NEW DELHI: The
annual Education Development Index (EDI) for 2012-13 is out and like previous
years the narrative has not changed. There is a civilizational difference
between the south and the north as the Hindi heartland states continue to
languish at the bottom of the heap.
The EDI is also an indicator that while the southern states are improving in
leaps and bounds after the enactment of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, states
like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and others despite their best efforts are
proving to be no match. States were judged on four parameters: access,
infrastructure, teachers and outcomes.
EDI, done by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration
on the basis of mammoth District Information of School Education (DISE) data,
has ranked Lakshadweep on top after evaluating its primary and upper primary
education performance. Puducherry is ranked second, followed by Tamil Nadu,
Sikkim and Karnataka.
Tamil Nadu's high ranking also exposes the flawed ranking system that the HRD
ministry had adopted in ranking states on the basis of their performance in the
midday meal scheme. The southern state was poorly ranked above 20 and touted as
a laggard. The state government had protested. One of the parameter used in DISE
ranking takes into account infrastructure as an important component like the
availability of kitchen sheds.
Among the northern states, Punjab has recovered a lot of ground occupying the
sixth position, a remarkable recovery from its 13th
rank in 2011-12.
Among the southern states the biggest decline has been of Kerala, once among the
best performers. It is now languishing at 14th position. In 2011-12 it was
ranked seventh. What led to Kerala's overall poor ranking is the loss in primary
education. In primary education, the state's rank went down to 20th from sixth
While Delhi has also slipped from sixth to 11th in overall ranking, Maharashtra
has shown consistency retaining its eighth position.
As for the perpetual laggards, Bihar has recovered a bit. It is now ranked 30th
from 33rd in 2011-12. UP's downward slide continues, from 32nd to 34th.
Rajasthan is in the same league: 25th from 23rd position. West Bengal is yet to
witness CM Mamata Banerjee's much promised winds of change in school education.
The state has slipped to 31st rank from 29th in the previous EDI ranking. Madhya
Pradesh, likely to give another term to Shivraj Singh Chauhan, is also among the
worst performers, occupying 28th slot.