The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in the seventh edition of its statistical publication titled “Handbook of Statistics on Indian States 2021-22”, stated that as per the health ministry data, community health centres across the country lack around 79.90% of mandatory health specialists including surgeons, OB&GY, physicians and paediatricians.

This publication covers sub-national statistics on socio-demographics, state domestic product, agriculture, price and wages, industry, infrastructure, banking and fiscal indicators across Indian states over various time periods ranging from 1951 to 2021-22. In the current edition of the handbook, two new sections -- health and environment were included for the first time.

The data for the year 2021 shows that of the total requirement of 21,924 doctors and specialists across the country’s community healthcare centres, only 13,637 have been sanctioned and just 4,405 are in position. The number of vacant posts stands at 9,268, with a total shortfall of 17,519. As of last year, 79.9% of requirements were unfulfilled, up from 76.09% in 2020. This was also the period when India was hit by the Covid pandemic, which crippled the already shaky health infrastructure in the country.

Uttar Pradesh required a maximum of 3,012 health specialists, followed by 2,356 in Rajasthan and 1,540 in Tamil Nadu. In terms of the shortfall, UP has a maximum of 2,030 posts vacant, followed by 1,202 in Odisha and 994 in Rajasthan.

Among state-wise children aged 6-59 months who are anaemic, the RBI cites the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data to show Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu had a maximum of 75.8% anaemic kids during 2019-21, followed by MP with 72.7% anaemic children aged 5-59 months. The data for pregnant women aged 15-49 years who are anaemic shows Ladakh has the maximum percentage at 78.1%, followed by Bihar at 63.1% and West Bengal at 62.3% during 2019-21.

State-wise number of government hospitals shows Andhra Pradesh with a maximum of 6,234 government hospitals, including 5,443 in urban areas and 791 in rural areas. AP is followed by UP at 4,683 government hospitals, including 4,475 in rural areas and 208 in urban areas.

In the environment section added this year, the RBI citing the Ministry of Environment data states that as of 2021, India's total forest cover stands at 71,3,789 sq km, up from 71,2,249 sq units in 2019. The country's tree cover is at 95,748 sq km, with the highest 12,108 sq km in Maharashtra, followed by 8,733 sq km in Rajasthan and 7,494 sq km in Karnataka. Sub-division-wise annual rainfall data shows the highest rainfall of 4032.5 mm in Konkan & Goa, followed by 3,892.2 mm in Coastal Karnataka and 3,606.3 mm in Kerala.

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