BIMARU Tag

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    • Recently, the Prime Minister used the BIMARU term in the context of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states.

    About

    • The ‘BIMARU’ acronym has been used to refer to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, to imply they have lagged in terms of economic growth, healthcare, and education.

    What do BIMARU states mean?

    • BIMARU means “sickly” in Hindi. The term was used to highlight the backwardness, especially with regard to poor performance in demographic indicators and contribution to population explosion.
    • These states had exceptionally high levels of mortality, morbidity, illiteracy, fertility, undernutrition, and social inequality and lagged behind in per capita income.
    • It was coined by Ashish Bose in 1980 to pinpoint India’s demographic malady.
    • Bose mainly argued that from a family planning and population control perspective, these four states, with their high population growth rates were likely to offset the gains made elsewhere in the country. 

    Role of Bimaru states in Population growth

    • On the key demographic indicator Total Fertility Rate (TFR), there are now two distinct Indias, one on the road to achieving replacement levels, and one still a long distance off.
    • The national goal of reaching a “stabilising population”, meaning a TFR of 2.1 was achieved recently.
    • BIMARU states accounted for 41 percent of India’s total population in 2001 and will account for 43.5 percent in 2026 which has political implications.
    • Population in Indian states also dictates the delimitation process or the number of seats allotted to them in Parliament.
    • Currently, the seats are proportional to the Indian population as of the 1971 census. It was frozen until 2001 (extended to 2026) to give states time to meet family planning goals.

    How has BIMARU been used over time?

    • The BIMARU tag has been used to criticise the parties in power in these states, and also to showcase success in achieving some progress.
    • In 2012 the average growth rate of the five poorest states exceeded the national average for the first time in any Plan period.
    • NITI Aayog’s 2019-20 Health Index also ranked Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh (in highest to lowest order) at the last four positions out of 19 large states.
    • As per IIM Ahmedabad’s study of total and rural government hospitals per million people, all the BIMARU states were below the national average of 20.74 except Rajasthan.

    Source: IE