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Improving human development: Gujarat's 12 yr performance below national average

Overall Human Development Index
By Rajiv Shah 
“India Human Development Report 2011” was recently updated in view of new facts on income, education and health indices. Despite the fact that Gujarat has improved along with other states, its improvement is not as fast as the national average.
The updated version of the “India Human Development Report 2011”, released at a seminar in New Delhi on March 11, 2014, has found that the six states which have low human development index (HDI) – Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam – have registered a much better improvement in HDI than several of the progressive states, including Gujarat. The report goes a long way to suggest that the percolation theory – which presupposes improvement in social sector even as economic growth rate improves — does not really work. Prepared by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), Planning Commission, the updated report states, “Despite lower absolute levels of HDI in poorer states (relative to the national average), HDI is converging across states.”
Titled “India Human Development Report 2011: An Update”, the data suggest that if between 1999-2000 and 2007-08, the HDI of India, on an average, improved from 0.374 to 0.452 on a scale of 1, between 2007-08 and 2011-12, the HDI further improved from 0.452 to 0.546. The original Human Development Report 2011, released in October 2011, depended on 2007-08 data for its analysis in order to arrive at HDI rankings for major Indian states, while the updated version of the report takes into account the data for the year 2011-12, too. If between 1999-2000 and 2007-08, the HDI rose by 21 per cent, in the entire 12 year period, between 1999-2000 and 2011-12, it rose by 46 per cent.
Coming to the “progressive” states, the report suggests that in the 12 years in question, while India’s HDI rose by 46 per cent, several “progressive” progressive states, including Gujarat, failed to raise their HDI equal to the national average.
Thus, while Gujarat’s HDI rose by 44 per cent, this was worse than 11 other states, including Uttaranchal (82 per cent), Jharkhand (76 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (64 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (61 per cent), Bihar (56 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (53 per cent), Karnataka (52 per cent), Assam (47 per cent), and Haryana (46 per cent). Other states whose HDI failed to increase as fast as these 11 states included Rajasthan (43 per cent), Tamil Nadu (42 per cent), North-East except Assam (42 per cent), West Bengal (38 per cent), Punjab (32 per cent), Kerala (38 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (26 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir (25 per cent), and Delhi (23 per cent).
The report states that most of the improvement in the HDI has taken place in income and education indices, but not as much in health indices. It says, “Change in income index (by 67.8 per cent) is more than the change in HDI over 1999-2000 and 2011-12, i.e. 46 per cent. Thus, the income index account for higher increase in HDI, as it has increased by 67.8 per cent during the period.” It adds, “The income index (estimated using monthly per capita consumption expenditure, MPCE) ranges from 0.94 for Delhi to 0.12 for Chhattisgarh (on a scale of 1). The poor states have gained the most in income level in the last decade.”
Pointing out that “HDI increase is largely guided by both improved income index (67.8 percent) and education index (61.7 percent)”, the report says, “The education index ranges from 0.99 for Kerala to 0.58 in case of Bihar. Again, the improvement in the index has been better in some of the educationally backward and poorer states of India – Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand – suggesting strongly that education outcomes are converging across the states of India.”
Making a critique of the health indices, the report says, “While the income and education index have pulled up the HDI, it is the health index which constrains its improvement. The improvement in the health index has been relatively lower (24 per cent) between 1999-2000 and 2011-12. The health index ranges from 0.85 for Kerala to 0.47 for Assam. Nonetheless, the states with the most serious health outcome indicators and the worst health process/input indicators – Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Assam – have shown the most improvement. This further underlines the phenomena of a reduction in inter-state disparity.”
Overall, the report points out, in 2011-12, the inter-state rankings remain the same as they were when the “India Human Development Report 2011” was released, based on 2007-08 data. Thus, despite a low improvement in HDI, Delhi and Kerala continue to rank No 1 and 2, respectively, with a rating of 0.92 and 0.84 on a scale of 1. Then come Himachal Pradesh (0.71), Haryana (0.70), Punjab (0.69), Maharashtra (0.68), Tamil Nadu (0.66), and North East (0.65). Gujarat ranks No 9 with a rating of 0.64, followed by Karnataka 0.63, Uttaranchal 0.59, West Bengal 0.57, Jammu & Kashmir 0.56, Andhra Pradesh 0.54, Rajasthan 0.53, Uttar Pradesh 0.49, Assam 0.48, Jharkhand 0.46, Madhya Pradesh 0.45, Bihar 0.44, Odisha 0.44 and Chhattisgarh 0.43.
The breakup for the income index suggests that the best performing state between 1999-2000 and 2011-12 was Uttaranchal with an improvement of 157 per cent, followed by Odisha 148 per cent, Jharkhand 119 per cent, Karnataka 112 per cent, Tamil Nadu 106 per cent, Andhra Pradesh 104 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 102 per cent, Maharashtra 96 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 88 per cent, and West Bengal 86 per cent. Following these nine states, Gujarat improved its income index by 84 per cent. Then come Haryana 72 per cent, Kerala 71 per cent, Bihar 52 per cent, Assam 45 per cent, Himachal Pradesh 42 per cent, Punjab 42 per cent, North-East excluding Assam 41 per cent, Rajasthan 37 per cent, Delhi 36 per cent, Chhattisgarh 14 per cent, and Jammu & Kashmir minus (– )11 per cent.
As for improvement in the education index, Gujarat’s improvement during the 12 years was found to be particularly bad. As many as 17 states out of a total of 22 performed better than Gujarat. The best performer here was Jharkhand, which improved its education index by 139 per cent. As against this, Gujarat’s improvement was merely 43 per cent. In health index, Gujarat’s improvement was better, though almost equal to the national average (24 per cent). The best performer on this score was Chhattisgarh (41 per cent), followed by Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh (40 per cent each). Then come Jammu & Kashmir with an improvement of 32 per cent, Jharkhand 30 per cent, and Uttaranchal 27 per cent. With an improvement of 25 per cent, Gujarat performed worse than eight different states.

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