The National Multidimensional Poverty Index (NMPI) baseline report was released by NITI Aayog on 26th Nov, 2021. The report was based on the National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS-4) which was conducted between 2015 and 2016. This report serves as a baseline as it is useful to understand the situation before large-scale rollout of nationally important schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), etc. MPI is calculated using 12 segments- nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, antenatal care, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets and bank account, as compared to the previous approach of just considering the poverty line. It encapsulates multiple and simultaneous deprivation that are faced by the population to ensure that no one is left excluded.
The report stated that one in every four people in India, approximately 25.01% population, was multidimensionally poor. The population was seen to be deprived the most in cooking fuel and sanitation with a percentage of 58.5 and 52.0 respectively (more than half of the population). Other indicators that followed were Housing with 45.6%, Nutrition with 37.6%, Maternal Health with 22.6%, drinking water with 14.6%, assets with 14.0%, years of schooling with 13.9%, electricity with 12.2%, bank account with 9.7%, school attendance with 6.4% and child and adolescent mortality with 2.7%.
The state-wise statistics show Bihar to be the poorest with 51.91% population as poor. Bihar was followed by Jharkhand (42.16%), Uttar Pradesh (37.79%), Madhya Pradesh (36.65%), and Meghalaya (32.67%). Union territories had Dadra and Nagar Haveli (27.36 per cent) as the poorest followed by Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh (12.58%), Daman & Diu (6.82%), and Chandigarh (5.97%). States with lowest poverty across India were Kerala (0.71%), Goa (3.76%), Sikkim (3.82%), Tamil Nadu (4.89%) and Punjab (5.59%). Puducherry (1.72%), Lakshadweep (1.82%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (4.30%) and Delhi (4.79%) had their situation improved.
“India’s national MPI highlights the need for a whole-of-government approach towards addressing poverty and its multidimensionality“, Niti Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant said in his foreword. As per a senior NITI Aayog official, another MPI report will be produced after the National Health Family Survey (NHFS) submits its full report for 2019-20.