To assess equity, Economic Survey introduces a bare necessities index

🔷 To assess equity, Economic Survey introduces a bare necessities index

✅ The Economic Survey for 2020-21 has shown, using a newly constructed “Bare Necessities Index” (BNI).

✅ Because, Inequalities in access to bare necessities like drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and housing conditions continue to exist between urban and rural India despite “widespread” improvements in each of these aspect.

🟡 The Idea of BNI

✅ The BNI builds on the idea of Thalinomics in the Economic Survey for 2019-20, through which it had sought to examine the access to food in the country.

✅ The BNI summarises 26 indicators on five dimensions — water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities — and has been created for all states for 2012 and 2018 using NSO data.

✅ The index classifies areas on three levels of access — high, medium, low — to bare necessities.

✅ The Survey has underlined the need to focus on reducing variations in the access to bare necessities across states, between rural and urban areas, and between income groups.

🟡 Findings

✅ In 2018, access to bare necessities was the highest in states such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat, and lowest in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tripura.

✅ In terms of urban-rural divide, all states barring Delhi, Punjab, Goa, Kerala, and Sikkim had medium or low access to bare necessities in their rural areas.

✅ In 2012, only rural Delhi had high access to bare necessities.

✅ In 2018, the lowest access in rural India was recorded in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Manipur, and Tripura.

✅ J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh showed improvement in access to bare necessities in rural areas between 2012 and 2018.

✅ By contrast, in urban India, no state showed the lowest level of BNI in 2018. In 2012, urban areas of only Bihar and Manipur fell in the lowest BNI category.

Source: The Indian EXPRESS

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