Why Uttar Pradesh Holds the Key to India’s Economic Leap?

W hether day or night, a visit to any city in Uttar Pradesh reveals a stark difference from what it was just a decade ago. From Noida to Agra, Kanpur to Banaras, one witnesses glittering markets, bustling malls, and thriving business activities.

Conversations with the residents of UP confirm that the state is now on the move, and its law and order situation has greatly improved. Welcome to the new UP, an attraction for both tourists and investors alike, with economic activities pulsating vigorously.

State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is accurate in stating that his state has moved out of the BIMARU category and is en route to becoming a “saksham” (capable) state. Yogi’s assertion followed closely on the heels of the NITI Aayog’s revelation that between 2015- 16 and 2019-21, India witnessed 13.5 crore people moving out of multi-dimensional poverty.

In Uttar Pradesh, the districts that witnessed the most significant reduction in poverty are Maharajganj (29.64%), Gonda (29.55%), Balrampur (27.9%), Kaushambi (25.75%), Lakhimpur Kheri (25.33%), Shravasti (24.42%), Jaunpur (26.65%), Basti (23.36%), Ghazipur (22.83%), Kushinagar (22.28%), and Chitrakoot (21.40%). Those familiar with UP would attest that these districts were previously economically challenged until just a couple of years ago. Consequently, the heartwarming news emanating from the state, where both Lord Ram and Lord Krishna were born, bodes exceedingly well for the state and the nation.

The BIMARU (an acronym in Hindi meaning “sick”) label has often been employed to refer to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. This term typically insinuates that these states lagged behind in terms of economic growth, healthcare, education, and other indices. Uttar Pradesh’s growth, with its substantial population and low per-capita income, is of paramount importance in India’s quest to reach its USD 10 trillion goal and effect a transformative change. Furthermore, with the ongoing process of delimitation, the state’s political significance will increase even further. To transform UP into a leader that can shape India’s economic trajectory requires a fresh growth trajectory that addresses multiple layers within its society and a dynamic political leadership. India’s emergence as a major political force hinges significantly on Uttar Pradesh’s leadership.

Uttar Pradesh requires specialized industries such as electronics component design, defense parts manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals, with a substantial focus on research and development and intellectual property production for higher value.

Citing the Niti Aayog report, the Adityanath-led government proudly claimed that Uttar Pradesh recorded the most significant drop in the number of poor people among all states and union territories from 2015-2016 to 2019-2021. The National Multidimensional Poverty Index revealed that out of the 13.5 crore people overcoming multidimensional poverty during this period, Uttar Pradesh accounted for 3.43 crore people who escaped poverty. This is an astonishing figure.

Based on data from 36 states, union territories, and 707 administrative districts, the report highlights the most substantial reduction in multidimensional poverty occurring in Uttar Pradesh. States like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan follow Uttar Pradesh in terms of the number of impoverished individuals.

The findings also reveal that the number of poor individuals decreased significantly in rural areas across the state. The government asserts that there have also been positive results concerning health, education, and living standards for the poor in Uttar Pradesh. Manish Mittal, an entrepreneur and head of the Rotary Club in Agra, echoes the NITI Aayog’s findings, stating that an optimistic mood pervades the entirety of UP as the state makes rapid progress in all fields.

“Trust me, our business is thriving, and we are on the cusp of a significant economic leap. Opportunities abound for those willing to work.” According to the Niti Aayog report, the percentage of poor individuals deprived of nutrition decreased from 30.40% in 2015-16 to 18.45% in 2019-21. Additionally, child and adolescent mortality rates improved, declining from 3.81% in 2015- 16 to 2.20% in 2019-21.

Maternal health also saw marked improvement in the state, with the maternal mortality rate decreasing from 25.20% in 2015-16 to 15.97% in 2019- 21. Similarly, the percentage of poor individuals with no access to cooking fuel decreased from 34.24% in 2015-16 to 17.95% in 2019-21. Furthermore, the percentage of people deprived of drinking water decreased from 2.09% in 2015-16 to 0.93% in 2019-21.

Based on estimates for the 36 states, union territories, and 707 administrative districts, the report highlights the most rapid reduction in multi-dimensional poverty proportions occurring in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan. It goes without saying that the able leadership of Yogi Adityanath has greatly contributed to the transformation of a state once known for its backwardness.

Today, the world recognizes that Uttar Pradesh is not a poor and ailing state but rather a state where 5.5 crore people have risen above the poverty line in the last six years. This is no small achievement.

Regrettably, the previous governments of Congress, SP, and BSP failed to eradicate poverty, offering instead empty slogans to the state. The SP’s slogans became synonymous with corruption and casteism, while the BSP’s elephant symbol represented the devouring of the state’s resources, leaving Uttar Pradesh trailing far behind other states in terms of development.

The development and public welfare work witnessed in Uttar Pradesh in the last six years could have been achieved earlier, but the previous governments lacked the necessary willpower. They exploited farmers and traders, treated the youth unjustly, and compromised the safety of women.

Yogi Adityanath’s goal of placing the state’s economy on a sustainable path to reach $1 trillion in five years presents an opportunity to reshape the state’s prospects and the lives of its residents for the better. Economic growth has consistently proven to be the most potent and sustainable driver of poverty reduction and improved living standards worldwide, including in India. Mission 1 Trillion has the potential to revolutionize Uttar Pradesh. It must be remembered that for India to achieve rapid growth, Uttar Pradesh must lead the way.

(The views expressed above are the author’s own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Central Chronicle.)

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Central Chronicle is daily English Newspaper of Chhattisgarh. Central Chronicle has own website www.centralchronicle.in it is first news website in Chhattisgarh.

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