In its first Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report released on Friday, the Niti Aayog said Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh were found to be the poorest states in the country.
They were followed by Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya in the index. According to the report, 51.91 per cent of the population in Bihar is poor, followed by 42.16 in Jharkhand, 37.79 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, 36.65 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 32.67 per cent in Meghalaya.
Among Union territories, Dadra and Nagar Haveli ( 27.36 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh (12.58), Daman & Diu (6.82 per cent) and Chandigarh (5.97 per cent) have emerged as the poorest in the country. Puducherry, with 1.72 per cent of its population as poor, Lakshadweep (1.82 per cent ), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (4.30 per cent) and Delhi (4.79 per cent) have fared better. States that have registered lowest poverty across the country are Kerala with only 0.71 per cent of its population falling in that category, followed by Goa (3.76 per cent), Sikkim (3.82 per cent), Tamil Nadu (4.89 per cent) and Punjab (5.59 per cent).
The highest number of malnourished people have been reported in Bihar, followed by Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Bihar also ranked at the bottom in various other categories, including 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.
“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,” said Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar in his foreword.
According to a PTI report, Kumar further said this baseline report of India’s first ever national MPI measure is based on the reference period of 2015-16 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). The national MPI measure has been constructed by utilising 12 key components which cover areas such as health and nutrition, education and standard of living, he said.
The report said the national MPI, an aggregate measure which defines poverty, in simple terms, as the deprivation in crucial and basic parameters of health, education, and living standards, is a significant departure from the way poverty has been understood and conceptualised historically.
In early 2020, the Cabinet Secretariat had identified 29 global indices to monitor, analyse and evaluate with the aim of improving India’s position in global rankings.
Under this mandate, also known as the Global Indices for Reforms and Growth (GIRG) mandate, Niti Aayog was identified as the nodal agency for the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)