India rises one rank to 129 in human development index

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 09, 2019

Schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, PMJDY crucial for development, says UNDP official

India inched up one spot to rank 129th out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday. Inequality and deprivation continue to be high in the country.

“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. How we tackle old and new inequalities, ranging from access to basic services such as housing to things like access to quality university education, will be critical to whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Shoko Noda, UNDP India Resident Representative in an official release.

India’s HDI for 2018 improved to 0.647 compared to 0.640 the year before. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.477, a loss of 26.3 per cent due to inequity in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices, the UNDP report stated.



This is higher than the average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries, at 25.9 per cent, and for South Asia, at 25.9 per cent.

“...India’s development initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (for financial inclusion) and Ayushman Bharat (for universal health-care) 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,” Noda added.

Gender bias

The report also notes that more Indian men and women were showing biases in gender social norms, indicating a backlash to women’s empowerment.

India has a GII value of 0.501, ranking it 122 out of 162 countries in the 2018 index. “In India, 11.7 per cent of Parliamentary seats are held by women (compared to 17.1 per cent in South Asia). And 39 per cent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education (39.9 per cent in South Asia) compared to 63.5 per cent of their male counterparts,” the report said.

Marking significant progress in poverty alleviation, India managed to lift 27.1 crore people out of poverty from 2005-06 to 2015-16, Noda said. Nevertheless, it still accounts for 28 per cent of the 1.3 billion multi-dimensional poor in the world.


Published on December 09, 2019

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