Economic Survey 2005-2006

Economic Survey > General Review > Review of Developments > Employment and Poverty


Review of Developments


Human development, poverty and unemployment

1.60  As per the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Reports, the value of the Human Development Index (HDI) – a composite indicator based on income, education and health – has increased consistently over the years.  However, India’s relative global ranking on this index has remained at a low of 127 among 177 countries for three years in a row. The unsatisfactory relative progress, in spite of rapid growth in income, continued to underscore the need for accelerated improvements in education and health.

1.61  While the availability of data for recent periods remains a problem in both the areas of education and health, there are some indications of progress, albeit slow, on both fronts.  For example, between 1991-95 to 2001-06, life expectancy at birth is estimated to have improved from 59.7 years to 63.9 years for males and from 60.9 years to 66.9 years for females. Similarly, in education, gross enrolment ratio – the proportion of children in the 6-14 years age group actually enrolled in elementary schools – is estimated to have increased progressively from 32.1 in 1950-51 to 82.4 in 2001-02 and further to 84.9 in 2003-04.  As on October 2005, number of out-of-school children, as reported by States/Union Territories (UTs), was down to 95 lakh from 320 lakh in 2001.

1.62  The latest available official estimate of poverty continues to be that relating to the year 1999-2000, when the 55th round large-scale quinquennial sample survey on household consumer expenditure was conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). The survey had estimated a reduction in the incidence of poverty from 36.0 per cent in 1993-1994 to 26.1 per cent during 1999-2000.  The comparability and the extent of actual decline were matters of some controversy due to a change in the methodology for data collection in 1999-2000.  While the results of the 61st round of the large-scale NSSO survey conducted during 2004-2005 are still awaited, the annual thin-sample surveys available for the period beyond 1999-2000 point towards a continued reduction in the incidence of poverty. The results of the 61st round will clarify whether the rate of decline in poverty-incidence is in conformity with the trend required to achieve the Tenth Plan’s targeted reduction in poverty to 19.3 per cent by 2007.

1.63  The results of the 60th round NSSO Survey on Employment and Unemployment situation conducted during January–June 2004 are now available. The sample size, which is neither large nor small by standards of the previous NSSO rounds, leaves scope for raising questions about sampling errors and conclusiveness of the evidence.  Nevertheless, the 60th round estimates the unemployment rate, based on the current daily status, in 2004, for males at 9.0 per cent (up from 5.6 per cent in 1993-94) in rural areas and at 8.1 per cent (up from 6.7 per cent in 1993-94) in urban areas. The corresponding figures for females were 9.3 per cent (up from 5.6 per cent) in rural areas and 11.7 per cent (up from 10.5 per cent) in urban areas.


<<<Previous | Next>>>


  Disclaimer: Information is being made available at this site purely as a measure of public facilitation. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information hosted on this website is accurate, Ministry of Finance and NIC do not hold themselves liable for any consequences, legal or otherwise, arising out of use of any such information.  
Designed, Developed and Hosted by
National Informatics Centre
  Information is provided by Ministry of Finance