India has climbed one notch to 130 out of 189 countries in the latest human development rankings released on Friday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Within South Asia, India’s human development index (HDI) value is above the average of 0.638 for the region, with Bangladesh and Pakistan, countries with similar population size, being ranked 136 and 150 respectively.
In 2016, India’s HDI value of 0.624 put it at 131 rank.
The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
Between 1990 and 2017, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by nearly 11 years, with even more significant gains in expected years of schooling. According to the report, today Indian school-age children can expect to stay in school for 4.7 years longer than in 1990.
India’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita also increased by a staggering 266.6 per cent between 1990 and 2017.
Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany led the ranking, while Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores in the HDI’s measurement of national achievements in health, education and income.
The overall trend globally is toward continued human development improvements, with many countries moving up through the human development categories: out of the 189 countries for which the HDI is calculated, 59 countries are today in the very high human development group and only 38 countries fall in the low HDI group, the report said.
Noting that despite overall progress, women continue to be deprived of healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living, UNDP country head Francine Pickup said given the current rate of progress globally, women will have to wait “more than 200 years to achieve equality in workforce”.
“For a country that has made such remarkable progress, pockets of deprivation continue to prevent millions of people from fulfilling their true potential. Women especially continue to have a lower HDI than men, primarily because of fewer opportunities in education and at work,” Pickup said in an email interview to PTI.
(With agency inputs)