India slips a rank in UN Human Development Index 2021-22

Global human development stalled for 1st time in 32 years  

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 08 September 2022

India ranked 132 out of 191 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index 2021-22 released September 8, 2022. Last year, the country ranked 131. 

A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate crises has dragged down the human development score in 90 per cent of the countries, according to the report. This reversed progress towards achieving the UN-mandated sustainable development goals.

These overlapping challenges were also responsible for India’s human development value falling to 0.633 in 2021-22 from 0.645 in the 2020 report. This reduction placed the country in the medium human development category, according to the latest analysis.

The rank indicates the state of a nation’s health, education and average income. It is measured on four parameters — life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling and the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. 

“A large contributor to the Human Development Index's recent decline is a global drop in life expectancy,” according to the report by the UN Development Programme. 

In India’s case, too, life expectancy dropped to 67.2 years from 69.7 years, the findings showed. 

“India’s expected years of schooling stand at 11.9 years and the mean years of schooling are at 6.7 years. The GNI per capita level is $6,590 (Rs 5.25 lakh),” the report noted. 

Globally, life expectancy dipped to 71.4 years in 2021 from 72.8 years in 2019, it added. 

“The global HDI has declined two years in a row — 2020 and 2021, reversing five years of progress,” UN said.

The report highlighted some areas where India showed improvement. “Compared to 2019, the impact of inequality on human development is lower. India is bridging the human development gap between men and women faster than the world. This development has come at a smaller cost to the environment.”

The intergovernmental organisation lauded India’s investment in health and education, helping it come closer to the global human development average since 1990. 

“The country is improving access to clean water, sanitation and affordable clean energy,” according to UN. Recent policy decisions made by the country has increased access to social protection for the vulnerable population groups, it highlighted. 

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