The story of India’s human development is the story of certain states mainly in the north and in the East. It is a well established fact that these states, known as BIMARU states, have dragged down the indices with their poor performance on human development indicators. The gap between these backward states and developed states has been a serious cause for concern. However, some recently released reports have shown that these are picking up and catching up with the developed states.
The pace of development has picked up post 2008 crisis. Income and Education are driving the overall HDI upwards. The overall HDI is increasing. However health indicators are still a major problem. The HDI report says that Women’s inequality remains a major barrier to human development. There is no improvement in the infant mortality rate.
The data suggest that the socially disadvantaged groups in these states are starting to share benefits of the process of human development. However, when comparing the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes with Muslims in terms of human development input and outcome indicators, Muslims have consistently improved better than other marginalised groups.
The eight poorer States — Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand — are home to nearly 48 per cent of all the SCs, 52 per cent of all the STs and 44 per cent of all Muslims in the country. The report points out that the importance of good governance and massive social mobilisation by State governments gets reflected in the performance of all the social groups.
As the mainstream population in the northeast, the STs have social indicators that are a lot better than the forest dwelling STs in the central and eastern belt of India. The STs, especially in States affected by extremist violence, are only worse off than other social groups not only in their respective States but also their counterparts in the rest of the country.