The Modi metric

The Modi Metric

An illustration of performance relating to youth female education among Muslims is informative. Bihar is ranked fourth in performance, Gujarat 16th (out of 17 big states), and Himachal Pradesh is ranked first. The raw data for Muslims is an improvement from 2 to 4.1 years in Bihar, an improvement from 5.6 years to 6.4 years in Gujarat, and an improvement from 4.2 to 7.4 in HP. The improvement in non-minority youth female education for the three states is as follows: 1.9 years for Bihar, 1.8 years for Gujarat and 1.6 years for HP. Clearly, in terms of equity defined as relative performance of Muslim females, Gujarat is near the bottom.

Growth

Much has been written about the spectacular growth of agriculture and GDP in Gujarat. Numbers in the double-digit range for both variables are popular. The facts suggest otherwise; first, regarding agricultural growth, average annual growth since 2001 has been 6 per cent per annum; for agriculture, excluding forestry and fishing, the average increases to 6.6 per cent. This performance is clearly better than average, and among the top three states, but double-digit estimates of agricultural growth are a vast overstatement of the underlying reality.

On GDP growth, Gujarat's record under Modi is very impressive. For the 2001 to 2010 period, Gujarat grew at 8.2 per cent per annum, the fourth fastest growing state. If one controls for its high level of initial income (a higher base) Gujarat's growth record looks even better, and by some calculations, becomes the best performing growth state. In terms of NSS consumption growth from 1999-2000 to 2009-10, Gujarat emerges as the sixth fastest growth state. In terms of aggregate poverty reduction, it has the seventh best decline.

Equity

Unfortunately, this growth performance is not equalled by the equity or inclusion indicators. Muslims perform disastrously on several fronts, and the SC/STs perform only marginally better than Muslims. For the minorities, Gujarat is clearly not the preferred location. For gender equity, only one variable is available — education. Except for two states, the universal pattern is for minority girls to experience a higher growth in educational attainment than non-minority girls. The two exceptions are Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat — and Gujarat is the worse.

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