HD report paints sorry figure for Assam

Guwahati: About 33 % of Assam’s population is “multi-dimensionally poor” while the overall human development in the state was just about half of desired level, according to the Assam Human Development (HD) Report, 2014, that was released here by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal here on Monday.
Stating the overall level of human development (HD) in the state had shown a steady and continuous improvement over the last 15 years, the report pointed out that drivers of the human development achievements were found to differ greatly across districts.
The report put the Human Development Index (HDI) in Assam at 0.557.
Overall human development of women of the state in general was lower than that of men by an alarming 14 per cent, as per the findings of the report. “The observed gender inequality in key dimensions of human development, that is, education, health and income, results in the loss of about 37 per cent of potential human development achievement in the state in general,” the report said.
Identifying a number of areas of concern responsible for the present status of human development in the state, the report put unemployment, inequality in land holding and early motherhood as three key factors.
While the total unemployment rate was estimated at 13.4 per cent (female unemployment: 33.9%), it also found that about 15 per cent of girls in the 15-19 age-group were already married.
About the inequality in land holding, it said that while 20 per cent of the people held 70 per cent of the total cultivable land, as high as 80 per cent people had to share 30 per cent of the remaining land.
The situation has been further compounded by the harsh reality that Assam has been regularly losing farmland due to river-bank erosion caused by the Brahmaputra; Assam has lost about 4,000 Sq. Km. – about 7.4 per cent of the state’s total geographical area – since 1950, affecting about five lakh people so far.
“The loss of potential human development due to inequality is the highest in the income dimension (about 44%), followed by health (32%) and education (9%),” the report said.

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