December 15, 2015 2:40:04 am
India continues to fare badly on the Human Development Index (HDI), ranking a low 130 out of 188 countries for 2014, according to the global 2015 report. The country’s HDI, when adjusted for inequality, plunges further by 28.6 per cent.
India’s HDI value of 0.609, when discounted for inequality in human development across the population, falls to 0.435. Of the 151 countries, for which data on inequality is available, only 47 other countries have experienced higher losses than India. India’s poor show on inequality-adjusted HDI is mainly owing to its steep differences in access to education where the loss registered is 42 per cent.
While the rankings are not comparable to that of previous years due to differences in data and methodology, the report released by the UN Development Programme Monday shows that the country’s HDI has risen marginally from 0.604 in 2013. Between 2009 and 2014, India’s rank has gone up six positions.
HDI is the composite measure of every country’s attainment in standard of living, health and education. Standard of living is arrived at through gross national income per capita, health by life expectancy and education by mean years of education among the adult population and expected years of schooling for children.
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An analysis of 30-year data shows that India’s improved performance on HDI is not through improvements in education and health, but mainly through income growth. India’s GNI PPP stands at $5,497, a 338 per cent increase since 1980 while its life expectancy at birth is 68 years, an increase of 14 years in the past 35 years. However, improvements have been most laggardly when it comes to education indicators. The mean years of schooling has increased by only by 3.5 years since 1980. The expected years of schooling increased by 5.3 years in the same period.
Yuri Afanasiev, UNDP’s Resident Representative in India, said, “Globally we are regressing to aristocracy where the poor own nothing and the rich 1 per cent own everything. In India there is also the additional element of caste.”
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