NABARD - Rural Pulse XVIII - page 2

Department of Economic Analysis and Research
Rural Pulse
Issue - XVIII, Nov. - Dec. 2016
Creteria for Classification
4. Dr. Sukhamoy Chakravarty Committee on Backward
Areas, 1972 identified 179 districts from different states.
Again, more than 50 per cent of districts were drawn
from the above mentioned states. Therein districts from
Odisha and North East also figured in the list, together
making about 79 per cent. The committee had classified
districts based on different geographical features like
central plain, desert, Himalayan foot hills, NER areas, etc.
5. Further, Planning Commission during the
formulation of 4
Five Year Plan classified areas based
on five categories: (i) desert areas, (ii) chronically
drought affected areas, (iii) hilly areas including boarder
areas, (iv) high concentration of tribal population, and
(v) areas with high concentration of low income and
employment. Subsequently, GOI set up Sivaraman
committee during 1978, which recommended block to
be the unit of development and classified areas as desert
areas, drought affected areas, hilly areas, tribal areas,
chronically flood affected areas and saline affected areas
in coastal region. In 1994-95, Dr.Hanumantha Rao
committee reviewed the backward areas identification
parameters and recommended identification of areas
based on moisture index. Different schemes like
Desert Development Programme, Drought Prone
Area Programme, Hill Area Development Programme,
Western Ghat Development Programme and Tribal Sub
Plan Programme have been designed and implemented
in those identified areas based on this suggestion.
6. The GOI under the common minimum programme,
decided to identify 100 most backward districts to
implement special action plan for infrastructure
development and set up committee in 1994. The
committee considered indicators of deprivation, social
infrastructure, economic infrastructure and assigned
different weights to each variable. The variables were:
i. incidence of poverty; ii. education; iii. health; iv. water
supply; v. transport and communication; vi. power and
electricity; vii. post offices and banks; viii. agriculture;
and ix. industry.
7. The committee did not include J&K and NER as
their problems were specific and peculiar. States like
Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
did not figure in the list of most backward districts by
this committee and most of the districts identified were
again from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and
Maharashtra, which together accounted for more than
84 per cent of the districts.
8. In order to implement wage employment
programmes to provide alternative income sources
and food security during lean agricultural season to
rural poor, GOI set up a task force to identify 150
most backward districts. The task force identified
districts based on parameters like incidence of poverty,
unemployment rate, agricultural wage rate, per hectare
agricultural productivity, productivity per agricultural
worker, SC/ST population, drought proneness and
desert proneness and rural connectivity, and worked
out 3 different indices and a composite index for final
selection of districts. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha
and Maharashtra accounted for about 70 per cent share.
Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal,
North Eastern States and Rajasthan had taken about 25
per cent share, rest followed by rest of the states.
9. In the meantime GOI had introduced Rashtriya
Sama Vikas Yojana (RSVY) with an aim of removing
barriers to growth, accelerate the development process
and identified 100 most backward districts out of the
list prepared by the task force. Districts from Uttar
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, North Eastern States,
Maharashtra and West Bengal had a share of more than
60 per cent. The programme was later converted to
Backward Regions Grant Fund, expanded the number of
districts to 246. Again this list of districts is dominated
by Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which
together accounted for more than 50 per cent of the
districts. Surprisingly Tamil Nadu also finds a major
place in the list with more than eight per cent share,
followed by Odisha (7.72%), Andhra Pradesh (5.28%)
Maharashtra and Rajasthan (each with 4.9%).
10. Further, in 1993, District Primary Education
Programme used parameters focusing on: i. Enrolment
of girls; ii. % SC ST children; iii. Children working;
and iv. % Children out of school, etc., and identified
42 districts from seven states (Assam, Haryana,
Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Tamilnadu) as the most backward. Again here, Madhya
Pradesh and Maharashtra together have taken more
than 50 per cent share.
11. National Population Policy- 2000, also used
parameters like i. Maternal Mortality Rate; ii. Infant
Mortality Rate; iii. Universal immunisation; and iv.
Adoption of small family norm, and ranked the districts
of the country to get focussed attention on backward
districts. This programmes was later extended to all the
12. Government of India had appointed an “Expert
Group on Agricultural Indebtedness”(2007) under the
Chairmanship of Prof.Radhakrishna. The committee
identified 100 agriculturally less developed and
distressed districts in India. This list also included 31
distressed districts covered by the Prime Minister’s
package. Accordingly, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra
Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra took about 65 per cent.
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir
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