Source: Kurukshethra Magazine
About the BIMARU States:
- The term BIMARU – an abbreviation for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh – was coined in 1980 by the demographer Ashish Bose in a paper he wrote in the early 1980s.
- Mr. Bose examined a range of demographic indicators to conclude that these states, home to 40 percent of the country’s population, lagged significantly behind the southern states, and were contributing the most to India’s population explosion.
- He also looked at five additional indicators including per capita income.
- BIMARU has a resemblance to a Hindi word bīmār meaning “sick”. This was used to refer to the poor economic conditions within those states.
- Several studies, including those by the UN, showed that the performance of the BIMARU states was dragging down the GDP growth rate of India
- In the year 2016 economist Vinita Sharma recalculated Mr. Bose’s indicators, updated for 2011, after adding in the newly carved out states of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Uttarakhand, in a paper published in the Economic and Political Weekly.
- She found that while the states had made individual progress, on the whole, BIMARU states had not converged with the national average; in fact, on half of the 13 indicators, they had diverged.
- While none of the states had been able to move out of the grouping, among them, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh showed a greater degree of improvement than Bihar, Ms. Sharma found.
Literacy in these states
The literacy rates in these states according to the 2011 census are Bihar 63.8%, Rajasthan 67.1%, Jharkhand 67.6%, Madhya Pradesh 70.6% and Uttar Pradesh 71.7% against a national average of 74.04%. While they trail the national average in the current literacy rate, they are registering very healthy growth rates in literacy comfortably outpacing states like Andhra Pradesh (67.7%) and Chhattisgarh (71%), which have comparable literacy levels (the exception being Rajasthan).
Health care in these states
The life expectancy in BIMARU states is lower than in other Indian states. In fact, it is lower than the average life expectancy of India as a whole, implying that these states bring down the overall average as a whole
Population growth in these states
The BIMARU states have some of the highest fertility rates in India. In 2010, the total fertility rate was 3.9 for Bihar, 3.5 for Uttar Pradesh, 3.2 for Madhya Pradesh, and 3.1 for Rajasthan, compared to 2.5 for India as a whole. This leads to high population growth in these states than the rest of India
NITI Aayog’s report
- A recent report by the NITI Aayog ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ said the ‘BIMARU’ states are at the bottom along with Odisha.
- The report says there was a “large gap” in the performance of “best and least performing states and Union Territories.”
- It noted that all states have “substantial scope” for improvement.