Arya Sharma/Catch News
Do socio-economic indicators, which can gauge performance of governance play a role in defining electoral chances? In India's case, the answer is probably no. Money power, politics of informal clientilism and anti-incumbency, decide the fate.
Nonetheless, the significance of child health, maternal health, investments in education, cannot be denied and should essay a broader role in deciding the political fate.
Four states are going to the polls in the next few months and we start our series of socio-economic analysis with Kerala, to make the electorate aware on where their state stands.
This means that 6 children die per 1,000 live births in the state. This is due to various reasons ranging from infections, asphyxia and malnourishment among other issues.
At the national level, IMR is 40 per 1,000 live births; Madhya Pradesh registers the highest IMR with 54.
MMR is caused due to a variety of factors - excessive bleeding, hypertensive disorders, heart diseases and infections - all during pregnancies.
Kerala's child sex ratio, an important indicator, is 1,084 per 1,000 boys as against the national average of 940.
Kerala's literacy rate is higher than Brazil, South Africa and the same as China.
As we can see from above, Kerala has exceptionally strong social indicators and research ascribes this to the contribution of women. For instance, the state is often termed as the "land of women".
Kerala, unfortunately, has always led the states with high unemployment, even though it has a strong literacy rate.
Concurrently, revenue deficit increased from 2.55% in 2011-12 to 2.57% in 2012-13.
Inevitably, Kerala is India's top state in terms of debt. Debt grew an mindboggling 39% between 2009-12. Only West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had a higher rise in debt.
According to media reports, more than Rs 1 lakh crore is received as remittances supporting about 50 lakh people in the state. And importantly, this remittances form about 36% of the state's domestic product.
Kerala is also the leading rubber producer in India, contributing 69% of India's total rubber production.
What is needed is a little less of politics ( as it leads to violence and extreme activism), but more of economic planning.