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Gujarat has one of India’s worst immunisation records

Till recently, the BIMARU states, along with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya, held the worst child vaccination records in the country.



Among larger Indian states, Gujarat has the least number of vaccinated children: 50.4%, as of 2015-16 data. The immunisation rate of India’s fourth richest state (as of 2013-14 constant prices) is now worse than that of some of its most backward states — Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (UP), clubbed together as BIMARU (‘sick’ in Hindi).

While Gujarat’s current immunisation rate is up 11.5% from the previous decade, it is now 11.6 percentage points below the national average of 62%, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data from 1991 to 2015-16.

In 2005-06, the state’s vaccination coverage, at 45.2%, had been above India’s average of 43.5%. Further, the current numbers are only slightly higher than the figures the state reported 23 years ago, in 1992-93.

Till recently, the BIMARU states, along with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya, held the worst child vaccination records in the country.

Immunisation is known to be the most cost-effective method to prevent disease and death. Every year, India loses 500,000 children under the age of two due to diseases preventable by vaccination, according to this March 2015 Press Information Bureau report.

Trends In Immunisation Coverage


National Family Health Survey

Across India, the percentage of children who have received full immunisation that includes polio, BCG, DPT, and measles vaccines, has dramatically risen over 40% in the last 10 years — from the 43.5% reported during the NFHS round three in 2005-06 to 62% in the fourth round.

This is mainly due to the significant growth in vaccination coverage in UP, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand. In the 2005-06 survey, these states recorded dismal percentages of children vaccinated — 23%, 26.5%, 32.8% and 34.8% respectively. They have witnessed a median improvement of 97.45% — with UP registering a 122% jump — in immunisation coverage to now reach 51.1%, 54.8%, 61.7% and 61.9% of the population respectively, as per the latest survey.

The percentage of children immunised in Madhya Pradesh comparatively grew at a slower pace of 33% in the same period.

Other rich states that show a slump — Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand

Among Indian states, Punjab, Goa, and West Bengal recorded the highest numbers in immunisation of children between the ages of between 12 and 23 months.

While Punjab and Goa registered a negative growth in immunisations of 16.6% and 4.8% in 2005-06, as per the latest NFHS data their rates did grow at 48.3% and 12.5% respectively. West Bengal recorded a 31.3% growth in immunisation, 15.6% points lower than its growth rate in 2005-06.

Meanwhile, Gujarat aside, growth of immunisation coverage in the large prosperous states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu has also particularly slumped.


NOTE: *-Children between 12-23 months of age
National Family Health Survey

Maharashtra, India’s richest state, recorded a decline of 4.3% in the number of children vaccinated in 2015-16 over 2005-06. It now fares worse than Bihar which has witnessed an 88.1% growth in the same period.

While in NFHS round three (2005-06), Tamil Nadu was the state with the highest rate of immunisation at 80.9% of children vaccinated, a decade later the state has recorded a 13.8% decline. As of 2015-16, only 69.1% of children were vaccinated in the southern state with the country’s second largest economy.

Uttarakhand too, carved out of UP in 2000, saw a 3.8% drop in percentage of children immunised from 60% a decade ago. The young state, has been otherwise recording significant growth in its state gross domestic product, per capita income, poverty reduction, and literacy and performing better than its parent state, as IndiaSpend previously reported in February, 2017.

Himachal Pradesh too witnessed a 6.3% decline in immunisation coverage.

While much of India’s north-east showed low immunisation of children in the latest survey — with Nagaland recording the lowest percentage — five of seven states in this region still showed significant improvement since 2005-06. From 33% a decade ago, Meghalaya recorded a notable growth of 87% in vaccination coverage. The percentage of children receiving full immunisation grew 70% in Nagaland, and 50% in Assam.


NOTE: *-Children between 12-23 months of age
National Family Health Survey

Focus shift to poorer states may account for slump in rich states

In December 2014, Mission Indradhanush (Indra’s Bow) — now in its second phase — was launched with the goal of increasing immunisation by 5% every year. This would ensure that 90% of children are immunised by 2020.

During the first phase of the mission, the government identified 201 “high-focus” districts accounting for nearly 50%ph of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in the country, according to this 2015 press release from the ministry of health and family welfare ministry.

Of these, 82 districts were located in the BIMARU states alone — 14 in Bihar, 15 in Madhya Pradesh, nine in Rajasthan and 44 in Uttar Pradesh –where 25% of the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children reside.

The increased focus on these states may thus be credited with the significant progress in immunisation efforts here. The shift in focus from the more prosperous states may have also contributed to their slow growth in vaccination coverage.

Reasons for low immunisation: lack of awareness, conviction and time

There are several reasons for partial or no immunisation across India but the most common ones are: not convinced about the need (28%) and lack of awareness (26%), according to this Mission Indradhanush factsheet.

This was also reflected in the findings from Gujarat, where not feeling the need for vaccines (22.3%) and not knowing about the vaccines (15.5%) were the primary two reasons for low immunisation. A sizeable 10.2% attributed this to “wrong advice from someone” while 8.1% felt the “time (for administering shots) was not convenient”.

In Maharashtra, time inconvenience (15.2%) and not knowing where immunisation shots are being administered (9.6%) were cited as major reasons for low vaccination coverage apart from the other primary reasons.

In the north-eastern states where vaccination coverage is particularly low, a median 44.9% did not feel the need to vaccinate their children.

Further, full immunisation is more complicated as it requires receiving vaccination
doses at different times. Possible reasons for Gujarat’s poor performance in immunising its population could be that its health institutions, clinics and nurses who provide regular check-ups and care are less efficient and capable than in many other states, according to this 2015 report in The Economist.

“Short campaigns to roll out one-off vaccinations are one thing, but sustained investment in health is required to achieve long-term improvements in full immunisation,” the report said.

(In arrangement with, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform, with whom Alison Saldanha is an assistant editor. The views expressed are those of IndiaSpend. Feedback at [email protected])


24% scheme performance indicators of Delhi government ‘off track’



Manish Sisodia

An average 23.7 per cent of output and outcome indicators for various programmes and schemes of the Delhi government departments were “off track” till December last year, analysis of a report tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday suggested.

The 23.7 per cent of indicators were off track for schemes and programmes of 14 major departments, including Health, Social Welfare and Education, for which funds were allocated in the Delhi Budget 2017-18, according to an IANS analysis of Status Report of the Outcome Budget 2017-18.

The Status Report was presented by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

In the report, the indicators — output and outcome of schemes and programmes — of a department were used to denote whether their schemes were on or off track. Here off track implies the performance or progress of indicators of major schemes of a particular department (till December 2017) was less than 70 per cent of the expected progress.

With 45 per cent indicators off track, the Public Works Department’s schemes performed worst, followed by the Transport Department and the Environment Department, each having 40 per cent of indicators for schemes off track.

The departments whose schemes performed well include the Directorate of Education with 89 per cent indicators of schemes on-track, followed by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) with 87 per cent schemes on track and the Delhi Jal Board with 82 per cent programmes on track.

Sisodia said that idea behind the Outcome Budget was to bring a high degree of accountability and transparency in public spending.

The Outcome Budget, which coveres 34 departments of the government, was termed as the “first of its kind” in the country.

Citing an example of Mohalla Clinics, Sisodia said a regular budget tells only about the money allocated for the construction of clinics, while Outcome Budget is about the number of clinics built and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

The Outcome Budget measures each scheme using two indices: output and outcome.

The infrastructure created or services offered due to spending on a particular scheme is termed as output, whereas the number of people benefited and how is termed as outcome.

(Nikhil M. Babu can be contacted at [email protected])

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Will Drabu’s ouster impact PDP-BJP alliance in J&K?

While even Mehbooba’s political adversaries, including the National Conference President, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, have welcomed her decision, her allies in the BJP are not happy at all about her decision.



Jammu, March 15 : The decision by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to drop Haseeb Drabu from her council of ministers for his remarks at a business meet in Delhi is being hotly debated in political circles – especially what its consequences could be on the state’s PDP-BJP ruling coalition.

By doing what she has done, the Chief Minister has proved that she is prepared take political risks — and taking her for granted is something her colleagues and allies should learn not to do.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders were aghast after Drabu, who was the Finance Minister, was quoted as telling a meeting organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi that Kashmir was not a political problem and a conflict state but a “social problem”. He said this while seeking investments in the state from businessmen and saying the conditions in the state were conducive to business “where you will find some very interesting opportunities” not just to make money but also to have “a lot of fun and enjoy yourselves”.

PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni had said this was something which negated the very existence of the PDP because it is the firm belief of the party that Kashmir is political problem that needed political remedies to resolve.

Interestingly, instead of voices being raised in Drabu’s favour by his own party men, leaders of the PDP’s coalition unlikely partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seem to be more worried about the decision to drop him.

Some senior BJP leaders have rushed to Delhi to discuss the development and its fallout on the ruling coalition with the central leadership of the party.

How important Drabu had been for the PDP was proved not once, but many times in the past. The late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed trusted him to work out the terms of the agenda of alliance with BJP National Secretary Ram Madhav that finally paved the way for the present PDP-BJP coalition.

“Mufti Sahib always loved him and would overlook what some of his party men would say about Drabu Sahib,” said a PDP insider, not wishing to be identified.

In a letter released to the media after he was dropped from the cabinet, Drabu expressed sorrow for not being told by the Chief Minister or her office about the decision to drop him.

“I read it on the website of daily ‘Greater Kashmir’. I tried to call the Chief Minister, but was told she was busy and would call back. I waited, but my call was never returned,” he rued.

He also said in his letter that he had been quoted out of context by the media and that he what he had said was that Kashmir is not only a political problem, but that “we must also look beyond this”, Drabu clarified.

Sayeed made Drabu his economic advisor during his 2002 chief ministerial tenure and later made him the chairman of the local Jammu and Kashmir Bank. In fact, Drabu became the point man between the PDP and the BJP after the 2014 assembly elections.

The problem is that many PDP leaders had of late started saying that Drabu was more of “Delhi’s man in Kashmir rather than Kashmir’s man in Delhi”. Drabu is reportedly very close to Ram Madhav, the powerful BJP leader who is in-charge of Kashmir affairs, which many say “cost him his job”. It is this image that has been floating around in the PDP that finally cost him his berth in the state cabinet.

While even Mehbooba’s political adversaries, including the National Conference President, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, have welcomed her decision, her allies in the BJP are not happy at all about her decision.

“What did he say? He said it is a social problem and Kashmir is a society in search of itself. Is this wrong? We don’t think this is something for which such a harsh decision should have been taken,” a senior BJP leader told IANS, not wanting to be named.

His successor, Syed Altaf Bukhari, who has been assigned the finance portfolio, took a major decision immediately after taking over. Bukhari announced that the decision to replace the old treasury system by the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) has been put on hold. The ambitious PAO system was Drabu’s brainchild.

Bukhari’s decision has been welcomed by hundreds of contractors in the state who had been on strike during the last 13 days demanding their pending payments and suspension of the PAO system at least till March 31.

Would Drabu’s ouster be a storm in a teacup or would it have repercussions on the PDP-BJP ruling alliance in the immediate future? Ironically, Drabu’s PDP colleagues say it won’t be, while the BJP leaders in the state say it would.

By : Sheikh Qayoom

(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at [email protected])

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Reports claiming top Indian leaders have fake followers deeply flawed: Twitter

A recent “Twitter Audit” report claimed that Modi, Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah and others lead the list of leaders with fake followers globally.




New Delhi, March 14 : After reports surfaced that some of the top Indian politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter accounts are infested with fake followers, the micro-blogging platform on Wednesday termed such reports as baseless.

A recent “Twitter Audit” report claimed that Modi, Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah and others lead the list of leaders with fake followers globally.

According to a statement given to IANS, Twitter said the “Twitter Audit” fake follower measurement tool is not the company’s product.

“The methodology used by ‘Twitter Audit’ is deeply flawed and their incorrect information should not be taken seriously,” a Twitter spokesperson told IANS.

Twitter Fake Followers

The media reports are completely incorrect and do not have any source or authentic veracity of the information, the company said.

Twitter Audit is an external tool not affiliated to the micro-blogging website.

It takes a sample of 5,000 Twitter followers and assesses them on the number of tweets, followers, mutual followers and other parameters.

According to its website, “the scoring method is not perfect but it is a good way to tell if someone with lots of followers is likely to have increased their follower count by inorganic, fraudulent, or dishonest means”.

According to Twitter Audit, Rahul has the highest percentage of fake Twitter followers at 67 per cent, followed by Shah, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and Modi.

In Modi’s case, Twitter Audit claimed 61 per cent of his followers are fake. Modi has 41 million followers.

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