Chanakya IAS Academy Blog


India slips in human development index

India slipped down one place from 130 to 131 among the 188 countries ranked in terms of human development, says the 2016 Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Significant findings of the report:

  • 1.5 million people worldwide still live in multidimensional poverty half of them concentrated in South Asia
  • South Asia also had the highest levels of malnutrition in the world and the lowest public health expenditure as a percentage of the GDP
  • India’s public health expenditure was even lower than the South Asian average
  • Report emphasized on the positive role played by reservation policy in India though it has not been able to end caste based exclusions
  • The HDR also praised the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme, as it combined social protection with appropriate employment strategies
  • Indian grass root group Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan was commended for popularizing social audits of government schemes
  • The largest gender disparity in development was in South Asia, where the female HDI value is almost 20% lower
  • Gender gaps in entrepreneurship and labour force participation resulted in an estimated income loss of 19%

What is HDI:

The HDI is a measure for assessing human development based on three basic dimensions:

  • a long and healthy life
  • access to knowledge
  • access to a decent standard of living

It captures inequality in the distribution of human development across the population at the country level. As the inequality in a country increases, the loss in human development also increases,

Where does India stand in the HDI index:

  • India is in the medium category, in terms of human development index (HDI)with an HDI value of 0.624, alongside countries such as Congo, Namibia and Pakistan
  • It is ranked third among the SAARC countries, behind Sri Lanka (73) and the Maldives (105), both of which figure among the countries with high human development indicators
  • The world’s top three countries in HDI are Norway, Australia, and Switzerland
  • While India’s HDI value increased from 0.428 in 1990 to 0.624 in 2015, it still had the lowest rank among BRIC nations.
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