Skip to main content

Gujarat OBC Muslims' 1.9 per cent poverty in 2011-12 is based on NSSO's sample size of five households!

Arvind Panagariya
By Rajiv Shah
In a major goof-up, the Government of India’s National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) chose just about five households as a sample in order to assess monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of OBC Muslims of rural Gujarat. While a senior Gujarat-based activist has characterized this as a “deliberate statistical fraud”, what has made the matter particularly serious is, overlooking the small sample size, top economist Arvind Panagariya of the Columbia University has calculated that rural Gujarat’s poverty levels came down to 7.7 per cent in 2011-12 from 31 per cent in 2004-05, and the reason for this is high rise in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
Known for his neo-liberal approach, Prof Panagariya, in a recent study, “Poverty by Social, Religious & Economic Groups in India and Its Largest States: 1993-94 to 2011-12”, done jointly with Vishal More, has happily said that in the rural areas, “Gujarat leads with the lowest poverty ratio of 7.7 per cent for the Muslims.” The figures, which he has worked out on the basis of NSSO’s unreleased data on MPCE of religious groups, suggest that Gujarat’s rural poverty has gone down so drastically that it has reached even lower than Kerala (eight per cent)!
Prof Panagariya is known for his closeness to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. In a recent rejoinder to “The Economist”, he justified Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots saying they should not be called a “pogrom” but just riots. In a letter, jointly written with Columbia University’s Prof Jagdish Bhagwati, also of the neo-liberal school, he said, there is “no basis” in the involvement of Modi in the riots, as no evidence has been found against him by the special investigation team appointed by the Supreme Court.
Amitabh Kundu
Based on the sample size of five households, Gujarat's OBC Muslims' poverty ratio has been worked out at at just 1.9 per cent in 2011-12, down from 40.5 per cent in 2004-05 (click HERE for report). The NSSO’s "blunder" on Gujarat rural poverty has come to light, following the Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Amitabh Kundu’s analysis of state-level poverty data. 
Prof Kundu has been heading a committee appointed by Government of India to assess the condition of Muslims in India over the last seven years, following implementation of the Sachar Committee report of 2006 on the state of minorities India. The committee recently submitted its draft report to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.
While recognizing that the Gujarat data suggest -- when analysed “in the context of the changes in employment structure and other macro economic variables, comparing these with the changes in other similar states” – that “there has been sharp poverty reduction during 2004-05 to 2011-12 in the country and specifically in the state of Gujarat”, he has underlined, there is a “high standard error” because of an extremely small sample size for rural Gujarat’s OBC.
He told Counterview, the sample size for OBC Muslims is five in 2011-12 and 25 in 2004-5 in Gujarat. For total Muslims also, the size is much below the acceptable level and with high standard error. Not just Gujarat, for a few other states, too, the sample is below ten! 
Overall, too, the sample size of Muslims (OBC Muslims plus Other Muslims) taken together is extremely small, hence it is impossible to reach a conclusion. This is one reason, the committee under him has “not used the state-level NSS data for drawing inferences regarding the conditions of the Muslims.”

Comments

TRENDING

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 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.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.