Friday, October 21, 2011

Growth,reforms lift living standards in India:Human development IndexThe poorer states with high concentration of various marginalized growth 22/10/11

22 Oct,2011, 04.17AM IST, ET Bureau

Growth, reforms lift living standards in India: Human development Index

NEW DELHI: Economic growth and liberalisation have helped lift living standards across the country in the eight years to 2007-08, according to a human development gauge unveiled by Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The Human development Index (HDI), which measured living conditions on the basis of consumption expenditure, education and health, rose from 0.387 in 1999-2000 to 0.467 in 2007-08.

The index has been compiled by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research, which is attached to the commission.

Ahluwalia said the commission will use the findings to formulate the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. "The plan would be guided by this report on health, education and other issues," he said. Kerala ranked No. 1 in all human development indicators while Chhattisgarh was the worst performer. Delhi was the only state to register a decline.

India's HDI improvement was led by a 28.5% increase in the education index, which ranged from 0.41 in Bihar to 0.92 for Kerala. But health and nutrition continued to weigh.

The report notes that the HDI and its composite indices have shown convergence across states.

"The poorer states with high concentration of various marginalized groups are catching up with the national average. This suggests strongly that these groups are starting to share the benefits of the process of human development," the report said. "That is, the past decade has seen us move towards social inclusion."

The report has also painted an optimistic picture of declining poverty. With high growth and increase in per capita income there has been a consistent decline in the proportion of population living below the poverty line, from 55 % in 1973 to 44.5 % in 1983 to 27.5 % in 2004-05.

The rate of decline of poverty among scheduled castes and backward classes has been faster. The rate for rural SCs fell by 11.5 percentage points between 1993-94 and 2004-05 compared with the national average of 9 percentage points.
Growth, reforms lift living standards in India: Human development Index

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