South Asia, including India, will not be able to eradicate poverty or provide primary education to all by 2015, says a new poverty index to be released next week in Delhi.
The Basic Capabilities Index (BCI), 2009 has found that South Asia will get 80 points on the index by 2015, 10 points higher than the present value of 70. India received 68 points in the index, an increase of meagre four points since 2004.
The global NGO Social Watch’s index of 130 countries says 100 points defines well-being of the citizens based on children getting education till primary level, child mortality rate and percentage of births attended by skilled labourers. The BCI does not use income as an indicator.
“The index shows that despite our (India’s) economic growth, we are still way behind on providing basic amenities to people,” said Amitabh Jha, of Social Watch-India, a conglomeration of civil society groups in India.
Working on similar well-being criteria, the Suresh Tendulkar committee in December said 38 per cent of Indians are poor. The index to be released on Monday agrees that providing basic facilities to all, as said in millennium development goals, is still a challenge for India.
The index, however, said that south Asia, a region with worst BCI in 2004, has been making fast progress, but the situation is still “extremely critical”.
Since 2004, the report said, one-third of the countries failed to raise their BCI value by more than one per cent and only one out of six countries showed significant progress.
“Most of the countries in the world are very far from achieving the social objectives committee to for 2015,” said Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch secretariat.
The index also tells about the increasing gap in living standards of rich and poor in the world. The highest BCI is 97 of Iran and lowest is 44 of Chad in Africa, followed by Afghanistan, Ethopia, Bangladesh and Nepal.
“There is an enormous gap in living conditions between the nations with highest average BCI (north America) and regions with worst (Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia),” the report said.