Indicators of Regional Disparities in India

Indicators of Regional Disparities in India, Geography of India, indicators of regional development, regional disparity in India, causes for regional disparities, Regional imbalances in India an overview
Regional Disparities in India

There are various indicators that show or indicate disparities between regions and the people who live in different regions. The reasons may be different from place to place based on education, income level, local governance, resource availability, facilities provided, awareness, etc. All these are divided into the 3 main Indicators.

Major Indicators of Disparities


  1. Economic Indicators
  2. Demographic Indicators and
  3. Agricultural Indicators.

1. Economic Indicators

Economic growth is an important factor for development; But economic growth depends on several factors that are not uniform, which creates disparities. These factors indicate regional disparities.

a) Resource Availability

i. Minerals: Minerals are present in smaller pockets and most likely they are present in North East Belt, Chota Nagpur Plateau, and Southern Belt, here availability makes the people establish businesses related.

ii. Water: Most of the Indian regions are rainfed where farmers depend on rain to grow their crops, and in many places irrigation facilities also not available so they are depended on rain only without choice.

iii. Finance: Finance is concentrated in Urban areas more so the rural areas are underdeveloped. Usually, economic development is higher in the regions where resources are available is abundant. But not always true exceptions are there.

b) Infrastructure

Industrial growth happens in the regions with better Infrastructure facilities. The major Infrastructural facilities are

i. Transportation: Connectivity of Airports, Roads, Railways to different places of the country helps the people to move from one place another, hence the place where these facilities are more will grow rapidly.

ii. Power: Because of India’s population Government is not able to provide proper electricity to all the regions equally, hence certain regions suffer from electricity shortage mainly in rural areas most of the days they receive 4-8 hrs of power making them difficult to work within the time.

iii) Technology: Technology brings more job opportunities for the people and makes it easy to communicate, here we can see more technology is concentrated in urban areas only such as internet connection, modern education, IT BT Companies, Startups, etc.

Disparities in Industrial development are visible between the states and within the states.

Between the states Example: The states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu occupy the highest positions in Industrial development, What is the reason? Because of more availability of transportation, energy, and technological facilities.

Within the state Example: More than 70% of new industrial capacity is located in the Hooghly district of West Bengal only mainly because of Transportation facilities and sufficient energy is provided.

c) Per-Capita Income

Since last 2 decades there is widening of disparities in per capita income (Inter state and Intra States)

i. Within low per capita income states like Bihar, Orissa, Madya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh have a large population below the poverty line.

ii. Within high per capita income states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu have a large population below the poverty line.

The reasons may differ from place to place based on many factors like wages paid, income level, marketing facilities, etc.

d) Degree of Urbanization

In India, few cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata have grown disproportionately compared to other cities and attract more investment, businesses, technology, human resources which increases disparities.


2. Demographic Indicators

a) Human Development Index (HDI)

i. A notable feature of regional disparities in India is the presence of backward areas. Even in states that have experienced faster growth and relatively high income levels on average.

Human Development Indicators like literacy, health (longevity, IMR, MMR) are low in the states like Bihar, Madya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa.

Whereas states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana have relatively high income level and better standard of living.

For Example, Kerala was best performer witnessing a literacy rate of 93.91%, sex ratio of 1084, and IMR of 12/1000. The worst performing state is Bihar with lowest literacy rate of 63.82%.

ii. Inter-District disparities are present in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, etc.

For Example, In Karnataka – Bengaluru and Kodagu poverty is less than 10% but not the same in other districts. The districts like Bellary, Yadgiri, Kalburgi, Koppal you can see more than 40% poverty line.

iii. Few districts of rich states are backward with respect to literacy, IMRs, MMRs, and are at the levels of BIMARU states.

b) Migration

Migration may be a temporary or permanent change of residence of an individual or group of people over a significant distance.

Why does Migration takes place?

Migration happens mainly for 2 reasons i.e. Pull and Push factor.

i. Pull Factor: Some places attract for people with good education system, ample of opportunities to grow in career by getting proper jobs which helps to have better standard of living.

Example – Bengaluru city attracts more people all around the world to work in the IT sector.

ii. Push Factor: Due to unemployment, pollution, poverty people tend migrate the place from one place to another.

Example – People migrate from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to Punjab and Haryana.

How does migration effects?

i. Positive effects: More workforce helps companies, encourage to adopt Multi-cultures, people increase their skills and abilities, have more outside knowledge, etc.

ii. Negative effects: Housing may be a problem for more migrants, Crimes rates may increase due to the situation of jobless, etc.


3. Agricultural Indicators

a) Agriculture Infrastructure

  • Seeds
  • Power Supply
  • Fertilizers
  • Irrigation, etc.

Regions capable of using agricultural infrastructure at affordable prices have outperformed other regions without such agricultural infrastructure.

Example: Punjab and Haryana states are the beneficiaries of Green Revolution have high per capita income compared to the states like Uttar Pradesh or Bihar.

b) Agricultural Productivity

Agricultural productivity depends on many factors such as the soil fertility, irrigation, use of fertilizers and pesticides, etc.

Regions with fertile soil and adequate irrigation facilities have high agricultural productivity which result high production and make more income to farmers.

Where as the regions with less fertile soil or regions depend on rain for agriculture will affect more by producing less agricultural productivity which result low income.

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