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Economic Survey 2021: Access to ‘bare necessities’ in India improved in 2018

Access to basic necessities such as drinking water, sanitation, housing and other facilities across states in India improved in 2018 over 2012. Access to essentials or bare necessities is the highest in Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat, while the lowest in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Tripura.

January 29, 2021 / 09:36 PM IST
Access to bare necessities among households is “significantly better” in 2018 compared to 2012, the survey findings showed.

Access to bare necessities among households is “significantly better” in 2018 compared to 2012, the survey findings showed.

The Economic Survey 2020-21 measured the progress made by states in providing access to “the bare necessities” such as water, sanitation, housing, electricity and clean cooking fuel for a healthy living, in addition to highlighting the significance of the healthcare sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for an agile healthcare infrastructure in the country.

Access to these essentials have “direct linkages” with health of household members and also “regarded as an important barometer of economic development in academic and policymaking circles,” the survey said.

Better sanitation and drinking water facilities help prevent spread of communicable diseases, and access to bare necessities along with transport, medical care, and schools is “essential both as a direct component of well-being as well as inputs into productive capabilities”. the survey said.

These essentials are examined based on a construction of the Bare Necessities Index (BNI) at the rural, urban, and all-India level. The BNI comprises 26 indicators on five dimensions such as water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities. The index measures all states for 2012 and 2018 using NSO data from 69th and 76th rounds.