Development blow to Modi’s Gujarat

Ahead of the 2014 elections, the Congress has bowled a googly by announcing that Narendra Modi ruled Gujarat is one of the less developed states in the country.

Ahead of the upcoming general and assembly elections, the Congress has bowled a googly by announcing that Narendra Modi ruled Gujarat is one of the less developed states in the country.

A board led by the newly appointed Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, has graded Gujarat on the 12th position amongst other India states on the scale of development and growth.

The panel said that Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the most developed and growing states, where as Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are the least developed states.

Narendra Modi has been declared as the prime ministerial candidate and is heading main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s polling campaign ahead of 2014 general elections, flaunting his development and growth model as he pursues his national ambitions. However, these findings are a slap in the face of Modi’s claims.

The states were gauged on the basis of ten principles, which involved many human development indicators.

Reportedly, Economist and Planning Commission member, Abhijit Sen, who was not a part of the panel, pointed out the often-made point that Gujarat’s performance on the human development indicators (HDI) was not equivalent to its growth rates.

Sen said “The growth rate of the state is excellent. It has fascinated industrial investment and achieved agricultural development. But in HDI like infant mortality, Gujarat on a par with Bihar. If one looks at HDI data from Gujarat, you will see a huge disparity between the levels of development and growth of tribals and non-tribals, and between the urban and rural people. So, when the state-level average is worked out, the by and large score of Gujarat would fall short of those of numerous other states”.

The ten criterions on which the states were scored are- per capita consumption expenditure, education, health, household amenities, poverty rate, female literacy, percentage of Dalit and tribal populations, urbanisation, financial inclusion, and connectivity.

The working group put 10 states under the category of ‘least developed’ and branded the six best-performing states as ‘relatively developed’. The 12 states, including Gujarat and West Bengal, have been branded ‘less developed’.

The panel’s report, which has been submitted to finance minister P. Chidambaram, has also suggested ending the ‘special category’ norm for giving additional support to poorer states and recommended a new method for devolving funds on states based on a ‘Multi Dimensional Index’ (MDI). Presently, the federal government grants extra funds to special category states.

The committee has also suggested dividing the 28 states into three categories- least developed, less developed and relatively developed on the basis of their MDI score.

The panel was set up after Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar demanded a special category status for his state.

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