ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Regional Variations in Multidimensional Poverty

Evidence from Tripura

Regional variations in multidimensional poverty and inequality are analysed for the two different administrative regions of Tripura—village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council and gram panchayats under the panchayati raj institutions—using a primary survey. Special emphasis is laid on the deprivations of households with regard to health, education, and the standard of living across these two administrative regions as well as the rural development blocks. The level of multidimensional poverty and incidence appears to be higher in village committees than gram panchayats even though the average deprivation among the poor is around 40% for both the areas with robust between-group inequality.

The authors are grateful to the anonymous referee for their valuable comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Regional variations may be the result of natural, historical, geographical, economic, social, and even political factors. Such variations do have adverse social and economic consequences as well as dangerous psychological impacts on building social harmony. The coexistence of forward and backward regions in a geographically isolated state like Tripura leads to misallocation and underutilisation of resources as well as social conflicts (GoT 2018). Such disparities and social conflicts are not conducive to the development process of a region as they hamper normal economic activity (Stewart 2004). So, variation in human deprivation (or poverty) calls for genuine attention from researchers, planners, and policymakers working in the development field. Looking at the non-monetary, multidimensional characteristics of deprivation—that is, beyond monetary poverty—consisting of education, health, and the standard of living is therefore emerging as instrumental for developmental policy formulation.

The North East India region and each of its states are known for their diversity, with numerous ethnic and religious groups, varied languages, topography, natural climates, forms of governments, and uneven economic development (NEC 2008: 1). This calls for adequate attention from the researchers and planners in poverty measurements. The region as a whole and the state of Tripura in particular are also recognised as economically backward characterised by poor economic performance, lack of adequate health service facilities, insufficient road connectivity between and within states, and lack of basic amenities (GoT 2007, 2018). Considering this, a unidimensional measure of poverty is unable to capture all the dimensions of deprivation as well as the actual causes of backwardness of the region or any of its states. Thus, a multidimensional measurement of poverty, based on a capability approach, will more effectively reveal the actual problems of the North Eastern Region (NER) and its states.

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Updated On : 27th Nov, 2021
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