Poor Index is another way of referring to the Human Poverty Index of the United Nations. Though it shows that India has come a long way in combating poverty and reducing the number of poor in the country, there is still a long way to go. The number of poor has almost halved in the country in the last 10 years, but around 30% of the country still falls below the poverty line. This begs the question: what is the government going to do for the poor? Is the government going to bring reservation for the poor?
Modi was elected largely on the votes of the poor, unlike last time
In the 2019 elections, a major chunk of the votes that went to the BJP came from the poor, unlike the 2014 elections where the rich trading class was his biggest supporter. Modi had recently brought in an initiative that gave 10% reservation in all government institutions to the members of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), and while it was called an election stunt by many, it was a move greatly appreciated and commended even in the elite and educated circles. The move was said to have been long delayed , but it was called a step in the right direction.
Will the government still work for the poor?
With the cabinet allocations announced and the government ready to go, it remains to be seen whether the income based reservations will take the place of caste based reservations in India. Sources have revealed that Modi’s 1000 day plan features a lot of incentives and schemes for the poor and the farmers, including but not limited to loan waivers. The plan, which runs until mid-2022, is also said to include a major decision that will increase the reservation in favor of earnings and thereby uplift the poor even further. Despite being a staunch critic of the MGNREGA scheme by the Congress, Modi has still let the scheme continue saying “At least it helps a few people. That is enough for now.”