The narrative of ‘model state’ arose during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when Gujarat was touted as the ‘model state’ of India. There wasn’t much of a debate on it, yet it was widely believed Gujarat deserved the status of ‘model’ state. Let us look into the numbers and statistics of other states and figure out if there is any other state which deserves the title of ‘model state’.
Let us define a model state
Model state in India should be such a state, which offers good healthcare and education (to children specially) equitable and high economic growth, favourable conditions for small scale and large scale industries to employ the educated youth, infrastructure for citizens to leverage and business to thrive and other favorable social indicators. Keeping this mind, let us look at which state fares where, to arrive at the conclusion of model state.
The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is the total goods and services produced in the state. Maharashtra stands a distant first with 16.8 lakh crore, while Tamil Nadu stands second with 9.76 lakh crore. Gujarat, even though comparative, has a low population, stands a healthy 5th in India. However, let us not conclude much on the numbers, GSDP varies with population, resources available and size of the state with notable exceptions being Uttar Pradesh, despite having the largest population yet comes third in the GSDP of India. On GSDP front, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra could be considered a worthy winners.
Kerala, of course is a standout on this aspect, but let us look at the other states who are potential ‘model’ state worthy. Gujarat stands at a distant 18th, whilst T.N stands at 14th and Maharashtra at 12th (states which has higher GSDP). The other states high in the ladder are Mizoram and Delhi.
Human Development Index
HDI covers a wide range of social indicators which reflects the development of the individual importantly by Health and Education. Kerala with 0.825 takes the leads on HDI, Delhi on second, Maharashtra on 7th, T.N on 8th while Gujarat stands at 12th. Kerala’s high HDI is comparable to some of the best nations of the world.
The percentage population below poverty line is a good indicator of equitable growth, Goa (5%) & Kerala (7%) ace on these rankings holding the first two positions. While Maharashtra and Gujarat stands at a dismal 15th (17.35%) and 14th (16.63%). It is dismal because both the state have considerably high GSDP. The high percentage of below poverty line is indicator of lack of inclusive growth.
Tamilnadu at 87% ranks third behind the two small states of Mizoram and Sikkim in vaccination coverage. While Maharashtra stands at a dismal 13th and Gujarat at a woeful 18th with only 55% of
Electrification is still a dream that is yet to be accomplished, India is making great progress there and let us look at where the states stand. Delhi stands at 2nd while, Tamil Nadu at 10th with 93 % electrification, Gujarat at 15th and Maharashtra at a dismal 21st.
Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh top the chart with Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat occupying 3 positions in the top 6.
Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh together attracted more than 70 per cent of total FDI inflows to India in the last 15 years. Except Delhi, all States have seen a decrease in FDI flow between 2014-15 and 2015-16. There is not much to choose from, as all the above mentioned states seem to have done well.
I invite the readers come to their own conclusions, however, to put in perspective, Kerala with its healthy social indicators stands in prime position to be a model state however, the difficult terrain due to the western ghats and other factors puts a limit on Industrial growth. While Andhra Pradesh despite having huge tax revenues, the poor conditions of farmers, drought and whole lot of issues has ensured there is gross inequality besides health care and education specially at primary level needing immediate attentions. Tamil Nadu though its growth has slowed down a bit, continues to score high in Automobile industry (Chennai being the Detroit of India), large scale industries, MSME’s and IT (2nd largest as per 2012 data), Tamil Nadu has favourable social indicators and economic indicators but scores large in corruption and sustaining high growth. Maharashtra has made the news for all the bad reasons due to the water shortage and farmer suicides, yet Maharashtra faces robust growth with large scale inequalities. Gujarat has lot of work to be done with social, indicators even though the economic indicators are favorable but not best. I invite the readers to come to your own conclusion as to which state could be considered a model state.
A debatable verdict could be
Based on social indicators – Kerala
Based on Equitable growth – Tamilnadu
Based on Economic growth – Maharashtra