H man Development in ndia 20.3
India has to evolve a multi-pronged strategy However, it did make some gains between
with focus on bridging the gaps in access to 1990 and 2015, improving life expectancy
social infrastructure through appropriate use by 10.4 years. Child malnutrition also
of innovative technologies for enhancement of declined by 10 per cent.
human potential for productive employment in Inequality in human development—
various sectors and for improving the quality of shave off 27 per cent from India’s HDI
life. Mobilising the civil society, media and other score.
stakeholders of society in this regard will play a Between 1-5 years of age, girls in India
huge supportive role. and Pakistan have a 30-50 per cent greater
chance of dying than boys.
Hdr 2016 The report noted that untargeted subsidies
take away a lot of government resources
In the latest Human Development Report 2016 that could otherwise have been spent
(HDR 2016) of the UNDP, India has been raked on people, who need them the most—
at 131st (falling one rank from HDR 2015) out of in 2014, the richest 20 per cent of
188 countries. The report measures progress (on its India’s population enjoyed subsidies of
Human Development Index) of the countries in $16 billion, thanks to six commodities
three basic dimensions of human development— and services— cooking gas, railways,
standard of living, life expectancy and knowledge. power, aviation fuel, gold and kerosene.
Major features of it for the period 1990-2015 are Certain things, in case of India, have been
given below (main focus being on India)8: praised by the report—reservation policy (though
World’s top three countries are—Norway it has not remedied caste-based exclusions it has
(0.949), Australia (0.939), Switzerland had substantial positive effects—share of dalits
(0.939). in civil services has improved from 2 per cent in
India’s HDI value of 0.624 (46 per 1965 to 11 per cent by 2001); Rural Employment
cent growth) puts it in the ‘medium Guarantee scheme; Right to Information Act;
human development’ category, alongside National Food Security scheme, and Right to
countries such as Congo, Namibia and Education Act; Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan
Pakistan. It is ranked third among the (for popularising ‘social audits’ of government
SAARC countries (but lowest among the schemes).
BRICS countries), behind Sri Lanka (73) The success of national development
and the Maldives (105) both figuring in programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Make
the ‘high human development’ category. in India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao—aimed at
India’s life expectancy at birth increased bridging gaps in human development—will be
by 10.4 years, mean years of schooling crucial in ensuring the success of UN’s Sustainable
increased by 3.3 years and expected years Development Goals 2030 (unveiled in 2015), as
of schooling increased by 4.1 years and per the report.
its Gross National Income per capita
increased by about 223.4 per cent. Gender Issues
India’s public health expenditure was India has gender discrimination embedded in its
even lower, at 1.4 per cent of the GDP. social fabric. It shows up in most spheres such
8. Human Development Report 2016, UNDP, N. York, as access to education, to social and economic
USA, March 2017. opportunities. The reliance on a legal system to