HDI up but health, nutrition & sanitation remain key challenges

23 Oct

Kerala which excels many other states in many areas like education and health has excelled in HDI also. It is followed by Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Punjab. Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Assam continue to lag behind in HDI and remain below the national average of 0.467.

The report measures the HDI on the basis of State Net Domestic Product.

The report reveals that two-thirds of the households in the country reside in cemented houses and three-fourth of families has access to electricity for domestic use.

“We are fast moving towards social inclusion, especially as there is vast improvement in indicators among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Muslims. It is a good sign that these parameters are converging with the national average,” added Dr Santosh Mehrotra, Director-General, IAMR.

Breaking the perception that economic growth is directly related to better life, Mehrotra cited Gujarat’s example where HDI figures say that 69.7 per cent children up to age 5 anaemic and 44.6 per cent malnutritioned despite that fact that Gujarat is a prosperous state. On the contrary, in Kerala development indices were good as compared to its economic growth.

Maintaining that inclusiveness cannot be measured by one index, as it is a multi-dimensional concept said, “The 11th Plan aimed at inclusive growth. The past decade shows a move towards convergence in terms of several human development outcomes between States as well as socially excluded communities.”

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was also present, said that the Centre should take a greater role in the areas of nutrition and sanitation in the 12th Plan.

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