Over a decade after Maharashtra adopted the yardstick of Human Development Index (HDI) to quantify and measure development in districts, state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has directed authorities to include factors like employment and vocational education to gauge improvement in the overall quality of life.
The state adopted the HDI yardstick in 2001 to measure the development index in the state. Since then, districts like Thane, Pune and Mumbai (according to 2011 stats) have continued to show rise in their HDI and are now being joined by districts like Nashik in the relative category of "Very High" HDI.
However, districts like Osmanabad and Latur which were ranked in "Medium HDI" category in 2001 have surprisingly slipped into the "Low HDI" category (as per 2011 stats).
Comparing the 2001 HDI with 2011 HDI reveals that districts like Nandurbar, Gadchiroli, Jalna and Dhule continue to languish in the Relative Category of "Low".
While districts like Osmanabad and Latur which were in 2001 categorised in the "Medium" category have now slipped to the "Low" category, Bhandara district continues to remain in the relative category of "Medium" HDI.
Chairing a meeting of the Maharashtra Human Development Commissionerate (MHDC) last week, Mungantiwar directed the mission authorities to include employment and vocational education besides education, health and Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) as benchmarks for determining HDI.
He said that while evaluating the implementation of any scheme, the mission should now take into account these two factors of employment and vocational education to measure the improvement in overall quality of life.
"Avenues of employment and vocational education enable people to afford better standard of living, quality food, healthcare and education for children. This in turn has positive impact on other factors of human development," he said.
The Minister directed the District Collectors to give inputs based on the requirements of their respective districts and also what changes they would like to see in government schemes.
Besides, population living below the poverty line (BPL) along with education, health and GDP should also be considered at taluka level, Mungantiwar said. He added that avenues of employment should be created at the taluka level which will lead to increase in income, which in turn will lead to solving problems of food and health.
Mungantiwar said that the mission should change its mode of functioning and take into account Skill Development and Employment and club some districts to implement integrated development projects.
The Human Development programme covers 125 talukas in 23 districts of the state.
"The government had allocated Rs 134.40 crore for 2015-16 to the Commissionerate which was spent," informed Mission Director General Bhaskar Munde.