Academic journal article Indian Journal of Economics and Business

Human Development in Karnataka State: An Inter-District Disparities

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Economics and Business

Human Development in Karnataka State: An Inter-District Disparities

Article excerpt


Economic development of a country is traditionally judged in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The greater the volume of GDP per capita, higher the state of development and prosperity. But, the GDP measure of development completely ignores the welfare of the people. It is not necessarily true that high GDP generates well-being to the people. It is not the volume of GDP per se, but its distribution that matters much for the well-being of the people. It is for these reasons that economists like Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Mahbub Ul Haq, Frances Stewart, Paul Streeten and others have considered GDP as an inadequate measure of development and instead advocated the concept of human development.

The first Human Development Report (HDR), published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990, clearly stressed the primary message of every HDR at global, national and sub-national level--the human centered approach to development--that places human well being as the ultimate end of development. "People are the real wealth of a nation. The basic objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives. This may appear to be a simple truth, but it is often forgotten in the immediate concern with the accumulation of commodities and financial wealth".

Human Development is the process of widening people's choices and their level of well-being. The choices change over time and differ among societies according to their stage of development. The three essential choices for people are--to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living. If these choices are not available, many other opportunities remain inaccessible. Other choices, highly valued by many people include political, economic and social freedom, access to opportunities for being creative and productive and enjoying self-respect and guaranteed human rights. (UNDP, 1994, 1995).

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a simple composite measure that measures the overall achievements of a region in terms of three basic dimensions of human development--a long and healthy life, knowledge, a well as a decent standard of living health status (measured by longevity), knowledge (measured by literacy and enrolments) and a decent standard of living (measured by per capita income). These three dimensions are measured by life expectancy at birth, educational attainment (adult literacy and the combined gross primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment ratio) a proxy for a decent standard of living and as a surrogate for all human choices not reflected in the other two dimensions.

The Planning Commission of India prepared and published the first HDR of India in 2001 in which all the Indian states are ranked in the order of their achievement in terms of the indicators that reflect human development. Therefore the Planning Commission has also been encouraging state governments to produce their own human development reports. In fact, Madhya Pradesh was the first state in India to produce a HDR long before the Planning Commission. Karnataka state was the second state brought out such report in 1999. The other Indian States have come out with their state level reports, one by one.

Against this background, this paper mainly focused on progress of human development of Karnataka State by focused on inter district disparities in HDI and GDI values across districts in Karnataka though simple composite indices such as human development index and gender related development index.


The following are the objectives of the study

1. To examine progress of human development index in the Karnataka State.

2. To identification of inter-district disparities in human development in the state.

3. To examine the role of state in Human development and to draw the policy implications. …

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