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Human development index progress slow for India -UNDP

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-ranks-135-in-human-development-index-UNDP/articleshow/38959685.cms

Improvement in human development measures has slowed down in the past few years, according to the 2014 Human Development Report (HDR) released on 24 July in Tokyo. The human development index (HDI), a measure derived from life expectancy, education levels and incomes, barely grew from 0.700 in 2012 to 0.702 in 2013.

Even that small improvement could be at risk of getting reversed given the bleak picture of the vulnerabilities facing people across the world. About 1.5 billion people are afflicted with 'multi-dimensional poverty', that is, they suffer from overlapping deprivations in education, health and living standards. A further 800 million are at the brink of falling back into
 poverty. Nearly 80% of the global population lacks comprehensive social protection. About half of all workers — more than 1.5 billion — work in "informal or precarious" employment.

This slowdown in human development is a result of the lingering global economic crisis that has caused a dip in income growth in Europe, Arab countries, and Central Asia, the report says. The expected number of years of schooling too is not growing adequately, with 43% primary students dropping out before completing primary education worldwide. Life expectancy growth has slowed down in Asia, although there is improvement in child mortality rates in Africa.

The HDR covers 187 countries across the world and is published annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In the current report, the top five countries ranked in terms of the HDI are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands and the US. The bottom five in this ranking are Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Leone.

India is ranked at 135, among the 'medium development' countries like Egypt, South Africa, Mongolia, Philippines and Indonesia. Among India's neighbours, Bhutan and Bangladesh too figure in this category. Pakistan (ranked 146) and Nepal (145) are in the 'low development' category, while Sri Lanka (73) is in the 'high development' category.

The HDR notes that over 200 million people are affected by natural disasters and 45 million, the largest number in 18 years, were displaced by conflicts at the end of 2012. These factors also contributed to denting the improvement in human development.






HDR 2014 introduces a gender development index (GDI) for the first time, which measures gender development gaps among 148 countries. While the overall gender gap is an 8% deficit for women, the income gap is shockingly high — per capita income for men is more than double that for women.

Tracking inequality in incomes, health and education, the report says that inequality has declined in health access, remained constant in education but increased by two percentage points with respect to income.

The report urges a three-fold policy path to get the world out of the morass it is stuck in: universal provision of social services, stronger social protection and a return to full employment policies. All these would require a strong and active role of the state.

Citing recent estimates of giving universal basic old age and disability pension, basic childcare benefits universal healthcare, social assistance and 100-day employment guarantee, the report says India would need to spend just about 4% of its
 GDP to provide all this.




http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-ranks-135-in-human-development-index-UNDP/articleshow/38959685.cms
Human development index progress slow for India -UNDP Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 5:04:00 PM Rating: 5

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