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Karnataka lags behind the rest of India on many rural & urban indicators: SECC data

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In rural areas, the biggest problems are low income and literacy, while in urban Karnataka, drinking water and sanitation lag behind the national average.

New Delhi: The politically crucial state of Karnataka, where assembly elections are due soon, has 14.4 per cent of rural households that are considered ‘deprived’, as against a national average of 8.9 per cent, as per data from the Socio-Economic and Caste Census, 2011.

The rest of southern India also fares better than Karnataka, with an average of 11.2 per cent of deprived households.

SECC 2011, a survey of socio-economic particulars of rural and urban households, was conducted through door-to-door enumeration across the country, based on respondent inputs.

SECC data is now the basis of determining beneficiaries under various key government schemes, and gives an estimate of the socio-economic status of a state. The Karnataka elections are being held in the background of rural and farm distress in the state and these are expected to be key campaign issues.

Income & literacy lagging behind

As per the data, the salary of the highest earning member of 69.08 per cent of households is less than Rs 5,000 per month. The corresponding national and regional averages for this category are 74.52 per cent and 75 per cent respectively.

Illiteracy seems to be higher in rural Karnataka than the rest of the southern region, but lower than the national figure. While around 31 per cent of Karnataka’s rural population is illiterate, the figure for the region is lower, at 29.6 per cent. The national figure stands at 35.7 per cent.

In terms of Scheduled Caste households in rural Karnataka, 14.02 per cent earn less than Rs 5,000 a month (the national average is 15.41 per cent), while just 16.9 per cent own houses as against 17.6 per cent nationally and the same percentage in the rest of the region.

Urban problems

Drinking water remains a big problem in Karnataka’s urban areas. According to SECC data, only 66 per cent of households have drinking water available on the premises, as against 72 per cent in the rest of the country.

In terms of sanitation too urban Karnataka suffers – as many as 17 per cent urban households have no ‘water-seal latrine’ exclusively for the household.

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