Jharkhand as a state is known as a vast reservoir of natural resources in terms of forest areas as well as minerals. However, in spite of this immense potential, it has not been able to utilize them properly and is thus counted among the backward states in the country. Its inheritance is considered to be one of the major reasons for this backwardness which is reflected in the development backlog over the years. The widespread unrest among the naxal community in recent times has further added to the problem. It thus puts a challenge before the state to provide good governance and to enable equitable growth and socio-economic progress. With a population size a third of Bihar and community-centered traditional ethos of tribal people, it will be relatively easier for the nascent state to pass on the benefits of growth to its citizens equally.
The present study makes an attempt to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the state, objectively using government's own data. Various aspects of Jharkhand's economy and the changes therein over time have been tracked to see the extent of progress in different indicators of growth and development. In each of the aspects, Jharkhand's status in comparison to other states has been discussed. Further, a comparative analysis of various districts of the state has also been presented. Latest available data from various government and semi-government sources have been used for this analysis. Since this study is the fourth in the series, data has been updated from the previous edition, where available.
The study is divided into eight sections each dealing with various issues related to development. Section I focuses on Jharkhand's position vis-à-vis other states in the post-liberalization phase. Section II examines the potential of the IT/ITES sector in the state. The third section of the study explores the quality of governance, examines the knowledge and communication base as well as the socio-economic profile of Jharkhand. The fourth section of the report deals with the intra-state analysis where the districts of the state are compared. The fifth section provides a comparative picture of the parliamentary constituencies in the state in terms of various socio-economic and infrastructure based parameters. Sixth section explores the potential cities of the state while the seventh section gives the state rankings in the eastern zone in terms of various socio-economic variables. Gross domestic product and per capita income of Jharkhand vis-a-vis other states in 2020 has been discussed in the eighth and the final section.
The states, which are being considered for comparison, are in one way or the other, related to Jharkhand. We have considered the parent state of Jharkhand, Bihar, new states that were formed at the same time as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand and the other neighbors of Jharkhand -West Bengal and Orissa. In some cases, where relevant, we have also considered states that have performed significantly well in the area being discussed.
This study is a depiction of the current scenario in Jharkhand across different socio-economic parameters, which will enable readers to understand the various elements crucial for growth and development in the state. It will also provide useful insights to the policy makers to take constructive steps in those areas where the state is lagging behind.