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

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Disparities in Social Development in Maharashtra

A District-level Analysis

This paper is based on the author’s MPhil thesis that was submitted to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai under the supervision of M H Suryanarayana.

Regional imbalances within states have attracted the attention of researchers and policymakers alike. But the scarcity of district-level studies leaves much to be desired. Districts are the first stage of policy implementation, making it imperative to understand and analyse development at this third tier of administration. With some modification, this paper follows the methodology adopted by the Council for Social Development to construct a six-dimensional social development index for an analysis of development in the districts of Maharashtra. In addition to supporting existing evidences, this study finds interesting variations among the districts across all dimensions. Evidences of disparity across social dimensions even within pockets of prosperity are found in this study.

Researchers argue that social development is about putting people at the centre of development (Webbink 2011). Where elected governments are often judged by the outcomes of their policies, it becomes necessary for policymakers to choose policies that enable citizens to realise their full potential. However, social development is a function of multidimensional indicators. Its measure depends on the choice of parameters or indicators that a researcher believes to affect an individuals array of choices. If that is the case, then it becomes imperative to understand how these different types of parameters or indicators aggregate to give a spatially comparable single index. In this stride, the objective of the current study is to construct an index based on a set of development parameters that we believe may affect social development of individuals in Maharashtra,1 and then compare the results across its various districts.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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