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

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

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.

Why convert growing badminton popularity into an 'inclusive sports opportunity'

By Sudhansu R Das  Over the years badminton has become the second most popular game in the world after soccer.  Today, nearly 220 million people across the world play badminton.  The game has become very popular in urban India after India won medals in various international badminton tournaments.  One will come across a badminton court in every one kilometer radius of Hyderabad.  

Faith leaders agree: All religious places should display ‘anti-child marriage’ messages

By Jitendra Parmar*  As many as 17 faith leaders, together for an interfaith dialogue on child marriage in New Delhi, unanimously have agreed that no faith allows or endorses child marriage. The faith leaders advocated that all religious places should display information on child marriage.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

Ayurveda, Sidda, and knowledge: Three-day workshop begins in Pala town

By Rosamma Thomas*  Pala town in Kottayam district of Kerala is about 25 km from the district headquarters. St Thomas College in Pala is currently hosting a three-day workshop on knowledge systems, and gathered together are philosophers, sociologists, medical practitioners in homeopathy and Ayurveda, one of them from Nepal, and a few guests from Europe. The discussions on the first day focused on knowledge systems, power structures, and epistemic diversity. French researcher Jacquiline Descarpentries, who represents a unique cooperative of researchers, some of whom have no formal institutional affiliation, laid the ground, addressing the audience over the Internet.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".