Human Development Report by UNDP

Human Development Report (HDR) 2019

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Human Development Index (HDI)

Mains level : India's performance in HDR and various pulling factors


The Human Development Report (HDR) for 2019 has been released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Global scene

  • Norway, Switzerland, Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order.
  • Germany is placed fourth along with Hong Kong, and Australia secured the fifth rank on the global ranking.
  • Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (71) and China (85) are higher up the rank scale while Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list.

India’s performance

  • India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 HDI — up one slot from the 130th position last year.
  • India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).
  • However, for inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI), India’s position drops by one position to 130, losing nearly half the progress (.647 to .477) made in the past 30 years. The IHDI indicates percentage loss in HDI due to inequalities.

46% growth in S.Asia

  • As per the report, South Asia was the fastest growing region in human development progress witnessing a 46% growth over 1990-2018.
  • It is followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%.

Gender inequality

  • The report notes that group-based inequalities persist, especially affecting women and girls and no place in the world has gender equality.
  • In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India is at 122 out of 162 countries. Neighbours China (39), Sri Lanka (86), Bhutan (99), Myanmar (106) were placed above India.
  • The report notes that the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030 as per the UN’s SDGs.
  • It forecasts that it may take 202 years to close the gender gap in economic opportunity — one of the three indicators of the GII.

New inequalities on rise

  • The report presents a new index indicating how prejudices and social beliefs obstruct gender equality, which shows that only 14% of women and 10% of men worldwide have no gender bias.
  • The report notes that this indicates a backlash to women’s empowerment as these biases have shown a growth especially in areas where more power is involved, including in India.
  • The report also highlights that new forms of inequalities will manifest in future through climate change and technological transformation which have the potential to deepen existing social and economic fault lines.

Back2Basics

Human Development Index (HDI)

  • It is a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions. The social and economic dimensions of a country are based on the health of people, their level of education attainment and their standard of living.
  • Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq created HDI in 1990 which was further used to measure the country’s development by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
  • Calculation of the index combines four major indicators: life expectancy for health, expected years of schooling, mean of years of schooling for education and GNI per capita for standard of living.
  • Every year UNDP ranks countries based on the HDI report released in their annual report.
  • HDI is one of the best tools to keep track of the level of development of a country, as it combines all major social and economic indicators that are responsible for economic development.
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