Ashish Bose, the country’s foremost demographer, passed away after a illness on Monday at his Chittaranjan Park residence in New Delhi. He was 84 and is survived by two sons. Not keeping well for some time, he was hospitalised last month.
Bose was best known for coining the term BIMARU (in a paper presented to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi) to refer to the four grossly under-developed states of (undivided) Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the 1980s. Later, Orissa was also included, to expand it to BIMAROU. Bose’s contention was if the government wants to control the population, it should stress on these states.
Bose was involved in formulating urban demographic details till the 1980s, but after that he shifted to empirical analysis and vision building.
After the much-hyped National Commission for Urbanisation was constituted on Rajiv Gandhi’s instructions, Bose was the first to point out that it excluded Jammu and Kashmir, leading to much furore.
He wrote over 25 books on population and development, having headed the Population Research Centre at the Institute of Economic Growth. Some of his noted books are Growing old in India: Voices reveal, Statistics Speak and Darkness at Noon: Female Foeticide.