Poverty, particularly rural poverty, has been one of the enduring policy challenges in India. Surely the most important objective of the reforms process would have been to make a significant dent on rural poverty. It is from this that a program of accelerated growth must draw its rationale. In this paper, I discuss the evolution of poverty in India – particularly during the reform period. Then I analyze the structure and determinants of this poverty. The rate of decline of poverty declined during the 1990s as compared to the 1980s. I advance some reasons for this. Policy prescriptions for a more effective anti poverty strategy are discussed.