Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge Important Questions

Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge important questions and answers cover the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions with PDF as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising these questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

Poverty as a Challenge Class 9 Important Questions and Answers

1. State two consequences of poverty.
Answer: Growth of slums and high level of indebtedness are the two consequences of poverty.

2. When is a person considered poor?
 A person is considered poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below the given minimum level necessary to fulfil the basic needs.

3. Which social groups are vulnerable to poverty?
Answer: The two social groups, most vulnerable to poverty, are scheduled castes and scheduled tribes households.

4. What led to a substantial decline in poverty in China? 
Answer: The substantial decline in poverty in China has been a result of rapid economic growth and massive investment in human resource development.

5. Explain any three social indicators through which poverty is looked upon.

Answer: Poverty today is looked upon through social indicators like illiteracy level, lack of access to healthcare, lack of job opportunities etc.
(a) People are poor because they are illiterate and they are illiterate because they are poor.
(b) Poverty is a situation where sick people cannot afford treatment, i.e., they lack access to healthcare.
(c) Poverty also implies the lack of a regular job: at a minimum decent level.

6. Describe how the poverty line is estimated in India.

Answer: In India, the poverty line is estimated periodically, usually every five years, by conducting sample surveys. These surveys are carried out by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).

In India, for determining the poverty line, the accepted average calorie requirement is 2,400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 2,100 calories per person per day in urban areas. In the year 2011-12, the poverty line for a person was fixed at Rs 816 per month for the rural areas and Rs 1,000 for the urban areas.

But for making comparisons between developing countries, many international organisations like the World Bank use a uniform standard for the poverty line, i.e., minimum availability of the equivalent of $ 1.90 per person per day.

7. Mention any four causes of poverty in India.

Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India.

Answer: There are a number of causes responsible for the widespread poverty in India. Some of them are:
(a) Low level of economic development under British rule in India.
(b) The decline of the Indian handicrafts industry, which led to unemployment, poverty and misery which were responsible for the low rate of income growth.
(c) Social factors like caste system, religious faiths and beliefs also kept a certain section of people in society in poverty.
(d) The high growth rate of population led to a very low per capita income in the country.
(e) Huge income inequalities due to unequal distribution of land and other resources.

8. What are the main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005?  

Answer: The main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 are:

  • The Act assures 100 days of employment every year to every rural household.
  • One-third of the jobs are reserved for women.
  • It also aimed at sustainable development to address the cause of drought, deforestation and soil erosion.
  • The share of SCs, STs and women are 23 per cent, 17 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
  • Under this, the average wage has increased from Rs 65 in 2006-07 to Rs 132 in 2013-14.
  • The scheme provided employment to 220 crores person-days of employment to 4.78 crore households.
  • In March 2018, the wage rate for unskilled manual workers has been revised again statewide.
  • The range of wage rates for different states and union territories lies in between Rs 281 per day (for the workers in Haryana) to Rs 168 per day (for the workers in Bihar and Jharkhand).

9. Explain how poverty begets more poverty.

Answer: Poverty begets more poverty. It is both a cause as well as consequence of poverty. A poor country cannot save much out of its national income. As a result, it suffers from capital deficiency which adversely affects the level of production and income in the country.

10. Explain the concepts of:
 (a) Social exclusion
 (b) Vulnerability

Answer: (a) Social Exclusion: According to this concept, poverty must be seen in terms of the poor who have to live only in a poor surroundings with other poor people. Poor people are excluded from better surroundings with better-off people. For example, in India people belonging to certain castes are excluded from equal opportunities.

(b) Vulnerability: There is a greater possibility of remaining poor in the case of certain communities (such as members of a backward classes, widows, physically handicapped persons). These groups of people face greater risks at the time of natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunami). Thus vulnerability describes the greater possibility of being adversely affected in comparison to other people in odd times.

11. Who are poor in the rural areas?

Answer: In the rural sector, the poor include farm labourers, small and marginal farmers, rural artisans, backward classes and backward tribes. They lack basic literacy and skills. They are unable to find alternative employment elsewhere. They generally become victims of village moneylenders.

12. Who are poor in the urban sector?

Answer: In the urban sector, the poor consist of rickshaw-pullers, cobblers, street vendors, petty self13 employed persons, domestic servants and low-paid workers working in factories or in other occupations. They reside in poor localities where the conditions of living are very poor.

13. Explain how the low level of education can be held responsible for poverty in India.

Answer: Low level of education of the poor is a major cause behind their poverty. Poor people are illiterate. Because of their illiteracy, Indian farmers have failed to learn new methods of cultivation. Even the village moneylenders succeed in cheating them quite easily. Moreover, poor parents are not able to send their children to schools. Because of their illiteracy, poor people are employed as unskilled workers and are paid low wages.

14. Suggest some measures to reduce regional poverty.

Answer: Measures to reduce regional poverty: Several states of India like Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, etc., are economically very poor. To remove this regional poverty the following measures may be suggested:
(a) More Central assistance and grants should be given to backward states.
(b) Special concessions may be given for investments in backward areas.
(c) Public sector enterprises should be set up in backward states.

15. Discuss any three measures to reduce poverty in India.


  1. More Industrialisation: In order to remove poverty and unemployment, especially in cities, more and more industries are to be set up.
  2. Improvement in Agriculture: While latest methods should be adopted in improving agriculture, steps should also be taken so that land is provided to the tiller and it is not concentrated in the hands of few rich farmers and landlords.
  3. Education: Education is must for removing any evil, including poverty and unemployment. It must be made cheaper so that every person could get it easily.

16. Discuss any three government programmes for poverty alleviation.

Answer: 1. Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) : These schemes have been started for the welfare of the educated unemployed in urban areas. Youth belonging to the weaker sections of society are given priority.
2. Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) : These were launched in 1999 to create wage employment to families below poverty line and to improve the quality of life in the rural areas.
3. Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) : The objective of this programme is to generate gainful employment for the unemployed and underemployed men and women in rural areas, community and social assets are created such as soil conservation work.

17. Give brief account of inter-state disparities of poverty in India.

  1. Proportion of poor people is not the same in every state.
  2. In 20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than national average.
  3. In the states of Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh poverty percentage is more than 35. So poverty is serious problem in these states. Along with rural poverty, urban poverty is also high in these states.
  4. While in the states like Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh there is significant decline in poverty.
  5. States like Punjab and Haryana have succeeded in reducing poverty with the help of high agricultural growth rates.
  6. In West Bengal, land reform measures have helped in reducing poverty.

18. Mention any three features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005.

Answer: National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 was passed in September 2005 with the following features:
(i) It provides 100-days assured employment every year to every rural household with the reservation for one-third of the proposed jobs for women.
(ii) The central government will establish a National Employment Guarantee Fund for Women and state governments will establish State Employment Guarantee Funds for implementation of the scheme.
(iii) If an applicant is not provided employment within 15 days, he/she will get daily unemployment allowance.

19. How is the regular growth of population one of the major causes of poverty?

Answer: Problem of high population growth is the major hurdle for economic growth in Indian economy. This results in less job opportunities and low growth rate of incomes. These factors in combination make the growth rate of per capita income very low.

The failure on two fronts
(i) promotion of economic growth and population control
(ii) perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

Rapid growth of population increases the number of job seekers and job opportunities are again limited. So population is one of the major causes of poverty in India.

20. What are the main causes of poverty in India?

Answer: Main causes of poverty in India are:
(i) Huge income inequalities makes it difficult for the government policies to implement properly for poverty elimination. Therefore income inequality is a major cause of poverty in India.
(ii) Exploitation of traditional Indian handicrafts and textile industries by British colonial administration is another major cause of poverty.
(iii) In order to fulfil social obligations and observe religious ceremonies, the poor spend a lot of money. Poor people borrow money for different reasons and become the victims of indebtedness.

21. How the policies of colonial government were responsible for poverty in India?

Answer: Policies of colonial government is one of the historical reasons of poverty after and at the time of British colonial administration. The policies of the colonial government ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged development of industries like textiles. The low rate of growth persisted until the nineteen eighties. This resulted in less job opportunities and low growth rate of incomes. This was accompanied by a high growth rate of population. The two combined to make the growth rate of per capita income very low. The failure at both the fronts – promotion of economic growth and population control – perpetuated the cycle of poverty.

22. Explain three ways in which poverty can be estimated in India.

Answer: While determining the poverty line in India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational and medical requirement etc. are determined for subsistence.

(i) The calorie requirement depending upon the age, sex, area and type of work is the way of estimating poverty. Average calorie requirement in India is 2400 per person per day in rural areas and 2100 per person per day in urban areas.

(ii) Monetary expenditure per capita needed is also a way of estimating poverty. In the year 2000, poverty line for a person was fixed at Rs 328 per month for the rural areas and Rs 454 for the urban areas.

(iii) A uniform standard for poverty line is also used, which is given by international organisations like World Bank. This is equivalent of $ 1 per person per day.

23. Explain the principal measures taken in Punjab, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh to reduce poverty.

Answer: (i) The principal measures taken in Punjab to reduce poverty is increasing the agricultural growth rates.
(ii) Kerala focussed more on human resource development to reduce poverty.
(iii) Andhra Pradesh focussed on public distribution of foodgrains to reduce poverty.

24. ‘‘In poor families all suffer but some suffer more than others.’’ Explain.

Answer: Analysis of poverty on the basis of social exclusion and vulnerability shows that there are people in our economy who suffer more than others. Socially excluded people due to caste discrimination are excluded even from facilities, benefits and opportunities that others enjoy. Vulnerability brings greater risks to the people at the time of natural disasters or terrorism etc. Vulnerable groups lack social and economic ability to handle risks.

25. What is poverty line? Give the income for poverty line fixed for the rural and urban areas in India according to 2000.

Answer: A person is said to be poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below a given ‘‘minimum level’’ necessary to fulfil basic needs. Each country uses an imaginary line that is considered appropriate for its existing level of development and its accepted minimum social norms.

In the year 2000, a family of five members living in rural areas and earning less than about Rs 1640 per month were below the poverty line, whereas in urban areas earning less than about 2270 per month in similar family were below the poverty line.

26. ‘‘There is a strong link between economic growth and poverty reduction.’’ Explain.

Answer: Economic growth widens the opportunities and provides the resources needed to invest in human development. This also encourages people to send their children, including the girl child, to schools in the hope of getting better economic returns from investing in education. Since eighties, India’s economic growth has been one of the fastest in the world. The growth rate jumped from the average of about 3.5% a year in the 1970s to about 6% during the 1980s and 1990s which significantly helped in the reduction of poverty.

27. Give one positive and one negative side of poverty conditions in India, and mention the major weaknesses of poverty alleviation programmes.

Answer: Positive aspect:
(i) India’s economic growth is one of the fastest in the world which helps in reducing poverty.

Negative aspect:
(i) Large number of poor live in villages and dependent upon agriculture where growth is much below expectation.
(ii) Lack of proper implementation and right targetting with lots of over lapping schemes.

28. What are the main features of poverty in India?

Answer: Features of Poverty in India: Following are the main features of poverty in India.

(1) Declining Trend: The proportion of people below poverty line in India had variations. Poverty ratio increased during the decade of the 1970s. It decreased sharply during the decade of the 1980s. During the decade of 1990s, there was first a rise following the period of economic reforms and then a fall in the incidence of poverty. Since 1993-94, the total number of the poor shows a declining trend.

(2) Inter-State Variations: Poverty is not equally distributed through the country. A recent study shows that more than 90 per cent of India’s rural poor live in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Further, 50 per cent of India’s rural poor live in three states (namely, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh). As against this, the poverty ratio in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana is quite low.

(3) Nature of Poverty: Poverty is visible both in our rural and urban areas. The rural poor consist of people of low castes and tribal groups. The major group of the poor include landless agricultural labourers, small and marginal farmers, rural artisans, etc. In the urban sector, the poor include largely unemployed, underemployed or persons employed in low productivity occupations such as rickshawpullers, cobblers, street vendors.

29. Describe in brief the important poverty alleviation programmes undertaken by the Government of India.

Answer: Poverty Alleviation Programmes of India : The important poverty alleviation programmes which are in operation in rural and urban areas are :

(1) Prime Minister Rojgar Yojana (PMRY): PMRY was launched on 2 October 1993. The aim of this programme is to create self-employment opportunities for educated youth in rural areas and small towns. They are helped in setting up small business and industries.

(2) Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY): SGSY was launched on 1 April, 1999. It aims at promoting enterprises at the village level. It helps the rural people to organise themselves into self-help groups. The objective of SGSY is to bring the existing poor families above the poverty line by providing them income generation assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy.

(3) Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY): PMGY was introduced in 2000. Its objective is to focus on village level development in five critical areas, that is, primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water and rural roads. As a result of this, the quality of life of rural people will improve.

(4) Sampoorna Grameen Rojgar Yojana (SGRY): This programme was launched in September 2001. The objectives of this scheme are:

(a) to provide wage employment along with food security in the rural areas.
(b) to create durable community, social and economic assets.

The ongoing Employment Assurance Scheme and JGSY would be merged with SGRY.

(5) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA): NREGA was passed in September 2005. The Act provides for 100-days assured employment to every rural household in 200 districts. Later, the scheme will be extended to 600 districts. However, the results of these programmes have not been very effective. One of the major reasons for their less effectiveness is the lack of proper implementation and right targeting. Also, there has been overlapping of schemes. Therefore, the major emphasis in recent years is on their proper monitoring.

30. What is meant by ‘vulnerability’ to poverty? Which economic categories are more vulnerable to poverty in India? 

Answer: Vulnerability to poverty: It is a measure which describes the greater probability of certain communities or individuals (such as widow or a physically handicapped person) of becoming or remaining poor in coming years.

Economic categories more vulnerable to poverty in India: Schedule tribes, urban casual labourers, rural agriculture labourers, scheduled castes are major economic groups, which are more vulnerable to poverty. Among these, scheduled tribes contribute to 51% of poverty in India which average Indian poverty ratio is 26.

31. How is the illiteracy responsible for Poverty in India? Explain.

Answer: Illiteracy is responsible for poverty in India as it causes the vicious circle of life where a poor remains poor. Educated parents teach their children and make them more productive towards the economic growth. They are more conscious about the education, health and hygiene of their children. On the other hand, illiterate parents are not aware and conscious about providing better education, health and hygiene facilities to their children. Thus they do not look for other occupational facilities other than traditional one, therefore remain poor.

32. How can poverty be reduced in future in India? Suggest any four points.

Answer: Poverty can be reduced in the following ways:-
(i) Increasing empowerment of women and the economically weaker sections of society.
(ii) Fostering the economic growth.
(iii) Increasing the stress on universal free elementary education.
(iv) Caste and gender discrimination to be avoided.
(v) Improving health care, education and job security.
(vi) Removing inequality of wealth among people.

33. Mention the two planks on which the current anti-poverty strategy of the government is based. Why were the poverty alleviation programmes not successful in most parts of India?

Answer: The current anti-poverty strategy of the government is based broadly on two planks:
(i) Promotion of economic growth.
(ii) Targeted anti-poverty programmes.

The results of poverty alleviation programmes have been mixed. The major reasons for less effectiveness are:
(i) Lack of proper implementation and right targeting.
(ii) Overlapping of a number of schemes.

They lack proper monitoring and therefore the benefits of these schemes do not fully reach out to the deserving poor.

34. NREGA 2005 is an important anti-poverty programme. Explain. [2011 (T-2)]

Answer: NREGA stands for National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. Following things were included in the scheme:
(i) It aims at providing 100-days assured employment every year to every rural household.
(ii) It initially started for 200 districts but later on extended to 600 districts.
(iii) One-third of the proposed jobs were reserved for women.
(iv) The Central government established National Employment Guarantee Funds and state government established State Employment Guarantee Funds for implementation of the scheme.
(v) If an applicant is not provided employment within fifteen days he/she will be entitled to a daily unemployment allowance.

35. Social exclusion can be both a cause as well as consequence of poverty. Explain.

Answer: Social exclusion can be seen in the terms of poor who have to live only in a poor surrounding with other poor people. Poor people are excluded from better surroundings with better-off people. For example, in India people belonging to certain lower castes (i.e., Scheduled Castes) are excluded from equal opportunities. Poor people of certain castes have to live in a separate locality and are excluded from mixing with better-off people. Due to such discrimination These people are deprived of better employment and growth opportunities. Social exclusion thus lead to poverty and can cause more damage than having a very low income.