ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Inter and Intra-State DisparitiesSubscribe to Inter and Intra-State Disparities

Political Implications of Inter-State Disparity

This study attempts to analyse the political implications of regional disparity in India in the post-independence period, keeping in view the nature of federalism and democracy enshrined in the Constitution. It presents the crucial findings on regional disparity since the 1960s, and investigates the observed trends from the perspective of the federal aspects of the Constitution. It also notes the challenges posed by regional disparities to the overall functioning of democracy and its evolution over the last six decades. The conclusion situates certain changes in the institutional role of finance commissions over the post-independence period in the light of the observations on the link between regional disparity, federalism and democracy.

Intra-State Disparities in Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Orissa and Punjab

There is a large body of literature that highlights growing inter-regional disparities in India. However, intra-state disparities have not elicited similar attention, primarily due to the non-availability of comparable data at the sub-nss region level. This paper uses nss consumption expenditure survey data for two recent quinquennial rounds to calculate comparable welfare indicators and indices of inequality at the district level in five states. The data show that intra-state disparities are also increasing. From the policy point of view, intra-state disparities need the same kind of attention that rising inter-state inequalities have attracted in recent times.

Intra-State Disparity in Government Expenditure: An Analysis

This paper analyses the intra-state disparities in government expenditure in six states, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, based on the actual treasury data on government expenditure made in the social sectors of education, health and supply of drinking water, captured from the databases of the accountants general of these states. The disparities that it finds within most of these states are shocking, to say the least.

Intra-Regional Disparities, Inequality and Poverty in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has suffered from regional disparities and inequality and even six decades after independence, some of the regions of this state are very backward and the abode of the largest proportion of poor in the country. The challenges raised by intra-regional disparities and their compounding implications on living conditions and governance are enormous. This study identifies the dimensions of intra-regional disparities, inequality and deprivation in poor households of the state. Its basic objective is to examine whether micro-level disparities and deprivations are much wider and more alarming than at the aggregate level and whether region-specific, district-level planning needs to address these issues on a priority basis.

Some Normatively Relevant Aspects of Inter-State and Intra-State Disparities

While inequality in per capita state domestic product in India tends to increase, state-level indicators of human development show decreasing dispersion for the obvious reason that the standard outcome indicators of health or education have natural upper limits. Does it mean that instead of worrying about disparity in social indicators we should rather focus on disparity in per capita income? This paper argues that there are certain relevant aspects of disparity in non-income dimensions across and within states. In the context of resource allocation by a federal government among sub-national entities, the paper examines the ethical implications of two well-known allocation rules, population-weighted utilitarianism and leximin, and argues that the implications are not the same across evaluative spaces. It then examines if the actual resource allocation for human development in India conforms to some normative criteria.

Intra-State Economic Disparities: Karnataka and Maharashtra

This study addresses issues related to definition, dimension, and measure of economic disparities from the perspective of the finance commission. It illustrates concepts and measures within the Kuznets framework for Karnataka and Maharashtra. Though the two states are better off than the nation as a whole in terms of mean-based estimates of average income, they have pronounced inter-regional disparities, interpersonal inequalities and intra-regional deprivations. Broad-based and inclusion measures are generally higher in poor backward regions and vice versa, implying broad-based backwardness and inclusion in deprivation. Such a scenario sets limits on the potential for resource mobilisation and makes a case for investment strategies that promote broad-based inclusive growth across all regions at the state level.

An Investigation into the Inter-District Disparity in West Bengal, 1991-2005

This paper calculates inter-district inequality among West Bengal's 17 districts and then highlights the disparity in physical and social infrastructure among them. The latter traces the ranking of districts over time. Though this does not conclusively prove what the main determining factors for the movement of inequality are, a rank correlation analysis of per capita incomes with their physical and social infrastructure ranks gives sufficient hints about the causal relations between the two.

Intra-Regional Inequality and the Role of Public Policy: Lessons Learnt from Kerala

Despite an accentuation of consumption inequality in recent years in Kerala, development in the social sector has been more or less equitable across districts. Kerala's achievements in human development have been primarily due to the active intervention of the government in the social sector. The high priority to social sector spending has posed serious challenges to the state in terms of upkeep and also in tackling second generation problems of its model of development. It has also contributed to a large fiscal imbalance. Decentralisation is a step that was introduced in the mid-1990s to sustain the path of Kerala's development through local-level planning incorporating local needs and preferences.
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