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Thursday, August 18, 2022

India: States

Do new states perform better?


Progress does not depend on size but the political will of states
AMIR HOSSAIN | Issue Dated: November 30, -0001, New Delhi
Tags : Telangana | Andhra Pradesh | Small states | Chhattisgarh | Jharkhand | Uttarakhand |

Never ending debates like “Small states are good or bad” and “Small states are well governed” have been around for a long time. India took the initiative to create three more states, i.e., Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand (formerly known as Uttaranchal) a long back in 2000. Along the same lines, consequent to a 40-year-old demand for statehood, then Home Minister P. Chidambaram affirmed in 2009 that the ruling UPA government wanted to initiate the process to create a new state. At last, our government has taken the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh and form Telangana as the 29th Indian state on July 30, 2013, just ahead of the 2014 general elections. The new state will have ten districts and will share Hyderabad as their capital for the first decade.

Now the question arises that how will Telangana perform? A comparative study between ‘mother-daughter’ states, i.e., Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh, Bihar-Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh-Uttrakhand may answer those long debated questions. Annual growth rate of gross state domestic product (GSDP) is considered as the most significant economical indicator to review how the state’s economy is faring. On the one hand, Bihar has been performing far better than Jharkhand. Bihar has witnessed 13.13 percent GSDP growth over the previous year during 2011-12 while Jharkhand has grown by only 6.57 per cent. On the other hand, tiny Uttarakhand has outshined its mother state Uttar Pradesh by registering a growth rate of 8.8 per cent and 6.23 per cent respectively during the same period. Similarly, Chhattisgarh has outperformed Madhya Pradesh in growth rates, since its birth.

Other parameters like annual change in food grain production, primary education and infant mortality rate also show mixed results. A TOI study revealed that Jharkhand was way ahead compared to Bihar in case of food grain production between 2001-02 and 2011-12. Madhya Pradesh’s growth in food grain production was almost double comparing to its daughter state Chhattisgarh. In addition to that Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand have had grown at 1 per cent in food grain production. Big states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are racing way behind in school infrastructure compared to its tiny daughters Jharkhand and Uttrakhand respectively. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttrakhand have 6, 7, 13 and 13 primary schools per 1000 students respectively. In the same light, Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1000 live births) has decreased across all sates but the rate is slower in big states.

One thing is clear from the historical performances of ‘mother-daughter’ states that progress of any state significantly depends on political will and orientation of its government rather that merely size of the state. So, it will be interesting to see how Telangana will fare in long term. 


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017