The State profile of Gujarat on the UNICEF website pays homage to Gujarat’s economy and growth model in the first line. But a few lines into the report one cannot miss reading that “Gujarat has more miles to cover in ensuring that the economic growth translates into improved human development.”
Leaders from across India’s political spectrum were quick to point out Gujarat’s average numbers in terms of human development.
A quick comparison between Gujarat and Karnataka, a state with almost the same population as Gujarat, tells us whether Gujarat has been faring poorly. We have used most of the UN’s Human Development Indicators for this study.
Gujarat fares poorly in terms of Infant Mortality Rate, Sex Ratio and Child Sex Ratio against Karnataka. But it makes up for this with better Literacy Rates (both male and female) and Maternal Mortality Rate.
Gujarat’s stock plummets when it comes to health infrastructure in the State. It faces a severe shortage of health centres and staff. Gujarat would probably get a C — can do better — on its Human Development Index report card.
Furthermore, according to the 2011 census, 90.6% of households in Karnataka have electricity to Gujarat’s 90.4%.