National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 of NITI Aayog


  • Recently, NITI Aayog has released National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 baseline report.

About National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021

  • Basing itself on the National Health Family Survey (NHFS) for 2015-16, the NITI Aayog has said in that year one in every four people in India was multidimensionally poor.
  • India’s national MPI (multidimensional poverty index) identifies 25.01 per cent of the population as multidimensionally poor.
  • Incidentally, the MPI for 2021, launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), showed that 27.9 per cent of India’s population were multidimensionally poor.
  • The country ranked 62nd out of 109 nations on the index.

    National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 of NITI Aayog
    Credit: India Today
  • This index was based on 10 indicators such as lack of improved drinking water, adequate nutrition or at least six years of schooling.
  • Recently the NHFS came up with only the fact sheet for 2019-20.
  • The report took a person spending less than Rs 47 a day in cities and one spending less than Rs 32 a day in villages as poor.
    • This poverty line approach was abandoned by the NITI Aayog, which replaced the Planning Commission on January 1, 2015.
  • As such, there were deprived people by each of these criteria even as some of them may not have been multidimensionally poor in 2015-16.
    • The highest number of the deprived are in cooking fuel and sanitation at 58.5 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively. This means more than half the population were poor on these two counts.
    • Next came housing, which had 45.6 per cent of the population as deprived during 2015-16, followed by nutrition (37.6 per cent), maternal health (22.6 per cent), drinking water (14.6), assets (14), years of schooling (13.9), electricity (12.2), bank account (9.7), school attendance (6.4) and child and adolescent mortality (2.7).

Ranking of States /UTs

  • Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have emerged as the poorest states in India.
  • Bihar also has the highest number of malnourished people followed by Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
    • Bihar also ranks worst when it comes to percentage of population deprived of maternal health, percentage of population deprived of years of schooling, school attendance and percentage of population deprived of cooking fuel and electricity.
  • As per the index, 51.91 per cent population of Bihar is poor, followed by 42.16 per cent in Jharkhand, 37.79 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. While Madhya Pradesh (36.65 per cent) has been placed fourth in the index, Meghalaya (32.67 per cent) is at the fifth spot.
  • Kerala (0.71 per cent), Goa (3.76 per cent), Sikkim (3.82 per cent), Tamil Nadu (4.89 per cent) and Punjab (5.59 per cent) have registered the lowest poverty across India and are at the bottom of the index.
  • While among union territories (UTs), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (27.36 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh (12.58), Daman & Diu (6.82 per cent) and Chandigarh (5.97 per cent), have emerged as the poorest UTs in India, Puducherry having 1.72 per cent of its population as poor, Lakshadweep (1.82 per cent), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (4.30 per cent) and Delhi (4.79 per cent) have fared better.

Why NFHS-4 ?

  • Data collected during the NFHS-4 (2015-2016) corresponds to the period before the full roll out of government schemes on housing, drinking water, sanitation, electricity, cooking fuel, financial inclusion, and other major efforts towards improving school attendance, nutrition, mother and child health, etc.


Back to Basics

  • India’s national MPI measure used the globally accepted and robust methodology developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The index was aimed at leveraging the monitoring mechanism and methodology of the globally recognised MPI to rigorously benchmark national and sub-national performance and drive programmatic actions and reforms.
  • National Multidimensional Poverty Index: Baseline Report is based on National Family Health Survey 4, which was conducted in 2015-16. NFHS is conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The MPI is based on three dimensions — health, education, and standard of living — with each having a weighting of one-third in the index.
    • These dimensions are further based on 12 segments — nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, antenatal care, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts.
  • Earlier, the erstwhile Planning Commission used to measure the number of the poor on the basis of the poverty line. According to one such report, 21.9 per cent of the population were poor in India in 2011-12 against 29.8 per cent in 2009-10. That report was based on the Suresh Tendulkar methodology. By that, those who spent more than Rs 33 a day in urban areas and Rs 27 in rural areas were not treated as poor.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, adopted by 193 countries in 2015, has redefined development policies, government priorities, and metrics for measuring development progress across the world.
  • The SDG framework, with 17 global goals and 169 targets, is significantly wider in scope and scale relative to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), its predecessor.
  • In early 2020, the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, identified 29 global indices to monitor, analyse and evaluate with the aim of improving India’s position in global rankings.
  • Under this mandate, also known as the Global Indices for Reforms and Growth (GIRG) mandate, Niti Aayog was identified as the nodal agency for the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

Source: Business Standard & India Today

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