C Rangarajan Committee on Poverty

The C. Rangarajan Committee was a government-appointed panel in India tasked with re-evaluating the methodology for measuring poverty and updating the poverty line. In 2014, the committee submitted its report, which recommended changes to the method, including incorporating broader criteria such as health and education indicators. The committee suggested a higher poverty line, increasing the number of people considered poor. The report sparked debates and discussions on poverty measurement and social welfare policies in India.

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C Rangarajan Committee on Poverty

The C. Rangarajan Committee on Poverty, officially known as the Expert Group to Review the Methodology for Estimation of Poverty, was established by the Government of India in 2012. Dr C. Rangarajan, an economist and former Reserve Bank of India governor, chaired the committee. Its primary objective was to review the existing methodology for estimating poverty in India.

The committee’s report, submitted in 2014, recommended a revised methodology for calculating poverty and updating the poverty line. It proposed a multidimensional approach considering income and access to essential services like health, education, and sanitation. The committee suggested using a new poverty line based on per capita consumption expenditure, which was higher than the previous one.

The report generated significant discussion and controversy. It led to debates about the definition of poverty, the appropriate measurement criteria, and its implications for government welfare policies. The committee’s findings and recommendations were essential inputs for policymakers and researchers working on poverty alleviation in India.

Rangarajan Committee UPSC Important Points

Here are some crucial points from the Rangarajan Committee report:

  • Multidimensional approach: The committee proposed a multidimensional approach to measure poverty, considering factors beyond income, such as access to healthcare, education, and sanitation.
  • Revised poverty line: The committee recommended a higher poverty line based on per capita consumption expenditure, which reflected a more realistic estimation of poverty in India.
  • Urban and rural poverty: The report recognized the differences in living standards and costs between urban and rural areas and suggested separate poverty lines for these two contexts.
  • Minimum essential consumption: The committee emphasized that the poverty line should be based on the minimum essential consumption required to meet basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education, and transportation.
  • Index of deprivation: The report proposed an index of deprivation to measure the extent of poverty by considering various dimensions, such as nutrition, education, and sanitation.
  • Poverty reduction strategies: The committee stressed the importance of inclusive growth, employment generation, and targeted social welfare programs to reduce poverty effectively.
  • Data collection and monitoring: The report highlighted the need for improving data collection methods, regular monitoring, and updating poverty estimates to enable evidence-based policymaking.
  • Public distribution system: The committee recommended reforms in the Public Distribution System (PDS) to ensure efficient and targeted delivery of food grains and essential commodities to people experiencing poverty.
  • Universalization of social programs: The report advocated for universalizing social programs like healthcare, education, and social security, while also targeting specific interventions for the most vulnerable sections of society.
  • Empowerment and capacity building: The committee stressed the importance of empowering people experiencing poverty through skill development, education, and access to credit and resources, enabling them to break free from the cycle of poverty.

These points reflect some critical aspects of the Rangarajan Committee’s recommendations and its broader vision to address poverty comprehensively.

The Rangarajan Committee, officially known as the “Committee on Financial Inclusion,” was formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2004. The committee was led by Dr C. Rangarajan, a renowned economist and former Governor of the RBI. The committee’s primary objective was to examine the various aspects of financial inclusion in India and provide recommendations to enhance access to financial services for all sections of society.
The committee focused on addressing the issues of financial exclusion faced by marginalized and underprivileged sections of the population, such as rural and low-income households. It analyzed the country’s existing financial infrastructure, policies, and regulatory framework and made several key recommendations to promote financial inclusion.

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FAQs on Rangarajan committee

Q1: What is the Rangarajan Committee?

A1: The Rangarajan Committee, officially known as the Expert Group to Review the Methodology for Estimating Poverty, was formed in 2012. Its objective was to reevaluate the methodology used for poverty estimation in India.

Q2: Who chaired the Rangarajan Committee?

A2: The committee was chaired by C. Rangarajan, an eminent economist and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Q3: What was the primary purpose of the Rangarajan Committee?

A3: The committee aimed to update the poverty line and revise the methodology for estimating poverty in India. It sought to provide more accurate and comprehensive poverty estimates.

Q4: What were the key recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee?

A4: The committee recommended a new poverty line based on the consumption expenditure of households. It proposed separate poverty lines for rural and urban areas, accounting for regional variations. It also considered additional factors such as health and education expenses in estimating poverty.

Q5: How did the Rangarajan Committee’s poverty estimates differ from previous ones?

A5: The Rangarajan Committee’s estimates indicated a higher poverty rate than previous estimates. This was partly due to the committee’s revised methodology and inclusion of additional factors in poverty estimation.

Q6: Did the Rangarajan Committee face any controversies or criticisms?

A6: Yes, the committee’s recommendations faced criticism and debates. Some experts questioned the methodology and data, suggesting that the poverty estimates may have been overestimated. There were also discussions about the adequacy of the proposed poverty line in capturing the true extent of poverty.

Q7: Were the recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee implemented?

A7: The recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee were implemented after some time. However, they contributed to the broader discussions on poverty estimation and influenced subsequent policy decisions and research in this area.

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Last updated: August 9, 2023 Updated on 5:59 AM