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81.4 percent of Bihar population is poor says UN report

Patna,(BiharTimes): Now the bad news for Bihar. It is as poor as and as backward as strife-torn African countries like Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. It continues to occupy the bottom place in India with Jharkhand slightly better.

The new Multi dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) puts proportion of poor in Bihar 81.4 percent of its population or 77.3 million people as measured by the ten weighted indicators that measures health, education and standard of living. The new measure gives a broader understanding of many types of deprivation the poor may face.

A comparison of state-level and country-level data from the newly released multi-dimensional poverty index (MPI) shows that while Jharkhand and Bihar are similar to least-developed countries of the world Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, Kerala and Goa are at a similar level of development as middle-income countries like Philippines and Indonesia.

The new MPI measure of poverty was released by the UK-based Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHDI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

A comparison of the MPIs for various Indian states with the MPIs of the 103 other developing countries reveal the regional differences within India.

For example the MPI for Kerala (0.065), the best-performing Indian state, is close to that of Paraguay in South America and the Philippines in Asia, while that of Goa, the next best (0.094) is similar to that of Indonesia.

It further says that MPI of Punjab is similar to that of the North American country of Guatemala while Himachal Pradesh’s is close to that of North-West African nation of Morocco. Tamil Nadu, with an MPI of 0.141, ranks close to Ghana in the West Africa.

The north-eastern states are at the same level of development as recently quake-hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.

West Bengal’s MPI is equal to West African nation of Ivory Coast, that of Orissa is equal to the sub-Saharan country Chad and Rajasthan is compared with Tanzania and Mauritania.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, have development indicators slightly worse than Madhya Pradesh, but better than Jharkhand and Bihar, the two Indian states at the bottom of the report card.

(Source: http://bihartimes.com/Newsbihar/2010/Aug/Newsbihar02Aug8.html)

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