United Nations Development Progrmme (UNDP) released the Human Development Report 2014 (HDR 2014) in Tokyo, Japan on 24 July 2014. The theme of the HDR 2014 was Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerability and Building Resilience.
As per the HDR 2014, improvement in human development measures has slowed down in the past few years. The human development index (HDI) barely grew from 0.700 in 2012 to 0.702 in 2013. HDI measures human development on the basis of life expectancy, education levels and incomes.
This slowdown in human development is a result of the lingering global economic crisis that has caused a dip in income growth in Europe, Arab countries, and Central Asia
In the report, India was ranked 135 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) for the year 2013.
Main Highlights of HDR 2014
- The small improvement in the HDI could be at risk of getting reversed given the bleak picture of the vulnerabilities facing people across the world. These vulnerabilities existing in the form of financial crises, fluctuations in food prices, natural disasters and violent conflict significantly impede progress.
- 1.2 billion people live on $1.25 or less a day and about 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are afflicted with multi-dimensional poverty, that is, they suffer from overlapping deprivations in education, health and living standards. A further 800 million are at the brink of falling back into poverty.
- Nearly 80 percent of the global population lacks comprehensive social protection. About half of all workers, more than 1.5 billion, work in informal or precarious employment.
- The expected number of years of schooling too is not growing adequately, with 43 percent primary students dropping out before completing primary education worldwide.
- Life expectancy growth has slowed down in Asia, although there is improvement in child mortality rates in Africa.
- The top five countries ranked in terms of the HDI are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands and the US.
- The bottoms five ranked in terms of HDI are Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Leone.
- Over 200 million people are affected by natural disasters and 45 million, the largest number in 18 years, were displaced by conflicts at the end of 2012. These factors also contributed to denting the improvement in human development.
- HDR 2014 also provides gender development index (GDI), which measures gender development gaps among 148 countries.
- The overall gender gap is an 8 percent deficit for women, the income gap is shockingly high — per capita income for men is more than double that for women.
- There are 16 countries where the female HDI is equal to or higher than the male HDI. These countries are Argentina, Barbados, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.
- Afghanistan, with a female HDI of only 60 per cent of its male HDI, was the most unequal country.
- Inequality has declined in health access, remained constant in education but increased by two percentage points with respect to income.
- Three-fold policy path to get the world out of the morass it is stuck in: universal provision of social services, stronger social protection and a return to full employment policies. All these would require a strong and active role of the state.
India and HDR 2014
- India is ranked at 135 with 0.586 score, among the medium development countries like Egypt, South Africa, Mongolia, Philippines and Indonesia. In HDR 2013, India was ranked 136 with 0.552 score on HDI.
- Among India's neighbours, Bhutan (136) and Bangladesh (142) too figure medium development category. Pakistan (ranked 146) and Nepal (145) are in the low development category, while Sri Lanka (73) is in the high development category.
- Among the BRICS countries, India’s rank is the lowest, with Russia at 57, Brazil at 79, China 91 and South Africa 118.
- India is ranked 135 in Inequality-adjusted HDI with a score of 0.418 with a coefficient of human inequality at 27.7.
- In Gender Inequality Index, India with a score of 0.563 is ranked 127 and in Gender Development Index, India is ranked 132 with a score of 0.828.
- In Multi-dimensional Poverty Index, India’s score is 0.282.
- Citing recent estimates of giving universal basic old age and disability pension, basic childcare benefits universal healthcare, social assistance and 100-day employment guarantee, the report says India would need to spend just about 4% of its GDP to provide all this.