India Falls Two Places in HDI

In News

According to the latest Human Development Index Report, India fell by two places and ranked at 131.


  • The United Nations’ Human Development Index 2020 measures human development indices in 189 countries.
  • Of the 189 countries, India is ranked at 131, a drop in two places from the previous year.
  • But, if the index is adjusted to the planetary pressures that the world is facing now, India would jump by eight places, the report added.

A New Metric

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has introduced a new metric in the 2020 HDI.
  • The new metric measures the number of fossil fuels, metals, and other resources that a country uses to make goods and services that it consumes.
  • It reflects the country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint.
  • If this metric is used, Norway, which is top-ranked in HDI will fall by 15 places and puts Ireland at the top.
  • Overall, 50 countries will be affected by the new metric called the Planetary Pressures-adjusted HDI or PHDI.
  • With PHDI, these 50 countries would drop out of the “very high human development group”.
  • Australia would fall 72 places, the US and Canada would fall 45 and 40 places, which clearly shows their disproportionate impact on natural resources.
  • Also in this category are the Gulf States.
  • As per the report, China would fall by 16 ranks, which is currently ranked at 85.
  • China’s net emissions of 8 gigatonnes are 34% below its territorial emissions (12.5 gigatonnes) compared to India’s 19% and sub-Saharan Africa’s 15%.

Strain on Resources

  • A very high level of development without straining the resources hasn’t been achieved by any country so far.
  • As for now, India has a good record of achieving its carbon emissions.
  • The Human Development Index itself is an assessment of a nation’s health, education, and standards of living.
  • The 2020 report covered only the year 2019 and did not take into account the impact of COVID. 

India Metrics

  • Though India is ranked lower than the previous year, in 2019, India’s absolute value of the index has grown up to 0.645 compared to 0.642 in 2018. This shows that India’s overall performance was better.
  • In all the four indicators India’s performance improved in 2019 than in 2018.
  2019 2018
Life Expectancy 69.7 69.4
GNI Per Capita $6681 $6427
Expected Years of Schooling 12.2 and 6.5 years 12.2 and 6.5 years

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