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Human Development Index: India slips two spots to 131 among 189 countries

India dropped two spots to 131 among 189 countries in the 2020 human development index, according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Human Development Index is the measure of a nation’s health, education, and standards of living.

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India (131), Bhutan (129), Bangladesh (133), Nepal (142), and Pakistan (154) were ranked among countries with medium human development, the report said. 

The life expectancy of Indians at birth in 2019 was 69.7 years while Bangladesh has a life expectancy of 72.6 years and Pakistan 67.3 years, the 2020 Human Development Report said.

The report found that India’s gross national income per capita had fallen to $6,681 (Rs 4.9 lakh) in 2019 from $6,829 (Rs 5.03 lakh) in 2018 based on purchasing power parity (PPP). The PPP is a measurement for prices in different countries in terms of the purchasing power of the currency for specific goods.

The UNDP report states that indigenous children in Cambodia, India, and Thailand show more malnutrition-related issues such as stunting and wasting.
“In India, different responses in parent behavior, as well as some disinvestment in girls’ health and education, have led to higher malnutrition among girls than among boys as a consequence of shocks likely linked to climate change,” the report said.

Talking to reporters, UNDP Resident Representative Shoko Noda said the drop in India’s ranking doesn’t mean “India didn’t do well but other countries did better”.

“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,” the report said.

Excelling in Human Development yardstick, Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Iceland.

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