ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Regional Disparities in India

Among the various axes of inequality in India, regional disparities have acquired greater salience in recent times, with demands being made for special status for certain states on this basis. What has been completely overlooked in the process is that regional backwardness in India is a moving frontier with the most intense forms of poverty and deprivation getting increasingly concentrated within enclaves of backwardness, especially those inhabited by adivasi communities. This paper reports on a recent exercise within the Planning Commission that tries to capture this dynamic of regional backwardness in India.

Annexures A (“List of districts in descending order of backwardness based on the index”) and B (“List of sub-districts in descending order of backwardness based on the index”) are posted on the EPW website along with this article.

The authors gratefully acknowledge inputs received from Montek Singh Ahluwalia, B K Chaturvedi, Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, Kishore Chandra Deo, Radhicka Kapoor, Jairam Ramesh, Abhijit Sen and P S Vijayshankar. The authors also acknowledge the inputs of the members of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Rural Development’s India Rural Development Report 2014, which will carry a modified version of this paper.

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