March 03, 2007

A peek into HDI

Bumped into this link that has India's Human Development Index (HDI) Report... The report looks very professional. Some of the graphs and tables of the report are given below.

As expected, Kerala was on the top. I was particularly interested in Uttar Pradesh. Mainly because a good friend of mine hails from that State. I wanted to know what the report talks about these two states. Some excerpts are given below...
"At the State level, Chandigarh, Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were among the States with better HDI at both points of time. States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa were at the other end. In fact, in the early eighties, these States had HDI close to half that of Kerala. The rural-urban gap in the HDI was the least in case of Kerala."

"The gap between Kerala and next best State, i.e. Punjab remains quite significant, though it has declined. By and large the States maintained their relative position between 1981 and 2001."

"In general, women were better off in Southern India than in the Indo-Gangetic plain, comprising mainly the States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh."

"The inter-State differences in the HPI (Human Poverty Index) are quite striking. It was in the range of 55-60 per cent in the early eighties for the worse off States, namely, Orissa, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, and between 32-35 per cent in the better off States like Kerala, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh."

Intrigued by this report I started googling more on HDI and got the following excerpts from Hindu Business Online...
"Explaining the conundrum of why accelerated income growth has not propelled India into a faster poverty reduction track, the HDR says that extreme poverty is concentrated in the rural areas of the northern poverty-belt States including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, while income growth has been most dynamic in other States, urban areas and service sectors."

"There is a chronic under-provisioning of health services in high-mortality northern States, which is linked to unaccountable State-level governance structures. Not surprisingly, four States — Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh — account for more than half the child deaths. These States are also marked by some of the deepest gender inequalities."

"Fifteen years after universal childhood immunisation was introduced, National Health Surveys suggest that only 42 per cent of children are fully immunised. The coverage is lowest in States with highest child death rates and less than 20 per cent in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This is indeed a sorry state of affairs and needs urgent attention."

"For instance, the largest number of hospitals and dispensaries without doctors or medicines, primary schools without proper buildings, regular teachers or even black-boards are in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa."
Some from The Tribune...
"Interestingly, in India there exists massive regional variations in the development parameters, implying that there are pockets within the country which compare with the riches (Kerala vis-a-vis USA) and parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which are comparable with the sub-Saharan standards."

“Still, a number of areas appear to have been excluded from these trends, particularly along the Pakistani and Nepalese border. Furthermore, gaps in literacy between low social classes and the rest of the population remain extremely high, particularly in the poorest states — Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar — and in Karnataka”
And from UNDP...
"Kerala has stood apart from the Indian experience in both education and health, achieving social development levels that are close to those found in the rich developed countries.Kerala has been a model state for some time in terms of human development not only for India but for the developing world as a whole."

"Only the state of Kerala records achievements in health that are better than not only the rest of India but also the rest of the developing world and often at par with the Western developed countries."

"Among the fourteen major states, Kerala has always stood out as a star in terms of social development"

"In the poorest states, especially the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh which comprise what are known as the BIMARU (‘sick’) states and Orissa, very high rates of poverty incidence are human failures rather than lack of natural resources."

"Low levels of literacy, as depicted by the light yellow colored districts are concentrated in Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa."
National Family Health Survey-III from TOI...
"The latest National Family Health Survey-III Bihar topped the list of women abused at home. It is followed by Rajasthan (46.3%), Madhya Pradesh (45.8%), Tripura (44.1%), Manipur (43.9%), Uttar Pradesh (42.4%), TN (41.9%), West Bengal (40.3%) and Arunachal Pradesh (38.8%). Kerala, with 16.4%, was not at the bottom of the list. Himachal took that spot."
Human Resource Development Ministry's Educational Development Index (EDI) from IBN Live...
"Having earned the distinction of being the most literate state, Kerala has also topped the list of states in providing better primary and upper primary education."

"The report presented to Parliament last week said Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand were still have to go a long way to bring every child to school."
Sometimes, when 'certain' people from these 'sick' states (mentioned above) behave in a snobbish and 'sick' manner, I used to wonder why they do so. After reading articles on HDI, perhaps I have an answer to it...

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