UNDP’s Human Development Index

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    • Human Development Report 2021-22 was recently released.

    Human Development Index

    • Human Development Index is a composite index given by the report that measures average achievement in human development taking into account four indicators: 
      • Life expectancy at birth (Sustainable Development Goal 3); 
      • Expected years of schooling (SDG 4.3); 
      • Mean years of schooling (SDG 4.4); and 
      • Gross national income (GNI) per capita (2017 PPP$) (SDG 8.5).

    Report Highlights

    • Global scenario:
      • A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate crises has dragged down the human development score in 90 percent of the countries.
        • This reduction has reversed much of the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.
      • A large contributor to the Human Development Index’s recent decline is a global drop in life expectancy, down from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021. 

    • India’s position:
      • India’s rank on the Human Development Index has slipped from 130 in 2020 to 132 in 2021, in line with a global fall in HDI scores in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
      • India’s HDI value:
        • India’s HDI value stood at 0.633 during 2021, which was lower than the world average of 0.732. 
          • In 2020, too, India recorded a decline in its HDI value (0.642) in comparison to the pre-Covid level of 2019 (0.645).
      • Indicator-specific values:
        • 2021: 
          • India’s life expectancy at birth was recorded at 67.2 years; 
          • Expected years of schooling at 11.9 years; 
          • Mean years of schooling at 6.7 years; and 
          • Gross national income per capita (2017 PPP) at $6,590. 
        • 2022:
          • On all these four parameters, India was behind the world averages in 2021: 
          • Life expectancy at 71.4 years, 
          • Expected years of schooling at 12.8 years, 
          • Mean years of schooling at 8.6 years and 
          • Gross national income per capita (2017 PPP$) at $16,752.
      • Reasons behind India’s drop:
        • Like global trends, in India’s case, the drop in HDI from 0.645 in 2019 to 0.633 in 2021 can be attributed to falling life expectancy.

    • Parameters where India showed improvement:
      • The report highlighted some areas where India showed improvement. 
      • Inequality:
        • Compared to 2019, the impact of inequality on human development is lower. 
        • India is bridging the human development gap between men and women faster than the world. 
        • This development has come at a smaller cost to the environment.
      • Health and education:
        • The intergovernmental organisation lauded India’s investment in health and education, helping it come closer to the global human development average since 1990. 
      • Clean water, sanitation and affordable clean energy:
        • The country is improving access to clean water, sanitation and affordable clean energy.
      • Vulnerable population:
        • According to the UN recent policy decisions made by the country have increased access to social protection for the vulnerable population groups, it highlighted. 

    Human Development Index (HDI)

    • The Human Development Index (HDI) is a tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions.
      • The rank indicates the state of a nation’s health, education and average income.
    • Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq created the Human Development Index in 1990 and this was further used by UNDP in creating a report on the nation’s socio-economic achievement.
    • Limitation of Human Development Index
    • The Human Development Index notably fails to take account of qualitative factors, such as cultural identity and political freedoms (human security, gender opportunities and human rights).
    • PPP values change very quickly and are likely to be inaccurate or misleading.
    • Human Development Index also struggles with the accuracy and meaningfulness of the underlying data. 

    Sustainable Development Goals

    • The United Nations Document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
      • This agenda contains 17 goals and 169 targets. 
    • The agenda is built on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted in 2000 and were to be achieved by 2015.
    • SDGs provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.  
    • They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

    Source: TH