Poverty alleviation schemes of India

Poverty alleviation schemes of India

Public distribution system

The Public Distribution System (PDS) evolved as a system of management of scarcity through distribution of food grains at affordable prices. Over the years, PDS has become an important part of Government’s policy for management of food economy in the country. PDS is supplemental in nature and is not intended to make available the entire requirement of any of the commodities distributed under it to a household or a section of the society.

PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments. The Central Government, through Food Corporation of India (FCI), has assumed the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments. The operational responsibility including allocation within State, identification of eligible families, issue of Ration Cards and supervision of the functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc., rest with the State Governments. Under the PDS, presently the commodities namely wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene are being allocated to the States/UTs for distribution. Some States/UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through the PDS outlets such as pulses, edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.

Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana

Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY) is the restructured, streamlined and comprehensive version of the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY). It was started on 1 April 1999. The main aim of this programme was development of rural areas. Infrastructure like roads to connect the village to different areas, which made the village more accessible and also other social, educational (schools) and infrastructure like hospitals. Its secondary objective was to give out sustained wage employment. This was only given to BPL (below the poverty line) families and fund was to be spent for individual beneficiary schemes for SCs and STs and 3% for the establishment of barrier free infrastructure for the disabled people. The village panchayats were one of the main governing body of this programme. ₹1848.80 crore was used and they had a target of 8.57 lakh works. 5.07 lakh works were completed during 1999–2000.

Annapurna yojana

Annapurna Yojna is a centrally sponsored scheme which has been executed since 1st April, 2001 in this state. This scheme has been amalgamated in to the State Plan since year 2002-03. Under this scheme old destitutes who are not getting the National old age pension (NOAPS) but have its eligibility, are being provided 10 kg food-grain (6 kg wheat + 4 kg rice) per month free of cost as Food Security.

At the time of introducing the scheme in the state, 1,66,601 beneficiaries were identified through Gram Sabha/Ward Sabha, who benefited in this scheme up to 2001-02; but in year 2002-03 Govt. of India has fixed a target of 1,58,849 beneficiaries in this scheme. In the last month of the year 2004-05 a additional target of 1,84,265 beneficiaries have been fixed by Govt. of India. This target is also distributed amongst all districts for identification through Gram Sabha/Ward Sabha of the beneficiaries. At present 1,48,483 beneficiaries are being benefited in this scheme.

National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)

This is centrally sponsored scheme. Under the scheme an amount of Rs.20,000/- is given as a compensation to the death of a “Primary breadwinner” (male or female) should have occurred while he or she is in the age group of 18 to 59 years. i.e. more than 18 years of age and less than 60 years of age. Under these scheme only BPL families is being covered.

Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP)

IRDP is described officially as a major mechanism for the alleviation of rural poverty. The main objective of IRDP is to raise families of identified target group below poverty line by creation of sustainable opportunities for self-employment in the rural sector.

Assistance is given in the form of subsidy by the government and term credit ad­vanced by financial institutions (commercial banks, cooperatives and regional rural banks.) The programme is implemented in all blocks of the country as centrally sponsored scheme funded on 50:50 basis by the centre and the states.

The target group under IRDP consists of small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and rural artisans having annual in­come below Rs. 11,000 defined as poverty line in the Eighth Plan. In order to ensure that benefits under the programme reach the more vulnerable sectors of the society, it is stipulated that at least 50 per cent of assisted families should be from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes with corresponding flow of resources to them. Furthermore, 40 per cent of the coverage should be of women beneficiaries and 3 per cent of handicapped persons.

The programme was implemented through District Rural Develop­ment Agencies (DRDAs). The governing body of DRDA includes local MP, MLA, Chairman of Zila Parishad, and heads of district develop­ment departments, representatives of SCs, STs and women.

National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)

The National Old Age Pension Scheme has been renamed as Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOPS) and formally launched on 19th November, 2007.

Under this Scheme, central assistance is available as per the following criteria:

  • Age of the applicant (male or female) is 60 years or more.
  • The applicant is a ‘destitute’ in the sense of having little or no regular means of subsistence from his/her own sources of income or through financial support from family members or other sources.
  • Pension under IGNOAPS is now granted to a person who is 60 years or above and belongs to a household below the poverty line instead of only to destitute.
  • The central contribution of pension under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is Rs. 200/- per month per beneficiary up to 79 years and Rs.500/- per month per beneficiary from 80 year onwards and the State Governments may contribute over and above to this amount. At present old age beneficiaries are getting anywhere between Rs. 200/- to Rs. 1000/- depending on the State Contribution.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (National Urban Livelihoods Mission)

To reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots level institutions of the poor. The mission would aim at providing shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. In addition, the Mission would also address livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors by facilitating access to suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills to the urban street vendors for accessing emerging market opportunities.

Some of the key features of the scheme are as follows:

  • The core belief of National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) is that the poor are entrepreneurial and have innate desire to come out of poverty. The challenge is to unleash their capabilities to generate meaningful and sustainable livelihoods. The first step in this process is motivating the urban poor to form their own institutions. They and their institutions need to be provided sufficient capacity so that they can manage the external environment, access finance, expand their skills, enterprises and assets. This requires continuous and carefully designed handholding support. An external, dedicated and sensitive support structure, from the national level to the city and community levels, is required to induce social mobilisation, institution building and livelihood promotion.
  • NULM believes that any livelihood promotion programme can be scaled up in a time- bound manner only if driven by the poor and their institutions. Such strong institutional platforms support the poor in building up their own human, social, financial, and other assets. This in turn, enables them access to rights, entitlements, opportunities and services from the public and private sectors, while enhancing their solidarity, voice and bargaining power.
  • As per the Constitution (74thAmendment) Act, 1992, urban poverty alleviation is a legitimate function of the Urban Local Bodies (ULB). Therefore, ULBs would need to undertake a lead role for all issues and programmes concerning the urban poor in cities/towns, including skills and livelihoods.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act

On September 5th 2005 with assent of the president of India a new policy came into existence which worked towards providing livelihood security in rural areas of India. It started with the name “NREGA” which stood for National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and then an additional letter “M” was prefixed making it “MNREGA” Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. MNREGA is an employment scheme which provides

social security by guaranteeing a minimum of 100 days paid work per year to all the families whose adult members opt for unskilled labor-intensive work.

Some of the key features and achievements of the scheme are as follows:

  • To provide job security to all adult members for at least 150 days in a financial year.
  • To create permanent wealth such as roads, ponds, wells.
  • Employment is provided within a range of 5 kms from residence of applicants.
  • Job card to be issued for everyone who demands job, failing which, after 15 days employment benefits should be given.
  • Gram Sabhas should be strengthened to monitor proper implementation of the scheme and also to check corruption.
  • By 1st April 2008, this act covered all districts of India.
  • Since its inception in 2006, around ₹1,10,000 crore (about USD$25 billion) has gone directly as wage payment to rural households and 1200 crore (12 billion) person-days of employment has been generated. On an average, 5 crore (50 million) households have been provided employment every year since 2008.
  • The average wage per person-day has gone up by 81 per cent since the Scheme’s inception, with state-level variations. The notified wage today varies from a minimum of ₹122 (USD$1.76) in Bihar, Jharkhand to ₹191 (USD$2.76) in Haryana.


  • Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) have accounted for 51 per cent of the total person-days generated and women for 47 per cent, well above the mandatory 33 per cent as required by the Act.
  • 12 crore (120 million) Job Cards (JCs) have been given and these along with the 9 crore (90 million) muster rolls have been uploaded on the Management Information System (MIS), available for public scrutiny. Since 2010–11, all details with regard to the expenditure of the MGNREGA are available on the MIS in the public domain.

Pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana

Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) under the National Mission for Financial Inclusion was launched initially for a period of 4 years (in two phases) on 28th August 2014. It envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension.

PMJDY has provided a platform for the three social security schemes viz. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Atal Pension Yojana (APY) and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY).

The Government has decided to extend the comprehensive PMJDY program beyond 28.8.2018 with the change in focus on opening accounts from “every household” to “every adult”, with following modification:

  • Existing Over Draft (OD) limit of Rs. 5,000 revised to Rs. 10,000.
  • No conditions attached for active PMJDY accounts availing OD upto Rs. 2,000.
  • Age limit for availing OD facility revised from 18-60 years to 18-65 years.
  • The accidental insurance cover for new RuPay card holders raised from existing Rs.1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh to new PMJDY accounts opened after 28.8.2018.

Pradhan mantri awas yojana (Urban)

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Mission launched on 25th June 2015 which intends to provide housing for all in urban areas by year 2022. The Mission provides Central Assistance to the implementing agencies through States/Union Territories (UTs) and Central Nodal Agencies (CNAs) for providing houses to all eligible families/ beneficiaries against the validated demand for houses for about 1.12 cr. As per PMAY(U) guidelines, the size of a house for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) could be upto 30 sq. mt. carpet area, however States/UTs have the flexibility to enhance the size of houses in consultation and approval of the Ministry.

In continuation to this Government’s efforts towards empowerment of women from EWS and LIG unlike earlier schemes, PMAY (U) has made a mandatory provision for the female head of the family to be the owner or co-owner of the house under this Mission. Verticals of PMAY (Urban) A basket of options is adopted to ensure inclusion of a greater number of people depending on their income, finance and availability of land through following four options.

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAYG)

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAYG) was formed to meet the objectives of the ‘’Housing for All’’ scheme by the year 2022. It is a rural housing program that aims to provide a 25-square meter pucca house which also includes basic amenities to beneficiaries of the scheme. The houses are disaster-resilient, low cost, and take into consideration the socio-cultural and geo-climatic factors. Some state governments also provide financial assistance under the scheme to purchase land for landless beneficiaries. The scheme was launched in January 1996 as Indira Awaas Yojana. It was restructured in April 2016 as PMAYG.

BPCS Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for BPCS Prelims and BPCS Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by BPCS Notes are as follows:-