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15th March 2024 (11 Topics)

Human Development Index

Context

India’s Human Development Index (HDI) value in 2022 has increased to 0.644 from 0.633 in 2021, placing it 134th out of 193 countries, according to United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) latest report on human development.

1: Dimension- Issues highlighted in the Report

Report Title: ‘Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a Polarized World’. ”It builds on the 2021–2022 Human Development Report findings that saw the global HDI value fall for the first time — two years in a row.

  • The report showed that the global HDI value fell for the first time in two years in a row.
  • This report also revealed that while rich countries achieved record human development, half of the poorest remain below their pre-crisis level of progress.
  • While HDI is projected to reach record highs in 2023 after declines in 2020 and 2021, there is a stark contrast in development levels between rich and poor nations.
  • The report points out that global inequalities have been compounded by substantial economic concentration – almost 40% of global trade in goods is concentrated in three or fewer countries.
  • The latest HDI assessment, however, presents a miserable picture of a world that, while recovering from the pandemic’s shocks, is deeply divided and eclipsed by war.

2: Dimension- India’s Position & Room for Improvement

  • Important ranking: Categorised as ‘Very High’, ‘High’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Low Human Development’, China and Sri Lanka, ranked at 75 and 78, respectively, in the High Human Development category compared to India, which stands at 134. India also ranks below Bhutan (125) and Bangladesh (129), despite all three being categorised under ‘Medium Human Development’.
  • Life expectancy: In India, life expectancy rose from 67.2 to 67.7 years, expected years of schooling reached 12.6, which means that years of schooling increased to 6.57, and GNI per capita saw an increase from USD 6,542 to USD 6,951.
  • India’s Gender Inequality Index (GII): However, India also has one of the largest gender gaps in the labour force participation rate—a 47.8 percentage points difference between women (28.3%) and men (76.1%).
  • The HDI value places India in the medium human development category.

India’s improvement on the HDI is a positive development. However, it underscores the need for higher investment in social infrastructure rather than a preoccupation with headline GDP numbers.

Fact Box: About Human Development Index

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) report is an annual publication that assesses the development status of countries worldwide based on key indicators such as
    • life expectancy
    • education
    • income
  • The HDI is an index that provides a summary measure of a country's average achievements in these three dimensions of human development.

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