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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 - Poverty

Last updated date: 16th May 2024
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Class 11 NCERT Solutions Indian Economic Development - Chapter 4 - Free PDF Download

Vedantu offers CBSE Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 Poverty NCERT Solutions so that you can easily and deeply understand the topic. Here we cover exercise questions in a simple and comprehensive manner so that you can easily grasp the subject. In this section, we will talk about CBSE Economics Chapter 4 Class 11, which is based on Poverty in India. We also provide NCERT Solutions of other subjects including Hindi, Economics, Accountancy, etc. for Class 11, so you can score well in the subjects you find difficulty in. So, let’s get started with Poverty Class 11 NCERT Solutions and cover all the related questions regarding the topic


NCERT Solutions for Class 11


Class 11 Economics

Subject Part:

Class 11 Economics - Indian Economic Development

Chapter Name:

Chapter 4 - Poverty


Text, Videos, Images and PDF Format

Academic Year:



English and Hindi

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Access NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 - Poverty

1. Why is the calorie-based norm not adequate to identify the poor?

Ans. The reasons given below describe why the calorie-based norm is not adequate to identify the poor.

  • It places all needy people under the category of poor. Thus, it is unable to classify among the people considered as poor. It does not indicate who is the most in need compared to others.

  • A person’s calorie- intake does not reliably signify his/her economic condition. It also does not take the availability of health care, sanitation, drinking water, etc. under consideration. 

  • Monthly Per Capita Expenditure is taken as the measure of income which does not give a proper picture of calorie requirement and calorie intake.

  • It does not take account of social factors such as lack of resources, not having civil and political rights, etc. which increase poverty or make it worse.

2. What is meant by the 'Food for Work' programme ? 

Ans. In the year 1977, the ‘Food for Work’ programme was first introduced in India to generate employment opportunities for unskilled laborers. They were placed to work on infrastructural development works such as road construction, watershed development, etc., etc., and were paid in terms of food grains. The programme was revived in 2004 by the Ministry of Rural Development and launched as the National Food for Work Programme in 150 backward districts of the country. The focus of this programme was to keep the purchasing power of the poor community and facilitate socio-economic development among backward classes.

3. Why are employment generation programmes important in poverty alleviation in India? 

Ans. In the process of poverty alleviation, employment generation programmes are important because—

  • Employment and poverty alleviation are directly proportional: An employed person is capable of meeting the basic needs of himself and his family. He is also capable of generating income-earning assets. Thus, employment opportunities can help an unemployed person to lift from the poverty line.  

  • Better living standard: With new employment opportunities, the per capita income of a society rises which allows the poor to enjoy a better standard of living, access to education, health care, sanitation, clean drinking water, etc. basic amenities. 

  • Reduction in migration: Poor people tend to move from place to place for earnings. Large-scale migration to urban areas often leaves villages in ruined states. Forming enough income opportunities, improving the agricultural system and production can reduce rural to urban migration. The government needs to employ positive employment opportunities and develop infrastructure in the rural area to prevent poverty-trodden people from migrating.

  • Infrastructural development: In poor regions of the country, the government needs to generate work through infrastructural development such as road building, water harvesting, watershed development, irrigation canal formation, dam building, etc. These steps not only bring in employment but also connect the rural to the urban areas. These are also known as durable assets which perform a higher role in the socio-economic development of the country. These assets also provide self-sufficiency in poverty-ridden areas. 

  • Skill development: To improve income opportunities, the government has to create and support skill development programs that will help to form human capital by increasing knowledge and skills. The poor, unskilled laborers will be able to get better work opportunities through this, and thus industrial and service sectors will also be benefitted.

  • Decrease of disguised unemployment The agricultural sector of the Indian economy has been the source of disguised unemployment, where the total production does not directly depend upon the number of employed people.  Thus, the actual data of the employed person is not always clear. Thus, the importance of an employment generation programme is relevant to reduce disguised unemployment. Through such programmes, excess laborers can be utilized effectively reducing the load on the agricultural sector. 

4. How can the creation of income-earning assets address the problem of poverty? 


  • The assets owned and regulated by the members of a family, such as land, house, skill, capital, etc. are called income-earning assets. These assets provide employment prospects for the poor and eventually help in raising his/her standard of living. 

  • Poverty in society comes from inequality of income which evolves from improper dispersal and access to income-earning assets. 

  • Along with this, the unavailability of basic requirements of life, such as healthcare, education, proper shelter, and access to modern technologies at the workplace, can limit the potential earning of a poor person. 

  • Thus, to assuage the issue of poverty measures to generate income-earning assets among poor people is important. 

  • Some of such measures include providing monetary assistance, land allocation, home allocation, access to easy credit, accessible healthcare, education, skill development training, etc. 

  • All of these measures allow improvement of earning opportunities and increase earning abilities which are contributive to the mitigation of poverty.

5. The three-dimensional attack on poverty adopted by the government has not succeeded in poverty alleviation in India. Comment. 

Ans. The three-dimensional approaches undertaken by the government to alleviate poverty in India are—

  • Trickle-down Approach: Here the positive results of economic growth will trickle down and benefit everyone especially the poor section of the society.

  • Poverty Alleviation Approach: Here the aim is to create employment opportunities and generation of income-earning assets.

  • Ensuring availability of basic amenities: Here the aim is to help the poor receive easy access to food, water, sanitation, healthcare education, shelter, etc. 

Even though the above measures were taken to alleviate poverty in India, the results had not been fruitful. Following conclusions can be drawn from the results received till now. 

  • Even though the percentage of people living in absolute poverty has reduced, a large number of people still do not receive basic amenities.

  • The programmes for the generation of income-earning assets have not been very successful. 

  • Other than Kerala and West Bengal land reforms have not provided much success in other states. 

  • Inequality in income from land resources is yet to resolve. 

  • Lower generation of capital, unavailability of easy credit, modern techniques, access to information, market resources, etc., has blocked the progress of small enterprises.  

  • Lack of motivation and bureaucratic hindrance, corruption, etc. has caused hindrance in the implementation of poverty alleviation programmes. 

6. What programmes has the government adopted to help elderly people and poor and destitute women? 

Ans. The government has implemented numerous programmes to assist elderly people and poor and destitute women. National Social Assistance Programme, is one of such measures taken up by the central government. This programme is aimed towards aged citizens, widows, and poor and destitute females who have none to look after them. Under this programme, the said focus group are provided monthly pensions to ensure a proper livelihood. 

7. Is there any relationship between unemployment and poverty? Explain. 


  • Unemployment and poverty run hand in hand, thus, a direct relationship is present between these. An unemployed person cannot get resources for living a comfortable life for himself or his family. Thus, they lack quality health care, education and cannot generate income-earning assets. Unemployment brings debt to the person. All these add up to increase poverty. 

  • The government has to take initiative in creating new work opportunities to remove poverty. The income graph of the country will rise when the number of employed people will increase. 

  • The availability of education, health care, and improvement of basic infrastructure will help people to create income-earning assets. The combined effort will lessen poverty in society. 

Thus, we can say poverty and unemployment are directly proportional to each other while both have negative impacts on society.

8. Suppose you are from a poor family and you wish to get help from the government to set up a petty shop. Under which scheme will you apply for assistance and why? 

Ans. I would apply under the government programme named Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY), to receive financial assistance for setting up a petty shop. This programme helps educated, unemployed youth from a low-income background in both rural and urban regions to start small enterprises which not only can sustain the person’s livelihood but also be capable of generating employment. Another government-run programme is Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) focused on similar rural India. 

9. Illustrate the difference between rural and urban poverty. Is it correct to say that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas? Use the trends in the poverty ratio to support your answer. 

Ans. The differences between rural and urban poverty are given below.

Rural Poverty

Urban Poverty

Lower living standards due to very low income.

Comparatively higher income and better living standard. 

Access to education, skill generation is poor. 

Comparatively better access to education and skill development opportunities. 

Lack of health facilities and medical information. 

Opportunities to receive health facilities and medical facilities are present.

Employment opportunities are limited. 

Employment opportunities are comparatively higher. 

Migration from rural to urban areas was observed.

Migration is not observed, thus it is permanent. 

Yes, poverty is often observed to shift from rural to urban areas. Many people come to the urban areas in search of employment from villages. Without proper skills and education, the availability of jobs becomes scarce to them and thus they add to the rising poverty line in the urban areas. The following table bearing the data on increasing poverty in urban areas will give us a clearer picture of this. 


Poverty Ratio

Rural (%)

Urban (%)


1973 - 1974




1977 - 1978








1987 - 1988




1993 - 1994




1999 - 2000




2004 - 2005 (comparable with 1993 - 1994)




[Source: Planning Commission Estimates, (uniform reference period)]

These data prove that while total poverty has comparatively lowered, the decline in urban poverty was not that significant and has comparatively risen in recent years. 

10. Suppose you are a resident of a village, suggest a few measures to tackle the problem of poverty.

Ans. As a resident of a village, the measures I would suggest to tackle the issue of poverty are listed below.

  • Documentation of the individuals or families living in poverty. 

  • Access to basic needs of life, such as food, clean water, health care, education.

  • Equal distribution of income-earning assets. 

  • Providing employment opportunities and easy access to means for starting a small enterprise.

  • Providing an opportunity to develop skills among youth and motivate them to acquire knowledge and information for the betterment of their future.

  • Improving agricultural practices and raising the production of agricultural products. 

  • Providing infrastructural development. 

  • Spreading awareness regarding population increase and its downfall. 

NCERT Economics Chapter 4 Class 11 Notes - Free PDF Download

What is Poverty?

Poverty refers to the state or condition where a person or community lacks a minimum standard of living and cannot fulfil basic life necessities such as food, clothing, education, home, etc.

There Are Two Types of Poverty

Poverty is further defined into two types, through which we can measure poverty.

  1. Absolute Poverty 

  2. Relative Poverty 

1. Absolute Poverty

Absolute poverty is the extreme poverty condition where the household condition is not enough to afford necessities of life such as food, clothing, clean water, sheather, education, information, etc. The number of people living below the poverty line comes in absolute poverty. Those who come under absolute poverty experience and live in harsh conditions where the number of death rates from preventable diseases increases day by day. The absolute poverty criteria cannot be transformed by economic growth. 

We Can Measure Absolute Poverty in Two Criteria

  1. Minimum Calorie Consumption Criteria

The person who is not getting a minimum of 2400 calories per day in rural areas and 2100 calories in urban areas, then they would be considered to be living below the poverty line. 

  1. Minimum Consumption Expenditure Criteria 

The person whose monthly per capita consumption expenditure is Rs 27.2 in rural areas and Rs 33.3 in urban areas comes below the poverty line.

2. Relative Poverty

Relative poverty is different from absolute poverty, it is defined from a social perspective and based on the comparison of people in different regions. It does not state whether a person is really poor or can afford necessities of life. Relative poverty is seen as the inequality of income in different groups. 

Relative poverty is measured by comparing what the average income group earns than the other population. If the household income is lower than 50% of what average people were earning, the group or person is said to be in poverty. Unlike absolute poverty, relative poverty is not permanent and changes economic growth. However, there is a drawback of Relative poverty, it only reflects the perceived perception of different segments. 

What is the Poverty Line?

The poverty line is also known as the poverty limit. The poverty threshold shows the minimum level of income to meet in a particular country. It usually divides the population of the county as poor and non-poor. People who fall under the poverty line are called poor while those who come above the poverty line are considered non-poor. The poverty line is defined by the planning commission, in which consumption of food plays a major role. The minimum calories requirement per person is 2400 in rural areas while 2100 calories in urban areas.

What Are the Causes of Poverty?

Numerous reasons give birth to poverty. Here are some stated reasons for what causes poverty:

  1. Population Explosion: Rapid growth in population while there are fewer resources, particularly among poor sectors, is responsible for giving rise to poverty in the country.

  2. High Level of Unemployment: When the population rises, unemployment also boosts creating an imbalance of equal wages. Thus having higher unemployment causes severe poverty in the nation.

  3. Inequalities of Income: The major cause of poverty in India is because of the unequal distribution of national income among people. Both rural and urban areas face unequal distribution of income and concentration of economic power. 

(Image to be added soon)

Solved Example

Q. Why So Much Importance is Given to Employment Generation in Relation to the Issues Related to Poverty?

Ans. The employment generation programme is important in poverty alleviation in India because it will improve the condition of the weaker economy section through promoted government schemes. It also provides them with a higher standard of living and accessibility to good health, education, sanitation, etc.

Fun Fact 

According to the Huffington Post out of 680 million people, 56% of Indians could not complete their basic needs. Even people who are above the poverty line, about 413 million, are also exposed to harsh living conditions. They could not afford proper sanitation, good health services around the nation.

FAQs on NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 - Poverty

1. Why is poverty in India a problem?

India has a high population growth rate which is the top reason for poverty in India. In the population of more than 400 million people, half of the population is deprived of the basic needs. The necessities could not be completed by people such as food, shelter and clothing. The high population rate also affects per capita income. According to the report, the population of India will grow up to 1.5 billion by 2026. Scarcity of enough resources over the major population affecting the economic growth of the country. Poverty could not be eradicated if the population could not control it. Other factors that give rise to poverty is the unequal distribution of income and resources among people. 

2. Is poverty greater in urban or rural areas?

Poverty in India is in both areas. However, when compared with urban areas, the poverty rate is higher in rural areas. Because India’s major population resides in rural areas. The growth opportunity is also limited in rural areas, thus people are forced to migrate to urban areas. The reason rural India faces a poverty problem is due to people's high dependence on agriculture. However, this cannot be a reliable source of income, as irrigation facilities and other facilities are not available in rural areas. The people also struggle to get a proper education in rural areas due to lack of proper schooling over there. Thus lack of education and other facilities boost the problem of poverty in these areas.

3. Is there any relationship between unemployment and poverty? Explain from the information obtained in Chapter 4 of Class 11 Economics.

Yes, there definitely exists a directly proportional and cyclic relationship between unemployment and poverty. Unemployment results in poverty and poverty also results in unemployment. Because of the lack of basic needs of an unemployed person, there is an increase in poverty, and because of this lack, he is unable to make himself employable.

If such people can be provided with basic needs like food, healthcare facilities, and education, they might have a chance to secure employment. This will in turn bring down poverty in the country.

4. Can I access Vedantu’s NCERT Solutions for Chapter 4  of Class 11 Economy offline?

All of Vedantu's NCERT Solutions can be accessed offline easily. All you need to do is follow these simple steps and download the solutions for offline use:

  1. Go to Vedantu's NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economy and choose the chapter of your choice.

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You can also download these using the Vedantu mobile app free of cost.

5. Are the solutions provided by Vedantu for Chapter 4 of Class 11 Economy suitable for examination?

Here is why Vedantu's NCERT Solutions for Chapter 4 "Poverty" of Class 11 Economics are the ideal solutions for exams:

  1. Scoring high marks in CBSE exams hugely depends on the kind of answers you are able to write in exams. If you can impress the examiner with your answers you will be able to score high.

  2. Vedantu's Solutions perfectly exemplify how to write impressive answers.

  3. Competent economic teachers prepare these solutions.

  4. The solutions are as per CBSE guidelines.

6. How are the poor categorized according to Chapter 4 of Class 11 Economy?

The poor people of a country can be of various types,  often categorized as:

  1. Always poor

  2. Usually poor: sometimes may have a little more money. For example, casual workers

  3. Churning poor: often move in and out of poverty. For example, small farmers.

  4. Occasionally poor:  rich most of the time but may sometimes have hard times.

  5. Never poor

  6. Non poor

Always poor and usually poor together are called chronic poor.  Churning poor and occasionally poor are together referred to as transient poor.

7. What is the HeadCount ratio according to Chapter 4 of Class 11 Economy?

HeadCount Ratio, also popularly known as HCR, is the proportion of the population of a country that lives below the poverty line.  This ratio is significant in evaluating poverty and understanding the development of a country.  Although Head Count Ratio gives important information about the poverty prevalence in a country, it fails to provide information on the depths of this poverty. Thus HCR may not convey an in-depth picture of poverty in any country.