Since independence the ultimate goal of the economic planners and policy makers in the country has been growth with equity. As part of this, government has taken several policies and programmes to reduce the poverty in India.
India has set up several committees and commissions to study the persisting problem of poverty in India. The recently setup Tendulkar committee and Rangarajan committee has recorded that approximately thirty percent of the population is living below poverty line.
If these figures are to be believed then India’s status as a growing global power is under question.What are the issues and challenges affecting poverty alleviation in India?
So far poverty alleviation has been considered primarily as state‟s responsibility. Thus analyzing the performance of the government programmes of poverty alleviation in India, the paper shows how and why such efforts have failed to make much headway. The paper argues that, along with government‟s initiative in poverty alleviation, there is a need for taking a critical look at these and similar business models to explore the role of private sector in poverty. The review highlights the poverty alleviation programmes of the government in the post-economic reform era to evaluate the contribution of these programmes towards reducing poverty in the country. The poverty alleviation programmes are classified into (i) self-employment programmes; (ii) wage employment programmes; (iii) food security programmes; (iv) social security programmes. There is a need for decentralization of the programmes by strengthening the panchayati raj institutions as poverty is not merely economic deprivation but also social marginalization that affects the poor most.