India shining or is it at the bottom among Asian peers?

Gopika Gopakumar - Correspondent , CNBC-TV18.

The Indian economy in the past seven decades has certainly grown rapidly. From a 3.5% Hindu rate of growth until the 80’s to a 5% growth in the 80’s to 6% in 90’s to 8% in the 2000s, reports CNBC-TV18's Gopika Gopakumar. But does that mean economic development. Take a look at India versus China and her South Asian neighbours since 1990.

India stands very close to China and way above her South Asian neighbours on per capita income growth. India’s income grew four times from Rs 877 in 1990 to Rs 3560 in 2010. Only China did better growing 9 times.  The rest of our neighbours just doubled or tripled their income.

However, look at life expectancy: India’s has risen from 58 to 64 but all our neighbours – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Lanka and of course China have done better.
In infant mortality again India has reduced it from 81 to 48. But Bangladesh had done even better with only 38 deaths for every 1000 babies. Bhutan  and Nepal have also done better. Srilanka and China, put us to shame with just 14-16 deaths per 1000.
In maternal mortality too, india has reduced this problem from 570 to 230 deaths, but Bangladesh has cut maternal deaths from 870 to 340. Again compared to Sri Lanka and China our record is dismal.
Indian children get 4.4 years of average schooling, Bangladesh children get 4.8 years, Sri Lanka’s get 8.2 years and China’s get 7.2 years

The condition of women in school is bad again. India’s female literacy has risen to 74%, Bangladesh is at 77%, Srilanka and China at 99%.

Proportion of underweight children: India has 43.5 % of them, Bangladesh has only 41%, Bhutan 12%, Srilanka 21% and China just 4%.

In short, we have miles to go before we crow about our development.