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UN Human Development Index 2020: India Dropped Two Spots To Rank 131 Among 189 Countries, Top Highlights

A lowdown on Human Development Index rankings in which India secured 131 rank, a slip of two spots from last year

UN Human Development Index 2020: India Dropped Two Spots To Rank 131 Among 189 Countries, Top Highlights

New Delhi: India has dropped two spots on the Human Development Index (HDI), according to the 2020 Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Programme released on Wednesday. Asia’s third-largest economy was ranked at 131 among 189 countries in 2019. The HDI is the measure of a country’s health, education, and standard of living and ascertains a nations’ average achievement in three basic scales of human development – education, life expectancy, and per capita income. In 2018, India ranked 129 (out of 189) countries.

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Here is a quick look at the top highlights from Human Development Index Report:

1. Top Five Countries That Topped The HDI: According to the report, Norway topped the Human Development Index, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Iceland.

Singapore was ranked 11, Saudi Arabia 40, and Malaysia was at 62 in the global index, representing the top bracket among the Asian countries with “very high human development”. Other countries that are put under “high human development” are Sri Lanka (72), Thailand (79), China (85) and Indonesia and Philippines (both 107), and Vietnam (117).

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2. India’s Status In Human Development Index: According to the report, India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645 — which put the country in the medium human development category — positioning it at 131 out of 189 countries and territories. The report also said, between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value increased from 0.429 to 0.645, an increase of 50.3 percent.

Bhutan and Namibia have overtaken India’s ranking, and are placed at the 129th and 130th spots, respectively. Among a clutch of South Asian nations, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia and Pakistan were put under the category of countries with medium human development.

The report also mentions that India’s gross national income per capita fell to $6,681 in 2019 from $6,829 in 2018 on a purchasing power parity basis. Purchasing power parity or PPP is a measurement of prices in different countries using the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries’ currencies.

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3. Life Expectancy: Life expectancy for Indians at birth was 69.7 years in 2019, slightly lower than the south Asian average of 69.9 years, but slightly higher than the average of medium human development index groupings in the world at 69.3 years, the report said. Bangladesh has life expectancy of 72.6 years and Pakistan 67.3 years.

4. On Malnutrition front, the report said that indigenous children in Cambodia, India, and Thailand show more malnutrition-related issues such as stunting and wasting. The report said, “In India, different responses in parental behaviour, as well as some disinvestment in girls’ health and education, have led to higher malnutrition among girls than among boys.”

5. India’s Green Energy Initiatives: The report praised India’s commitment for reducing carbon emissions and said, “Under the Paris Agreement, India pledged to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP from the 2005 level by 33-35 per cent by 2030 and to obtain 40 per cent of electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. As part of the plan, the National Solar Mission aims to promote solar energy for power generation and other uses to make solar energy competitive with fossil fuel-based options. Solar capacity in India increased from 2.6 gigawatts in March 2014 to 30 gigawatts in July 2019, achieving its target of 20 gigawatts four years ahead of schedule. In 2019, India ranked fifth for installed solar capacity,”

Even United Nations Development Programme Resident Shoko Noda said that the drop in India’s ranking doesn’t mean “India didn’t do well but other countries did better”. Ms Noda said India can help other countries too and lauded its commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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