UP & Bihar have the lowest incidence of rape in India – What does it tell us?

Several brutal rape cases in different parts of the country continue to shake our collective conscience. Multiple incidents in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh (Badaun and Lucknow), and the most recent case of brutality in Bangalore are a stark reminder of the enormity of the problem that confronts us. A closer look at the rape statistics can give us a better sense of the problem. Swaniti Initiative carried out an analysis of reported cases of rape in different States over a 20 year period between 1992 and 2012. The analysis is part of Swaniti’s effort to consolidate various developmental metrics such as security, health, livelihoods, education and infrastructure and overlap them with administrations in office, on a single user-friendly platform. The first striking aspect of the rape numbers is that the North-Eastern States have the highest incidence of rape (per 100,000 people) among all States. In 2012, the 5 States with the highest rape incidence were Mizoram (9.21), Tripura (6.15), Sikkim (5.51), Assam (5.42) and Meghalaya (5.41, all belonging to the same region.  However, Arunachal Pradesh (3.26), Manipur (2.15) and Nagaland (1.06) have much lower incidences of reported rape. What is most surprising however, is that Uttar Pradesh has one of the fewest reported cases of rape among all Indian States. With only 0.97 rape cases registered in UP for every 100,000 people in 2012, only Bihar (0.87) and Gujarat (0.77) had a lower incidence among the 28 States. These figures can be partly explained by the fact that patriarchy as an institution is less entrenched in tribal societies, which allows women to report cases without fear. In contrast, the...

Poverty and Prosperity in India: A Story of 28 States

Date of Release: June 17th, 2014 Published at: India Spend “The Government’s work should be to listen to the poor, to work for the poor, and live for (the poor)”, said our Prime Minister in his first speech in the 16th Lok Sabha. This was just a day after the President said in his address at the joint session of Parliament that “my government will not be satisfied with mere ‘poverty alleviation’ and commits itself to the goal of ‘poverty elimination’ “. The mandate for Mr Modi is being seen above all, as a mandate for development –   development which is inclusive and which leads to empowerment of the poor and downtrodden. So, how has India done on poverty alleviation in the last few years? Are there regional differences in the pattern of poverty alleviation? Is rapid economic growth a prerequisite for poverty alleviation? Which States in India have been most successful at bringing people out of poverty? Swaniti Initative, a development consulting firm which works with legislators, has tried to answer some of these questions.  Swaniti also tracks other metrics related to development and governance including health, education, livelihoods, women’s security and social inclusion on its online user-friendly data platform Jigyasa. Their analysis on poverty and growth throws up results which are interesting and thought provoking.  Some of the highlights are presented below. Good performance overall Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, most States did well at poverty alleviation. 19 out of the 28 States managed a reduction in poverty by 10 percentage points or more. In other words, 19 States managed to pull out more than 10% of their total...

Human resources in health, critical to improving outcomes

With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) just a year away, improving health indicators is an important part of the new government’s agenda. With the BJP manifesto promising that “high priority will be given to address the shortfall of healthcare professionals (in India)”, we try and examine the impact of inadequate human resources on health outcomes in India. The analysis reveals a direct correlation between health outcomes and human resources in public health institutions. The four southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu alone account for 42% of all medical colleges in India; thereby producing most of India’s doctors. Not surprisingly, these states also have the best Doctor Population Ratio (DPR). Also, these states shows no shortfall of doctors at Primary Health Care (PHC) level, they have already met the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target of 27. This clearly reflects in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of these states as well.   In comparison, north Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh have very few medical colleges, a fact which reflects in their DPR. What does this mean for health outcomes in these States? Unsurprisingly, most states with poor DPR also had a relatively high shortfall of doctors at the PHC level. This translated into poor health outcomes in these states. As an example, in Madhya Pradesh as on 2011, PHCs were short on doctors by 35% of the required number, which contributed to M.P having the worst IMR of 59 among all 28 states. Similarly, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha with PHC shortfalls of 27% and 14.3% had poor IMR...

India’s gender disconnect: Richer states have fewer women in the workforce

Date of Release: June 6th, 2014 Published in Political Indian As six Women Ministers took to work as part of the newly formed Cabinet and the Ministry for Women and Child Development was upgraded to cabinet rank, Swaniti Initiative, a Delhi based development consulting firm working with legislators, explored how the rest of India was doing in terms on issues of women’s empowerment. “We wanted to look at Female Workforce Participation as an indicator to assess the state of women,” said Shantanu Agarwal, head of data and analysis at Swaniti Initiative. Swaniti uncovered that the richest states in the country have some of the poorest female labour participation rates. Based on data available from 2001 to 2011, Swaniti analyzed inter-state trends in female Labour Participation Rates (LPR). “The goal was to see if a rich state as measured by GDP, is likely to have more female participation or less,” said Apoorv Tiwari, Research Associate working on Jigyasa, a user-friendly online platform created by Swaniti. The participation of women in our workforce nationally is low. Only 29% of the women in the age-group of 15-64 were willing to work in India in 2011, which is much lower than other major economies like China (64%), US (57%), and Japan (48%). According to Swaniti’s research, the 4 States with highest per-capita Net Domestic Product (NDP) in 2010-11 (at 2004-05 prices) were Goa, Maharashtra, Haryana and Gujarat, in that order. But these 4 States stood 21st, 16th, 26th and 22nd respectively out of 28 States in terms of female labour participation rates, 2011. Kerala ranked 6th on NDP and 23rd on labour participation,...

Budget 2014-15: R.I.T.E. Insight

Budget 2014 was focused on forming the bases for India’s long-term growth. Research, Infrastructure, Technology and Education (RITE) are the four core themes that have cut across most of the schemes introduced in this budget. The infographic highlights some of the schemes that embody RITE...