Academic journal article Political Economy Journal of India

Evaluation of Socio-Demographic Disparities in Madhya Pradesh-Maternal and Child Healthcare and Welfare Perspectives

Academic journal article Political Economy Journal of India

Evaluation of Socio-Demographic Disparities in Madhya Pradesh-Maternal and Child Healthcare and Welfare Perspectives

Article excerpt


Socio-economic development is an integrated process which requires simultaneous progress on a number of fronts to improve the quality of life of people. Development of social sector along with technology absorption in agriculture, industry and services which are the principal sectors of our economy, could be considered as the primary objective of any economic developmental efforts. Economic backwardness and economic development always have their meaningful co-existence. It is observed that some of the countries develop more swiftly in their socio economic front compared to others. Similar is the situation for different regions within country or State. The health, education and income are three essential aspects of human development. A well designed public policy and programme can advance human development even without high level of income or economic growth (UNDP, 2004) (1). An indicator system understands the linkages between economic strength and better quality of life. By deconstructing the components of district growth into discrete measurements, we can articulate the main drivers of economic progress, which in turn, reveal the necessary preconditions for a rising standard of living. The indicator system also serves as a tool for decision makers in government and social sectors like health and education, etc. It identifies both problems and opportunities for policymakers and business leaders, and indicates possible initiatives for improvement. Used consistently over time, indicators can help track changes and trends in economic performance, thereby revealing where policy might best be employed to spur ongoing improvements in districts' quality of life.

The 73rd and 74th amendments of constitution ushered the decentralization of planning and as such the district of the state become the focus point of planning and implementation. Decentralized district-based health planning is essential in India because of large inter-district variations. In the absence of vital data at district level, the state level estimates are being used for formulating district level plans as well as setting the milestones thereof. In the process, the hotpots (districts requiring special attention) very often gets masked by the State average. This statistical fallacy compounds the problems of the districts acutely. The state level figures of index have its own limitation in the policy formulation, especially for Madhya Pradesh where socio-cultural, demographic and economic milieus are diversified. To minimize such limitations one needs to adopt the measures that capture disparities in respect of human well-being where appropriate policy action are very much essential at the district level to identify of strategies to handle the backwardness existing in health and education.

The proposed change in the system and the process warrants availability of data and information at district level to facilitate job of district functionaries and elected representatives. More so in the health sectors. Keeping this in view, the present study deals with the study of disparities among districts of Madhya Pradesh regarding certain indicators relating to fertility, mortality, maternal and child healthcare and welfare perspectives.

Number of authors like Dasgupta (2) (1971) Rao (3) (1973), Rao (4) (1977), and Narian (5) et. al (1991) attempted to identify the backward states and districts by the factor analysis approach. Gulati (6) (1991) Iyengar and Sudarshan (7) (1982) attempt to classify regions using multivariate data relating to the major development basing on composite index method and using Beta distribution. During 1984-85 to 1986-87, Iyengar-Sudarshan methods was attempted to measure the overall level of district along with its development at the sectoral level in Orissa.

Iyengar-Sudarshan method rests as follows:

i. Transform the indicator variables to keep their values between 0 and 1. …

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