India is ranked 131 of 189 countries listed in the United Nations Development Programme’s latest Human Development Report 2016. Categorised as having achieved ‘medium human development’, India’s HDI value has increased 46 per cent between 1990 and 2015. India is ranked better than most of its SAARC counterparts, including Bhutan (132), Bangladesh (139), Nepal (144), Pakistan (147), Afghanistan (169). On the other hand, Sri Lanka and Maldives fare better and are ranked 73 and 105 respectively, under the ‘high human development’ category. China is ranked at 90.
Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark are top ranked, while Burundi, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and the Central African Republic are ranked lowest.
According to the report, life expectancy at birth in India has increased from 68 years to an average of 68.3 years — 69.9 years for women and 66.9 years for men. Expected years of schooling remains at 11.7 years, while mean years of schooling increased from 5.4 to 6.3 years. The Gross National Income (GNI) based on per capita purchasing power parity (PPP) has risen as well, from $5,497 to $5,663.
The report calculates each country’s development value after adjusting its figures for inequalities, known as Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI). According to the UNDP “the difference between the HDI and IHDI, expressed as a percentage of the HDI, indicates the loss in human development due to inequality.” While India’s HDI is pegged at 0.624, it’s value falls 27.2 per cent after being adjusted for inequalities, resulting in a HDI value of 0.455. Similarly, life expectancy adjusted with inequalities between 2010 and 2015 fell 24 per cent, resulting in a value of 0.565. In 2015, the percentage of inequality in education was 39.4 per cent or 0.324 and inequality in income 16.1 per cent or 0.512.
India is ranked 125 of 159 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). The ratio of maternal mortality is 174 against every 100,000 live births. Only 12.2 per cent of Parliament seats are held by women. 26.8 per cent of women above the age of 15 years are part of India’s labour force — compared to 79.1 per cent men.