Government of Meghalaya Department of Planning, Investment Promotion and Sustainable Development

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NITI Aayog had recently released the second edition of the National Multi- dimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The index assesses poverty by considering various indicators related to health, education, and standard of living. The proportion of population who are multidimensionally poor in Meghalaya has reduced from 32.54% in 2021 when the index was first released to 27.79% in the current index. 1.5 lakh people have exited multidimensional poverty between the publication of the first index and now.

The index measures performance on 12 indicators- Nutrition, Child and Adolescent Mortality, Maternal Health, Years of Schooling, School Attendance, Cooking fuel, Sanitation, Drinking Water, Electricity, Housing, Assets and Bank Account. Out of these, the State has seen an improvement in 8 indicators. The data source for the current index is the 5th edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS- 5).

The overall ranking of Meghalaya amongst the Indian States has dropped from 24th position to 26th position. Only Bihar and Jharkhand currently have higher percentage of population that is multidimensionally poor than Meghalaya. It is disheartening that the State’s performance on the index is not in sync with the accelerated implementation of several development programmes in the social and economic sector over the last 5 years. The Government has heavily invested in programs impacting Sustainable Development Goals including State-driven initiatives like MOTHER, MHSSP, ECD, and FOCUS, along with Central Schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), MGNREGA, PMAY, and PMUY. Over the recent years, Meghalaya has been the leading performer in implementation of centrally sponsored schemes and has regularly been featured amongst the best performing states in socio-economic initiatives. For instance, Meghalaya was awarded the second prize under functionality assessment of JJM.

The reason for the current performance can be attributed to the fact that social sector indicators are sticky and there is usually a time lag between investments and results. Secondly, most of the data of NFHS-5 was collected in 2019 and the current ranking therefore, does not capture the significant improvements made in the last 3 years. For instance, the State has witnessed 50% reduction in Maternal death in the last 2 years and 20% infant deaths. Furthe, Institutional delivery has increased from 58.1% to 67%.

The Government continues to prioritize service delivery and making investments in the critical sector of early childhood development, health, education and basic infrastructure to enable improved performance of the State under various Sustainable Development Goals and other
development indicators.

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