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9th September 2022 (7 Topics)

India ranks slips down in Human Development Index 2021


India (ranked 132) has registered decline in its score over two consecutive years in Human Development Index 2021-22.


What is Human Development Index?

  • The HDI is a summary measure of human development.
  • It measures average achievement of a country in three basic dimensions of human development i.e.:
    • Long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth)
    • Education (measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling)
    • A decent standard of living (measured by GNI per capita in PPP terms in US$)
  • The Index is part of the Human Development Report 2021-2022 released by the United Nations Development Programme.

India’s stand in the Index

  • India’s HDI score of 0.633 places it in the medium human development category, lower than its value of 645 in 2018.
  • Life expectancy at birth has dropped from— 7 years to 67.2 years.
  • India’s expected years of schooling stand at 11.9 years, and the mean years of schooling are at 6.7 years.
  • The GNI per capita level is $6,590.

The neighbours

Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (73rd), China (79th), Bangladesh (129th), and Bhutan (127th) are ranked above India, while Pakistan (161st), Nepal (143rd), and Myanmar (149th) are worse off. The report said around 90 per cent of countries registered a decline in their HDI value in 2020 or in 2021.

Positive developments

  • However, the country has shown improvements in several fields:
    • Over the last decade, India has lifted a staggering 271 million out of multidimensional poverty.
    • boosted access to social protection for vulnerable sections of society
    • shown a slight improvement in its Gender Inequality Index value in the latest report as compared to the 2020 index (0.490 to 0.493)


Implementing policies that focus on 3 Is –

  • investment: from renewable energy to preparedness for pandemics
  • insurance: including social protection, to prepare societies for the ups and downs of an uncertain world
  • innovation: in its many forms — technological, economic, cultural — can also build capacities to respond to whatever challenges come next

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