NEWS

India 131st Of 188 Countries On The Human Development Index, Even Worse For Gender Inequality

India's index value has been improving, but many others do far better.

21/03/2017 6:52 PM IST | Updated 21/03/2017 7:32 PM IST
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India ranks 131st out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's new Human Development rankings for 2015. This puts India in the "medium human development" category of countries as compared to Sri Lanka (73rd) and China (90th) which are "high human development" countries.

The HDI is a composite index measuring average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development—a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.

India is placed in the bottom of five categories of countries when it comes to gender parity, and is classified as having "low equality in HDI achievements between men and women". Women in India complete half as many years of schooling on average as men, and have less than half the share of men in the Gross National Income. It also ranks 125th of 159 countries on the Gender Inequality Index on account of the prevalence of teenage mothers, the low share of women in Parliament and the low female labour force participation rate compared to men.

On the Multi Dimensional Poverty Index (a new measure to understand poverty as a range of deprivations), over half of Indians are classified as poor; however the data used for the calculations for India dates back to 2005-06 and newer data is likely to show a far lower proportion of people being defined as MDPI poor.

"Even in a region that has made such remarkable progress, pockets of exclusion continue to prevent millions of people from fulfilling their true potential."

The report also uses data from the Gallup World Poll 2016 which asked people around the world about their perception about their own well-being and their confidence in government. Indians reported being relatively satisfied with the education quality and jobs in India, but less satisfied with their standard of living, healthcare quality and feeling of safety. Confidence in the judicial system (74%) was higher than trust in the national government (69%).

"The world has come a long way in rolling back extreme poverty, in improving access to education, health and sanitation, and in expanding possibilities for women and girls," UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in a statement at the launch of the report in Stockholm, "but those gains are a prelude to the next, possibly tougher challenge, to ensure the benefits of global progress reach everyone."

"This report uncovers a deeper story behind the statistics," said Haoliang Xu, Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. "Even in a region that has made such remarkable progress, pockets of exclusion continue to prevent millions of people from fulfilling their true potential."

Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in India, noted India's impressive progress in its Human Development Index score, which rose by nearly half between 1990 and 2015. He said: "The success of national development programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Make in India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao aimed at bridging gaps in human development will be crucial in ensuring the success of Agenda 2030. These programmes, and the long-running affirmative action measures, illustrate the government's commitment to identifying and mapping human development deficits, as well as taking action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."

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