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 contains the solutions to the exercises given in the textbook. These solutions also contain answers to all the let’s discuss questions. These NCERT solutions are useful for students as they help to score high marks in the exams.

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Let’s Discuss

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.


Different countries use different poverty lines because the requirements for a basic standard of living vary significantly from one country to another. The poverty line is adjusted to account for differences in cost of living, social norms, and development levels. For example, owning a car might be considered a necessity in a developed country like the United States, but not in India, where it is still seen as a luxury. In developed countries, the poverty line might include the ability to afford housing, food, healthcare, and transportation. In contrast, in less affluent countries, the criteria might focus on the ability to meet basic food, water, and shelter needs. India, for example, sets its poverty line based on calorie intake and the cost of a basic food basket, reflecting its socio-economic conditions.

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 2015, the urban poverty line was fixed at 1000 per month per person. Now in the current year seeing the high level of inflation and price rise it should be at least 3000 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 a 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:

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 the 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 a 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%

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Exercises

Exercises Questions and Answers

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

Answer: The poverty line in India is estimated using a method based on income or consumption levels. A person is considered poor if their income or consumption level falls below a “minimum level” necessary to fulfill basic needs.

As per 2000 figures; a family of five which is earning less than ₹ 1,640 per month is considered to be living below the poverty line. This figure is ₹ 2,270 per month for the urban area.

The formula for estimating the poverty line includes the desired calorie requirement. 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: No, the present-day methodology of poverty estimation does not seem to be completely appropriate. The appropriateness of the present methodology for poverty estimation in India, which primarily relies on income or consumption levels to define the poverty line, is a subject of ongoing debate among economists, policymakers, and social scientists. While this method provides data that is essential for policy formulation and assessment, it has several issues.

Poverty, today is a multidimensional issue. People may have been able to feed themselves and their family but not having access to education, healthcare, clean water, and a safe place to live also come under poverty. The poverty line can change if the prices of basic goods go up or down quickly, making it hard to keep the measure of poverty accurate over time.

Question 3: Describe poverty trends in India since 1973?

Answer: Since 1973, poverty trends in India have shown a significant decline in the percentage of people living below the poverty line. From 1993-94 to 2011-12, there was a considerable decrease in poverty ratios from about 45% to around 22%. The number of poor people declined from 407 million in 2004-05 to 270 million in 2011-12, with an average annual decline of 2.2 percentage points during this period.

According to UNDP 135 million people escaped multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21. India registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in India’s multidimensionally poor from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-2021. 

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

Answer: The major reasons for poverty in India are:

  • Low economic development during the British colonial administration, which harmed traditional handicrafts and industries, leading to limited job opportunities and low income growth.
  • High population growth rates have diluted economic gains, contributing to the low growth rate of per capita income.
  • Unequal distribution of land and resources is another important factor for poverty in India.
  • In order to fulfil social obligations and religious ceremonies the poor end up spending a lot which results in poverty.
  • Significant income disparities contribute to poverty, with wealth concentrated among a small segment of the population.
  • Inadequate access to healthcare, education, clean drinking water, and sanitation exacerbates poverty conditions.

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 shows significant interstate disparities, meaning the proportion of poor people is not consistent across all states. While the overall poverty rate in India has declined, the pace and extent of this decline vary significantly from one state to another. In 20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than the national average of 26. In others, the poverty ratios are higher than the national average. For instance, Bihar and Odisha are among the states with the highest poverty ratios, with poverty rates of 33.7% and 32.6%, respectively.

On the other hand, there has been a significant reduction in poverty in states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and West Bengal. Factors contributing to this reduction include high agricultural growth rates, focus on human resource development, effective land reform measures, and public distribution of food grains.

Question 7: Describe global poverty trends.

Answer: Global poverty trends have shown a significant reduction in the proportion of people living in extreme economic poverty, defined by the World Bank as living on less than $1.90 per day. Key points from the trends include:

  1. Substantial Reduction: From 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015, there has been a considerable decrease in the global population living in extreme poverty.
  2. Regional Differences: The decline in poverty has been uneven across regions. For example, China and Southeast Asian countries have seen substantial reductions in poverty due to rapid economic growth and investments in human resource development. China’s poverty rate dropped from 88.3% in 1981 to 0.6% in 2019.
  3. South Asia: The region, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, also experienced a rapid decline in poverty, from 34% in 2005 to 15.2% in 2014.
  4. Sub-Saharan Africa: This region has seen a slower decline in poverty, from 51% in 2005 to 40.2% in 2018. By 2030, it’s predicted that a significant majority of the extreme poor will reside in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. Latin America: In this region, the poverty ratio has declined from 10% in 2005 to 4% in 2018.
  6. Resurgence in Some Regions: Poverty has re-emerged in some former socialist countries, such as Russia, where it was previously non-existent officially.

Question 8: Describe current government strategy of poverty alleviation?

Answer: 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?

(i) Human poverty is a term that means that poverty in India is not just limited to the economic status of the people but rather spreads in various other sectors which include lack of education, negligence of health care system, discrimination and disparity. Abolishing poverty from the country should no be the only aim of the authorities but to abolish human poverty must be the aim.

(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) The main features of the National Rural Employment Act 2005 are as follows:

  • To provide 100 days of wage employment to every household to ensure livelihood security
  • Sustainable development to address the cause of drought, deforestation and soil erosion.
  • One-third of the proposed jobs under this scheme have been reserved for women

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