http://www.publishaletter.com/readletter.jsp?plid=26577 (with a lot of typos in outlook)
The central vision of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) is to trigger 9% Growth rate in GDP and a path of development that improves of the quality of life including of dalits, adivasis and women (Chapter on Inclusive Growth).
With Assembly elections coming I looked at data for India as a whole, and Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu (little data on Puducherry-I wonder why). What did I find? That exclusive growth paths have been followed, and no state is perfect.
Rate of growth in tenth plan has been higher in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but dalit and non dalit difference in rural poverty is higher than other states (planning commission data). Rural landlessness is highest in these two states, and sex ratio at birth is lower than other states (NFHS 3 data). West Bengal and Assam do better in all these respects.
The difference between Adivasis and others in rural poverty is highest in Kerala, followed by West Bengal and then TN. In only Assam,the adivasis are doing better in rural areas! (Planning commission data)
While the state of affairs looks better in Assam, it records highest levels of Infant mortality rate (SRS), maternal mortality ratio (SRS), primary level drop out rate (SES). This is followed by West Bengal. Kerala and TN perform better on these indicators
So one needs to ask what is inclusive growth- higher the growth greater the dalit-non dalit inequalities (Kerala and TN) and lower the sex ratio at birth? Greater the education, lower the sex ratio at birth (Kerala and TN). What kind of education is imparted? But neither is low levels of growth, with high drop out, high IMR and MMR good (Assam and West Bengal).
It is time we revisited the concept of inclusive growth, and move towards a concept of Just Growth, where dalits, adivasis, minorities (little data available), unorganised workers, slum dwelllers and migrants (little data available) grow at a faster rate. Where growth is accompanied by no son preference. Where growth is not accompanied by rural landlessness, food and nutritional insecurity . Where growth is accompanied by improvement in IMR and MMR and higher levels of education - but education which helps moves towards justice.
Researcher and activist
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