Among the various axes of inequality in India, regional disparities have acquired greater salience in recent times, with demands being made for special status for certain states on this basis. What has been completely overlooked in the process is that regional backwardness in India is a moving frontier with the most intense forms of poverty and deprivation getting increasingly concentrated within enclaves of backwardness, especially those inhabited by adivasi communities. This paper reports on a recent exercise within the Planning Commission that tries to capture this dynamic of regional backwardness in India.