New Delhi, December 9: India has climbed one spot from 130 to 129 among 189 countries in the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI), according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on today. In 2018, India’s human development index (HDI) value of 0.647 had put it at 130 rank.
“In India, 27.1 crore people were lifted out of poverty from 2005-06 to 2015-16, UNDP India resident representative Shoko Noda said while releasing the UNDP’s development report 2019 – ‘Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century’.
“India’s development initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (for financial inclusion) and Ayushman Bharat (for universal health care) were crucial in ensuring that we meet our promise to leave no one behind and fulfil PM’s vision of development for all”, she said.
Noda said the steady progress of India was due to nearly three decades of rapid development, which had seen a dramatic reduction in absolute poverty, along with gains in life expectancy, education, and access to health care. As per the HDI, no other region has experienced such rapid human development progress, she said.
South Asia was the fastest growing region witnessing 46% growth during 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%.
India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for countries in the medium human development group (0.634) and above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).
Elsewhere in the region, Indonesia and the Philippines both joined the ranks of countries with high human development.
South Asia also saw the greatest leap in life expectancy and years of schooling. For India, between 1990 and 2018, life expectancy at birth increased by 11.6 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.7 years. Per capita incomes rose by over 250%, according to the report.
According to the HDI report, the incidence of mult-dimensional poverty varies enormously across countries and is still high. Out of the 1.3 billion multi-dimensional poor, 661 million are in Asia and the Pacific, which shares almost half of the multi-dimensional poor living in 101 countries of the world. South Asia alone shares more than 41% of the total number of multi-dimensional poor. Despite India’s significant progress, it accounts for 28% of the 1.3 billion multi-dimensional poor.
Yet worldwide among regions, South Asia has the widest gender gap on the HDI. Singapore has the region’s lowest incidence of intimate partner violence against women. The report stated that a staggering 31% of women in South Asia have experienced intimate partner violence.
India is only marginally better than the South Asian average on the gender development index (0.829 vs 0.828), and ranks at a low 122 of 162 countries on the 2018 gender inequality index. According to the report, more Indian men and women were showing biases in gender social norms, indicating a backlash to women’s empowerment.
Among others UNDP Development Economist Swastik Das and UNDP Adviser, Gender and Social Inclusion Alka Narang highlighted the key points of the report.