Skip to main content

"Refined" analysis by top economist says Gujarat ranks 16th in health, 12th in education and 11th in infrastructure

Prajul Bhandari
By Rajiv Shah
A new Planning Commission-sponsored study, “Refining State Level Comparisons in India”, by Pranjul Bhandari, economist at the Office of the Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and a chief brain behind the Economic Survey 2012-13, says that her “refined” analysis has found that Gujarat stands 16th in health index, 12th in education index and 11th in infrastructure index among 21 major Indian states. Bhandari has arrived at these figures on the basis of a new methodology she adopts by “refining” raw data in order to find out how well do states perform in the context of the resources at their disposal.
Bhandari believes that the method so far adopted only provides what “raw” results. They merely “conform with the already well-established findings of several other studies that states such as Kerala are amongst the best performing while the so-called BIMARU states (Bihar, MP, Rajasthan and UP) are laggards.” However, she thinks, “While this is true on an absolute level, it does not reveal the performance conditional on state level factors.”
Hence the need to “refine” the analysis by “controlling” the three indices for per capita consumption” in order to put states on “a level playing field and for gauging how well the states have used available resources.” She underlines, “Our ‘refined’ analysis throws up rankings which are quite different from the ‘raw’ analysis. For instance, we find clear differentiation between the BIMARU states – while Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh are amongst the best performers, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jharkhand are amongst the worst.”
The “refined” analysis suggests that “while the performance of Himachal Pradesh has been most impressive, Gujarat is amongst the worst on health, Maharashtra on infrastructure, and Haryana on both.” Pointing out that on all three sectors – health, education and infrastructure – are “complex”, she says, “Given the sheer size of resources needed for scale up, each of these three needs effort from both the public and private sectors. The public sector for instance not only needs to provide resources, but also create a policy environment conducive for scale-up.”
The methodology Bhandari adopts is as follows: She ranks “the states and gauge if performance across the three sectors are correlated or divergent”, and compares states “for both absolute performance as well as for performance after controlling for consumption levels.” She stresses, “The latter analysis can be associated with governance – how well the resources at the state’s disposal have been used for progress in the critical sectors of health, education and infrastructure.”
Bhandari looks at the ranking performance in the context of per capita consumption. “This puts the states on a level playing field before comparisons are made. For instance, Bihar’s underperformance on many fronts could partly be explained by lower resources at its disposal which makes it difficult for the state to invest more on health and education. Our analysis controls for this factor while evaluating the state’s performance in delivering key services”, she says.
If one uses the established method, the “raw” ranking suggests that –
• The first tier states comprising Kerala, Goa, Himachal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana are the best performers. However, performance of Maharashtra in infrastructure and that of Haryana in health is markedly poor.
• The second tier states comprising West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Andhra, Gujarat, J&K and Orissa are the medium performers. Orissa stands out for worse performance on infrastructure, compared to its performance in health and education.
• The third tier states comprising Rajasthan, Assam, MP, Chattisgarh, UP, Bihar and Jharkhand are the laggards, mostly comprising of the BIMARU states.
However, she states, “While the analysis above is insightful, it only reiterates the well known fact that states like Kerala have done well on health and education, while the BIMARU states have been laggards.” What it overlooks is the fact that “states with lower resources at their disposal are likely to underperform.” Hence the need to “refine our analysis by creating a level playing field before comparing states.”
This is done by adjusting “the three indices for monthly per capita consumption (MPCE).” She explains, while “GDP per capita and consumption per capita broadly measure the same thing and are tightly correlated, consumption has the benefits of reflecting the actual purchasing power and including income generated from outside the state (i.e. inter state remittances).”
The ‘refined’ analysis throws up the following observations –
• Good performers - Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Bihar have been the best performers across all the three sectors. West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have also been amongst the best off states.
• Laggards - Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, J&K and Jharkhand have been laggards across all the three sectors.
• Average performers - The remaining middle ranking states have varied performance. Goa, Punjab and Karnataka have done well in health and infrastructure, but underperformed in education. On the other hand, Haryana, Andhra, Gujarat, Assam, MP, UP and Maharashtra have each underperformed in two of the three sectors.
Bhandari concludes, “The refined analysis of states throws up important results on which states are making best use of the resources in hand to provide health, education and infrastructure services to its people. It is therefore a useful tool in identifying states whose experiments are working, and which can potentially be replicated by others. While convergence in income levels may take its own time, this analysis will help policy experts, interested observers and even voters to evaluate the success of its state and government.”

Refined vs raw rankings


Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Online education 'driving' digital divide: $1.97 bn industry's paid users grow at 6x rate

Counterview Desk
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, in a new report in the series on Lockdown on Civil Liberties focusing on education has said that there is a huge “push-out” children due during the pandemic, with deepening digital-divide playing a major role.