It was conducted by Tata Strategic Management Group

Tamil Nadu has emerged as one of the “safe” States in terms of female security and has overall scored high on the well-being index as well, according to a study that used broad spectrum criteria to map quality of life across the country.

According to the findings of the study by the Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG), only Ariyalur and Pudukottai districts in Tamil Nadu lagged behind in the well-being index (WBI). Significantly both districts did well on the female security front.

While at one level the results of the study add to the debate on the adequacy of per capita income as a real indicator of quality of life and overall well-being of a society, at another level the findings point to the lack of correlation between well-being and female security index (FSI) as illustrated by the Ariyalur and Pudukottai examples.

The TSMG study was based on an analysis of National Sample Survey Organisation household survey data and the 2001 Census to arrive at a WBI value while the FSI scores for States relied largely on district-level data on serious crimes against women for 2006 and 2007 from the National Crime Records Bureau and the gender ratio prevalence across 600 districts.

“The study looked beyond classical criteria for well-being status by assessing districts on the basis of eight broad parameters that we thought will better illustrate quality of life,” Harsha Kapoor, Practice Head Analytics Solutions, TSMG, told The Hindu.

Significantly, computing a Well Being Index district-wise reveals wide disparities – even within the same State. Even more surprising diversity amongst districts was revealed by the Female Security Index.

The WBI was mapped using eight critical categories that ranged across home amenities, kitchen facilities, education, hygiene, entertainment, communication, transportation and healthcare.

The TSMG investigators feel the findings lay the foundation for action planning for policy makers, NGOs, or a business house planning to increase the penetration of its goods or services in the domestic market. Some of the key findings were that eastern and central India are markedly worse than the rest of India while the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi ranked among the best.

The study also showed that even within the same State there was significant disparity among districts. For instance, huge variation across districts in Karnataka is noticeable: while Bangalore is among the ‘best,' Bellary and Gulbarga are ‘bad' and Bijapur, Koppal and Gadag are among the ‘worst.'

“The results were counter intuitive in the sense that prosperity was not related to aspects of female security,” said Mr. Kapoor.

Some of the most well off parts of India (Punjab, Haryana, Delhi & Western UP) as reflected in the WBI held the worst rating in terms of the FSI. And, some of the states having districts ranking ‘Bad' or ‘Worst' on WBI such as Orissa, Eastern UP, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar were better placed on female security.