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Data reveals Chhattisgarh’s progress, but highlights the long journey ahead

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High stakes: Union Minister Anurag Thakur addressing a public meeting for a BJP candidate in Chhattisgarh.
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The Chhattisgarh Assembly elections were conducted in two phases on November 7 and 17. A comparison of the social indicators of the State with those of other States shows that Chhattisgarh has improved in most measures in recent years. But despite the improvement, the State features in the bottom half of the rankings in many indicators.

Chhattisgarh’s economic performance is relatively poor given that the manufacturing sector’s contribution is marginal. However, the State has managed to feature in the top half of the rankings in education-related parameters.

Table 1 | The table shows Chhattisgarh’s rank in social indicators and its actual score in a parameter in 2019-21, 2015-16, and 2005-06. It also lists the change in Chhattisgarh’s rank in 2019-21 from 2015-16. The top three States in a parameter are also given for comparison. 

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For instance, Chhattisgarh had an infant mortality rate of 44.3 in 2019-21 and ranked 28 out of 30 States. The three best major States that year were Kerala (4.4), Tamil Nadu (18.6) and West Bengal (22). Chhattisgarh’s ranking improved by one spot in 2019-21 from 2015-16, the year it was placed 29 out of 30.

As can be seen in Table 1, Chhattisgarh’s ranking improved in six of the eight parameters analysed, declined in one, and remained unchanged in another. In the share of the population that used an improved sanitation facility, the State’s ranking improved by 12 spots, and in the share of wasted children (low weight-for-height), it improved by seven spots between 2015-16 and 2019-21.

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In fact, a comparison with the data of 2005-06 shows significant improvement across most social indicators. In all the indicators, the State ranked 20 or worse in the 28 States analysed in that period (the data of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were ignored). That is not the case any more.

Despite this improvement, the State continues to rank lower than most others in many indicators. Only close to 69.3% of the female population aged six years and above have ever attended school (Chhattisgarh ranked 23 of 30 States in this parameter) though teenage marriages have come down drastically. Except for the share of households with health insurance coverage, where the State ranks second, in many other social indicators, it is in the bottom half of the rankings or at least not among the top 10 States.

Table 2 | The table shows Chhattisgarh’s per capita net state domestic product in 2021-22.

Chhattisgarh lacks economic progress to fuel its social development. In terms of per capita Net State Domestic Product at Current Prices for 2021-22 (Table 2), it is ranked 23rd out of 29 States. Close to 60% of the population was in the lowest two wealth quintiles in 2020 — the fifth highest share among the States analysed (Table 3).

Table 3 | The table shows the share of the population belonging to the lowest two wealth quintiles in Chhattisgarh.

Only 5.5% of the workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector. On this parameter, Chhattisgarh ranks 25th in India, with the sector contributing to 12.6% of the total GVA (Table 4).

Table 4 | The table shows Chhattisgarh‘s rank in indicators related to manufacturing.

The State performed relatively better in educational parameters (Table 5). It featured in the top half of the rankings list in the category of enrolment rates across various stages of school education.

Table 5 | The table shows Chhattisgarh’s rank in indicators related to education.

In environment-related parameters, the State showed mixed progress. Chhattisgarh generated on average 8.56 metric tonnes of hazardous waste per 1,000 people in 2018, ranking 20th out of 28 States. But it generated only 0.21 tonnes of plastic waste per 1,000 people in 2018-19 — the fifth-lowest in India as shown in Table 6.

Table 6 | The table shows Chhattisgarh’s rank in environment-related indicators.

Due to poor rankings in social measures despite improvements and despite a better ranking in educational parameters, the State was ranked 24th of 30 States in the 2021 Human Development Index.

Table 7 | The table shows Chhattisgarh’s actual score in the human development index (HDI) in 2021.

Source: National Family Health Surveys, Global Data Lab, NITI Ayog

vignesh.r@thehindu.co.in, rebecca.varghese@thehindu.co.in

Also read |Telangana leads in economic indicators, lags in social measures | Data 

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