Skip to main content

"Standard error" in Government of India report: OBC rural Gujarat Muslim poverty down from 40.5% to 1.9%!

By Our Representative
Facts have come to light suggesting that there is something extremely suspicious with the data in the new report prepared by the Government of India-appointed committee headed by Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU’s) Prof Amitabh Kundu on the condition of Muslims in India. The report is a follow-up of the famous Sachar Committee report of 2006, which had pointed towards negligence of the minorities, especially Muslims, in different social sectors, particularly education and health, and seeks to suggest that poverty in rural and urban Gujarat went down drastically between 2004-05 and 2011-12.
Quoting unreleased National Sample Survey (NSS) poverty data for socio-religious groups, the report seeks to suggest that in rural Gujarat, the number of Muslims below poverty line (BPL) fell from 31 per cent (about one-third of their population) in 2004-05 to a "measly" 7 per cent in 2011-12. Surprisingly, it does not find things as rosy in urban Gujarat. The report says that comparison of the same period reveals, those in the BPL population in urban areas declined from 42 per cent to 14.6 per cent.
While a copy of the report, submitted to the Union ministry of minority affairs, could not be obtained, the data used in the report, in possession of Counterview, suggests something fishy. The data show, in rural Gujarat, other backward classes (OBC) poverty levels, which were 40.5 per cent in 2004-05, have gone down to just 1.9 per cent in 2011-12! As against to this, the Other Muslims’ poverty levels in rural Gujarat have gone down, during the same period, from 23.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 18.7 per cent.
These data, which form part of a paper prepared by Prof Kundu, give no explanation on why this may have happened. When contacted with the query as whether there was any “typographical error” in the figures, Prof Kundu told Counterview that similar questions have been raised “concerning Gujarat's poverty reduction”, and he was looking into “the issues of standard error in somewhat greater detail.” He believed, the “standard error in the estimates for different socio-economic groups in rural and urban areas would be high due to small sample size in the NSS.”
Based on these data, which admittedly are ridden with “standard error”, well-known pro-Narendra Modi economist Prof Arvind Panagariya, belonging to the no-liberal school and is with the Columbia University, has declared, “In rural areas, Gujarat leads with the lowest poverty ratio of 7.7 per cent for the Muslims.” The data that he has calculated (despite “standard error”) suggest that overall poverty in Gujarat (rural plus urban) is down from 36.5 per cent in 2004-05 to 11.4 per cent in 2011-12. He just accepts the unreleased NSS data he has obtained on face value, without bothering to question their validity.
Interestingly, one of Prof Panagariya’s closest colleagues, Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, an economist and a scholar-journalist known for objective comments on economic matters, has made the following comment, in his article titled “Poverty Falls for Dalits and Muslims” on the data while reviewing Prof Panagariya’s analysis in a working paper, “Poverty by Social Religious and Economic groups in India and its Largest States, 1993-94 to 2011-12”:
“Astonishingly, the rural Muslim poverty ratio is lowest of all in Gujarat, at 7.7 per cent. This is much lower than the urban ratio, and so raises the question whether it is a statistical quirk. Muslims in Gujarat were victims of terrible violence in 2002, and many still feel unsafe.”
Further: “Some caution is required in interpreting the data. First, 2004-05 was a bad monsoon year while 2011-12 witnessed a good monsoon, and this may exaggerate the achievement in this period. Second, the year-wise variations in some states look very steep, and seem to need a pinch of salt. Third, the government has decided to create a new poverty line, and all the data will have to be recast after that.”

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.