Key states fare poorly on social progress: PM-EAC report
Traditionally backward large states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, fared poorly, while centrally administered territories such as Puducherry and Lakshadweep, and northeastern states, topped most basic indicators
New Delhi: A social index of states based on parameters such as well-being and basic needs revealed wide disparity in the country’s progress. Traditionally backward large states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, fared poorly, while centrally administered territories such as Puducherry and Lakshadweep, and northeastern states, topped most basic indicators.
The Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister (EAC-PM) along with Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative on Tuesday released the Social Progress Index (SPI) for States and Districts of India, as mandated by the EAC-PM.
According to the index, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Goa are the best-performing states in terms of a mix of social indicators. The top three performing districts are Shimla and Solan in Himachal Pradesh, and Aizawl in Mizoram.
The index assesses states and districts based on 12 components across three dimensions of social progress: basic human needs, foundations of well-being and opportunity.
In contrast to gross domestic product (GDP), which is a gauge only of incomes or output in an economy, the SPI, much like the UN’s Human Development Index, is a composite index computed on the basis of social parameters, such as health and wellness, environmental quality and basic medical care etc.
Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh figured in either low social progress or very low social progress categories. Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim figured among states with high social attainments. States were divided into six categories based on their level of social and economic development.
“The report is based extensively on objective data and is primarily a normative/prescriptive exercise. It presents a cross-section of data across states and districts and the focus is on looking at various tiers of development by grouping the states rather than the individual rankings of the selected states and districts chairman of EAC-PM, Bibek Debroy, said releasing the report.
“By evaluating change in the performance of some key indicators since 2015-16, the report presents a broad picture of the social progress in India. In addition, the report highlights progress made by the 112 aspirational districts in the country, helping them track their social progress journey and understand the areas that require more attention,” an official statement said.