Assam Human Development Index

Assam Human Development Index

  • Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices. But human development is also the objective, so it is both a process and an outcome.
  • Human development implies that people must influence the processes that shape their lives. In all this, economic growth is an important means to human development, but not the end.
  • Human development is the development of the people through building human capabilities, by the people through active participation in the processes that shape their lives and for the people by improving their lives.
  • It is broader than other approaches, such as the human resource approach, the basic needs approach and the human welfare approach.
  • The composite Human Development Index (HDI) integrates three basic dimensions of human development. Life expectancy at birth reflects the ability to lead a long and healthy life. Mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling reflect the ability to acquire knowledge. And gross national income per capita reflects the ability to achieve a decent standard of living
  • To measure human development more comprehensively, the Human Development Report also presents four other composite indices.
  • The Inequality-adjusted HDI discounts the HDI according to the extent of inequality. The Gender Development Index compares female and male HDI values.
  • The Gender Inequality Index highlights women’s empowerment. And the Multidimensional Poverty Index measures nonincome dimensions of povertyAssam Human Development Index

Human development—a people-centred approach

  • Human development is about acquiring more capabilities and enjoying more opportunities to use those capabilities. With more capabilities and opportunities, people have more choices, and expanding choices is at the core of the human development approach. But human development is also a process.
  • Anchored in human rights, it is linked to human security. And its ultimate objective is to enlarge human freedoms. Human development is development of the people through the building of human resources, for the people through the translation of development benefits in their lives and by the people through active participation in the processes that influence and shape their lives.
  • Income is a means to human development but not an end in itself. The human development approach in the 1990 Human Development Report also introduced a composite index, the Human Development Index (HDI), for assessing achievements in the basic dimensions of human development. Those dimensions of human development are to lead a long and healthy life, measured by life expectancy at birth; to acquire knowledge, measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and to achieve a decent standard of living, measured by gross national income per capita.

Assam Human Development based on 2014 Report of NITI AAYOG

  • Assam is one of the 35 states and union territories of India. The total geographical area of the state is 78,438 SQ. KMS. With a total population of 3.12 crore.
  • Assam is primarily a rural state with more than 98 percent of its area falling under rural areas and a rural population of 86 percent.
  • The state accounts for about 2.4 percent of the total geographical area and 2.6 percent of the total population of the country (Census, 2011).
  • The state is a unique showcase of diversities of myriad forms.
  • As a “land locked”state, it is enormously diverse in terms of its geographical features. Given these features, the state in general faces some distinctive challenges

Life Expectancy at Birth

  • The indicator of life expectancy at birth is used to measure the realised achievement in the health dimension, that is, ‘to be able to live a long life’.
  • The life expectancy at birth denotes the number of years that a child can expect to live at the time of birth, given the agespecific mortality rates in the population.
  • The life expectancy, however, is an indicator of very long-term improvement in health.
  • The latest available SRS data (2006-10) estimate life expectancy at birth in Assam at 62 years (male 61 years and female 63.2 years) putting the state in the bottom echelon.
  • The life expectancy in rural areas is found to be lower (53.39) than in urban areas (57.97).
  • Religion wise, it is found that Christians have higher life expectancy (58.37) compared to Hindus (54.62) and Muslims (52.98).
  • The life expectancy among Other Backward Classes (OBCs) is found to be much lower (51.75) than the state average (54.0)

Mean Years of Schooling

  • Mean Years of Schooling (MYS) is one of the two indicators used to measure educational achievement in HDRs by UNDP.
  • It replaced the literacy rate as an indicator under the education dimension in 2010. MYS indicates the average number of completed years of education of a country’s population.
  • Usually, MYS is estimated for populations aged 25 years and older, which is also the indicator used in the calculation of the HDI by UNDP.
  • Based on the HDR survey data, the MYS for Assam is estimated at 6.1710.
  • Given the normative goal of 15 years which ensures secondary level of schooling11, the present educational achievement in the state is only about 40 per cent of the goal12.
  • Besides, there is a clear rural-urban divide with MYS in rural areas at 5.70 and that in urban areas at 8.59.
  • The second visible divide is observed in male-female achievement levels: the MYS of males is estimated at 6.93 against the MYS of females at 5.32.
  • Differences in MYS are also prominent along religious and social categories.
  • The MYS amongst Hindus is found to be 6.85 compared to 4.49 amongst Muslims.
  • Similarly, MYS is found to be lower (5.92) amongst SCs compared to other social categories.
  • District wise estimates show that MYS ranges from 3.77 to 9.16. The highest MYS of 9.16 is found in Kamrup (M) while the lowest 3.77.
  • In terms of MYS in rural areas, Darrang again figures at the bottom with 3.59 followed by Dhubri with 4.09.
  • The highest MYS in rural areas is observed in Sibsagar (8.26) followed by Jorhat (7.20) and Nalbari (7.07).
  • As far as the MYS among females is concerned, the lowest is found again in Darrang (2.87) followed by Baksa (3.51) and Dhubri (3.50).

Expected Years of Schooling

  • EYS is a measure of the number of years of schooling a child at the start of his or her education is expected to receive, if current rates of enrolment are maintained throughout the child’s life.
  • For Assam, the estimated EYS is found to be 11.85 years. This indicates that, on an average, given the present enrolment pattern in the state, a child is expected to complete at least the secondary level when he or she starts going to school.
  • The EYS in rural areas is found to be 11.80 which is less than the EYS of 12.20 estimated in urban areas.
  • The EYS for males is found to be 11.72 against that of females which is 11.99. Similar divides are also noticed across religious and social categories

Income Per Capita

  • Income per capita is considered as an ‘indirect’ indicator of human development. The first HDR of UNDP (1990) observes that an indicator of ‘command over resources needed for a decent living’ requires data on access to land, credit, income and other sources.
  • In 2010, instead of GDP per capita, Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is taken as the indicator.
  • For allowing cross-country comparison, the GNI per capita of the countries was adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) ratios.
  • Per Capita Annual Income (PCAI) – There are obvious gaps in PCAI in rural and urban sectors. The average PCAI in rural areas is only about 40 per cent of that of the urban areas (INR 22,087 in rural against INR 56,157 in urban areas).
  • It could further be found that the average PCAI of Christians (INR 16,068) is the lowest followed by Muslims (INR 18,228).
  • The average PCAI of Hindus is found as INR 28,092. A similar income gap prevails amongst different social categories as well.
  • District wise, the highest PCAI was found in Kamrup (Metro) (INR 63,444) followed by Jorhat (INR 38,664).
  • The lowest PCAI was obtained in Hailakandi (INR 16,632) followed by Dhubri (INR 16,336). In general, it is found that low PCAIs in border areas, areas with multiple spatial diversities and amongst religious minorities are major downward factors in the income dimension

HDI and the Districts

  • The present report estimates the value of HDI for the state as a whole at 0.557. This tells us that given the desired normative goal, the present level of progress in overall human development in the state is just a little beyond the halfway mark.
  • The highest attainment is observed in Kamrup (M) and the lowest in Hailakandi.
  • In 15 of 27 districts, the average level of achievement in human development is found to be more than the state average

 

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