India reduces extreme poverty by half, set to meet 2015 target: MDG report

Ahead of the 2015 deadline set by the United Nations for reduction in incidents of extreme poverty, India has been able to halve its number to 24.7 per cent in 2011 from its earlier 49.4 per cent in 1994, according to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2015.

The UN had said that those earning less than $1.25 a day would be categorised as living under extreme poverty. Despite India’s significant achievement in reducing poverty, the country still lagged behind its other South Asian neighbours like Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan each surpassed India in poverty reduction.

The report underlined that India is doing well to achieve its hunger reduction targets in 2015. However, the country is still home to about one-third of the world’s underweight children, as well as about a third of the world’s food-insecure people.

So far, India has managed to achieve 11 out of 22 parameters in the areas of education, health education, and poverty and so on.  It is on track to achieve one more target by the year end.

Although India has been able to reduce extreme poverty by half of its earlier number, the country has moved slowly on the other parameters, which include maternal mortality and access to sanitation.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)’s South and South-West Asia Office head Nagesh Kumar chief  said that India’s progress on the poverty-reduction goal seems slower than its neighbours primarily because of its bigger size and greater diversity.

In the area of its environment control, India is among a few countries that have been able to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. India managed to emit 0.65 kg of carbon dioxide in 1990, and it fell to 0.53 kg in 2010.