India is host to some of the fiercest conflicts in the world. India has miserably failed in meeting the very basic needs of its people foremost of which are food, clothing, shelter and basic sanitation. According to a new Oxford University study, 55 percent of Indias population of 1.1 billion, or 645 million people, are living in poverty. Using a newly-developed index, the study found that about one-third of the worlds poor live in India. While poverty in Africa is often highlighted, the Oxford research found that there was more acute poverty in India than many African countries combined. Poverty in eight Indian statesBihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal exceeded that of the 26 poorest African countries. The Oxford University study has highlighted the continuing lack of basic facilities for the majority of the Indian population. Governments at the national and state levels have failed to provide even the most rudimentary assistance for hundreds of millions of people. MURAD MAQSOOD, Islamabad, December 12.