Assam has been listed as the poorest state after Meghalaya in the Northeastern region as per the first Multidimensional Poverty Index of NITI Aayog released on Friday.
Among the Northeastern states, Assam ranks as the sixth poorest with 32.67%, followed by Nagaland (10th with 25.23%), Arunachal Pradesh (11th with 24.27%), Manipur (14th with 17.89%), Tripura (16th with 16.65%) and Mizoram (22nd with 9.80%). Meghalaya listed as 5th poorest states in India.
Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have emerged as the poorest states in India, the report said while Assam listed as sixth among the poorest state.
As per the report, 51.91% population of Bihar is poor, followed by 42.16% in Jharkhand, 37.79% in Uttar Pradesh, 36.65% in Madhya Pradesh and 32.67% in Meghalaya.
Kerala accounts for 0.71% while Goa (3.76%), Sikkim (3.82%), Tamil Nadu (4.89%) and Punjab (5.59%) have registered the lowest poverty across India.
Among union territories (UTs), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (27.36%) is the poorest while Puducherry (1.72%) is the richest.
Meghalaya with 37.05% also has the tenth-highest percentage of malnourished people among all the states. This list is headed by Bihar (51.88%) and followed by Jharkhand (47.99%), Madhya Pradesh (45.49%), Uttar Pradesh (44.47%) and Chhattisgarh (43.02%).
Except for Assam (39.67%) other states of the Northeast fare comparatively better than Meghalaya in the nutrition aspect.
On the child & adolescent mortality aspect, Meghalaya (3.10%) occupies the sixth-highest position among states in the country. This list is headed by Uttar Pradesh with a mortality rate of 4.97%.
Meghalaya also has the fifth-worst figure in the country with 31.70% of its women deprived of maternal healthcare facilities. Among the NE states, Nagaland (33.06%) has a figure worse than Meghalaya.
The state is second to Bihar when it comes to percentage of population deprived of years of schooling. Meghalaya’s figure stood at 19.71% against Bihar’s count of 26.27%. In terms of the percentage of population deprived of school attendance the state has the ninth-highest figure in the country with 5.40%.
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar in his foreword said, “The development of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index of India is an important contribution towards instituting a public policy tool which monitors multidimensional poverty, informs evidence-based and focused interventions, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind.”
Kumar further said this baseline report of India’s first ever national MPI measure is based on the reference period of 2015-16 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).
The national MPI measure has been constructed by utilising 12 key components which cover areas such as health and nutrition, education and standard of living, he said.
“While this report is an indispensable first step in mainstreaming MPI, it is based on a dataset which is five years old. The success of numerous development interventions in the recent past have resulted in progress in key parameters on health, education, and standard of living,” it added.