IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Human Development Index (HDI)

9th September, 2022 Social Issues

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In News

  • India ranked 132 out of 191 countries in the recently released Human Development Index (HDI) 2021 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    • India’s rank declined from 130 in 2020 to 132 in 2021.
  • The performance of nearly 90% of the countries has declined in human development due to multiple crises such as COVID-19, the Ukraine war, violent conflicts, Climate changes, environmental challenges, etc.
  • India with an HDI score of 0.633 is in the medium Human Development category.
    • Decline in HDI from 0.645 in 2018 to 0.633 in 2021.
    • Falling life expectancy at birth from 70.7 years in 2018 to 67.2 years in 2021.
  • Gender inequality increased by 6.7% globally.
    • In the latest report, India has shown a slight improvement in its Gender Inequality Index value as compared to the 2020 index.
  • The report raised concern over the increasing polarisation which is deteriorating democratic freedom and human rights in many parts of the world.

Human Development Index

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its first Human Development Report (HDR) in 1990.
    • The report had a human development index (HDI) which was the first attempt to define and measure the level of development of economies.
  • The ‘index’ was a product of a select team of leading scholars, development practitioners and members of the Human Development Report Office of the UNDP.
    • The first such team which developed the HDI was led by Mahbub ul Haq and Inge Kaul.
  • The HDR measures development by combining three indicators;
    • Health: Measured by the life expectancy at birth.
    • Education: Measured by the mean of years of schooling.
    • Standard of Living: Measured by GNI (Gross National Income/Product) per capita at ‘Purchasing Power Parity in US Dollars (PPP $) instead of GDP per capita (PPP $) of the past.
  • The scores for the three HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index using the geometric mean. The HDI facilitates instructive comparisons of the experiences within and between different countries.
  • The HDI sets a minimum and a maximum for each dimension, called goalposts, and then shows where each country stands to these goalposts, expressed as a value between 0 and 1 (the index is prepared on the scale of one).
  • The UNDP ranked the economies by their achievements on the above-given three parameters on a scale of one (0.000–1.000). As per their achievements, the countries were broadly classified into three categories with a range of points on the index:
    • High Human Development Countries: 0.800–1.000 points on the index.
    • Medium Human Development Countries: 0.500–0.799 points on the index.
    • Low Human Development Countries: 0.000–0.499 points on the index.