India climbed one spot to take the 129th rank among 189 countries on the 2019 report on Human Development Index (HDI) released by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday. India was at the 130th place on this index in last year’s report.
India’s HDI value has marginally increased from 0.643 in 2017 to 0.647 in 2018, shows the report, titled ‘Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century’.
Globally, Norway, with a HDI value of 0.954, is at the first rank while Burundi (0.423) is at the bottom. As far as India’s neighbouring countries are concerned, China ranked 85 and Bangladesh and Pakistan ranked 135 and 152, respectively. Sri Lanka ranked 71 and Maldives ranked 104.
“India’s HDI value has increased by 50 per cent from 0.431 in 1990 to 0.647 in 2018, which places it above average for countries in the medium human development group (0.634) and above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642),” Shoko Noda, UNDP India Resident Representative, said after releasing the report.
Why the report is significant
The Human Development Report 2019 is significant because it focuses on inequalities in development. It shows inequalities beyond income which exist in society. It also measures loss in the human development progress due to inequalities. The report also highlights the gender gaps in development.
The report shows that India’s annual HDI growth has slowed down in recent years. Between 1990 and 2000, India’s average annual HDI growth was 1.43 per cent which increased to 1.57 per cent during 2000-2010 but came down to 1.34 per cent between 2010 and 2018.
HDI is calculated taking into consideration performance of countries on four broad parameters — life expectancy at birth; expected years of schooling; mean years of schooling; and per capita gross national income (PPP).
“For countries like India, which have shown great success in reducing absolute poverty, we hope that the 2019 Human Development Report sheds light on inequalities and deprivations that go beyond income…India’s development initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat are crucial in ensuring that we meet our promise to leave no one behind and fulfil the Prime Minister’s vision of development for all,” she said.
The report has also given the Gender Development Index (GDI). With a score of 0.829, India is at the 122nd place out of 162 countries.