post-reforms, telangana developed more than coastal andhra and other regions

from a study conducted by laveesh bhandari and aarti khare in 2002:
The State is composed of four regions, covering 23 districts, making Andhra Pradesh the fifth largest State geographically. In the post reforms period, regions other than the coastal region have also grown. That is coastal AP's position relative to other regions has deteriorated. The most dynamic has been the Inland Northern region. This region (also referred to as Telangana) contains Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh's capital and also most dynamic city. Inland Southern is next, followed by South Western region. (Also sometimes referred to as Rayalaseema) The latter three regions have improved their position while coastal Andhra has not managed to do the same.
you'll find the above observation in (page 10) of the report ('The Geography of Post 1991 Indian Economy') of the researchers. the study is different from other studies done by laveesh bhandari and bibek debroy on how different states are performing in the post-reforms period. it is the only study, perhaps, that looks at how 78 different regions in the country have been doing after 1991.

in the beginning of the report (page 4), the authors tell us how the study is different from other studies. one key feature:
* This study covers all of India. All the 78 regions in 35 States and Union Territories (UTs) are covered. For instance, we are also able to investigate the economic performance of the northeastern states, UTs such as Chandigarh and Delhi, and smaller states such as Goa and Himachal. The picture that we present therefore is of the whole country.
the study covered the period of nineties (1991-92 and 1998-99, specifically), the first decade of reforms, and its focus appears to be to assess economic change happening across regions in india, and not why such economic change (positive or negative) is happening.

the study used five variables (consumption of petrol, diesel, availability of bank credit, quantum of deposits, and production of cereals) to gauge the performance of the economy, (page 5) as 'each of them capture a small part of the economy' and 'when taken together, they closely reflect the level of economic activity' of each region. change in the usage, availability or production of the variables in the two time periods (1991-92 and 1998-99) was used to measure (page 6):
Whether a region's share of the overall Indian economy has increased or decreased?
on page 22 you find the indices of how the economies of the 78 regions changed, or how their 'share of the overall Indian economy has increased or decreased.' and how did different regions of andhra pradesh perform, or increase or decrease their share of the overall indian economy?

* the index of the economy of coastal andhra pradesh changed from 0.45 in 1991-92 to 0.35. which means its share of the overall indian economy decreased (-0.09).
* the index of the economy of northern inland andhra pradesh (telangana) changed from 0.40 in 1991-92 to 0.51 which mean its share of the overall indian economy increased (+0.11).
* the indices of the economies of south western andhra pradesh (part of rayalaseema; maps accompanying the data, in other pages, indicate kurnool and ananthapur) and inland southern andhra pradesh (kadapa and chittoor, i think) changed from -0.50 and -0.52 in 1991-92 to -0.49 and -0.51 in 1998-99 respectively, which means their shares in the overall indian economy increased marginally.

to most unbiased observers who have a keen interest in these issues, the results of the study aren't news. but the lessons many political, social actors/activists in andhra pradesh, across regions, have drawn from the economic changes happening in the state in the last twenty years tell us that their worldview hasn't really moved out of the 70s, to say the least.

more on this subject later.


oremuna said...

Are you becoming prof JS for Jai Andhra moment :)

We need to divide telangana region stats into two parts the one with Hyd + Rangareddy and other Telangana, then only it gives complete picture. I guess rest of Telangana will be in the same lines unless I am completely mistaken. How easy/ difficult to get this data of Hyd and rest of Telangana ?

Bhanu Prasad said...


I will have to take my hat off for you. You, along with Nalamothu Chakravarthy and doing a commendable job in kicking out one separatist lie after another.

The relative economic power of Coastal districts has come down as farming has become an inefficient and unprofitable occupation.


T separatists think of hyderabad as part and parcel of their dreamland. Hence we will have to include the case of hyderabad as well in development.

If they intend to show the backwardness of other T districts for seperate state, let them have a telangana with out Hyderabad.

Anyway T leaders claim's of hyd's ownership is nothing less that Blackmail through Victimhood.

ved said...

oremuna said..
Are you becoming prof JS for Jai Andhra moment :)

A supporter and well wisher of Telangana doesn't mean support separate T blindly. There are three factors to be considered in this order

1.Future of Telangana
2.Future of Telugu People
3.Future of India

First, every stat and indication show that separate T will be disaster for the people of Telangana. There was enough discussion here and elsewhere on this topic.

Second, if separate T is formed or if this hatred continues, there will be retaliation from the other side. I'm pretty sure that KCRs and Jaya Shankar's exist on the other side too. With this split, the other side of AP will also fail to hold together creating a huge backlash. I'm afraid the animosity between the people of same language and culture will only grow from here creating India-Pakistan rivalry within the republic of India. Telugu people will be utterly divided for their own destruction.

Third, animosity and fight between people of same language and culture can set wrong precedence and balkanize India. This is a dangerous path. So don't view everything through the prism of Jai Andhra or Jai Telangana.

kuffir said...


this is not a study that i had conducted, so i could have added or changed nothing about its results. in this post too, i have added very little of my own interpretation to the results i've reproduced here.. except the last para which says: many political/social activists have drawn wrong lessons from economic changes happening in the state in the last twenty years. now, you seem to be drawing wrong lessons about what i am trying to do.:)

the doubts you raise about how much of this development could be attributed to telangana without hyderabad: please look at the variables used in the study again. cereal production couldn't be happening in hyderabad, could it? and look at the rayalaseema results: there is no hyderabad in rayalaseema to push the results up, is there? for rayalaseema to stay in the same place itself quite an achievement, but it has not just accomplished that, it has also managed to improve its position marginally.

this study pertains to the period 1991 and 1999.. hyderabad actually started to grow faster only around 1996 or so. and it grew much faster post 1999, because of the policy changes made after 1996 began to show real results only after 1999. if this study were repeated now, the change would be much, much more greater and its hyderabad role in this change would be much be bigger.

lastly, i'd like to make the same point in the last para of my post again: we shouldn't jump to wrong lessons before studying these changes more closely.


thank you.

gaddeswarup said...

District wise data may be available somewhere. My impression is that some districts like Karimnagar, Nizamabad probably developed much better than other districts (excepting Rangareddy, Hyderabad). But I do not really know the numbers. Ved once gave a reference to the most underseveloped districts in India. I wonder whether that also gives data for other districts. But all this does not say any thing water allocation and projects.

SS said...


"their worldview hasn't really moved out of the 70s, to say the least"

Indeed. It is the historical angle that they're pushing relentlessly: http://epw.in/epw/uploads/articles/14469.pdf

Which seems to have more pull than reason/common sense.

gaddeswarup said...

SS, I read that article and wondered about it. The author comes from a family of jagirdars but he is a respected academic and his father was a well respected judge: Justice Pingle Jaganmhan Reddy. It is possible that even now the many of the elite come from previously privileged families. But I guess we should go by facts and more facts as Kuffir says.

kuffir said...

swarup garu,

an estimate based on a little i've read on the subject: telangana, excluding hyderabad, formed 35-45%, or even more, of the economy (in terms of tax revenues) of all telangana (including hyderabad) during the period studied.

the study looks at relative change (positive and negative) in the economies of regions across india and compares that with 1)change in the whole of india and 2) change across regions in states.

# now, given those facts, i don't see how the economy of hyderabad alone could've achieved all the growth to 1) increase the share of telangana in the national economy and the 2) economy of the state,

# if hyderabad alone is responsible for the growth, it means it grew 1) at a pace greater than the national economy and 2) even at a pace few times more than the national economy because the rest of telangana would be pulling it down,

# the fall in the relative share of coastal andhra doesn't mean that its economy didn't grow at all the during that period. it only means that its economy grew 1) slower than the pace set by telangana and 2) the national economy,

# the slight increase in the share of rayalaseema means that it grew 1) at a pace as fast or slightly faster than the national economy 2) or much faster than the economy of coastal andhra,

this study is different from regular studies of growth in the sense that it doesn't look at gdp figures, which in a country like india, don't fully capture the real size or change in the economy, from some perspectives. it looks at consumption figures of commodities which more faithfully reflect real changes happening in the economy. it looks at changes in economic activity, in the ordinary everyday economic life of people, and it has to be looked at from such a perspective. you could say, from that angle, it reflects economic ground realities better.

kuffir said...


thanks for the link.

'Which seems to have more pull than reason/common sense.'

i'm reminded of a poem by srirangam narayana babu of a cow which squatted in the middle of a street and refused to move. the furore/confusion/excitement around the cow doesn't reflect what the cow feels.

kiran/swarup garu/ss,

the continuous tempo of excitement that the separatists have built in the last few years/months actually disproves a lot of arguments centred around underdevelopment and discrimination they're making. it actually points to the growth of a significant, and self-sufficient middle class in telangana which could only be the result of positive economic/social change over the decades.

i see that as a positive result, but i'm disappointed that the middle classes across regions have grown so self-serving and narrowminded that they refuse to look beyond their own interests, at the larger interests of whole society. nor do they seem interested in spelling out a tangible vision for the future which shall expand growth, rights and prosperity to large sections of the marginalized.

SS said...

@ gaddeswarup:

Yes, I'm aware of the author's background. What I also find intriguing is that the org. he works for has a very strong pro-Telangana lobby. Probably because many of them are from T. But then this particular org. has little to gain or lose from the formation of T. They will continue to do what they are now,in the way they are now, whether they're part of a unified AP or Telangana. Across many such elite organizations in Hyd. the groundswell of mindless emotion from otherwise rational, educated people is just astounding. A while ago, a senior colleague, who's Tamil, said to me: Andhra should never have separated from Madras. Primordial loyalties - just how far back do they go? Facts stand a very bleak chance!

gaddeswarup said...

I really did not know; did a goole search. It is not clear when these 'primordial loyalties' will go. My father was a popular teacher and helped many of his students get admissions in colleges, later jobs etc irrespective of caste and religion (those days teachers were also guides in several ways). In his older days, he complained that some relative did not have any kamma loyalty!

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