India ranks 131 on Human Development Index

India has been ranked 131st among 188 countries in the UN Development Programme (UNDP)’s 2016 ‘Human Development for Everyone’ report released on Tuesday. It is third among South Asian countries (behind Sri Lanka and Maldives) and comes under the medium human development category. India’s Human Development Index (HDI) — based on life expectancy, access to knowledge and standard of living — value has increased by 46 per cent (from 0.428 to 0.624) between 1990 and 2015. Its gross national income per capita increased by about 223.4 per cent during the same time.The improvement in India’s HDI value is second among BRICS countries with China recording the highest improvement of 48 per cent. India’s annual average HDI growth (1990-2015) is higher than that of other countries in its category. UNDP Resident Representative (India) Yuri Afanasiev called the progress in India’s HDI score impressive. “The success of national development programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Make in India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao aimed at bridging gaps in human development will be crucial in ensuring the success of Agenda 2030,’’.“These programmes and the long-running affirmative action measures, illustrate the government’s commitment to identifying and mapping human development deficits, as well as taking action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.” The report noted that untargeted subsidies take away a lot of government resources that could otherwise have been spent on people, who need them the most. “In 2014, the richest 20 per cent of India’s population enjoyed subsidies of $16 billion, thanks to six commodities and services — cooking gas, railways, power, aviation fuel, gold and kerosene…” the report said. There have been modest gains in infant and under-five mortality rates, the report said.

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