NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3 – Poverty as Challenge

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 3 – Poverty as Challenge

Economics is a social science that studies the complete range of factors that affect financial conditions and actions. From production to consumption, economics examines how individuals and organisations use and share the world’s in-demand resources.

The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 bring out one of the most painful challenges of independent India – poverty and its abolishment. The poverty line defines the bare minimum money for a person or a family to meet their daily necessities. Scientists define human poverty by taking the concept from minimum to reasonable living, where everyone has an education, home, health, job security, social inclusion, and there is no child labour. 

Chapter 3 Poverty as a challenge of Class 9 by Extramarks brings forth NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3, which works very well for the students. These solutions by Extramarks help students with answers and help them grasp the concepts quickly. Subject matter experts with years of experience have systematically prepared these solutions so that they can come handy for students to understand and score well.

Extramarks NCERT Solutions provide detailed and authentic answers to all the textbook questions. Through those, the students can understand, remember and retain answers to NCERT questions and thus, perform well in exams

We provide clear, concise explanations of each feature of poverty, especially in the Indian scenario. The team at Extramarks encourage the students to go through the NCERT based syllabus thoroughly and prepare for the CBSE examination. There is a requirement for children to practise essay type answers, and the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 gives sufficient material for the same. 

Extramarks offers a variety of study material to students of all classes. In addition to Class 10 Economics Chapter 5, material such as NCERT books, CBSE revision notes,  CBSE past question papers, CBSE sample papers, and more are readily available at the Extramarks website.

Key Topics Covered in NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3

The tabular representation below covers the topics under this chapter.

Scientific outlook on poverty
Definition of the poverty line and poverty estimate
Groups most affected by poverty
Poverty trend in the world
Disparities in poverty
Reasons attributed to poverty
Steps to eradicate poverty
Futuristic vision and challenges


Every 5th person in India is poor. Poverty is prevalent in our day-to-day lives, where we come across many less privileged people, beggars, daily wage workers, landless farm labour, and children employed in tea shops or hotels. From the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3, we learn that poverty breeds unemployment, malnutrition, illness, illiteracy, and child labour. Their extensive family size does not help the situation any further. According to Mahatma Gandhi, India can be truly independent if we eradicate this human suffering from society. 

Scientific outlook on poverty

In the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3, we often learn that the poor are exploited, ill-treated, and shunned by society. Deprived of basic amenities like food, shelter, drinking water, sanitation, healthcare, electricity and job opportunities, the poor people develop a sense of vulnerability and helplessness, which form the social indicators of human poverty. Social exclusion is  double sworded as it is both a cause and an outcome of poverty. 

In the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3, adverse conditions like a drastic drop in the economy and lack of job opportunities affect the poor as they are the least educated or trained in skilled labour. Moreover, natural calamities like floods, tsunamis, earthquakes etc., also affect the less privileged. With no alternative living conditions, the poor are vulnerable to meeting similar risks repeatedly and in danger of remaining poor in the coming years. 

Definition of the poverty line and poverty estimate

Poverty can be broadly determined by the access to an individual to essential needs of life like food, shelter, fuel, electricity, clothing, footwear, health, and education, as per the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3. When calculated in local currency, we arrive at the minimum income an individual or the family should earn for their sustenance. Each country decides on an imaginary line based on these calculations, called the poverty line, which satisfies the social norms and is in line with its economic development. The poverty line is a dynamic target and varies from country to country and even regions within the same country, based on the culture, traditions, and economic development. In India, too, the cost of living in towns and cities is higher than in rural areas, so the poverty line value is higher as we move from rural to urban regions. These deductions are made based on census data created by the National Sample Survey Organisation. The table below will help students to understand the concept better. 

Estimates of poverty in India

Poverty ratio (in %) Number of poor (in millions)
Year Rural Urban Total Rural Urban Total
1993-94 50 32 45 329 75 404
2004-05 42 26 37 326 81 407
2009-10 34 21 30 278 76 355
2011-12 26 14 22 217 53 270

These statistics show that the poverty rate has steadily declined from 45% in 1993-94 to 22% in 2011-12. However, the absolute numbers between 1993-94 and 2004-05 have increased even though the poverty ratio has reduced. These dynamics of poverty reduction are taken up further in this chapter.

Groups most affected by poverty.

The traditional division of society based on caste puts the scheduled caste and the scheduled tribe at the bottom. Economic status-wise, the landless farm labour family in the villages and the casual labour family in the cities are the most poverty-stricken. However, recent studies mentioned in the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 say that other than scheduled tribe families, the remaining three socio groups have improved in their living conditions. But even there, the women, old-aged and the female infants are allowed a lesser share of the resources.

Poverty trend in the world

Considering the World Bank’s reference of $1.90 for minimum living, the ratio of people before this poverty line has reduced from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015. The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 describes the more pronounced differential change in China and Southeast Asian countries. The economy grew by leaps and bounds due to massive investments in human resources. Latin America and the Indian subcontinent have also shown a reduction in the poverty ratio. However, the Sub-Saharan region has not shown much progress compared to the rest of the world. In some cases, like in Russia, poverty is a new phenomenon. The United Nations aims to eradicate all kinds of poverty, across the globe, by 2030.

Disparities in poverty

The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 brings out the disparity in the number of poor people across the states of India. Though there has been a substantial improvement in all India level poverty reduction, some states like Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh report a proportion of the poor higher than all of India’s Head Count Ratio of 21.9 %. On the other hand, high farm yields in Punjab and Haryana, investment in human resources in Kerala, land reforms in West Bengal and free food grain distribution in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have combated poverty to a large extent.

Reasons attributed to poverty.

British colonialism clamped down on historical and traditional industries like handicrafts and textiles and created unemployment. Population growing unabated further affected the income of the people. Other factors like insufficient employment through the green revolution and industrialisation, inequality in income and land distribution and non-implementation of land reforms worsened the suffering of the poor. The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 also draws attention to the traditional practices, social obligations and economic conditions that have forced the poor into the vicious cycle of indebtedness, which happens to be both cause and effect of poverty. 

Steps to eradicate poverty

The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 tells us that 60% of India’s population still depends on farming, an industry not growing at the expected rate. Therefore, economic development by investing in human resources and target-oriented anti-poverty programmes are the two focus points for eradicating poverty. Multiple initiatives like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, state-wise revision of daily wages to unskilled manual labour, Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana, Rural Employment Generation Programme, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, Antyodaya Anna Yojana etc. address the variety of problems associated with poverty.

Futuristic vision and challenges

As per the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3, we can dream of complete poverty eradication by further economic development and effective implementation of the various schemes and initiatives by the government. The immediate target is to provide each citizen with the minimum necessary income and the essential amenities to live a respectable life. Poverty being a moving target, the next step for India is to bring dignity to the poor and provide education, health care, job opportunities, and equal social and gender status in society to the economically backward population.

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 Exercises &  Solutions

Children are advised to revise notes and go through the Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 questions and answers from Extramarks. The syllabus includes many typical scenarios prevalent in India to make it easy for the children to understand the subject and apply it in their examinations. 

Please click on this link below for important questions and answers from the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 

Apart from this chapter, students may refer to the links given below to access NCERT Solutions for all other classes. 

NCERT solutions class 12

NCERT solutions class 11

NCERT solutions class 10

NCERT solutions class 9

NCERT solutions class 8

NCERT solutions class 7

NCERT solutions class 6

NCERT solutions class 5

NCERT solutions class 4

NCERT solutions class 3

NCERT solutions class 2

NCERT solutions class 1

Key Features of NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3

Extramarks NCERT Solutions provide detailed and authentic answers to all the textbook questions. Through those, the students can understand, remember and retain answers to NCERT questions and thus, perform well in exams

We understand that poverty is the foremost challenge in India today. Some of the critical aspects discussed are:

  • Using the poverty line, we can create poverty trends in India and abroad, and it varies between countries based on culture, tradition, urban and rural regions etc.
  • The NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 discusses the many issues associated with poverty, like landlessness, malnutrition, unemployment, illiteracy, health problems etc.
  • There are certain groups within India where poverty is rampant, and there is a tendency for these socio-economically backward groups to remain poor. For example, the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 counts the scheduled tribe, scheduled caste, farm labour and casual labour as the poorest of the poor.
  • The social outlook on poverty or human poverty is what the government of India is working towards addressing through its many schemes and programmes. With the targeted implementation and close monitoring, the measures should help uplift the poor.

Q.1 Describe how the poverty line is estimated in India?


A person is termed as poor if his income (consumption level) falls below a given “minimum level”. This minimum level is threshold limit which is necessary to satisfy basic needs. In India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational and medical requirements, etc. are leading factors for the determining of poverty line. The physical quantities of these determinants are multiplied by their respective prices in rupees.

The present formula followed in India for food requirement is based on desired calorie requirement. The accepted average calorie requirements are 2400 calories per person per day in rural areas and 2100 calories per person per day in urban areas. The calorie requirements in rural areas are higher than the urban areas because rural people are indulge more in physical activities. The monetary expenditure per capita needed to buy these calorie requirements is termed as poverty line. On the basis of the calculations, the poverty line for a person is ` 816 per month for rural areas and ` 1000 per month for urban area in India in 2011-12.

Government of India revises this monetary threshold limit periodically taking into consideration the increase in prices.

Q.2 Do you think that present methodology of poverty estimation is appropriate?


The official definition of poverty captures only a limited part of what poverty really means. There are many factors other than income which are associated with poverty but these are not taken into account while measuring poverty in India. For example, common necessities like health care, safe drinking water, employment, education, shelter, etc. are not considered while measuring poverty line.

Social exclusion is another aspect which also needs to be incorporated in the definition of poverty.

Therefore, the definition requires rethinking.

Q.3 Describe poverty trends in India since 1973?


There has been a substantial decline in Poverty after 1973. The poverty ratio in India has declined from about 44.3 % in 1993-94 to 21.9 % in 2011-12. The dynamics of poverty can be seen on the two fronts, which are as follows:

  • Rural and Urban Poverty: In rural areas the percentage of people living below poverty line was 50.1% in 1993-94 whereas in urban areas it was 31.8%. The percentage of people living below poverty line has declined to 25.7% in rural areas in 2011-12 whereas in urban areas it has declined to 13.7. In rural area small farmers are amongst the poor whereas urban poor are working on dhabbs, working as rickhsaw puller, etc.
  • Interstate variation: Bihar and Orissa are continued to be the poorest state with poverty ratio 33.7% and 37.6% respectively in 2011-12. In Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal, poverty has declined significantly. Punjab and Haryana have succeeded in reducing poverty due to high agricultural growth rate.

Q.4 Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India?


A person is considered as poor if his income is below a certain level and he is not able to fulfill his basic necessities, i.e., food, clothing and shelter. There are various factors causing poverty in India:

  1. Historical reason: Low level of economic development under colonial rule did not created jobs in India. The British government followed policies that ruined traditional handicrafts and discouraged development of industries. These pursuits decreased the income of Indian citizens and not created adequate job opportunities.
  2. High growth rate of population: High growth of population leads to the burden on scarce natural resources like land, which leads to poverty.
  3. Lack of job opportunities: Introduction of green revolution, created jobs but these jobs were limited only in few areas. Also, after independence industry sector failed to create adequate job. As a result, people are unable find proper jobs and they remain unemployed, thus, adding to the problem of poverty.
  4. Inequality of Income: From centuries inequality prevails in India. Inequality in distribution of wealth creates disparities between rich and poor. Therefore, the weaker sections of the society are becoming poorer.
  5. Administrative failure: several policies like land reforms have not been implemented properly and effectively by most of state governments. This has aggravated the problem of poverty in rural India.
  6. Illiteracy: It is one of the main causes of poverty which is aggravating the problems in India.
  7. Socio-cultural and economic reasons: In order to perform social obligations and to perform in religious ceremonies people spend lot of money and thereby stuck in the poverty.

Q.5 Identify the social and economic groups which are most vulnerable to poverty in India.


Social and economic groups which are the most vulnerable to poverty in India are:

(i) Amongst the social groups, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households are the most vulnerable to poverty in India.

(ii) Amongst the economic groups, the most vulnerable groups are the rural agricultural households and the urban casual labour households.

Q.6 Give an account of interstate disparities of poverty in India.


The proportion of people living below poverty line in India is not the same in every state. It is known as inter-state disparities. Though every state has witnessed decline in poverty but still the proportion of poor people is different in different states. The rate of poverty varies from state to state, leading to inter-state disparities. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are the poorest states in India. In states like Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, poverty has declined significantly.

Q.7 Describe global poverty trends.


To indentify global poverty World Bank defines the international poverty line as $ 1.25 per day.

The proportion of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries has declined from 43% in 1990 to 22 % in 2008. This decline in global poverty is marked with regional differences. Due to rapid economic growth and huge investment in human resource, poverty has declined substantially in China and South East Asian countries. The percentage of poor in China has declined from 85 per cent in 1981 to 14 per cent in 2008 to 6 per cent in 2011.

In south Asian countries Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh the pace of decline is slow. And another dismal fact is that though the percentage has declined, the number of poor has declined marginally (from 61 % in 1981 to 36 % in 2008).

In Sub-sahran Africa, poverty has decline from 51 % in 1981 to 47 % in 2008. Poverty has decreased from 11 % in 1981 to 6.45 in 2008 in Latin America whereas it has resurfaced in Russia.

Q.8 Describe current government strategy of poverty alleviation?


Poverty has declined in India in last few years. Removal of poverty has been one of the major objectives of the government. The government has taken measures to eradicate poverty keeping in view two objectives:

  • Promoting economic growth
  • Anti-poverty programmes

The following programmes are followed to eradicate anti-poverty–

  • Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana (PMRY): It was started in 1993 and aimed to create self- employment opportunities for educated employed youth.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramodya Yojana (PMGY): It was started in 2000 and aimed to create basic necessities like health, education, shelter and water.
  • National Food for Work Programme (NFWP): It was started in 2004 and aimed to generate supplementary wage employment for rural people, looking for unskilled manual work and wage employment.
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA): It was started in 2006 and aimed at providing 100 days assured employment to every rural household, covering nearly 200 districts.

Q.9 Answer the following questions briefly

(i) What do you understand by human poverty?
(ii) Who are the poorest of the poor?
(iii) What are the main features of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005?


(i) Human poverty is a broader concept of poverty. The definition of poverty only captures the consumption aspect of poverty but it fails to capture other aspects of life which are imperative for surviving like education, shelter, health care, job security, self-confidence, etc. It is widely accepted that the definition of poverty also needs to change. Thus, to capture maximum aspects of poverty, many scholars advocate for using the term “human poverty”.

(ii) Women, children (especially girl child) and old people are the poorest of the poor.

(iii) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was set up on 2nd February 2006 by the Parliament. The Act promises 100 days of employment in a year to one member of every rural unemployed family. On 2nd October, 2009, this act was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. If the government fails to provide employment to the applicant within 15 days, he or she is entitled to an unemployment allowance.

It also focuses on sustainable development to address the cause of draught, deforestation and soil erosion. In MNREGA one-third of the proposed jobs are reserved for women.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the crucial questions from the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3?

Students can expect the following critical questions from the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3, essential for the CBSE examination.

  • How is the poverty line calculated in India and the world?
  • Elaborate on the causes and effects of poverty in India.
  • Elaborate on the interstate poverty disparities in India?
  • How is poverty trending worldwide, and where does India stand in a worldwide comparison of poverty?
  • Elaborate upon the measures taken by the Government of India to address poverty.

2. What is the advantage in referring to the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 by Extramarks?

The team at Extramarks have followed NCERT guidelines and tracked the issue of poverty from the British rule till date to provide a comprehensive study of the poverty in India, its origin, trend, leading causes, effects, disparities, and measures to reduce it. They have used statistical information, in-depth analysis, real-life scenarios, and case studies to enable each student to understand this subject in-depth and appear before any examination confidently. 

3. Do the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 cover all aspects of poverty?

Yes, the Class 9 Economics Chapter 3 solutions explains about the definition of poverty and the poverty line used for trending poverty in India and worldwide. The chapter explains the estimation of poverty, its effects and causes, variations based on country and regions, the fights against poverty in India, and the challenges lying ahead for the Indian government to kill this moving target.