India needs a targeted region-specific action plan in order to achieve an equitable distribution of fruits of prosperity, owing to its geographical diversity and varied levels of development across regions. Elaborate.

India has a wide variety of geographical challenges which are compounded further by the wide spread regional disparities. It has led some to opine that a targeted region-specific action plan is the way forward.

Geographical Challenges:

  • The complete North India along the Himalayas is prone to earthquakes.
  • The Western area of India is mostly arid and a large part is desert.
  • The Deccan Plateau is a semi arid region.
  • The North Eastern region and the central region is prone to forest fires.
  • The northern plains and Eastern coastal plains are prone to floods.
  • The coastal areas are prone to cyclones.

Regional disparities:

  • North East, hill States, etc have a very small economy. E.g. the budget of BMC of Mumbai is greater than that of GDP of Tripura.
  • Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Odisha, have huge tribal population that lags in health and educational indicators.
  • Insurgency, terrorism and distrust over system, plagues many states such as Chhattisgarh, J&K, Nagaland, etc.
  • Large areas of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have become arid and saline due to desertification and over irrigation.
  • The ‘Bimaru’ states are in category for SDG index as per Niti Aayog.
  • Entrepreneurship is concentrated mainly in the western and the southern states. Hence, job creating capacity is not leveraged.

Way forward:

The replacement of planning commission which was a hierarchical and top down introverted body, sent a signal that a region specific approach is the need of hour. Then only would our rank in human development index and hunger index will improve and will we able to achieve sustainable development goals.


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