After coming in for some lavish praise from a US think tank report for his state on the path of growth and development, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should have reasons to worry, going by the findings of the India Human Development Report 2011.
The report, released by the Centre yesterday, finds Gujarat performing poorly on two key social indicators. 44.6% of children below the age of five suffer from malnutrition whereas nearly 70% of the children in the state suffer from anaemia. The results are bad enough considering states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have fared better than Gujarat on malnutrition levels.
The report is bound to come as a dampener following the report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) last month which lauded Mr Modi for his governance. "Perhaps India's best example of effective governance and impressive development is found in Gujarat (population 60 million), where controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi has streamlined economic processes, removing red tape and curtailing corruption in ways that have made the state a key driver of national economic growth," states the report, which was released on September 1. (Read)
But there are some positives too to draw from the Human Development Report. It says that Human Development Index rose by 21% in the last decade - Kerala topped the index, followed by Delhi. Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Punjab completed the top-five list.
The report also says that the inequality gap between states has narrowed down. In more good news for the government, minorities and the weaker sections of the society seem to be climbing up on the development ladder with Muslims and Scheduled Castes/Tribes catching up on various development indicators.