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.
The table presents some tentative findings relating to growth and equity in Gujarat and other states for broadly the Modi period of governance — 2001 to 2010. The results for three states — Gujarat, Bihar and Haryana — are presented along with the best and the worst state in each category. Looking at poverty reduction, the table can be read as follows. Between 1999-2000 and 2009-10, poverty declined in all states, and for all socio-economic groups. However, relative to the poverty decline experienced by the upper-caste non-minority (and possibly upper class as well) group, SC/STs in Gujarat ranked eleventh, SC/STs in J&K performed best, and SC/STs in Kerala performed the worst. Kerala was also the worst performing state in terms of change in inequality — both real (adjusted for rural-urban price differences) and nominal consumption Gini increased from 0.30 to 0.38.
It is unlikely that availability of data for the last two years, 2010 to 2012, will change any of the findings. Gujarat will remain one of the top states for GDP growth, and one of the worst states for equity and/ or inclusion. Interestingly, Bihar, over the last decade, is near tops in both growth and equity.
The writer is chairman of Oxus Investments, an emerging market advisory firm. Visit oxusinvestments.com for an archive of articles