A new study by Abusaleh Shariff and Anirudh Krishna has brought fresh insights on whether poverty is decreasing or increasing. The study points out that the usual “head count ratio” of the poor is only a net effect of many people rising above the poverty line and many others descending below the poverty line. Examining a sample of 13,000 households spread all over India, it is found that over a period of 12 years between 1993-94 and 2004-05, 18% of the rural population moved out of poverty (according to the definition of poverty line) while another 22% fell into poverty! And guess in which states more people fell into poverty? Rural poverty rose in such high growth states as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamilnadu and Maharshtra. The study has established that there is no clear correlation at the level of states and regions between high growth rates and high poverty reduction. The study recommends that rather than wait for GDP growth to magically reduce poverty, direct actions are required.