Gujarat ranks around the middle in most other rankings, such as average per capita household expenditure, poverty, literacy, infant mortality, immunisation and school facilities, and fares near the bottom in female to male sex ratio
The Raghuram Rajan panel report on state backwardness on which funds could be allotted to states has thrown some cold water on the much-hyped claims of the “Gujarat development model”. Narendra Modi’s development model has been lauded by economists like Jagdish Bhagwati, and is drawing strong support from corporate bosses.
What is significant about the Rajan report, submitted to the government last month, is that it sees development not in the uni-dimensional terms of gross domestic product growth but proposes a multi-dimensional index (MDI) that categorises the backwardness of states based on monthly per capita consumption, expenditure, education, health, household amenities, poverty rate, female literacy, per cent of SC/ST population, urbanisation rate, financial inclusion and connectivity.
This inclusive model is a better barometer of development that tries to measure broader living conditions than one in which GDP growth is pre-eminent. Not surprisingly, it places Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu at the top of the development ladder, and roundly surmises Orissa and Bihar as the least developed states. What comes as a surprise to Modi acolytes is that Gujarat lies around the middle in the MDI, ranking among the less developed states, and 12th in the overall ranking.
It has been widely known that Gujarat, despite having one of the highest state GDP growth rates in the country, has not done particularly well in health, education, female literacy and financial inclusion. For instance, Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze point out in their admirable book, An Uncertain Glory, though Gujarat is second among states (after Himachal Pradesh), in growth in per capital state gross domestic product. It ranks around the middle in most other rankings, such as average per capita household expenditure, poverty, literacy, infant mortality, immunisation and school facilities, and fares near the bottom in female to male sex ratio.
And even in standard parameters of GDP growth, Mr Modi’s boast about a roaring Gujarat is not as robust as it is made out to be. Gujarat has been a state of entrepreneurs and traders for centuries, its development held back by an arid climate that arrested agricultural growth. The state grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 10.1 per cent between fiscal years 2005 and 2012, beating the national average of eight per cent. Between 1994 and 2000, it grew at an annual pace of 7.8 per cent with the manufacturing sector doubling in size, and with the national economy growing slower rate at that time, the difference in growth rates was larger. Despite boasts of every village having electricity, the 2011 census showed that 11 lakh Gujarati households did not have electricity connections.
A misconception arises about the agricultural growth rate which has variously been estimated between eight and 10 per cent
Read more here – http://www.asianage.com/columnists/modi-s-gujarat-isn-t-roaring-645