Human Development Index: India lags behind BRICS, ranks dismal 135

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India Ranks 135 in Human Development Index
A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report on Human Development Index (HDI) released in Tokyo on Thursday revealed that none of the BRICS countries were in the high human development category and India remained at the bottom with lowest HDI value among them. As per the report, HDI remained unchanged for India in 2013 and positioned India at 135 out of 187 countries.

"India's HDI value for 2013 is 0.586 - which falls in the medium human development category - positioning the country at 135 out of 187 countries. Between 1980 to 2013, India's HDI value increased from 0.369 to 0.586," said the UNDP report.

"India is the lowest performing country among the BRICS nations in all categories of the HDI with the exception of life expectancy, which is lower in South Africa as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic," the report said.

Among the BRICS countries, Russia, Brazil and China are in the high HDI category with Russia securing the highest rank at 57, followed by Brazil at 79 and China at 91. As per the report South Africa and India rank in the middle category, securing 118th and 135th position respectively.

What is Human Development Index?

Between 1980 to 2013, India's HDI value increased from 0.369 to 0.586

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income indices which is used to rank countries into four categories of human development. The Index was created by the Pakistani economist Mahbub-ul-Haq and the Indian economist Amartya Sen in 1990 and finds its origin in the annual Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The HDI reflects long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human lives - a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. The 2013 study covered of UNDP covered 187 countries.

Present facts and figures:

Presenting a review of India's progress in each of the HDI indicators between 1980 and 2013, it said, "The life expectancy at birth increased by 11 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.5 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.3 years."

However, India's 2013 HDI of 0.586 was below the average of 0.614 for countries in the medium human development group and also lower than the average of 0.588 for countries in South Asia. "From South Asia, countries which are close to India in 2013 HDI ranking are Bangladesh and Pakistan with 142nd and 146th position respectively," the report said.

On Gender Inequality Index (GII), based on reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity, India ranked 127 out of 152 countries. "India has a GII value of 0.563, ranking it 127 out of 152 countries in the 2013 index. In India, 10.9 per cent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 26.6 per cent of adult women have reached at least some secondary education compared to 50.4 per cent of their male counterparts." Female participation in the labour market is 28.8 per cent compared to 80.9 for men, it added.

On the parameters of Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which identifies multiple deprivations in the same households in education, health and living standards, India's 55.3 per cent of population were multi-dimensionally poor while an additional 18.2 per cent were near multi-dimensional poverty, the report said.

Introducing a new index, Gender Development Index (GDI), which is ratio of female to male HDI, in 2013 female HDI value for India stood at 0.519 in contrast with 0.627 for males. The GDI was calculated for 148 countries.

India is taking steps forward, but other countries are running much faster and are better placed in the ranking index. Although India has shown significant improvement in life expectancy and educational indicators but it needs to get over with gender bias which in turn leads to gender inequality.

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