India slips two spots to rank 131 in global Human Development Index
India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, Kenya, and Pakistan were ranked under countries with medium human development with a rank in between 120 and 156 among the 189-counties
India ranked 131 among 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2019, slipping two places from the previous year, according to the Human Development Report (HDR) 2020 released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Wednesday.
Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland and Switzerland. Hong Kong and Iceland complete the top five.
HDI measures average achievement on three basic aspects of human development, life expectancy, education, and per capita income. India’s gross national income (GNI) per capita on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), too, fell from $6,829 in 2018 to $6,681 in 2019, it said.
Singapore was ranked 11, Saudi Arabia 40, and Malaysia was at 62 in the global index, representing the top bracket among the Asian countries with “very high human development". Sri Lanka (72), Thailand (79), China (85) and Indonesia and Philippines (both 107), and Vietnam (117), among others, were “high human development" countries. India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, Kenya and Pakistan were ranked among countries with “medium human development" with ranks between 120 and 156.
In the BRICS grouping, Russia was 52 in the human development index, Brazil 84, and China 85.
“India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645, which put the country in the medium human development category, positioning it at 131 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value increased from 0.429 to 0.645, an increase of 50.3%," the report said. “HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living," it said.
“Between 1990 and 2019, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 11.8 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and expected years of schooling increased by 4.5 years. India’s GNI per capita increased by about 273.9% between 1990 and 2019," it said.
Life expectancy for Indian’s at birth was 69.7 years in 2019, slightly lower than the south Asian average of 69.9 years, but slightly higher than the average of medium human development index groupings in the world at 69.3 years, the report said. Bangladesh has life expectancy of 72.6 years and Pakistan 67.3 years.
In terms of GNI per capita, India at $6,681 fared better than some others in 2019, despite a fall over the previous year. In South Asia, the average was $6,532 and among medium HDI countries it was $6,153. The expected years of schooling in India was 12.2 years, compared with 11.2 years in Bangladesh and 8.3 years in Pakistan.
“The most recent survey data publicly available for India’s MPI (Multidimensional Poverty Index) estimation refer to 2015-2016. In India, 27.9% of the population (377,492 thousand people) are multi-dimensionally poor, while an additional 19.3% are classified under vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (260,596 thousand people)," UNDP said.
On malnutrition, it said in “Australia indigenous mothers have a higher risk of giving birth to babies of low birth weight, and poor nutrition is higher among indigenous children". “The same happens in Asia, where indigenous children in Cambodia, India, and Thailand show more malnutrition-related issues such as stunting and wasting," it said.
However, it was upbeat about India’s green energy initiatives. “Solar capacity in India increased from 2.6 gigawatts in March 2014 to 30 gigawatts in July 2019, achieving its target of 20 gigawatts four years ahead of schedule. In 2019, India ranked fifth for installed solar capacity," it said.