*Corresponding author:Bidyadhar Dehury, India Health Action Trust, UP-TSU Office, No. 404, 4th Floor & 505, 5th Floor, No. 20-A, Ratan Square, Vidhan Sabha Marg, Lucknow-226001, Uttar Pradesh, India
Received: October 09, 2017; Published: October 26, 2017
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Poverty and illiteracy are the greatest challenges in the process of development. Though India has witnessed tremendous improvement both in reducing poverty and increasing literacy rate, the inter-district variations and differentials within different population subgroups are still large. Using the Census of India, 2011 data this paper attempts to understand the inter-district variations in poverty and literacy status and also differentials of literacy rate among different social sub-groups. The census of India collects the information on seven household assets. These are used to construct the wealth index as a proxy for consumption poverty using Principal Component Analysis from inter-district variations. The preliminary results show that the inter-district and intra-district variations are large in assets possession.
India has 17.8% of the households those do not possess any of the specified household assets with lowest in Chennai district of Tamil Nadu with less than one percent and highest in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh with 64.9%. With respect to the effective literacy status, India has 73% of literate population among 7 years and above. After classifying the effective literacy status by poverty, it is found that the effective literacy rate among the districts from lowest wealth tertile was 66.1% compared to 80.7% among the districts from higher wealth tertile. The study found a positive and high correlation of 0.611 between wealth score and effective literacy rate at the district level. However, there are certain districts which had low effective literacy rate despite high wealth score. The study also observed that the females especially among ST population are still far lag behind to achieve satisfactory effective literacy level in India. Thus, immediate interventions should be addressed among the most disadvantaged districts and especially the females among ST population.
Keywords : Inter-district disparity; Wealth index; Effective literacy rate; Census of India