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

Country moves up a rank compared to 2021 but still falls behind that of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China

March 15, 2024 12:27 am | Updated 07:43 am IST

 India, Bhutan and Bangladesh are all in the Medium Human Development category. Representational file image.

 India, Bhutan and Bangladesh are all in the Medium Human Development category. Representational file image. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

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.

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.

India’s southern neighbour Sri Lanka has been ranked much ahead at 78, while China is ranked 75, both categorised under the High Human Development category. India also ranks below Bhutan that stands at 125 and Bangladesh, which is in the 129th position. India, Bhutan and Bangladesh are all in the Medium Human Development category. Switzerland has been ranked number one.

Nepal (146) and Pakistan (164) have been ranked lower than India.

India’s life expectancy at birth has slightly improved from 67.2 years in 2021 to 67.7 years in 2022.

There is an overall increase (5.88%) in expected years of schooling (EYS) from 11.9 years to 12.6 years, leading to an improvement of 18 places when the EYS aspect was considered.

The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita also improved from $6,542 to $6,951

“The widening human development gap revealed by the report shows that the two-decade trend of steadily reducing inequalities between wealthy and poor nations is now in reverse. Despite our deeply interconnected global societies, we are falling short. We must leverage our interdependence as well as our capacities to address our shared and existential challenges and ensure people’s aspirations are met,” said Achim Steiner, head of the UN Development Programme.

“This gridlock carries a significant human toll. The failure of collective action to advance action on climate change, digitalisation or poverty and inequality not only hinders human development but also worsens polarisation and further erodes trust in people and institutions worldwide,” he said.

Nine in 10 people worldwide endorse democracy, but over half of the respondents expressed support for leaders who may undermine it, for instance, by bypassing fundamental rules of the democratic process.

Also, half of the people surveyed reported having no or limited control over their lives, and over two-thirds believed that they have little influence on their government’s decisions. Political polarisation in countries is also responsible for protectionist or inward-turning policy approaches.

“In a world marked by increasing polarisation and division, neglecting to invest in each other poses a serious threat to our wellbeing and security. Protectionist approaches cannot address the complex, interconnected challenges we face, including pandemic prevention, climate change, and digital regulation,” Mr. Steiner said.

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