New index for measuring backwardness of states soon

Composite development index to include criteria such as health and literacy, which are not included in the present backwardness indicators

By Jitendra
Published: Tuesday 13 August 2013

The six-member expert committee, appointed by the ministry of finance to evolve a composite development index (CDI) to measure backwardness of states, is likely to submit its report within the next fortnight. It is learnt that the committee has finalised 10 new criteria under CDI.

The new development index criteria would consist of monthly per capita income, education, female literacy rate, health, housing amenities, poverty rate, percentage of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes population, urbanization rate, financial inclusion and connectivity, says a source who has worked closely with the panel.
The committee was constituted pursuant to the Budget announcement by finance minister P Chidambaram to consider backwardness of states in terms of measures like per capita income and other human development indicators. The committee had been asked to submit its report within sixty days from the date of its constitution in May.

The committee is chaired by Raghuram G Rajan, chief economic adviser to the ministry of finance, who has been named as the next governor of Reserve Bank of India. The other members of this committee are Shaibal Gupta, Bharat Ramaswami, Najeeb Jung, Nirija G Jayal, and Tuhin Pandey.

The setting up of the committee followed aggressive demands by some states for special category status. Chief ministers of Bihar and Odisha had organised massive rallies in the national capital to raise the demand.

The present criteria for determining backwardness do not consider human development indices. These criteria are: region should have hilly and difficult terrain; low population density or sizeable tribal population; strategic location along border with neighboring countries; economical and infrastructural backwardness; and non-viable nature of state finances.


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