Kerala is the number one state in India in terms of HDI: Union Minister

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New Delhi: Holding that economic development does not necessarily ensure human development, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday pointed to “retrogation” in social development indices in Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat.

“Economic development does not guarantee human development. It does not automatically guarantee social development. A more disturbing fact is that actually economic development may lead to retrogation of social indices,” he told a gathering of environmentalists and intellectuals on the occasion of the release of the Human Development Report 2011.

Citing the case of Kerala and Gujarat, he said, “Kerala is the number one state in India in terms of Human Development Indices (HDI) but ranks pretty low in economic growth and Gujarat, which is very high on economic growth ranks pretty low in human development. “Gujarat ranks even lower than some North Indian states, when it comes to malnutrition and hunger indices,” Ramesh said.

“This is a paradox that in pockets of economic prosperity, you do not find commensurate increase in human development and social indices,” he said. Ramesh said though economic growth is essential for employment and generating resources to tackle problem of backlog in human development, it’s not an automatic relation that you get social development through economic development.

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