Poverty in India: Profiles, Policies and Programmes

Rajiv Balakrishnan and S. N. Jha




The relevance of low incomes, meagre possessions and other aspects of what are understandably seen as economic poverty relates ultimately to their role in curtailing capabilities—that is, their role in severely restricting the choice people have to lead valuable and valued lives. Poverty is, thus, ultimately a matter of capability deprivation and note has to be taken of that basic connection not just at the conceptual level, but also in economic investigations and in social and political analysis.1

The Constitution emphasizes equality as one of its basic principles, and large-scale poverty is clearly at variance with that norm.2 Fighting poverty was, ...

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