The face-off between Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and the UPA government is likely to get more fiery with the Planning Commission finding gaping holes in the state's development model.
The panel quoted a study by Pratham, an NGO, to indicate Gujarat's poor quality of school education in comparison with the Congress-NCP ruled Maharashtra.
Highlighting the poor state of actual education, it said about 52% of Class V and 29% of Class VII children in Gujarat were unable to read Class II texts as compared to 42% and 21%, respectively in Maharashtra.
The panel also said about 93% of Class V students and 65% of Class VII students in Gujarat are unable to read simple sentences in English as against in Maharashtra where the figures were 79% and 50%, respectively.
Maharashtra also scored over Gujarat when it came to the ability to perform simple arithmetic division.
Gujarat's gross enrollment ratio in higher secondary schools was three percentage points lower than the national average of 39.3% in 2010-11.
It got worse in the case of deprived sections such as scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST). The panel also said that Gujarat's school drop-out ratio of 57.9% was much higher than the national average of 49.3%.
Despite high economic growth, the panel found 41.1% of children in Gujarat were suffering from malnutrition, 53% of women were anemic and one-third of women in the 15-49 age-group having a body-mass index of less than 18.5.
The panel also disagreed with Modi's criticism of the Centre at the last meeting of the National Development Council, especially on infrastructure development and disbursement of central taxes to Gujarat, and said it was not differentiating between UPA and non-UPA ruled states.
The panel also countered Modi's claim of not a kilometre of railway line being added since the creation of Gujarat saying there had been many double gauge conversion projects including port connectivity.
It also said tax distribution issues have been dealt with effectively.