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Q. India and HDI: In the backdrop of recent HDI report, discuss the issue of India’s performance in HDI.
Mar 24, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :


India got 131st rank among 188 countries ranked in 2016 Human Development Index (HDI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently. India’s rank slipped down one place in comparison to its 2015 ranking.

What is HDI-?

It is a measure for assessing progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and access to a decent standard of living. It is released by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Human Development Report (HDR).


  • Though India has witnessed higher economic growth trajectory in last two and half decades (since liberalisation), but its performance in Human Development is rated as medium. The rise of incomes that came with a more open economy has not translated into a higher quality of life for many Indians.
  • According to HDR, the performance of India is much lower than that of countries like Sri Lanka, Maldives; it is largely due to huge population and low investment on human development. 

What can be done-?

  • A central focus on social indicators is necessary for India to break free from its position as an underachiever in HDI. The current fiscal space needs to be strengthened by steady economic growth, and more should be done to eliminate subsidies for the wealthier sections.
  • The rise in revenues from all sources should be used in making public education of high standards accessible to all and delivering on the promised higher budgetary outlay for health care.


Recently released HDI report has once again raised the concerns that, even after witnessing huge economic growth, the HDI of India has not yet improved. It is mainly due to poor spending on health, education and huge wastage in subsidies. Hence now government should seriously focus on health and education aspects and should effectively spend on these programmes.

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