NEW DELHI: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday said that the reason why India is backward is because of the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. "Eastern part of India particularly states like Bihar, UP, Chattisgarh, MP and Rajasthan is keeping India backward especially on social indicators," he told ANI.
Kant's statement comes at the first Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Memorial Lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia University.
The Niti Aayog CEO further said that the country has shown improvement in ease of doing business, however, remain backward on human development index.
"While we've improved on ease of doing business, we've remained backward on human development index," he added.
India is still 131 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), Kant said.
Reacting to 'Challenges of Transforming India' he said that the part of southern and western India was doing well and growing speedily.
"And when the country`s HDI has to improve and we have to focus on these social indicators. We are working on these things through Aspirational Districts Programme," he added.
Stressing upon the significance of sustainable growth, the NITI Aayog CEO said, "Education and health are vital and in these two areas India is lagging behind. Our learning outcomes are poor - a class 5 student is not able to do class 2 subtractions. Class 5 student is not able to read his mother tongue. Infant mortality rates are very high. Unless we improve on these aspects, it will be difficult to grow in a consistent way."
He also encouraged women to participate in decision-making process. He said, "There must be a conscious effort to frame policies to give women opportunities."Vice Chancellor of Jamia University Talat Ahmad was also present at the event.
Last month, NITI Aayog launched a baseline ranking mechanism under which 101 most underdeveloped districts of the country which have been termed as 'aspirational' would be competing with each other in terms of performance.
While announcing the launch of ranking for the "Aspirational Districts', NITI Aayog Kant had said, "India cannot grow at a high rate on a long run until these districts catch up, whatever high are the GDP number, it has no meaning until the benefit of growth percolates down to very basic level."
(With inputs from ANI)