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Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

From the time it became an open economy , China has achieved landmark results  in poverty alleviation, becoming the  earliest developing country to fulfil its poverty alleviation targets as set out in the United Nations  Millenium Development Goals. Over the past three decades, China has managed to feed a population that accounts for 9 % percent of the world’s arable land and 6percent of the world’s fresh water. In 2009, China adopted per capita net income RMB1, 196 as the new national poverty line.

The rural reform that was started in 1978 laid a good foundation for rural poverty alleviation. The extensive poverty reduction and development programs began in 1986 in a well-planned and organized way, and the basic needs of the rural poor have gradually been met over the time.

 Since 2002, the Chinese Government has coordinated its planning for urban and rural development within a poverty-reduction framework that includes industrial, regional and social policies. In 2007, the Chinese Government made way for the establishment of a minimum living standard allowance system, and arrangements were made to meet the basic needs of the rural poor.

Target 1A:  Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $ 1 a day

1. Current Situation

Using the poverty line set by the Chinese Government, the number of  the poor people in China’s rural areas fell from 85 million people in 1990 (9.6percent of  the total rural population) to 35.97 million people in 2009 (3.8percent of  the total rural population). China is the first developing country to achieve the MDG poverty reduction target before its proposed deadline. Another indicator used for Target 1A is the poverty gap ratio, which reflects not only the number of  poor people, but also how far their incomes are below the poverty line. the ratio has fallen by 75 percent between 2005 and 2000.

China, however, has achieved commendable progress by addressing the global  financial crisis with active financial policies and a slightly loose monetary polic.  The country has plan that focuses on the expansion of domestic demand. Employment opportunities, the price of agricultural products, and the operation and management of enterprises, are all stable. Due of the introduction of the minimum subsistence guarantee system for urban and rural residents, the basic needs of poor groups in both urban and rural areas can be largely met. The net income of farmers nationwide has increased by 8.5percent, of which the key areas launching work to support the poor have witnessed an increase of 9.2percent. The poverty alleviation situation appears to be smooth and stable.





2. Government Support

China’s sustained economic growth is the reason for its progress in reducing poverty. From1978 to 2009, China maintained an average annual GDP growth rate of 9.9percent, with GDP per capita rising from RMB381 to RMB25,188.  This has produced a supportive atmosphere  and material conditions to promote pro poor development. The government has always kept in mind rural poverty reduction when planning for the mid- and long-term national economy and social development. Leading groups for Poverty Reduction with the broad multi-sectoral participation are are very much present and active at different levels of governments, responsible for coordinating poverty reduction resources and implementation of poverty reduction programs.  National poverty reduction standards have been adjusted according to levels of economic development and the national financial situation and the levels of basic living costs in rural areas, while the key areas targeted for support have been determined according to the distribution of the poor. The Chinese Government has also routinely increased funding for poverty reduction. Between 1980 and 2009 it set aside over RMB198 billion for its special poverty alleviation fund, with average annual increases of 16.5percent. It also arranged discount funding for poverty reduction loans. Funding from local governments is on a continuous increase.


  • Wide social participation and active international cooperation have also been important factors.
  • Party and governmental organs, mass organizations, Private sector enterprises and   large state-owned companies have assisted 481 key targeted counties.
  • The better developed provinces and cities in eastern China have helped 11 poorer western provinces and cities.
  •  Since the 1990s, China has actively pursued a participatory poverty reduction. The approach engages the poor in poverty reduction programs and treats the poor as independent, capable individuals who can contribute and increase their own capacity for development. China works on self development model. Effective steps have also been adopted to help poor groups with special needs, such as women, children and the disabled.  China’s community- driven approach for poverty reduction is at the core of it’s progress.

3. Challenges

At present, China is still in the initial stages of  socialism. The general level of  economic-social development is still not very high. There are  contradictions that restrict the development of  poor people:

1) China still has a large number of  poor people. The degree of  poverty remains high.

2) unbalanced  Development. Development in poor areas still lags behind that of the wealthier parts of  the country, and there remain significant problems for poor groups with particular needs.

3) Poverty-causing factors are increasing with each passing day. The international financial crisis and more importantly  frequent natural disasters  brings to light the helplessness of the  hard working  poor to external factors that can cause them to fall back into poverty.

4) The strengthening of public services and social security systems is still in its early stages. The pressure to prevent people from sliding back into poverty is especially high.

5) The income gap continues to widen between urban and rural areas in different regions. .               

6) More pro-poor economic policies are needed to enable people to have equal access to public services.  Financial policies should ensure the poor population to access to financial services in rural areas. Land policies should be more protective of farmers’ rights. 

7) Disaggregated data collection and analysis should be improved to better supervise the poverty situation.

Target 1B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

Government Measure:

As China has a large population with a huge labour force, employment for all is naturally a challenge:

  • In 2007, the Chinese Government enacted the Employment Promotion Law and the Labour Contract Law to promote employment and safeguard the rights of workers. 
  • It weaves employment with its targets for macro-adjustment and regulation of the national economy, as well as social development.
  • The Chinese Government promotes employment and carries out active employment policies.
  • The Chinese Government attaches significant importance to women’s employment. It has formulated and enacted active employment policies for women, and worked hard towards helping them to secure jobs.

The Chinese Government places a lot of importance on the future of the youth and thus has formed certain beneficial policies for them:

1) Encouraging and guiding college graduates to work in grass-root units in urban and rural areas. 2 2) Encouraging college graduates to work in medium and small-sized enterprises and non public-owned enterprises.

 3)Encouraging science and technology research projects to admit college graduates.

4) Encouraging and supporting college graduates to start their own businesses.

5) Strengthening employment services for college graduates.

6)Upgrading the employment capacity of  college graduates by organizing internships or fieldwork

that ensures them a chance to gain valuable experience before they leave school.

7)Strengthening assistance to college graduates in financial difficulties.



  1. As of  July 1, 2009, 68 percent of  college/university graduates found their first job prior to their graduation.
  2. By the end of  December 2009, 87.4percent of  the year’s graduates were employed.


Target 1C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

1. Current Situation

  • China succeeded in reducing its ratio of  underweight children by more than 50 percent  between 1990 and 2005.
  • Change is taking place in the dietary structure of  the Chinese people.
  • The consumption of  grain is decreasing while the average daily intake of  fruit, meat, and milk and eggs indicates an upward trend in dietary consumption, both in terms of  quality and nutrition .


2. Government Support

The Chinese Government  lays importance on the assurance of grain security in its economic work, and, has positioned the development of  grain production as its most important task.. The National Development and Reform Committee kickstarted the “Production Capability Planning (2009–2020) for Another 100 Billion KG of  Grain Nationwide”, which specifies that by 2020 grain output must reach 545 billion kg in order to maintain a 95 percent self-sufficiency rate. The Government is pledging the strictest possible protection systems for arable land, and is committed to achieving no less than 0.12 billion hectares of arable land nationwide by 2020.

The Chinese Government is committed to sustainable growth in agriculture. It has decided to achieve increase in grain output each year. It pumps in a lot of  funds  into agriculture especially in the rural areas, to ensure that government financial expenditure goes first and foremost towards supporting the development of  agriculture and the rural areas. It also plans to increase its current 0.5percent input into agricultural science and technology to 1percent as soon as possible, in order to meet average global levels. Agricultural infrastructure will also be strengthened. Emphasis is to be placed on construction and the maintenance of water conservancy facilities, on water collection and water-saving irrigation projects in north-west China, on the development of  terraced fields in mountainous areas, and on the construction of  raised fields in saline-alkali land in coastal low-lands, etc. 

3. Challenges

1) the increasing demand for grain will remain unchanged In the medium- and longterm, the impact of  the international financial situation and the energy market on the Chinese grain market will become more and more apparent.

2) Grain production increases are facing more restrictions than ever before. There are a number of  factors. Firstly, there are more restrictions on water and soil resources than existed previously. The amount of  arable land continues to shrink as industrialization and urbanization accelerate.

 Secondly, the comparative economic returns of  grain-growing have been relatively low for some time now. This is dangerous for the protection of  farmers’ livelihoods,

Mobilizing farmers into action, and to encouraging initiative among farmers.

Thirdly, the quality of  agricultural laborers is decreasing.

Most young adults in rural areas have left the countryside to become migrant workers. This inhibits the enhancement of  grain-related science and technology.

Fourth, there are more uncertainties because of  climate change than ever before. China is often faces disasters such as flood and drought, and is also affected by monsoons.







Face of the Crowd



By- Ruchi Nandushruti_parmar

Shruti Parmar

Shruti Parmar is like any other girl who loves to participate in her college festivals, is a movie buff and loves everything about her college but she also is a source of inspiration and a Face of the Crowd for everyone. Ruchi Nandu, her classmate from Sophia College, tells us why.

Shruti, currently pursuing Bachelors of Mass Media (BMM) degree is a bright student. In addition to that she has achieved which few 20-year-old only dream of achieving.

In May 2012, she got selected by the State Department of the U.S.A to study the New Media Journalism program at the University of Oklahoma for a month-long. She was selected by a fully paid trip was offered to her (from flight, food, and stay) by the U.S. State Department. According to her, the New Media & Leadership skill-set and mind-set through the most interactive lectures, discussions with experts and cultural exposure that was imparted to 20 different students from different countries i.e. India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka is an education that’s unparalleled. She learned how new media technology can give everyone a voice, the responsibility and ethics of utilizing that voice and the innovation and impact of such entrepreneurship. At OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, she was exposed to a radical and futuristic New Media and was encouraged to start and be part of change in our societies through lectures from inspiring individual achievers, News Futurists, Media Ethics scholars as well as Leadership trainers. Outside the studio and lab sessions, she was exposed to American culture and diversity through visits to the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Telemundo TV Network Station, the Oklahoma National Museum and Memorial, the Paseo Arts Festival, doing Community Service (at Habitat for Humanity, the J.D. McCarty Centre for children with Developmental Disabilities and the Full Circle Adult Day Care Center), spending a weekend with an American family, attending Ropes-school, and writing an I-book together about her experiences.

She came up with the project proposal after her New Media program and she had presented her proposal before the State Department. Her Project Proposal was to utilize New Media for conserving and promoting our Classical Art Forms which was much appreciated. She is in the planning process to implement the project soon.

All the above things have empowered her as an individual and have inspired her to dream big and contribute towards a better world. She has always been curious to learn whatever comes her way from every individual around her. She says, “It’s all about recognizing your opportunities and strengths and making the most of them for a larger cause.”

In addition to this, she works for a NGO – Nanhi Kali that funds education for girl children. She was also elected as the Secretary of the International Relations Club of Sophia’s and this helped her to set up ‘MUNSOPHICAL 2011- Ideas for a better world’, which was Sophia’s first National Model United Nations Conference. This conference for her was a great process of learning, team work and idealism. Its success gave her confidence in the spirit of enterprise. Later, she was elected as Student Body President. She works with teachers and students to implement ideas and practices them to make Sophia’s a better college.

She has always been curious to learn whatever comes her way from every individual around her. She says, “It’s all about recognizing your opportunities and strengths and making the most of them for a larger cause.”


Raja Ram Mohan Roy

“He is the Father of modern India”- S. Radhakrishna

“Do to others as you would be done by” -Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1774-1833)

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in Radhanagar, Hoogly, Bengal on 14th August 1774 and died on 27 September 1833 at the age of 61.He was an Indian religious, social and educational reformer. He denounced the practice of Sati and child marriage calling it barbaric. He along with Dwarkanath Tagore and other Bengalis formed the Brahmo Samaj : a socio-religious reform movement at that time. Prior to that he also opened a college known as the Presidency College in 1828 .He published the Sambad Kaumudi (1821) a weekly newspaper and a Persian newspaper Miratul-Ul- Akhbar (1822). He knew English, Bengali, Persian, Arabic, Greek and Latin.
The Bengal Renaissance is said to have been started with Ram Mohan and ended with Rabindranath Tagore. Reformers during this period started questioning the existing Hindu practices and superstitions. Two of the major reasons which led to the Bengal Renaissance was the formation of communities, organisations and societies. Second was the growth of publications and journals. Ideas of Nationalism were spread by the elite to the masses.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born to an upper caste Brahman family. He was sent to Patna for learning Arabic and Persian which was the language of administration. He went to Tibet to learn Buddhism and then to Banaras to learn Sanskrit. He wrote his first book in Persian, Arabic called Vedanta Grantha .He translated the Vedanta into Bengali and English in 1815 when we returned back to Calcutta. He was also the first writer of prose in Bengali, he wrote the grammar of the Bengali language. Apart from knowing a plethora of languages he also knew Hebrew, studied Jainism with the help of Jain scholars and learned Sufism from Muslim scholars in Banaras. He questioned Hindu customs and traditional practices which include the practice of Sati.
The first instance when the thought of abolishing such a practice entered his mind was when he saw his elder brother’s wife willingly immolating herself on her husband’s pyre. He saw the agony on her charred face, heard her screams and saw her body ablaze. In that very instance he decided to eradicate such a practice from the Hindu religion.
He started a weekly publication called the Sambad Kaumudi. It was started in 1821, in the first half of the 19th century and was published in English and Bengali. Sambad Kaumudi was a pro-Reformist publication. It ran for 33 years.It was ceased in 1836. It regularly ran editorials denouncing the practice of sati and calling the practice barbaric and un-Hindu. Ram Mohan in the newspapers prospectus published an appeal to its readers which said, “the support and patronage of all who feel themselves interested in the moral and intellectual improvement of our countrymen”.
In a book tilted British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance: The Dynamics of Indian Modernization, 1773-1835 By David Kopf it states that, “Rammohun’s Sambad Kaumudi (Mirror of the News) represented his views both in the presentation of news items and in editorials”.
Role and contribution in the Newspaper Sambad Kaumudi:
• The Sambad Kaumudi regularly ran editorials denouncing the practice of Sati.
• The Kaumudi often reflected the sentiments of the missionaries on all issues regarding the “native improvement”.
• The editorials in Kaumudi usually talked about “new educational schemes” and calling for public support of existing ones.
• Caste prejudices and religious excesses were constantly attacked.
• The Kaumudi strongly upheld Indian needs and aspirations.
• In 1817, he wrote a tract on the ‘abolition of sati’.
• On March 24,1822, in an editorial possibly written by Rammohun, the Kaumudi called for the “Indianisation of the Higher Ranks of civil service”
• It also ran articles concerning with the brutality inflicted by the Europeans on the Indians.
• As Rammohun was opposed to the worship of idolatry form of worship some of his editorials also talked about the monotheism.
He also founded and edited a weekly called Miratul-Ul-Akbar in Persian. He wrote an article about how women should get equal property rights as men in their families.
In 1823 a regulation was passed by the Chief Secretary John Adam which required pre-censoring of all journals and weekly. He shut down his weekly in protest of this law.
Ram Mohan Roy’s contribution as a Journalist and Social Reformer:
• Rammohun published his first journal Brahmmunical Magazine (1821) which was a bilingual. The articles expressed the purpose of defending his concept of monotheistic Hinduism against the contrary views of the Serampore missionaries.
• In 1818 Rammohun started publishing articles opposing Sati. In his words:
“In times of want the wife works like a slave
In times of affluence the husband takes another wife
And enjoys wordly pleasures
Very often the wife is beaten up,
Discarded,accused of disloyalty
All because the husband feels that he has the right to do so”
• In 1825 the Parliament passed an East India Jury Bill that only allowed Christians to serve on grand juries. Rammohun wrote articles about this discrimination in Sambad Kaumudi.
His ‘Gaudiya Vyakaran’ in Bengali is rated highly among his writings in prose.
• He started the Hindu College now called the Presidency College in Calcutta to impart education in Science and Technology. Subjects like English, Science, Mathematics were taught. It was formed to impart practical knowledge to the people. The tutions were free of cost.
• He founded the Bramho Samaj in 1828. It was a social reform movement aimed at curtailing the myths and miracles surrounding Hindu idol worship. He believed in monotheism and thus the group preached the existence of a single god.


80-90% of today’s youth wants to major in Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) or Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM)

Few weeks before the HSC results, my brother, Varshit Nandu, freaked out. He was not sure whether he would clear his boards or not. This was so obvious because he did not put in many efforts for this examination. Observing his actions daily, everyone in the family freaked out too. Few weeks later, the most awaited day arrived. It was the result day. Everybody in the house was anxious. My brother checked his result on internet and he just couldn’t stop smiling. He scored 83%. It was unexpected. I almost checked his result thrice to confirm the name that was printed on the result was Mr. Varshit Nandu or not. Yes, he had passed with flying colours.

Now it was the time for us to visit different colleges and collect admission forms for the Degree College. My brother wanted to major in Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS).  For two consecutive days, my brother and I visited different colleges to collect the admission forms. While we were waiting in the queue, I asked few random boys and girls  regarding their percentage and what major are they going to pursue. From the answers that I received, I observed that 80-90% of the boys and girls  wanted to major in Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) or Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) and not get into a science stream including the ones who scored 90% and above.

I asked one of them the reason behind them for selecting  Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) or Bachelor in Mass Media (BMM). One of the boy replied, “I want to pursue BMS. I want to earn fast money and you know what – all hot girls are in BMS . Why should I waste my young hood?” One of his friends, told him to shut up and not share his thought regarding hot girls so openly. I was surprised to know how today’s youth thinks and on what basis do they select a major.

In addition, another boy said, “I secured 54% and I want to pursue BMM.” In return, I said, “Do you think you will be able to secure a seat in this college?” He replied, “Hell Yeah! I will get into college because I have applied only in top 3 colleges of South Mumbai. Even if I don’t get on merit basis, I will make my father pay donation for one of these 3 colleges but one thing is for sure that I’m going to pursue BMM only. If my parents disagree, I will quit my studies.” A minute later, his cell phone rang. He received a call from his mother.  He said, “Mom, I have applied for BMM only. I am not applying for any science and commerce courses. I don’t care what you want me to do.” He hanged the call.  This was the second shock of the day for me. He didn’t respect his mother who was concerned for his future.

Soon we collected the admission form, filled in the details, submitted the form and left to visit other colleges. Some colleges had the facility of online forms. Filling the forms online and submitting them online saved a lot of time of us and it saved the usage of paper too. After visiting South Mumbai colleges, we returned home.

The next day, we visited the colleges located in Suburbs. I asked the same question (mentioned above) to the boys and girls out there. One of the girl replied, “Who wants study for 10 years in this age. Medicine, Engineering and all other science courses are too long. By the time, I earn a Master’s degree, I will turn old. What about my life? I shall not waste it. Therefore, I decided to major in these non-aided courses. I have filled forms for both BMS and BMM. I’m sure I will get into one of these streams.” I smiled at her and she left.

After observing the above pattern, I come to the conclusion that today’s youth are more interested in short courses (2-3 years courses) than longer courses (Medicine, Law, Engineering and so on). Everyone you see these days, talks about this un-aided courses and how it will  help them to make fast money. Gone are the days, when one would struggle so hard to achieve what they wanted. Today’s generation wants more fun and less work.

Ms. Aarti Nandu, a psychologist said, “Today’s youth wants to make fast money and live their lives lavishly. Every day, several young boys and girls visit my office and  I understand why they say ‘It is generation gap.’ It is not their fault only. When a person has both money and power, it drives them crazy. Usually, the boys and girls who visit my office belong from a well to do family and they are the ones who are spoiled (brats).” In addition, she said, “The middle class family thinks of making more and more money. Their children work hard and get into science streams so that they can earn a huge amount whereas the rich brats only want to enjoy their life. It is sad to know that the future of our country lies in the hands of such youths.”

Ruchi Nandu- TYBMM