Thursday, July 14, 2016

Basic issues with Free Basics

 Facebook trying to introduce Free Basics in India 

What Indian states are good at ?

I was thinking of documenting a topic visually backed with data. It turned into a re-discovery of India. It was fascinating to learn, that there are still tribal folks living in Andaman and Nicobar Islands from Stone Age (12,000 to 2 million years old). That, our states are the size of countries. UP is the size of Brazil !

The final result is the visual below and the data collected can be found here.
States Visualized (Click to enlarge)

Goa is number 1 (per capita)- in GDP, in Industry and manufacturing. Number 2 in services and in the extent of tree cover, with a good 60% of the state covered in forest. I was about to label it the nicest place to live; but did not, because of this statistic : In crime against children it is no. 2 after Delhi(Oh oh). Similar is the case with Kerala; ahead in literacy, Female sex ratio, tree over, but #1 in total crimes committed.
Sikkim's high GDP growth rate over last 10 years was a surprise, so also that it is -per capita- 2nd in industry and 3rd in manufacturing.
People from south are more prone to do it. Women threaten to do it more often, but the number of men doing it is twice that of women. I am talking of.. Suicides and Puducherry leads the pack with 36 per lakh.
Speaking of Puducherry, I think there is scope for reorganizing the small geographically dispersed territories. Managing them must surely be a challenge. These union territories could be merged with the nearest states. The strain shows in the issues they face; high rate of suicides(Puducherry, D & N Haveli), low Female to Male sex ratio(Daman and Diu), poverty(Dadra & Nagar Haveli).
Gujarat is the biggest spender on vegetables. In fact many states in the north MP, UP, Haryana etc.) have very high proportion of pulses, vegetable, milk product consumption and very low expenditure on eggs, fish and meat.
Location matters. There are clusters of development, backwardness and other traits in the country. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala of economic advancement. In the east Orissa, Bihar, kharkhand Chattisgarh form a cluster of poverty. In the center Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh of.. doing inefficient farming and so on.
North is more polluted than the south, Smaller the states less poverty there is. There are innumerable insights to be gained from the available data. Another surprise is the abundant availability of data.

Methodology followed:
Select an interesting topic - States of India. Keep an open mind and collect current data on each state. Wear a journalist hat and think of what i want to convey. Filter and select one label for a state. Visualize it in a picture.
A single label for a state the size of a country is unfair. (All labels are unfair!). But it does show some characteristic of the state.

Another aspect of data driven reporting is about accuracy of data. For e.g. in case of Crime statistics there are chances of under reporting. Ensuring complete gathering of data and ensuring its accuracy is something which needs to be insured but is out of our control. 
(Originally published in Jan 2016 on the site