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‘Remarkable progress’: UN hails India’s progress in HDI



United Nations

hailed India’s progress in the

Human Development Index

, highlighting significant strides made in different parameters marking overall development. Highlighting the progress, Caitlin Wiesen, the

United Nations Development Programme

‘s country representative said, “India has shown remarkable progress in human development over the years.

Since 1990, life expectancy at birth has risen by 9.1 years; expected years of schooling have increased by 4.6 years; and mean years of schooling have grown by 3.8 years.

India’s GNI

per capita has grown by approximately 287 per cent,”
India’s standing in the Human Development Index (


) for 2022 has seen a slight improvement, with the country now ranked at 134 out of 193 countries compared to its previous ranking of 135 out of 191 nations in 2021.
There has been an uptick in India’s HDI value, rising to 0.644 in 2022 from 0.633 in 2021, as per the 2023-24 Human Development Report (HDR), released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Human Development Report, titled “Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a Polarized World,” highlighted a decline in the global HDI value for two consecutive years, indicating a concerning trend. While wealthier nations have seen significant human development progress, about half of the poorest countries have failed to regain their pre-crisis development levels.

The latest HDR categorizes India under the medium human development bracket, showcasing a significant rise in its HDI value over the years. Between 1990 and 2022, India witnessed a remarkable 48.4% increase in its HDI value, indicating considerable development progress.
India’s improvements across all HDI indicators, including life expectancy, education and gross national income (GNI) per capita, have contributed to its position. Life expectancy rose marginally to 67.7 years, expected years of schooling reached 12.6, mean years of schooling increased to 6.57, and GNI per capita saw a modest rise from USD 6,542 to USD 6,951.

India’s position on the Gender Inequality Index (GII) for 2022 also saw an improvement, with the country securing the 108th spot out of 193 countries, as opposed to its previous rank of 122 out of 191 countries in 2021, marking a jump of 14 ranks.
India, however, continues to grapple with one of the largest gender disparities in its labor force participation rate, with a substantial 47.8% difference between women and men.
India has reduced gender inequality, with its GII value of 0.437 outperforming global and South Asian averages. Since 1990, there has been a notable increase in life expectancy at birth by 9.1 years, expected years of schooling by 4.6 years, and mean years of schooling by 3.8 years. India’s GNI per capita has also experienced growth, increasing by approximately 287%.
In terms of gender inequality, India ranks 108 out of 166 countries in the GII-2022. The GII measures gender disparities in reproductive health, empowerment, and the labor market. According to the report, India’s performance in reproductive health surpasses that of other countries in the medium human development group or South Asia, with its adolescent birth rate witnessing a positive decline.
India’s loss in HDI due to inequality stands at 31.1%, with South Asia experiencing one of the highest losses globally. Speaking on the rising inequality, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said, “The widening human development gap revealed by the report shows that the two-decade trend of steadily reducing inequalities between wealthy and poor nations is now in reverse. Despite our deeply interconnected global societies, we are falling short. We must leverage our interdependence as well as our capacities to address our shared and existential challenges and ensure people’s aspirations are met.”
The UNDP report warned of rising global inequalities, with the gap between affluent and impoverished nations widening since 2020. This inequality has been exacerbated by significant economic concentration, as evidenced by nearly 40% of global trade in goods being monopolized by three or fewer countries.

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