NITI Aayog in its first Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report ranked Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh as the poorest states in India. The index showed that as much as 51.91 per cent of the population of Bihar is poor, while 42.16 per cent of the population is poor in Jharkhand and 37.79 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. With 36.6 per cent of the population poor, Madhya Pradesh followed as the fourth poorest state and Meghalaya with 32.67 per cent was named the fifth poorest state of the country.
Securing the bottom ranks in the index, Kerala with 0.71 per cent, Goa with 3.76 per cent, Sikkim with 3.82 per cent, Tamil Nadu with 4.89 per cent and Punjab with 5.59 per cent were the five states with the lowest poverty across India.
With 27.36 per cent of the population in poverty, Dadra and Nagar Haveli was ranked the poorest Union Territory. Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh with 12.58 per cent, Daman & Diu with 6.82 per cent, and Chandigarh with 5.97 per cent followed in the list. Puducherry with 1.72 per cent of its population as poor, Lakshadweep with 1.82 per cent, Andaman & Nicobar Islands with 4.30 per cent and Delhi with 4.79 per cent have shown lower poverty.
Besides, the index also showed that Bihar has the highest number of malnourished people. Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh followed in the list. The state of Bihar also performed poorly in terms of the percentage of population deprived of maternal health, percentage of population deprived of years of schooling, school attendance and percentage of population deprived of cooking fuel and electricity.
In the category of child and adolescent mortality, Uttar Pradesh ranked the worst followed by Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. However, in terms of the percentage of the population deprived of sanitation, Jharkhand performed the worst. Bihar and Odisha followed.
As per the report, India’s national MPI has taken into consideration the globally accepted and robust methodology developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Index has three equally weighted dimensions, health, education and standard of living. These dimensions are represented by 12 indicators namely nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, antenatal care, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets and bank accounts.
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar in his foreword said, “The development of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index of India is an important contribution towards instituting a public policy tool which monitors multidimensional poverty, informs evidence-based and focused interventions, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind.”
While Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in his foreword said that the year 2021 marks the sixth anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which envisage ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.