New Delhi, December 16 (G’nY News Service): The 2015 Human Development Report of the UNDP has placed India in the medium human development category with a HDI (Human Development Index) value at 0.609, ranking it 130 out of 188 countries and territories. This is 5 notches higher than the previous year.
Barring Sri Lanka, which is ranked 73, and placed in the high human development category, most of India’s neighbours figure low in their HDI.
In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India ranked 130 out of 155 countries with a GII value of 0.563, with women holding around 12 per cent of the parliamentary seats, and just 27 per cent reaching secondary level of education as against 59 per cent men. Consequently, female participation in the labour market stood at just 27 per cent as against 79.9 per cent by men. Maternal mortality remained high and maternal health continued to be a concern, with 190 deaths per 1,00,000 live births, and 32.8 adolescent births per 1000 women. Not surprisingly, the female HDI value for India is 0.525 in contrast with 0.660 for males, resulting in a Gender Development Index (GDI )value of 0.795.
Multidimensional poverty levels (MPL), according to the report, remain dismal in India. Measured on the basis of deprivation in education, health and living standards, 55.3 per cent of the population was found to be multi-dimensionally poor, while another 18.2 per cent were found to be near-multidimensional in poverty, that is, faced a deprivation of more than 20 per cent but less than 33 per cent. The breadth or intensity of deprivation suffered by the total population ranged around 51.1 per cent. The MPI, thus, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, stood at 0.282. Although India’s per capita Gross National Income (GNI) increased to 5497 dollars in 2014 from 5180 dollars in 2013, and life expectancy at birth has increased from 67 years to 68 years, mean years of schooling stagnated at 5.4 years in the population.
Focussing on employment and work, the report found that of the 54 per cent of people comprising the labour force, 80 per cent were engaged in vulnerable employment. Significantly, 55.5 per cent comprised the working poor, and youth unemployment stood at over 10 per cent.
Thus, although India’s per capita GNI increased by about 338 per cent between 1980 and 2014, there was a mere 3.5 years increase in the mean years of schooling , and 14.1 years in life expectancy during the period, translating to an average annual increase in HDI of 1.54 per cent per year.