HDR: India still ranks low in gender inequality index

Notwithstanding this,however,India continues to remain towards the bottom of the Human Development Index (HDI) and ranks abysmally low in gender equity.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:March 15, 2013 12:35 am

The developing world,including India,is witnessing “unprecedented progress”,thus narrowing gaps in human development across countries,says the 2013 Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday. Notwithstanding this,however,India continues to remain towards the bottom of the Human Development Index (HDI) and ranks abysmally low in gender equity.

The report,titled ‘The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World’,shows significant progress in HDI,with the pace being fastest in low and medium human development categories. India,however,ranks a low 136 out of 186 countries — no change from its previous year’s position but one notch below 2007 — though its HDI has increased to 0.554 from 0.551 in 2012.

The average global HDI value for 2012 was 0.694 (the highest is 1 and the lowest 0). Norway tops the list while Niger ranks the lowest. While India ranks better than Pakistan (146),Bangladesh (146) and Nepal (157),it is worse than Sri Lanka (92). China ranks 101,same as in 2011 but four notches above 2007.

The HDI is a measure that includes three main indicators — life expectancy,educational attainment and command over the resources needed for a decent living (as measured by income per capita). Other indices delve into inequality,poverty and gender deficits.

In an indictment of the gender inequality,India ranks 132 out of 148 countries in Gender Inequality Index — that captures “the loss of achievement due to gender inequality in dimensions of reproductive health,empowerment and labour market participation”.

The report concludes that sustained progress in human development has led to the rise of the “south” in an unprecedented speed and scale. According to the report,while some of the largest countries like India,Brazil,China,Indonesia,Mexico and Turkey have made rapid progress,smaller economies like Bangladesh,Chile and Ghana have also seen “substantial” progress.

“For the first time in 150 years,the combined output of the developing world’s three leading economies — Brazil,China and India — is equal to the combined GDP of the longstanding industrial powers of the north like Canada,France,Germany,Italy,United Kingdom and the United States,” says the report,thus demonstrating a gradual convergence across the world.

It also projects that by 2050,Brazil,China and India will together account for 40 per cent of global output. The report,however,acknowledges that despite rapid progress in HDI,inequalities and wide disparities continue to exist.

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