Skip to main content

India's Human Development Index loss due to inequality higher than most South Asian, BRICS countries

By Rajiv Shah
Fresh data released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), released this month, show that while India ranks 130 out of 189 countries in human development index (HDI), with HDI value of 0.640 on a scale of 1, this is “below the average of 0.645 for countries in the medium human development group”, even though it is “above the average of 0.638 for countries in South Asia.”
The briefing note on India for the UNDP’s “2018 Statistical Update” says, however, that when one adjusts inequality, things below South Asian average. Thus, while India’s overall HDI for 2017 is 0.640, “when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI (which is called Inequality-adjusted HDI or IHDI) falls to 0.468, a loss of 26.8 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices.”
The note underlines, as against India’s 26.8 percent loss, the “average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries is 25.1 percent and for South Asia it is 26.1 percent.”
According to the briefing note, HDI is counted as “a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.”
A long and healthy life is “measured by life expectancy”, the note says, adding, “knowledge level is measured by mean years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older…”
As for standard of living, it is “measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2011 international dollars converted using purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion rates.”
IHDI, which takes into account inequality in all three dimensions of the HDI by ‘discounting’ each dimension’s average value according to its level of inequality.
 
Says the note, “The IHDI is basically the HDI discounted for inequalities. The ‘loss’ in human development due to inequality is given by the difference between the HDI and the IHDI, and is “expressed as a percentage. As the inequality in a country increases, the loss in human development also increases.”
Thus, India’s HDI value for 2017, 0.640, UNDP data show, is, no doubt, better than other neighbouring countries, with the sole exception of Sri Lanka. Thus, ranking 76, Sri Lanka’s HDI value is 0.770; of Bangladesh, which ranks 136, it is 0.608; of Myanmar, which ranks 148, it is 0.578, of Nepal, which ranks 149, it is 0.574; and of Pakistan, which ranks 150, worst in South Asia, it is 0.562.
However, when it comes to inequality-adjusted HDI or IHDI, India’s loss (26.8 percent) is the next only to Pakistan. The lowest loss is that of Sri Lanka, 13.8 percent, followed by Myanmar 19.4 percent, Bangladesh 24.1 percent, Nepal 25.6 percent, and Pakistan, the highest, 31 percent. The result is that, the IHDI of at least two countries reaches very near to that of India (0.468) – Bangladesh 0.462 and Myanmar 0.466 -- while Sri Lanka’s IHDI remains very high, 0.644.
Coming to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, with whom India’s economy is generally compared, the HDI ranking is very higher than that of India. Thus, South Africa’s ranking is 113, of Brazil 79, of China 86, and of Russia 49. And if one calculates by taking into account inequality, the loss in IHDI is the highest in South Africa 33.2 percent, followed by India 26.8 percent, Brazil 23.9 percent, China 14.5 percent, and Russia just 9.5 percent.

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Evolution of Sardar Patel's understanding of those 'involved' in Gandhi's assassination

By Shamsul Islam*  As the world mourns the 73rd anniversary of MK Gandhi's assassination by Hindutva terrorists on January 30, 1948, RSS, the most prominent flag-bearer of Hindutva politics, whose cadres rule India today, is found reacting angrily to the reality – that the criminals who assassinated Gandhiji were not only part of the ideological world-view of Hindu Mahasabha (led by VD Savarkar) and RSS brand of Hindu nationalism but were also connected with these. 

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.