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The wide disparities in human development

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Social Justice – Human Development


Source: The Hindu

Context: India is now one of the fastest-growing economies globally. However, this growth has not resulted in a corresponding increase in its Human Development Index (HDI).


About Human Development Index:

  • The HDI is a composite statistical measure created by the United Nations Development Programme to evaluate and compare the level of human development in different regions around the world.
  • It was introduced in 1990 as an alternative to conventional economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which do not consider the broader aspects of human development.
  • The HDI assesses a country’s average accomplishment in three aspects: a long and healthy life, knowledge, and a decent standard of living.


Human Development Report 2021-22:

  • According to the Human Development Report of 2021-22, India ranks 132 out of 191 countries, behind Bangladesh (129) and Sri Lanka (73).
  • The HDI scores range from 0 to 1, with higher values indicating higher levels of human development.
  • The subnational HDI in India shows that while some states have made considerable progress, others continue to struggle. Delhi occupies the top spot and Bihar occupies the bottom spot.
  • The five states with the highest HDI scores are Delhi, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, and Chandigarh. Nineteen states are classified as high human development states, while the bottom five states are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Assam, with medium levels of human development.


Reasons for the wide disparity:

  • Economic growth has been unevenly distributed in India.
    • The top 10% of the Indian population holds over 77% of the wealth.
  • Quality of education, healthcare and basic amenities remain a concern.
  • Not prioritising human development alongside economic growth.
  • Improving access to quality social services, addressing environmental challenges.
  • India must prioritise investments in human development and job creation, particularly for its youth.


Insta Links:

Human Development Index (HDI).


Mains Link: UPSC 2019

Despite the consistent experience of High growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive.


Prelims Links

The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support covers which of the following?

  1. Deprivation of education, health, assets and services at the household level
  2. Purchasing power parity at the national level
  3. The extent of the budget deficit and GDP growth rate at the national level

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution: A