Eight of Delhi’s 11 districts figure in India’s top 20 in composite development — measured in terms of economic development and the indices of health, education and material well-being.
An exhaustive analysis of the latest National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data shows districts in Delhi leading in indicators of education, health and material well-being, while Kerala districts dominate the top 20 in the health index. Districts in Bihar, UP, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh occupy the bottom 20 places across all indices.
The data, collated by the US-based US-India Policy Institute and the New Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy, will be unveiled by Dr Abusaleh Shariff, a former chief economist at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and member secretary of the Rajinder Sachar Committee. Data will be released on development levels and status of 599 districts of India.
Data on material well-being, health, education and access to services is available at the state level. The data has been analysed using results of the National Sample Survey 68th round, 2011-12, and latest information available with the union Ministry of Health.
The data, which will be released by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Thursday, will also break down development status of each district in terms of various socio-religious categories. Shariff described the compiled data as a “mini Sachar report for each district of India”. Retired Justice Sachar, whose report on the social, economic, educational status of Muslims was submitted in 2006, will be present at the release of the report.
“We hope to take the discourse on development away from the blah blah of GDP and growth rates by talking of broader and more meaningful parameters,” Shariff said.
In the overall District Development Index, the top three slots in the country are occupied by North Delhi, New Delhi and South Delhi, followed by Bangalore and two Goa districts. Mumbai is No. 17 in the top 20 list, behind Karaikal in the union territory of Puducherry.
The index has been based upon data on monthly per capita expenditure, numbers of people above the poverty line, and numbers of households having a regular salary income.
Three districts of Delhi — New Delhi, North Delhi and Southwest Delhi — occupy the top three positions among all districts surveyed in the country, followed by Gurgaon, which is part of the National Capital Region. The dominance of Delhi is interesting because of the enormous traction that political and social campaigns against the lack of civic amenities such as water and power have got in the state since 2011. These indeed, will be key issues when Delhi votes in 10 days.
Mandla (Madhya Pradesh), Jamui (Bihar) and Basti (UP) are the worst off. Five MP districts, and four each of Bihar and Orissa, figure in the bottom 20 in the economic development index.
The index is based upon average household assets, households where LPG is the primary source of cooking, and where electricity is the primary source of lighting.
Districts in Delhi, Goa and the big cities are in the top 20, with surprise neighbours Aizawl and Kolasib in Mizoram. The bottom 20 is made up entirely of districts in Bihar and UP.
The index is based on 7+ female literacy, 18+ adult literacy,15+ %ge matriculation, and households’ expenditure on education.
Three Delhi districts are followed by Rupnagar in Punjab. Ukhrul in Manipur is at No. 6, and Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam in Kerala are ahead of both Chennai and Mumbai on the top 20 list. East Siang in Arunachal Pradesh is No. 14; Imphal West, Manipur, No. 19.
The index is based on data on currently married women: if they were 18 at the time of marriage, if they received post-natal care within 48 hours, used contraception, were aware of HIV/AIDS, and if their last two children between 12 and 23 months of age were fully immunised.
Nine Kerala districts are in the top 20, including No. 1 Alappuzha. Imphal West is No. 2. There are only four North Indian districts in the top 20, including three from Punjab and Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. Of the 20 districts at the bottom, seven are in Bihar, six in Madhya Pradesh, five in Uttar Pradesh, and two in Orissa.