Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Human Capital Index Report and its findings
Mains level: HCI stats are refuted by India along with several other countries. The newscard discusses various parameters which reduces the credibility of the WB report.
- The World Bank released today a Human Capital Index (HCI) as part of the World Development Report 2019.
Key observations in HCI for India
- Human Capital Index: A child born in India today will be only 44 per cent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.
- Probability of Survival to Age 5: 96 out of 100 children born in India survive to age 5.
- Expected Years of School: In India, a child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 10.2 years of school by her 18th
- Harmonized Test Scores: Students in India score 355 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.
- Learning-adjusted Years of School: Factoring in what children actually learn, expected years of school is only 5.8 years.
- Adult Survival Rate: Across India, 83 per cent of 15-year olds will survive until age 60.
- Healthy Growth (Not Stunted Rate): 62 out of 100 children are not stunted. 38 out of 100 children are stunted, and so at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that can last a lifetime.
- Gender Differences: In India, HCI for girls is marginally higher than for boys.
However, India has decided to ignore the HCI owing to following factors:
(A) Discontent with the Methodology
- Education quality is gauged using harmonized test scores from major international student achievement testing programs.
- The lack of availability of an authoritative and uniform test score, about 9 different test scores and systems using varying methodology have been claimed to have been harmonized by the World Bank.
- None of the 9 systems cover more than 100 countries, with some have very limited regional coverage.
- This makes the methodology quite complex and non-uniform.
- For some countries, average national scores in a particular year and in some cases in selected cities or states have been used as predictors of education potential and future economic growth.
(B) Assessment lacking Global Standard
- For India, the data for quality of education pertains to 2009 assessment by PISA, which was conducted for only two states, namely Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- The use of PISA and TIMSS scores is the methodology for testing is largely controlled by non UN agencies.
- It is not globalized unlike the methodology of UNICEF and WHO that are used for health and survival indicators.
(C) Gross negligence of important measures
- The differences in development outcomes arising from governance issues, political systems, socio-cultural context, and legacy issues have been totally ignored.
- The metric of HCI is too simplistic at one level and too ignorant of development realities at another.
- Various initiatives such as SBM, Samagra Shiksha, PMJDY, and ABP etc. are transforming human capital in India at rapid pace.
- The HCI score for India does not reflect the key initiatives that are being taken for developing human capital in the country.
- The qualitative aspects of improved governance that have a strong correlation with human capital development have not been captured by the way the HCI has been constructed.
- The gap in data and methodology overlook the initiatives taken by a country and, in turn, portray an incomplete and pre-determined picture.
- This infact makes the case for an adoption of the Index by more countries somewhat remote.
- With the emphasis on country scores and rankings, the HCI could trivialize the importance of the Human Capital Project.
- Hence the Government of India has decided to ignore the HCI and will continue to undertake its path breaking programme for human capital development.
Human Capital Project
- As part of this World Development Report (WDR), the World Bank has launched a Human Capital Project (HCP).
- The HCP programme is claimed to be a program of advocacy, measurement, and analytical work to raise awareness and increase demand for interventions to build human capital.
- There are three components of HCP:
- a cross-country human capital measurement metric called the Human Capital Index (HCI),
- a programme of measurement and research to inform policy action
- a programme of support for country strategies to accelerate investment in human capital.
Human Capital Index (HCI)
- The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries.
- It claims to seek to measure the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18.
- The HCI has three components:
- Survival: as measured by under-5 mortality rates
- Expected years of Quality-Adjusted School:which combines information on the quantity and quality of education
- Health environment:Using two proxies of (a) adult survival rates and (b) the rate of stunting for children under age 5.
HDI vs. HCI
- UNDP constructs Human Development Index (HDI) for several years.
- The HCI uses survival rates and stunting rate instead of life expectancyas measure of health, and quality-adjusted learning instead of merely years of schooling as measure of education.
- HCI also excludes per capita income whereas the HDI uses it.