The Oxford India Short Introductions are concise, stimulating, and accessible guides to different aspects of India. Combining authoritative analysis, new ideas, and diverse perspectives, they discuss subjects which are topical yet enduring, as also emerging areas of study and debate. Poverty alleviation and socio-economic equality have largely remained the prime focus of India's rapid growth-driven economic processes. This short introduction brings together systematic academic research on an area of extensive debate and divergence-the identification and specification of thepoverty line. The book undertakes a nuanced analysis of: the measurement of poverty and its associated complexities the importance of a uniform poverty standard, and the major concerns posed by current policies the US and the World Bank approaches to poverty assessment the linkages between economic welfare policies and drawing the poverty line Through comparative theoretical approach and econometric analyses, it critically reviews and interprets the Indian experience of poverty estimation over the last fifty years; identifies the challenges; and suggests suitable policy interventions towards a more comprehensive approach.