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Opinion

India deteriorates to 131 on UN Human Development Index

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India has dropped two spots on the Human Development Index, according to the 2020 Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Program on Wednesday.

Asia’s third-largest economy ranked 131st out of 189 countries in 2019, according to the report that measures national progress not just by income or gross domestic product, but by development indicators such as education level, health outcomes. and the standard of living.

Bhutan and Namibia have overtaken India and placed 129th and 130th.

“India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645, which places the country in the medium human development category, ranking 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 percent, ”the report said.

Norway ranked first on the index, closely followed by Ireland and Switzerland.

Among a group of South Asian nations, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia and Pakistan were classified in a group of countries with medium human development.

By contrast, among emerging Asian economies, Malaysia ranked 62nd, in a category of countries with very high human development. Sri Lanka, Thailand and China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam were ranked below Malaysia, but ahead of India and ranked as high human development economies.

India’s per capita gross national income fell to $ 6,681 in 2019 from $ 6,829 in 2018 on a purchasing power parity basis, according to the report.

India ranks in the bottom third for most development indicators, including quality of health and education and an adverse sex ratio, according to the report. The country also ranked in the bottom third with a high percentage of people in vulnerable jobs.

India, however, was in the third group of countries with the lowest unemployment rate and a high representation of women in elected local governments.

The idea of ​​human development, promoted by the economists Mahbub al Haq through the UNDP Human Development Reports, and Amartya Sen, who intervened with a conceptual and theoretical framework for it, has now become an influential paradigm for development .

According to human development pioneers such as Sen, human development is about people, not the economy, and involves expanding the options people value, such as a longer, healthier life and education, along with income.

According to this approach, economic development, or growth, is just one of the things necessary for the fulfillment of some broader goals of human well-being.

The first Human Development Report of 1990 defined human development as the “process of expanding people’s choices.” In addition to income, this basket includes critical basic needs, such as livelihoods, good health, freedom, nutrition, and even dignity. In other words, a general feeling of well-being.

The philosophical basis for such an approach is that people are at the center. Human beings are not mere resources for the economy or a factor of production.

“The concept of human development is that people should have access to certain options that enhance their capabilities. India’s slide up the world rankings is worrying, underscoring the need for increased investment in social infrastructure rather than a concern for industrial development, ”said Ashish Pai, a member of the first statewide human development index of the India published by Madhya Pradesh in 1995.

Hindustan Times

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