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Is India Really Looking for Gujarat Model? Gujarat Compared with Other States



After failing to come to the centre two times in a row, BJP is making all efforts to use the current anti-incumbency environment to its advantage with a strong leader who has an established vision for the country. Failing with India Shining campaign in 2004, and then failing to project strong leadership in 2009, this time BJP has put forward its Gujarat model of Development.

Will BJP be able to implement the Gujarat model all over India? Is it applicable all over India? Does India really need a Gujarat model?

When in past 10 years India had a governance full of corruption, Gujarat was marching ahead in development. Today Gujarat is arguably the most advanced state in India. Why arguably? Because the statistics say another story. From Human Development Index, to electricity, to transport network, Gujarat does only slightly better than the average of India.

The coming general elections in India are going to be different. It will not be a usual Congress led alliance VS BJP led alliance election. With the strong emergence of AAP and possible formation of third and fourth front, there can be unexpected results. In such scenario, BJP needs to come up with some new ideas, which can pull the crowd. Abolishing income tax and reservation based on economic condition could be some revolutionary ideas, which BJP has been already debating internally.

Gujarat Model and Human Development Index [1]

Opening the National Human Development Report of 2011 gives an unexpected insight of how various Indian states are doing compared to each other based on Human Development Index. Kerala and Delhi are the only states that shine in dark green sitting proudly in the High HDI group. Gujarat sits at the end of the Medium HDI group much below North East India (excluding Assam), Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana. For those who are unaware of HDI, it is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income indices. Interestingly it was created by the Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and the Indian economist Amartya Sen in 1990 and was published by the United Nations Development Programme. However, in the year 2011 report, the data of 2007-08 was used when Narendra Modi had only completed his 6-7 years in the office. Assuming that number takes at least 10 years to reflect, may be today the situation of Gujarat is much better.

HDI Gujarat Model

Gujarat model HDI India map

Sex Ratio [2]

Census report of 2011 gives another discouraging picture of Gujarat when it comes to Sex Ratio. Gujarat is one of the very few states in India whose sex ratio has gone down compared to the census of 2001. While Kerala and Pondicherry are the only states/UT with favourable sex ratio, Gujarat lies much below with 918 females per 1000 males, which is even lower than the national average (940).

Sex Ratio Gujarat Model

Coverage of Vaccination [3]

Coming to the Healthcare Sector, National Family Health Survey 3 Report gives another shocking image of Gujarat. NFHS-3 ranked states of India in order of percentage of children between 12-23 months of age who received all recommended vaccines. The report ranked Gujarat (45%) 19 out of 28 states, much below Jammu and Kashmir (67%), Haryana (65%), Odisha (52%), Tripura (50%), Chhattisgarh (49%), and Mizoram (46%) and only above the national average (44%). Tamil Nadu (81%) topped the chart and Nagaland (21%) came at the bottom. Although this is the latest report, but it was released in October 2007, which contains data from 2005-06. The situation of whole India must have changed by appreciable amount now and Gujarat might be doing much better.

Vaccination coverage Gujarat Model

Literacy Rate [4]

Going by the census report of 2011, Gujarat (79.3%) is placed at 12th position when it comes to Literacy rate falling behind states like Tamil Nadu (80.3%) and Maharashtra (83.2%). While Bihar ranked the least in the list at 63.8%, Kerala maintained the top position with 93.91%.

Gujarat Model Literacy rate comparison of India

Click to Enlarge

Electricity Usage [5]

Narendra Modi claims the meaning of Gujarat is 24/7 electricity. However, when it comes to electricity usage, 24/7 electricity claim is not helping much. Again in the census report of 2011 it was studied how many households are using electricity as the source of lighting. Union territories such as Lakshadweep (99.7%), Delhi (99.1%), Daman and Diu (99.1%), Chandigarh (98.4%) and Puducherry (97.7%) do extremely well to occupy the top five positions in the chart. Gujarat (90.4%) was ranked at 16th position below Punjab (96.6%), Tamil Nadu (93.4%), Andhra Pradesh (92.2%) and Haryana (90.5%). If Gujarat gets 24 hours electricity that means 9.6% of households in Gujarat do not get electricity at all.

Electricity Usage Gujarat Model

Underweight Population [6]

There has been debates on malnourished women and children in Gujarat, when it comes to underweights, Gujarat falls below Indian average, only above the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Nearly 26.2% of men and 30.3% of women were found to be underweight. Punjab, Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya topped the chart with least number of underweights, Punjab had only 2.2% of men and 2% women underweight. Measure DHS Demographic and Health Surveys published this report in September 2007 with the data from 2005-06. This is again an outdated report, and the condition in Gujarat must have improved and could be better than many other states.

Transport Network

Much can be commented on the development level of a state from its transport network. Unfortunately, Gujarat does not do well here as well. While length of the roads may depend on the area of the state (UP being at the top), we took road density (m/km2) for our comparison which positioned Gujarat at 21st position out of 28 states in India, above the states like Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim which have difficult terrain. However, the data is unconfirmed and the source cannot be verified. For more information, click here.

Road Density Gujarat Model

Life Expectancy at Birth [7]

The figures from the 2011 Human Development Index Report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India puts Gujarat (69.4) slightly above the national average (68.9) on the scale of Life expectancy at birth. Much below Kerala (76.8), Punjab (74.5) , Haryana (72.9) and Tamil Nadu (72.4).


GDP [8]

When it comes to nominal GDP then Gujarat displays great performance. Gujarat is one of the top five economies in India after Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as per 2011-12 data.


Concluding Remarks

Gujarat does have some of the first of its kind big projects in India that displays its economic strength; however, the numbers do not reflect it. Since much of the data is outdated, probably today’s Gujarat is really one of the best states in India. Nevertheless, those who want to argue on Gujarat model of development will question based on this data since these are the only latest figures. We are not anti BJP or pro any other party; please do not take this article as an attack on any politician or political party. We only believe that BJP must come up with more revolutionary ideas, like those listed at the beginning of the article, in their manifesto. Solely relying on Gujarat model might not give the desired results.

Your Turn

Do you have something to add in the article? Alternatively, do you oppose anything said on this article? Please add your views and opinion in the comments section below and facilitate a healthy intellectual debate. The article may be amended based on selected comments to maintain neutrality. Do not see your avatar on the comment section below? Sign up for gravatar with the same email ID that you use to comment on this post.


[1] “Economic Survey 2011-12” (PDF). Union Budget & Economic Survey, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. pp. 310–311. Retrieved 8 February 2013.

[2] Population and Sex Ration by States (Excel)

[3] “National Family Health Survey 3 (2005-2006)”. National Family Health Survey. Retrieved 23 December 2013.

[4] Census of India 2011 (PDF)

[5] “Source of Lighting” (PDF). 2011 census of India. Retrieved 31 January 2011.

[6] India DHS 2005-06, Published September 2007

[7] “Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index for India’s States 2011”. (PDF) United Nations Development Programme. 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2013.

[8] GDP by states (PDF)

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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A Historical exploration of Khajuraho



khajuraho temple

The UNESCO world heritage temples of Khajuraho are situated in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Built by the kings of Chandela dynasty during 950 to 1050 AD, these exquisite temples were lost to the world from 13AD onwards till they were discovered by the British in 1838 under the cover of dense date palm trees.

 This collection of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples are Khajuraho temples are famous for art on stone. Variously described as living temples, Temple of Love and consisting of unique erotic sculptures the Khajuraho group of temples are considered by many to be the pinnacle of India’s temple art. The temple complex creates an eclectic mix of spirituality, eastern philosophy, architecture and cultural heritage.

Khajuraho is best visited during winter on account of its extreme climate. Summer months can be very hot. The famous Khajuraho Dance Festival is held in March and attracts visitors from across the world.

 Khajuraho is well connected to major cities by train and by air. The airport is 5km from the city centre and links to Delhi, Agra and Mumbai. It is best recommended to use a trusted cab service provider like Savaari, where you can make an online booking by downloading the Savaari App.

Western Group of temples.

 The Western group of temples have the largest of the temples and are richly decorated and form the main area of attraction

  • Lakshmana Temple – The temple dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is the oldest of the Khajuraho temples and has some the finest sculptures that can be seen in India.
  • Kandariya Mahadeo Temple – This Shiva temple is covered with beautiful carvings, sculptures and frescos that are known for their beauty, grandeur and finesse.
  • Devi Jagdamba Temple – This relatively dainty temple dedicated to Goddess Jagadamba has three bands of sculptures and the uppermost layer has some of the most erotic sculptures that Khajuraho is also famous for.
  • Chitragupta Temple – One of the rare temples of the Sun God in the country.
  • Vishwanath Temple – The temple is unique for its colossal bull statue dedicated to Nandi, the favourite companion of Lord Shiva.

Eastern Group of Temples

  • Parsvanath Temple – The Jain temple shows an eclectic mixture of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim influences in its three roof architecture.
  • Ghantai Temple – This Digambar Jain temple has a beautiful frieze inscribed on stone depicting the 16 dreams as seen by the Mother of Lord Mahavira. The temple though gets its name from the remarkable pillars, carved with chains and bells.
  • Brahma Temple – Among the oldest temples in Khajuraho, the temple is built entirely using granite and sandstone and dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

 Southern Group of Temples

  • Chattarbhuj Temple – Situated 3 km from the main city, the temple is the only one in Khajuraho without any erotic sculpture and faces west. Best visited during the sunset, the temple is known for the intricate and beautifully detailed four-armed idol of Lord Vishnu.

Do remember to attend the Light and Sound Show conducted in the Western group of temples that describes the horary past of these beautiful monuments.

Khajuraho is surrounded by other places of interest, such as the Panna National Park and the Ranneh Falls. Do plan your visit and hire outstation or local cabs from the airport to visit these temple complexes.

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Explore the royal city of Mysore



Call it the Heritage City or the City of Palaces, the city of Mysore still emanates a feeling of au royale even in a 21st century India. A place of heritage for royal families, sultans, and legendary names in history, every corner of Mysore is steeped in stories of victory, power, and grandeur. A tour of this majestic city is only justified when you explore the royal heritage of the City of Palaces.

Getting there

Conveniently located on the southern edge of the Karnataka State, Mysore is easily accessible from major cities. It takes about three hours to travel the 152 KM distance from Bangalore to Mysore.

History and Heritage

The city of Mysore served as the capital for the Kingdom of Mysore between the 1300s until 1956. These six centuries saw the kingdom change hands of rulers and kings, from the Wadiyar Dynasty, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. But the common element of all the rulers was their penchant for art and culture. Under their patronage, they contributed to the city’s visual and cultural glory which earned Mysore the fame of Karnataka’s cultural capital.

A royal tour

If you want to experience the regal side of Mysore, you cannot but miss these structures of historical and architectural significance. You can join a heritage walking tour to explore the city on foot, or head from Bangalore to Mysore by car and stop by at monuments, palaces, and museums and learn about the legends that made Mysore. You can start your walk from the Town Hall, built in 1884, as a tribute to the first Dewan of the city.


Mysore Palace- The official residence of the royal family of Wadiyars, the palace itself is a work of marvel. An overwhelming blend of   Indo-Saracenic, neoclassical, Indo-Islamic and Gothic architectural works, the Mysore Palace is a breathtaking sight. Built in 1912, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts delicate works of mirrors, stained glass, mosaic and more. On any given day, you will find more tourists here than even at the Taj Mahal. Every Sunday, the palace comes alive with 97000 light bulbs bedazzling its façade and the premises.

Lalitha Palace– Yet another heritage building, the two-storied Lalitha Mahal sits on a ridge at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, which makes for a great vantage point. The palace was transformed into a hotel and offers a royal stay. If you truly want a feeling of royalty, then a stay here would be an experience.

Jaganmohan Palace– One of the seven prominent palaces of Mysore city, is a stunning work of ancient Indian architecture with intricate interiors and exteriors. The palace, transformed into a royal art gallery since 1915, houses paintings of the royal family, art by Raja Ravi Varma and an array of rare and antique musical instruments.

Museums- Stop by the Rail Museum to explore the archaic steam engines, the Maharani’s saloon, and other railway souvenirs. There’s also the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion showcasing more than 6500 folk artifacts from all parts of Karnataka. The Folk Art Museum, one of the most visited in the city, is also known for its collection of toys, models, and figurines.

Crawford Hall- Built in 1947, this is a must visit historic structure in Mysore. The royal palace is now known as the Mysore University but still renders a rich heritage to its ambiance.

Small, medium or large-scale, every historical building and monument of Mysore has a majestic touch to it. And such architecture speaks of its glorious past, which has left traces for the modern civilization to explore.

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India’s Victory at the International Court of Justice is the World’s Challenge to the Status Quo

Manak Suri




For the past week, both the Indian and British media have rigorously covered the story of the re-election of India’s justice Dalveer Bhandari to the bench of judges in the International Court of Justice on Tuesday, November 21. That the Indian judge retained his position on the bench was not the sole reason for the story’s extensive coverage; his reappointment combined with the fact that it happened at the expense of the United Kingdom’s spot on the bench is why the story is making so many rounds… and no, that many Indians may see it as some sort of a comeback against Britain’s 200 years of colonial rule over the country is not the reason why it matters. It matters because this is the first time since 1946 that the UK has no judge on the ICJ bench, and that signals possible changes in the way international bodies govern and are governed. So what does this mean for India, for the UK and for the world at large?

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice or the ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations as its principal judicial branch and is located in The Hague, Netherlands. Its job is to settle legal disputes between states that are submitted to it and give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it. The court comprises of a total of 15 judges that are elected to 9 year terms by way of voting from both the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) separately. One third of the court is re-elected every three years, and no two judges of the same nationality may assume positions on the bench simultaneously. However, the rule that led to the deadlock between the candidates from India and UK is that a candidate must obtain an absolute majority in both the UNGA and the UNSC in order to be elected to the bench.

UN General Assembly vs UN Security Council: The Race in Numbers

On November 9 and November 13, in seven rounds of voting justice Bhandari secured between 110 and 121 votes from a total of 193 in the UNGA against figures between 68 and 79 secured by his British counterpart Sir Christopher Greenwood. However, among the UNSC, justice Bhandari lost out by 5 votes to 9 in favour of Sir Greenwood. In the face of uncertainty, the UK then pushed for a ‘joint conference’ under the rules of the court between the UNSC and the UNGA. Under the ‘joint conference’ three countries from each side then determine the name for the court. However, the rules do not mention the procedure to select these countries and understandably so, since the option was last invoked in 1921. Fearing not enough support from the council, criticism for invoking the charter, and harming its friendly as well as economic relations with India, the UK eventually chose to not follow through with the process and withdrew its candidature for the post. In the end, India secured the seat with a total of 183 votes out of 193 at the UNGA and all 15 at the UNSC.

There is More to the Victory than Meets the Eye

The result means different things for the parties involved and also for the balance of power and influence between countries. For the UK, there are hardly any positives to take away from this result amid already turbulent times. Many in the British media have viewed this loss as ‘a blow to British international prestige’ and the country’s acceptance of a diminishing role in global affairs. This was the UK’s second major defeat at the ICJ after it lost a vote by a margin of 94 to 15 countries in June when the UNGA voted in favour of referring the question of decolonisation and self-determination of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean to the ICJ, which is currently under its control. Many within and outside the country have also been quick to blame Brexit for the situation in which they find themselves today, arguing that the other states, especially the ones within the European Union would have been less willing to snub the UK had the UK chosen not to leave the alliance. In the face of defeat, British diplomats have continued to maintain that they are happy that their close friend India has won, but have also not been shy of hiding their natural disappointment at their own loss.

For India, their victory in having a judge win the contest in getting elected to the ICJ bench against a permanent member of the UNSC is more symbolic than anything else. It reinforces India’s image at the highest stage as a major emerging global player and its ability to bring in greater reforms that push for more involvement from developing countries and emerging economies. Also, having a judge on the ICJ bench gives India an edge over Pakistan in the case involving former Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on the charges of espionage. True, a judge on the ICJ does not represent his/her country or their interests. However, as suggested by repeated criticism the court receives for being biased in favour of the states who appoint the judges, having a judge on the panel is certainly an asset for any country, no matter what the rules dictate on paper.

The most important takeaway from the whole episode far exceeds the ambitions of just the two countries and a race for a seat at the ICJ. India’s victory at the court reinforces the belief that power does not necessarily reside or has to reside with the ‘few global elite’, a sentiment which was expressed clearly when most member states of the UNGA backed India’s justice Bhandari to be re-elected against the choice of the permanent members or P5 of the UNSC. There seems to be an acknowledgment among the member states of the UN of the beginning of a change which sees an increasing shift in the balance of power away from the traditional powers of the world or the P5 – Britain, China, United States, Russia, and France. Of these countries, China was the only member to not have a judge on the ICJ between 1967 and 1985 till the final decision last week, when they were joined by the UK in the list. Last year, Russia was voted off the United Nations Human Rights Council. In the 2016 elections, France lost out on securing a position in the International Law Commission. While diplomats at the UN continue to maintain that there are no winners and losers here, that it is all part of a bigger picture, these developments undoubtedly mark diplomatic victories for the Group of 77 or the G77, a coalition of developing nations at the UN that have constantly pushed for an enhanced negotiating capacity. What remains to be seen is just to what extent they bring about a change in the status quo.

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