Human Development and Regional Disparities in India
There is enough evidence to suggest that regional disparities within most developing countries are alarmingly high and probably increasing. This paper analyses regional disparities amongst major states in India to find out if they are on a convergence or further divergence course. It compares human development and poverty indices for various states in India and investigates if there has been any reduction in disparities over a decade. The analysis is extended to the evolution of disparities amongst the states with respect to a larger set of socio-economic indicators. A number of regional composite indices are constructed from the selected indicators and tested for their validity. The paper then suggests and applies a method for computing targets aiming at reducing regional disparities systematically. Finally a number of inequality and polarisation measures are employed to see the change in inequality and polarisation over the decade and whether the suggested method results in a reduction in both these phenomena.
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