NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as a Challenge contain answers to the textbook exercise questions. The NCERT solutions are easy and accurate that helps with the questions asked in the examinations. These solutions cover all the questions of the chapter in detail. NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 1 are prepared by our subject experts in very easy language. All our solutions are updated as per the latest CBSE Syllabus and Guidelines.

Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3 NCERT Solutions

Let’s Discuss Page no. 32

Question 1: Why do different countries use different poverty lines?

Answer: Different countries use different poverty lines because
(a) The calorie requirement of different human races is different depending on their physical condition and dietary habits. Those races which have greater height and build require higher calories.
(b) The per capita income in different countries is also different i.e., per capita income is higher in developed countries as compared to developing countries.
(c) The standard of living of Western countries is higher than that of developing countries.
(d) The cost of essential items used in calculating poverty line is higher in the developed countries.

Question 2: What do you think would be the “minimum necessary level” in your locality?

Answer: I live in a city so the poverty line should be calculated according to the urban area. In the year 2000, the urban poverty line was fixed at 454 per month per person. Now in the year 2012 seeing the high level of inflation and price rise it should be at least 1500 per person per month.

Let’s Discuss Page no. 33

Question 1: Study Table 3.1 and answer the following questions:

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as Challenge image 1

(a) Even if poverty ratio declined between 1993–94 and 2004–05, why did the number of poor remain at about 407 million?
(b) Are the dynamics of poverty reduction the same in rural and urban India?

Answer: (a) The poverty ratio declined between 1073-74 and 1993-94 but the number of poor remained at about 320 million because the total population of the country increased during the same period. Out of this increased population more people got employment due to the green Revolution, establishment of more industries and growth of the tertiary sector. As result the poverty ratio declined.

(b) No, the dynamics of poverty reduction are not the same in rural and urban areas because the conditions in both the areas are completely different. Urban area poverty has decreased due to expansion of the service sector, increased industrialisation and consequent increase of jobs. This has resulted in migration to cities and towns from rural areas. Rural area poverty has reduced due to improved agricultural practices resulting in higher incomes. Some contribution to this improvement is due to the migration to urban areas.

Let’s Discuss Page no. 35

Observe some of the poor families around you and try to find the following:

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 2 People as Resource image 5

Question 1: Which social and economic group do they belong to?

Answer: There is a poor family living near our colony. They are living below the poverty line and belong to lowest socio-economic category.

Question 2: Who are the earning members in the family?

Answer: The wife and husband are casual construction labourers and they are the earning members of the family.

Question 3: What is the condition of the old people in the family?

Answer: The old people of the family, i.e., the grandparents are physically weak and suffering of old age diseases and problems without proper medical aid

Question 4: Are all the children (boys and girls) attending schools?

Answer: There are two girls and one boy in the family. Because of poverty, the father of the children Bhola is only able to send his son to school and the daughters help in the household work.

Let’s Discuss Page no. 36

Question 1: Study the Graph 3.2 and do the following:

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Poverty as Challenge image 2

(a) Identify the three states where the poverty ratio is the highest.
(b) Identify the three states where poverty ratio is the lowest.

Answer: (a) Three states where poverty ratio is the highest are
(i) Orissa 47.2%,
(ii) Bihar 42.6%,
(iii) Madhya Pradesh 37.4%

(b) Three states where the poverty ratio is the lowest are
(i) Himachal Pradesh 7.6%
(ii) Punjab 6.2%
(iii) Jammu and Kashmir 3.5%


Question 1: Describe how the poverty line is estimated in India?

Answer: A common method used to measure poverty is based on income or consumption levels. A person is considered poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below a given “minimum level” necessary to fulfill basic needs. 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. These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices in rupees. The resent formula for food requirements while estimating the poverty line is based on the desired calorie requirement.


In India poverty line is measured or calculated considering the following factors required for subsistence:

1. Minimum level of food requirement,
2. Clothing
3. Footwear
4. Fuel and Light
5. Education and
6. Medical requirement etc.

These physical quantities are multiplied by their prices. The present formula for food requirement is based on the desired calorie requirement. As per 2000 figures; a family of five which is earning less than Rs. 1,640 per month is considered to be living below the poverty line. This figure is Rs. 2,270 per month for the urban area.

The expected calorie intake has been fixed at 2400 calories per person in rural areas and 2100 calories in urban areas. A person consuming less than this amount is considered to be living below the poverty line.

Question 2: Do you think that present methodology of poverty estimation is appropriate?

Answer: Any method of poverty estimation cannot be appropriate. However, the current methods give some starting point to discuss the issue and to tackle the problem. The goal of poverty alleviation is a moving target because definition of poverty changes with time. Once the basic needs of all the people are fulfilled then some higher needs would need to be taken into account to address the issue of poverty.

Question 3: Describe poverty trends in India since 1973?

Answer: As per the data, there is a substantial decline in poverty ratio in India from 55 percent in 1973 to 36 percent in 1993. There was further decline from 36 percent in 1993 to 26 percent in 2000. Although the number of poor people remained stable (about 320 million) in the earlier two decades (1973 to 1993), there was significant reduction in the number of the poor to about 260 million till 2000.It may also be noted that poverty ratio always remained higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. If the present trend continues, the people below poverty line may come down to less than 20 percent in the next few years.

Question 4: Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India?

Answer: There were a number of causes for the widespread poverty in India. One historical reason is the low level of economic development under the British colonial administration. The low rate of growth persisted until the nineteen-eighties. This resulted in fewer job opportunities and a low growth rate of incomes. This was accompanied by a high growth rate of the population. The two combined to make the growth rate of per capita income very low. Another feature of high poverty rates has been the huge income inequalities. One of the major reasons for this is the unequal distribution of land and other resources. Despite many policies, we have not been able to tackle the issue in a meaningful manner.


The major reasons for poverty in India are:

Colonial Rule: India went through a long phase of low economic development under the British colonial administration. The policies of the colonial government ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged development of industries like textiles.

High growth in Population: The rapid growth of population, particularly among the poor, is considered one of the major causes behind Indian poverty. Poor people are illiterate and have traditional outlook. Hence, they are either ignorant of birth control measures or not convinced of the need of birth control. Moreover, they consider male child as an asset, that is, as a source of income and a source of security during old age.

Low Rate of Economic Development: The actual rate of growth in India has always been below the required level. It has been around 4 per cent since 1951. This has resulted in less job opportunities. This was accompanied by a high growth rate of population.

Unemployment: Another important factor that can be held responsible for the incidence of high poverty in India is the high degree of unemployment and underemployment. The job seekers are increasing at a higher rate than the increase in the employment opportunities.

Unequal Distribution: Although national income of India has been increasing since 1951, it was not properly distributed among different sections of the society. A large proportion of increased income has been pocketed by a few rich. They become richer. Consequently, the majority of people have to live below the poverty line.

Social Factors: Various social factors, viz., caste system, joint family system, religious faiths, law of inheritance, etc., have blocked the path of economic development.

Question 5: Identify the social and economic groups which are most vulnerable to poverty in India.

Answer: Social Groups Vulnerable to Poverty:

  • Scheduled caste households
  • Scheduled tribe households

Economic Groups Vulnerable to Poverty:

  • Rural agricultural labour households
  • Urban casual labour households

Question 6: Give an account of interstate disparities of poverty in India.

Answer: Poverty in India differs for different states. The success rate of reducing poverty varies from state to state, causing inter-state disparities in poverty level. Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are the three poorest states in India with their people living below the poverty line being 47, 42 and 37 per cent, respectively. Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are the three better-off states in India as far as poverty is concerned. There are various factors that are responsible for these interstate disparities of poverty in India.

Question 7: Describe global poverty trends.

Answer: The percentage of people living below povery line has fallen from 28% in 1991 to 21% in 2001; in the developing countries. Poverty declined substantially in China and some South Asian countries because of rapid economic development. On the other hand, reduction was not as sharp in countries; like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc. In Sub Saharan Africa, poverty increased from 41% in 1981 to 48% in 2001. The poverty level has remained the same in Latin America. Poverty has resurfaced in Russia and some of the former communist countries.

Question 8: Describe current government strategy of poverty alleviation?

Answer:  The current anti-poverty measures are targetted at two planks, viz. promotion of economic growth and anti-poverty programmes. Economic growth helps in overall improvement of income through employment generation and hence is highly important to reduce poverty. Anti-poverty programmes are aimed to help those who suffer because of socioeconomic inequality. Such programmes are an attempt to support poor people so that they can improve their condition.


Removal of poverty has one of the major objectives of Indian developmental strategy. The current government strategy of poverty alleviation is based on two planks:

(1) Promotion of Economic Growth
(2) Targeted Anti-poverty Programmes

Some of the anti-poverty programmes undertaken by government at present are discussed below:

  • Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY): Started in 1993, this programme aims to create self-employment opportunities for educated unemployed youth in rural areas and small towns.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY): Launched in 2000, this aims to create and improve basic services like primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water and rural electrification.
  • National Food for Work programme (NFWP): Launched in 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country, this programme is open to all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desired to do manual unskilled work.
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA): This act was passed in September 2005. The act provides 100 days assured employment every year to every rural household in 200 districts. Later, the scheme will be extended to 600 districts and also one third to the proposed jobs would be reserved for women.

Question 9: Answer the following questions briefly

(i) What do you understand by human poverty?
(ii) Who are the poorest of the poor?
(iii) What are the main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005?

Answer: (i) A general scarcity of basic necessities of life is called poverty. The basic necessities include food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, sanitation, etc. Some of the issues which are related to poverty are; Landlessness, Unemployment, Size of families, Illiteracy, Poor health/malnutrition, Child labour and Helplessness.

(ii) Women, children (especially the girl child) and elder people in a poor family are regarded as the poorest of the poor because they are systematically denied equal access to resources available to the family.

(iii) Main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005:

  • The Act assures 100 days employment every year to every household.
  • Initially covering 200 districts, the Act would be extended later on to cover 600 districts.
  • One-third of the jobs are reserved for women.

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