India ranked 131 in 2020 Human Development Index, Norway tops list

India's HDI value for 2019 is 0.645, which put it in the medium human development category

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According to the United Nations Development Programme report, India's gross national income per capita fell to USD 6,681 in 2019 from USD 6,829 in 2018 on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. Representational image: iStock

India dropped one spot to 131 among 189 countries in the 2020 human development index, according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report. India had ranked 130 in 2018 in the index. 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”.

According to the report published by the United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday (December 15), India’s gross national income per capita fell to USD 6,681 in 2019 from USD 6,829 in 2018 on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.

Human Development Index (HDI) is the measure of a nation’s health, education, and standards of living. Life expectancy of Indians at birth in 2019 was 69.7 years while in Bangladesh it is 72.6 years and in Pakistan 67.3 years, the 2020 Human Development report said.

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India, Bhutan (129), Bangladesh (133), Nepal (142), and Pakistan (154) were ranked among countries with medium human development, the report said. India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645, which put it in the medium human development category.

Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland.

Noda said India can help other countries too and lauded its commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

Purchasing power parity (PPP) is a measurement of prices in different countries that uses the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries’ currencies.

The report said evidence from Colombia to India indicates that financial security and ownership of land improve women’s security and reduce the risk of gender-based violence, clearly indicating that owning land can empower women.

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It further said indigenous children in Cambodia, India, and Thailand show more malnutrition-related issues such as stunting and wasting. “In India different responses in parent behaviour 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.

The report added that under the Paris Agreement, India pledged to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP from the 2005 level by 33-35 % by 2030 and to obtain 40 % 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,” the report said.

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