Why Uttar Pradesh Matters For The India Story

Political Presence: Quality Versus Quantity

Uttar Pradesh Is Not Just Another State

  • It has 97,942 villages overseen by 70-plus districts spread across 240,928 square km.
  • With over 20 crore persons or 16 percent of India, it is the most populous state.
  • It has the largest number of persons below poverty line — over 4.8 crore or over 22 percent of the poorest.

Social Indicators Point To Failure

  • Barely 3 of 100 pay professional tax or income tax.
  • Seven of ten have a household income of around Rs 5,000.
  • 22 percent own two wheelers, two out of ten own four wheelers.
  • 8.5 percent admit to having a refrigerator at home.

A New Design For Governance

  • The new Antyodaya Mission could be vital for the most backward districts — particularly Shrawasti et al.
  • The idea of human resource development for panchayats could revive local governance at the 97,000-plus villages.
  • The concept of SWAYAM could deliver teaching — especially given the context of schools without teachers.



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Shankkar Aiyar

Shankkar Aiyar


Journalist-Analyst. Author of ‘Accidental India, ‘Áadhaar: A Biometric History’ and ‘The Gated Republic’. Studying how politics rules the economics of people!