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

“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 said that under the Paris Agreement, India pledged to cut down the emission intensity of carbon 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.

While India is ranked 131, its neighbours Bhutan is ranked 129, Bangladesh 133, Nepal 142, and Pakistan 154, the report said. India had ranked 129 in 2018 in the index

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

The HDI was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. The HDI can also be used to question national policy choices, asking how two countries with the same level of GNI per capita can end up with different human development outcomes. These contrasts can stimulate debate about government policy priorities.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth, the education dimension is measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita. The HDI uses the logarithm of income, to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GNI. The scores for the three HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index using geometric mean. Refer to Technical notes for more details.

The HDI simplifies and captures only part of what human development entails. It does not reflect on inequalities, poverty, human security, empowerment, etc. The HDRO offers the other composite indices as broader proxy on some of the key issues of human development, inequality, gender disparity and poverty.

The report, published by the United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday, also shows 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. 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.

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, hereby indicating that owning land can empower women. It further said indigenous children in Cambodia, India and Thailand show more malnutrition-related issues such as stunting and wasting.