NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 - Poverty

*According to the latest update on the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been removed.

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 Poverty is an exceptionally helpful resource for students to prepare for examinations. This study resource provides in-depth knowledge of the concepts covered in the chapter, and the NCERT solutions collated by the subject-matter experts are easy to comprehend. This chapter is a brief introduction to the concept of poverty in the country.

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Questions for NCERT Economics Solutions Class 11 Chapter 4

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

The calorie-based norm is not adequate due to the following reasons:

1. It does not make a differentiation between types of poor. It categorises all as “poor”. It indicates all as poor while missing out on the poorest among the lot, someone who is most needy.

2. It does not consider factors such as health care, proper sanitation, clean water for drinking and basic education. Only identifying the calorie intake is not a proper parameter to determine the economic condition of any individual.

3. This calculation also does not take into account social factors that affect poverty in a major way, like health conditions, lack of resources, and civil and political freedom.

4. The expenditure on food and some selective items are considered as alternatives for income without proper measurement of poverty.

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

The ‘Food for Work’ programme was started in the year 1977 by the government formed by Janata Party. At that time, it generated employment for unskilled labourers to help create roads and other useful assets in exchange for providing food grains as wages. The same programme was revived in the year 2004 and was named as NFFWP (National Food for Work Programme). This programme was launched in 150 of the most backward districts of the country with an aim to provide employment and also provide food security to the unskilled labourers of these areas.

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

Employment generation programmes help in poverty alleviation in the following ways:

1. When new employment schemes are generated, it results in employment opportunities for people, and similarly, they will be above poverty.

2. Poor people can get a chance to live a better life by getting access to healthcare facilities, proper nutrition, education and hygienic conditions.

3. Employment generation schemes help in developing skills in previously unskilled workers which will help in increasing employment prospects later on.

4. There is a problem of disguised unemployment in the agricultural sector, and employment programmes help in reducing disguised unemployment by engaging those labourers in some other activities.

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

Income-earning assets help generate sources of income for poor people and thereby help in addressing the issue of poverty. Such assets can be in the form of technical skills, monetary assistance, and better education and support services for increasing the overall productivity of the population that will directly impact the improving quality of life.
5. The three-dimensional attack on poverty adopted by the government has not succeeded in poverty alleviation in India. Comment.

The three-dimensional approach adopted by the government targeted the following factors: 1) economic growth, 2) employment generation and 3) alleviating poverty. Although this approach has resulted in the reduction of poverty to some extent, it has not been successful in alleviating poverty in India, as many people still lack nourishment, literacy and access to basic amenities, which is due to:

1. Improper distribution of land and other assets among the rich and the poor.

2. Unorganised implementation of various reform programmes and lack of properly trained policymakers lead to the failure of the policies.

3. Corruption prevalent at all levels prevented proper implementation.

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

The Central Government has implemented many programmes for taking care of elderly people, the poor and the destitute. The most famous of the schemes is National Social Assistance Programme. It is a social security and welfare programme that provides support to aged persons, widows, disabled persons and bereaved families on the death of the primary breadwinner for those belonging to the below poverty line households.

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

Employment and poverty are directly related to each other as an unemployed person has no source to earn money with which basic needs can be fulfilled for themself as well as others. It results in a negative impact on other aspects of life, such as healthcare and education. An unemployed person is unable to generate income-earning assets.

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?

For setting up a petty shop, financial assistance can be obtained under Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY). This programme started in the year 1993 and helped educated unemployed youths to start a business and generate employment for themselves and others.

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.

The difference between urban and rural poverty depends on the nature of poverty. In urban areas, the people who are poor are those that are unemployed, employed with very low wages or underemployed, whereas the poverty in rural areas is due to the people being agricultural labourers, small farmers or seasonal workers. The quality of life is different in urban and rural areas. People have access to better healthcare and education facilities in urban areas, whereas there is a lack of such a setup in rural areas.

Year Poverty Ratio
Rural (%) Urban (%) Total (%)
1973-74 56.4 49.0 54.9
1977-78 53.1 45.2 51.3
1983 45.6 40.8 44.5
1987-88 39.1 38.2 38.9
1993-94 37.3 32.4 36.0
1999-2000 27.1 23.6 26.1
2004-05 comparable with 1993-94 28.3 25.7 27.5
Estimates Source: Planning Commission Estimates (Uniform Reference Period)

Yes, it will be correct if it is said that poverty has shifted from rural to urban areas. It can be explained in this manner:

To seek employment, many people come to urban areas from rural areas, and as a result, the number of people that are unemployed in urban areas increases over time. As they lack the proper education and skills to become employed in any company, this contributes to the decline in poverty in rural areas, and as a result, poverty is on the rise in urban areas. From the above table, we can see that there is a decline in the poverty ratio in rural areas.

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

Some measures that can be suggested to tackle the problem of poverty are listed below:

1. Identifying the poor and segregating them into proper classifications.

2. Encourage people to get educated so as to be better equipped for employment.

3. Imparting vocational training to help unskilled labourers gain job-ready skills.

4. Informing people about various schemes run by the government that are helpful for poor people.

5. Educating people about population control.

6. Providing access to free healthcare facilities.

7. Establishing small-scale industries to generate employment.

The concepts covered in this chapter are as follows:

  • Introduction and meaning of poverty
  • Who are the poor?
  • What is poverty?
  • How are the poor people identified?
  • Categorising poverty
  • The poverty line
  • The number of poor in India
  • What causes poverty?
  • Policies and programmes towards poverty alleviation


NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 provides a wide range of illustrative examples, which helps the students to comprehend and learn quickly. The above-mentioned are the solutions, according to the Class 11 CBSE syllabus. For more solutions and study materials of NCERT solutions for Class 11 Economics, visit BYJU’S or download BYJU’S – The Learning App for more information.

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NCERT Solutions for Class 11


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