Anti-poverty programs are primarily conceptualized and funded by the Central Government, which establishes criteria for allocation among States and, in some instances, within States. The actual execution is delegated to State government agencies, guided by specific directives. However, these programs exhibit several flaws:

Inadequate Financial Limits: The centrally determined financial limits for investment in various schemes often disregard actual costs. The amount transferred to beneficiaries lacks correlation with the investment required for a household to achieve viability. An evaluation of the Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) reveals that while approximately 70% of assisted poor households increased their income, only about 15% were able to surpass the officially set poverty line.

Lack of Interest: The administration of schemes falls upon overloaded block development officers, who may lack familiarity with local conditions, leading to a lack of engagement and interest in effective implementation.

Poor Targeting: Evaluations suggest that programs have shown greater success in areas experiencing rapid agricultural growth and where beneficiaries are situated just below the poverty line. The targeting of programs is often not precise, limiting their impact.

Lack of Accountability: There is a significant deficit in accountability for ensuring the appropriate selection of beneficiaries and the proper utilization of funds. Instances of launching incorrect projects or selecting inappropriate beneficiaries often go unaddressed, as there is no clear mechanism holding individuals accountable for these discrepancies.


The positive outcomes observed in poverty eradication initiatives include:

(a) Increase in per capita income.

(b) Decrease in the percentage of absolute poverty in certain states.

(c) Elevation of wages.

(d) Improvement in nutritional levels.

Despite these achievements, there exists significant potential for enhancing the effectiveness of poverty alleviation programs. As outlined by the planners of the 11th Five Year Plan, this improvement can be achieved through:

(a) Improved targeting.

(b) Reduction of waste and corruption.

(c) Establishment of institutional conditions for heightened accountability.

(d) Enhanced coordination.

(e) Improved program design.

(f) Prevention of duplication and overlap in program implementation.

Objective Type Questions

1. What is a major issue with the financial limits set centrally for investment in various anti-poverty schemes?

A) They are consistently exceeded by State governments

B) They are insufficient for effective implementation

C) They lack correlation with actual costs

D) They are determined by State governments

Answer: C) They lack correlation with actual costs

2. Who is typically burdened with the administration of anti-poverty schemes, leading to a lack of engagement and interest?

A) Local community leaders

B) State government agencies

C) Central Government officials

D) Block development officers

Answer: D) Block development officers

3. According to evaluations, in which areas have anti-poverty programs shown greater success?

A) Urban areas with high industrial growth

B) Economically stable regions

C) Areas with low population density

D) Regions experiencing rapid agricultural growth

Answer: D) Regions experiencing rapid agricultural growth

4. What is a common consequence of the imprecise targeting of anti-poverty programs?

A) Increased program impact

B) Delayed implementation

C) Enhanced community involvement

D) Efficient beneficiary selection

Answer: B) Delayed implementation

5. What is a significant challenge related to accountability in anti-poverty programs?

A) Excessive oversight

B) Lack of financial resources

C) Inadequate monitoring

D) Efficient selection of beneficiaries

Answer: C) Inadequate monitoring

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