“While we have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backward on human development index. We are still 131 out of 188 countries in HDI [human development index].” – Amitabh Kant, NITI Ayog CEO
On Monday, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Ayog, while delivering the Khan Abdul Gaffar Memorial Lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi said that eastern part of India particularly states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are keeping the country backward. “While we have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backward on human development index,” he had said.
The HDI is a composite index which assesses the social and economic development levels of a country. This ranks the country in four principal areas: mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling, life expectancy, and per capita income.
“Education and health are critical, and these are areas in which India is lagging behind,” he said. “Our learning outcomes are poor – a Class 5 student is not able to do Class 2 subtraction. Class 5 student is not able to read his mother tongue. Infant mortality rates are very high. Unless we improve on these aspects, it will be difficult to grow in a consistent way.”
Last year, IndiaSpend came out with an analysis which claimed that in Madhya Pradesh, as few as 34.1 percent of children in class 5 could read a class 2 textbook and in Rajasthan, only 45.9 percent of children in class 5 could subtract.
He also called for an increase in women’s participation in the decision-making process. “There must be a conscious effort to frame policies to give women opportunities,” Kant said.
A few were quick to point out who has been ruling these states for over a decade.
Haha.. all the states that Niti aayog chief specified that are holding back India's growth are in bip control and or not in Congress rule.
What an irony! 🤣
Even Amitabh kant knows that it's bjp that holds back India to achieve growth and development.@divyaspandana https://t.co/fFs81A3uGH
— KilaFateh #INC (@KilaFateh) April 24, 2018
The statement didn’t go down well with BJP or at least its supporters.
Chief Executive Babu @amitabhk87 of third rate, totally useless @NITIAayog goes to Jamia, says what is music to Opp ears: “Bihar, UP, Chattisgarh, MP, Rajasthan keeping India backward.”
PM @narendramodi has rewarded him with extension. Rejoice, मित्रों|
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) April 24, 2018
Biharis especially took offense to it.
In a series of tweets, Tejashwi said that the remarks made by Amitabh Kant expose the mindset of babus (bureaucrats). He said that Bihar and Biharis pay equal tax and contribute equally or more towards nation building.
Bihar & Bihari’s pay equal taxes, contribute equally or more in governance & Nation building. Bihar gave 33 MPs to NDA, 7 Union Ministers r frm Bihar, both State & Centre govts are of same party nd alliance But still these Babu’s says Bihar is backward.BJP ruling state for 10yrs https://t.co/Ii9pxjt4Xt
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) April 24, 2018