Human Development Index

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India has moved up a rank on the global Human Development Index (HDI), according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report ‘Breaking the gridlock: Reimagining cooperation in a polarised world’ released on March 13.

About Human Development Index

  • It is a summary composite measure of a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: health, knowledge and standard of living.
  • It is a measure of a country's average achievements in three dimensions of human development:
    • a long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth;
    • knowledge, as measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and
    • a decent standard of living, as measured by GNI per capita in PPP terms in US$.
  • The HDI sets a minimum and a maximum for each dimension, called "goalposts", then shows where each country stands in relation to these goalposts.
  • This is expressed as a value between 0 and 1. The higher a country's human development, the higher its HDI value.
  • The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.
  • The HDI also embodies Amartya Sen’s “capabilities” approach to understand human well-being, which emphasizes the importance of ends (like a decent standard of living) over means (like income per capita).
  • Since 1990, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been publishing the Human Development Report every year.

Highlights of the recent report

  • The report stated that while India ranked 135 in 2021, it had moved up to 134 in 2022.
  • A total of 193 countries were ranked in 2022 and 191 countries in 2021.
  • In 2022, India saw improvements across all HDI indicators – life expectancy, education and Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.
  • Life expectancy rose from 67.2 to 67.7 years, expected years of schooling reached 12.6, mean years of schooling increased to 6.57 and GNI per capita saw an increase from $6,542 to $6,951.
  • While the country has moved up in 2022, it is still behind its South Asian neighbours, such as Bangladesh (129th), Bhutan (125th), Sri Lanka (78th) and China (75th).

Q1) What is United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)?

The UNDP is a United Nations agency tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development. UNDP was established in 1966 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Source: India ranks 134th in global human development index, says UNDP report