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Hurriedly released Government of India report suggests Gujarat's HDI rose higher than most states

By Our Representative
Has the Gujarat government’s “neo-liberal” economic persuasion, which presupposes that economic growth leads to automatic development of the social sector, including income, education and health, begun to work? It would seem to, if one of the latest reports, hurriedly released by the UPA government alongside the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, is any indication. An updated version of the India Human Development Report 2011, released on March 11, 2014, suggests that Gujarat’s human development index (HDI) sharply rose by 26.77 per cent, between 2007-08 and 2011-12, which is one of the best in India!
While despite this rise of 26.77 per cent, Gujarat’s HDI ranking remains the same as it was earlier (ninth), the sharp rise in the HDI from 0.508 in 2007-08 to 0.644 in 2011-12 on a scale of one should suggest that there was some improvement somewhere.
However, whatever data were released by the Planning Commission’s Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR) while updating the report, does not suggest where exactly this improvement has taken place, and how. If the India HDI report 2011, released three years ago, relied on 2007-08 data for ranking each state, the updated version of the report has used 2011-12 data.
HDI improvement: 2007-08 to 2011-12 (%)
The updated HDI report shows that only three states – Delhi (27.5 per cent), Haryana (31.5 per cent), and Uttar Pradesh (32.79 per cent) – performed better than Gujarat in improving the index between 2007-08 and 2011-12. All-India improvement in the HDI was 20.8 per cent, more than six per cent lower than Gujarat’s.
Interestingly, whatever papers that were released by the IAMR, while giving indices for three separate years – 1999-2000, 2007-08 and 2011-12 – give no explanation as to why this has happened. They merely compare 1999-2000 with 2011-12, during which Gujarat’s HDI rose by 44 per cent compared to 46 per cent all-India.
Scanning through the papers, it would seem that Gujarat has performed the best in improving its income index, but not as good in education and health indices. Comparing 1999-2000 with 2011-12, the data suggest, Gujarat’s improvement in income index was 84 per cent, as against all-India’s 68 per cent.
But in health index Gujarat’s improvement was 25 per cent, just about equal to the national average, 24 per cent, and in education index Gujarat improvement was merely 43 per cent as against all-India’s 62 per cent. 
HDI improvement: 1999-2000 to 2007-08 (%)
The papers, strangely, hide the exact details of indices for each of the three for the three years in question.
Significantly, Gujarat failed to do as well as other states in HDI between 1999-2000 and 2007-08, which became the main reason why its overall HDI improvement up to 2011-12 (44 per cent) remained lower than the national average (46 per cent). There is no explanation as to why there was considerable improvement between 1999-2000 and 2007-08, on one hand, and between 2007-08 and 2011-12, on the other. 
Between 1999-2000 and 2007-08, Gujarat’s HDI improved by 13.39 per cent, as against the national average of 20.85 per cent. This was lower than most states, including Kerala 16.51 per cent, Maharashtra 13.99 per cent, Tamil Nadu 18.92 per cent, North East (except Assam) 21.54 per cent, Karnataka 20.38 per cent, Uttarakhand 44.95 per cent, West Bengal 17.16 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir 14.19 per cent, Andhra Pradesh 29.01 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 21.38 per cent, Assam 31.38 per cent, Jharkhand 40.77 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 32.36 per cent, Bihar 25.7 per cent, Odisha 31.81 per cent, and Chhattisgarh 30.22 per cent.

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