Urban India 2015: Evidence (Poverty, Inequality and Exclusion)
India has a long and vibrant history of debate and scholarship around poverty and its measurement. Arguments about the most appropriate way to measure poverty have evolved over time. The poverty line, the cut-off consumption expenditure pegged to calorie intake norms below which people are considered to be poor, has been the preferred instrument to measure poverty across states and regions until very recently, primarily because of its simplicity and its ease of use in targeting beneficiaries. The latest revision of the poverty line was done by the Rangarajan Committee in 2014. Originally envisioned as a monitoring tool, it began to be used as a basis for identifying beneficiaries for various schemes and entitlements.
The aim of this chapter is to locate the question of urban poverty within a wider understanding of vulnerability and deprivation—to start asking what urban residents need to live a decent life in contemporary Indian cities. It intends to draw out the essential differences between the nature of deprivation in rural and urban areas, and within urban areas, at different scales of agglomeration.
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