Economic Survey For IAS | Volume 2 | Chapter 9 |Part 3 | Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development



Country A has per capita GDP of 20k$ but only 10% of it’s population is graduate, 50% of it’s women are anemic, children are malnourished. Country B has per capita GDP of only 8k$ but 100% of it’s population is literate, 50% gradate, prevalence of anemia and malnutrition is closed to zero. Which country would you considered more developed?

As per capita GDP was always considered as very narrow measure of human development as it did not include important aspects of development such as health, education etc., there was a search for a broad measure of human development.

In this context Indian Economist Amartya Sen and Paki Economist Mahbub ul Haq came up with the concept of human development index. Since 1990 it’s published annually by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) <where is it’s Headquarters? hint HQ of most UN bodies is in one particular location except one.>

Human Development Report 2015

Theme – Work for human development <what was the theme of 2014 report?>

1. Human Development Index

Three dimension, four indicators (in bracket India’s data)

  1. Health – Life Expectancy at Birth (68 yrs)
  2. Education – Mean years of schooling (5.4) and Expected Years of Schooling (11.7)
  3. Standard of Living – per capita GNI at PPP (5497$) <difference b/w GNI and GDP?, PPP v/s market exchange rate?>

UNDP uses geometric mean to arrive at HDI. Formula is not important <wiki for curious souls, it’s very simple>

  • India – rank 130/188, HDI value – 0.609 <in 2014 india was at 135 with HDI of .586>
  • Top Three Countries: Norway > Australia > Switzerland
  • Neighbors: Sri Lanka (73) >China (90) > India > Bhutan >Bangladesh >Nepal >Pakistan > Afghanistan
  • BRICS : Russia (50) >Brazil (75) >China (90) >South Africa (116) 
  • India has lowest schooling rates in BRICS
  • Even B’desh has higher Life expectancy than India

2. Inequality adjusted HDI –

  • calculated by discounting each dimension’s <health, education, standard of living> average value according to its level of inequality
  • India’s inequality adjusted HDI is 0.435 i.e India loses >25% of it’s HDI value due to inequality with maximum inequality in education.
  • Top 3 – Norways, Netherlands, Switzerland

3. Gender Development Index (GDI)

  • GDI = Female HDI/ Male HDI <.660/.525 = .795>
  • Except for Pakistan and Afghanistan, India’s GDI as well as female HDI values are lower than all other SAARC nations plus China
  • Mean Years of schooling for women (3.6 yrs) is half of mean years of schooling for men (7.2 years)
  • While male GNI per capita in India is double that of B’desh, female GNI per capita is in fact lower than that of B’desh
  • Needlessly to say it indicates extent of educational and skill deprivation of girl children in India’s cultural context

4. Gender Inequality Index


Three dimensions, 5 indicators

  1. Reproductive health – MMR and Adolescent Birth Rate
  2. Empowerment – % of women in parliament (12.2%), % of women with some secondary education (27% compared to 56% in men)
  3. Labour market – labour force participation (27% compared to 80% in men)
  • India’s GII of .563 is even higher than Pakistan <in SAARC only Afghanistan behind us>
  • Slovenia is number 1

5. Multidimensional Poverty Index


Three dimensions 10 indicators

  1. Health – child mortality and nutrition
  2. Education – Years of schooling, school attendance
  3. Standard of Living – cooking fuel, toilet, water, electricity, floor, assets

Calculation is not important but each dimension has equal 1/ 3 weight and each parameter within dimension has equal weight

MPI – H *A

H: Percentage of people who are MPI poor (incidence of poverty)
A: Average intensity of MPI poverty across the poor (%)

  • A person is considered poor if they are deprived in at least a third of the weighted indicators
  • The intensity of poverty denotes the proportion of indicators in which they are deprived

For India survey data is of 2005-06, according to which >50% of population suffering from multidimensional poverty and >25% from severe i.e deprivation in >50% of indicators

Note – Mention this index in any question of poverty where India poverty line is discussed

While we are at it, let’s also look at some other similar indexes

1. Global hunger Index

  • Developed by – International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide an Irish NGO is copublisher
  • 2015 theme – Armed Conflict and Chronic Hunger

Four Indicators

  1. undernourished population
  2. Wasting in Under 5 children <wasting is very low weight for height i.e very thin child>
  3. Stunting in under 5 children <stunting is very low height for age i.e. very short child>
  4. Under 5 mortality rate

It’s a 100 point scale with zero meaning zero hunger, 100 meaning worst form of absolute hunger

  • India – 80/104 <only Afghanistan and Pakistan worse in SAARC>
  • improved its global hunger index score to 29 in 2015 from 38.5 in 2005
  • 15% of India’s population still don’t get enough calories each day <and it’s only 1800 kcal>
  • 39% children stunted compared to 48% in 2005
  • 15% wasted compared to 20% in 2005

2. Corruption Perception Index

  • by – Berlin based Transparency International
  • India – 76/168
  • Denmark 1st

3. Global Happiness Index

by – Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations

Six Parameters

  1. GDP per capita
  2. Healthy years of life expectancy
  3. Social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble)
  4. Trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business)
  5. Perceived freedom to make life decisions
  6. Generosity (as measured by recent donations)
  • Differences in social support, incomes and healthy life expectancy are the three most important factors
  • India – 118/156 <below even Pakistan, Somalia>
  • Denmark 1st

Income Inequality

As we saw India loses more than a quarter of it’s HDI due to inequality and income inequality plays a part in that. One of the most common method to measure income inequality is Gini Coeffiient

Gini Coefficient

It takes value from 0 to 1 with zero denoting perfect equality (everyone having equal income) and 1 denoting perfect inequality (1 person cornering all the income)

It’s based on income distribution of a population (Lorenz Curve) which plots the proportion of the total income of the population (y axis) that is cumulatively earned by the bottom x% of the population


India’s Gini Coefficient-

  • In India, National Sample Survey (NSSO) does not collect data on income but it is based on consumption expenditure <inequality in distribution of income will be more than inequality in distribution of consumption expenditure>
  • India’s gini coefficient is about .34 <gini coefficient >.4 is considered highly unequal. China, USA both >.4>

Gender Issues



We have already discussed a lot about gender inequality in various indexes as well as low female labour force participation rate in last chapter.

A few more points before concluding the chapter-

  • Gender discrimination in India, which is embedded in the social fabric, continues in most spheres such as access to education, to social and economic opportunities.
  • The reliance on a legal system to offer gender equality and justice, has not built in a time dimension in the dispensation of justice <tareekh pe tareekh>
  • Gender discrimination starts from the womb with sex determination tests and abortion of the female foetuses, discrimination in terms of nutrition offered to the girl child, the length and type of schooling the girl child avails of vis-à-vis her male siblings, inadequate or lack of access to higher education, discrimination in opportunities of employment and wages paid and unequal share in inheritance.
  • We have relied on the legal route to address each of these discriminations, without matching changes in the social fabric or role model set by leaders in society from all spheres.
  • The legal route suffers from several shortcomings, especially in terms of time taken for dispensation of justice
  • There is a law for everything but compliance requires a lot more to be done

Let’s look at the conviction rate for crimes against women

  • Out of 38,901 ‘Dowry death’ cases registered
  • only 13.6 per cent of cases have been tried
  • out of which only 4.4 per cent cases have resulted in convictions.

Deterent effect of conviction under a law is nullified by the slow disposal of cases and low conviction rates in crimes against women

What is the govt doing?

  • Bank account for women
  • Gender Budgeting –  Magnitude of it increased from 2.79% to 4.46% of total budgets in the Gender Budget Statement during the period 2005-06 to 2015-16 <what is gender budget? what is zero based budgeting?>
  • UJJAWALA : A Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of trafficking and Resue, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation <there is another Ujawal for LPG distribution, UJALA for LED bulbs>
  • One stop crisis centre and Sakhi

Scheme for minorities

  • Nai Roshni – The Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women
  • Nai Manzil: A bridge course to bridge the academic and skill development gaps of the deeni Madrasa passouts with their mainstream counterparts
  • Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn) – Skill Development of Minorities
  • Padho Pardesh – Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for the Students Belonging to the Minority Communities.
  • Hamari Dharohar – A scheme to Preserve Rich Heritage of Minority Communities of India under the Overall Concept of Indian Culture
  • USTAAD:– The Scheme aims at upgrading Skills and Training in preservation of traditional   Ancestral Arts/Crafts of minorities
  • Minority Cyber Gram -MCG programme seeks to introduce digital literacy skills in identified minority clusters in India through designated Digital Fellows towards knowledge empowerment and entitlement gains of minority focused groups and beneficiaries

For all Govt schemes and programmes, follow this collection

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By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

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