India lags behind in inclusive growth: Data

ICRIER data on inclusiveness shows India in a poor light

Amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chest-thumping on inclusive economic growth, data on overall inclusive development from emerging economies shows India in poor light.

According to data computed by the Indian Council of Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), India is far behind neighbours China and Indonesia on all major counts of inclusiveness such as education, skills, employment, labour compensation and asset building. 

The data from India’s economic think-tank comes at a time when the country is in the midst of elections.

The BJP, which won 2014 parliamentary elections on a development plank, in its 2019 manifesto highlighted inclusive development as a key goal for the next five years if it returns to power.

Least inclusive

Even among the BRICS countries, India is the least inclusive economy. Russia’s rank in the overall inclusive development index (IDI) is 9.

According to ICRIER, India’s bottom-most ranking among BRICS is a matter of “great concern”.

According to the data, among seven emerging economies of China, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey, India is behind six of them on education and skill parameters and behind five of them, excluding Turkey, on asset building and entrepreneurship.

On employment and labour compensation, India is behind China, Brazil and Argentina but ahead of South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia.

While South Africa’s and Brazil’s performance is comparatively uniform on most of the indicators, China has done well on employment and skill pillar (mainly because of very high worker population ratio and low dependency ratio) and on asset building pillar, helping it score an overall higher rank on inclusive growth. China’s ranking is 8th on IDI, which is the highest among emerging nations and BRICS.

The data compiled for six years between 2012-13 to 2016-17, covers four years of NDA rule.

India is at the bottom on education, securing 18th rank, with ICRIER suggesting that a country like India, which still has limited access to education, should first focus on it before spending its limited resources on quality and digital literacy.

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