NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 5, 2016 (The Hindu): A World Bank report has challenged the conventional understanding of India's inequality. The report, "Addressing inequality in South Asia," has found that the probability of a poor person moving out of poverty in India in 2014 was as good as that in the U.S. "There is good news -- India is no longer the land of extremes and there are some bright spots," said Martin Rama, one of the authors of the report and World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia. The report has found that sons from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households are no longer stuck in the jobs done by their fathers. Across generations, mobility of occupational profiles among Muslims has been similar to that of higher caste Hindus, whereas mobility among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes has become higher than that of upper caste Hindus over time.
The report shows that one of the main drivers of upward mobility is the increase in number of non-farm jobs in rural India. A World Bank report has found that between 2004-05 and 2009-10, 15 percent of India's population, or 40 per cent of the poor, moved above the poverty line. In the same period, a sizable portion of the poor and the vulnerable -- over 9 percent of the total population or about 11 per cent of the poor and vulnerable -- moved into the middle class. However, over 9 percent of the total population, or about 14 percent of the non-poor group, slipped back into poverty, revealing the greater risks faced by the vulnerable and even the middle class than in other countries, the report said.