1/3rd of world's extreme poor in India: UN study
India is home to the largest number of poor with one-third of the world’s 1.2 billion extreme poor living here. It also had the highest number of under-five deaths in the world in 2012, with 1.4 million children dying before reaching their fifth birthday, according to the UN Millennium Development Goals report 2014.
Poverty rates in Southern Asia fell from 51% in 1990 to 30% two decades later with China leading the way. Extreme poverty in China came down from 60% in 1990 to 16% in 2005 and 12% in 2010. In India poverty reduction was sluggish in comparison coming down from 49.4% in 1994 to 42% in 2005 and 32.7% in 2010.
Two-thirds of the extreme poor (those who lived on income less than $1 a day) live in India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Congo.
Commenting on the report, minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla said its findings present a challenge to the government under Narendra Modi and that it would be able to surmount it. “Good days will come,” she said. “We don’t have to be proud of what we have done. Poverty is the biggest challenge... I am sure when the next report comes, we will have done much better,“ she said. Heptulla stressi ed on the Prime Minister's commitment to poverty elimination and his mantra of “sab ka saath, sabka vikas (With all, development for all)“.
UN Resident Coordinator Lise Grande said India's role in global development is very important and the Millennium Development Goals can't be reached globally if they're not reached here. South Asia did see sharp increase in youth literacy rates between 1990 and 2011, which increased from 60% to 80%.