Human Development Report 2020: Out of 189 countries, India has ranked 131 on the Human Development Index 2020 prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). With an HDI value of 0.645, the country fell in the medium human development category. The UNDP has revised and updated the underlying data and adjusted the goalpost, making it difficult to accurately compare India’s ranking this year and in 2019. However, the UNDP in its country report gave some statistics tracing India’s journey in human development between 1990 and 2019.
India’s Human Development Index: Trend over the years
The report stated that since 1990, the HDI value of India has increased to 0.645 from 0.429, registering an increase of over 50%. During the same period, the life expectancy at birth in India rose by nearly 12 years, while mean years of schooling witnessed an increase of 3.5 years. During this while, the expected years of schooling also rose by 4.5 years. Moreover, during this period, GNI per capita of India also increased, registering a rise of nearly 274%.
India’s HDI trends compared to other countries
The UNDP compared India’s value in the HDI with other countries in South Asia, viz, Bangladesh and Pakistan. As against India’s rank at 131, Bangladesh ranked at the 133rd position, while Pakistan stood at 154th place. In the South Asian region, India’s HDI is more than the region’s average which stands at .641, while India is also above the average value of 0.631 among the medium HDI category countries.
However, if adjusted for inequality in the distribution of human development across all the people of India, which HDI recognises as a shortcoming of the actual HDI value. Therefore, the HDI report also gives an Inequality-adjusted HDI or the IHDI. After this adjustment, the HDI value for India fell by 26.4%, causing the value to reach 0.475. This adjustment also caused Bangladesh’s value to fall by 24.4%, surpassing India’s IHDI value and standing at 0.478. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s IHDI value fell to 0.384, decreasing by 31.1%. While the IHDI value for India was at par with the average IHDI value of the South Asian region, the medium HDI countries’ IHDI value stood at 0.465.
Human Development Report 2020: India and gender development
The UNDP also calculates as a part of its Human Development Report, the Gender Development Index or the GDI. As per the HDR 2020, the GDI value of India is 0.820, with the GDI value for females standing at 0.573 and that for males at 0.699, showcasing a wide contrast. In this measure, India is behind Bangladesh, with a GDI value of 0.904, while it stayed ahead of Pakistan (0.745). The average GDI for the South Asian region stood at 0.824, while that for medium HDI countries was 0.835, with India’s value being lower than both.
In terms of health measured by life expectancy at birth, females in India had a value of 71.0 years, while that for males was 68.5 years. For education, the index takes into account expected years of schooling for children, and mean years of schooling for adults. The expected years of schooling for males in India was valued at 11.7 years, while that for females was 12.6 years. On the other hand, mean years of schooling for males was 8.7 years and for females was 5.4 years. To calculate the economic resources, the report takes into consideration the estimated GNI per capita for males and females. For females, this value was $2,331, while for males, it was at $10,702.
The report also calculates Gender Inequality Index (GII) to highlight gender-based inequalities in the countries, taken on three measures – economic activity, reproductive health and empowerment. The GII value of the country was 0.488, which made it rank at the 123rd place out of the 162 nations. Economic activity is measured by the labour market participation, which stood for Indian males at 76.1% and for females at 20.5%. The index measures reproductive health using maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rate, which were at 133 deaths per 1 lakh live births and 13.2 births per 1,000 women respectively.
For empowerment, the index measures the percentage of female seats in the Parliament, which is at 13.5% in India, and the percentage of males and females with at least some secondary education. For females, this was at 27.7% and for males, it was 47%, in India.