The “BIMARU” states of the past continue to pull India backward on social indicators, says Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. The acronym “BIMARU” was coined in the 1980s to refer to the economic condition of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. In recent years, these states have reported progress on many human development indicators but they have not been significant enough to help improve India’s ranking at the global level.
India continues to languish at 131st rank out of the total 188 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI). Speaking at an event at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kant said that eastern Indian states are mainly responsible for India’s poor show in HDI. He particularly pointed out Bihar, UP, Chattisgarh, MP, and Rajasthan.
“Eastern part of India particularly states like Bihar, UP, Chattisgarh, MP, and Rajasthan are keeping India backward, especially on social indicators. While we have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backward on human development index,” the NITI Aayog CEO was quoted as saying by ANI.
In contrast to eastern India, according to Kant, parts of southern and western India are rapidly growing. According to Kant, India mainly lags behind in education and health. He emphasized that India needs to focus on social indicators to improve country’s HDI.
“And when the country’s HDI has to improve and we have to focus on these social indicators. We are working on these things through Aspirational Districts Programme,” ANI quoted him as saying.
A recent report by the NITI Aayog ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ said the ‘BIMARU’ states are at the bottom along with Odisha. The report says there was a “large gap” in the performance of “best and least performing states and Union Territories.” It noted that all states have “substantial scope” for improvement.