people, some 84.5 percent.
  • Within these regions, the level of inequality is described as “massive”.


  • The most One in every three children (under the age of 10) is multidimensionally poor in the world. But if one categorizes the poor below the age of 18, every second child is poor.
  • Over half of the 1.3 billion people identified as poor, some 663 million, are children under the age of 18, and around a third (some 428 million) are under the age of 10.
  • The vast majority of these children, around 85 percent, live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, split roughly equally between the two regions.
  • The picture is particularly dire in Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Niger and South Sudan, where 90 percent or more of children under the age of 10, are considered to be multidimensionally poor.


  • One section of the report evaluates the progress that is being made in reaching Goal 1 of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to end poverty “in all its forms, everywhere”.
  • There are 10 countries identified, with a combined population of around 2 billion people, to illustrate the level of poverty reduction, and all of them have shown statistically significant progress towards achieving Goal 1.
  • The 10 countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam.
  • The fastest reductions were seen in India, Cambodia and Bangladesh.


  • The global MPI was developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in 2010 for the UNDP’s flagship Human Development Reports.
  • The global MPI is an internationally comparable measure of acute poverty for over 100 countries situated in developing regions. It complements global monetary poverty measures by capturing the simultaneous deprivations that each person experiences in ten indicators related to education, health, and living standards.
  • Definition of Multidimensional Poor: Most countries of the world define poverty as a lack of money. Yet poor people themselves consider their experience of poverty much more broadly. Those who are deprived in at least a third of the MPI’s components that is living standards are defined as multidimensionally poor.
    • A person can be considered as a poor if the person suffers from multiple disadvantages at the same time – for example, they may have poor health or malnutrition, a lack of clean water or electricity, poor quality of work or little schooling.
  • Methodology: The index identifies multiple deprivations and that is why the index is known as multidimensional. The index measures poverty from different dimensions compared to the conventional methodology that measures poverty only from the income or monetary terms.
  • The Approach of MPI: The MPI looks beyond income to understand how people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways. It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions: health, education, and living standards.
  • The index of MPI uses the same dimension as of Human Development Index (HDI): Health, Education and Standard of Living.


Findings of the 2019 global MPI paints a detailed picture of the many differences in how – and how deeply – people experience poverty. The report has given a more comprehensive picture of poverty, and gives an indication of where to target policies. Although the reduction in poverty in India is remarkable, there are some worrying trends. The government needs to work on these factors to further achieve a good position.

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