News Excerpt
Recently, the Human Development Report (HDR) 2020 was released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

•    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.

How HID measures?
    HDI measures average achievement on three basic aspects of human development, life expectancy, education, and per capita income.
    India’s gross national income (GNI) per capita on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), too, fell from $6,829 in 2018 to $6,681 in 2019

How this index is different from previous index?
    For the first time, the United Nations Development Programme introduced a new metric to reflect the impact caused by each country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint, which measures the amount of fossil fuels, metals and other resources used to make the goods and services it consumes.
    This paints a “less rosy, but clearer assessment” of human progress.

Global Report
    Norway, which tops the HDI, falls 15 places if this metric is used, leaving Ireland at the top of the table followed by Ireland and Switzerland. Hong Kong and Iceland complete the top five.
    In fact, 50 countries would drop entirely out of the “very high human development group” category, using this new metric, called the Planetary Pressures-adjusted HDI, or PHDI.
    Australia falls 72 places in the ranking, while the United States and Canada would fall 45 and 40 places respectively, reflecting their disproportionate impact on natural resources.
    The oil and gas-rich Gulf States also fell steeply. China would drop 16 places from its current ranking of 85.
    China’s net emissions (8 gigatonnes) are 34% below its territorial emissions (12.5 gigatonnes) compared with 19% in India and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

India’s Performance
    India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645, which put the country in the medium human development category, positioning it at 131 out of 189 countries and territories.
    Between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value increased from 0.429 to 0.645, an increase of 50.3%.
    HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living.
    Between 1990 and 2019, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 11.8 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and expected years of schooling increased by 4.5 years. India’s GNI per capita increased by about 273.9% between 1990 and 2019.
    Life expectancy for Indian’s at birth was 69.7 years in 2019, slightly lower than the south Asian average of 69.9 years, but slightly higher than the average of medium human development index groupings in the world at 69.3 years.
    In terms of GNI per capita, India at $6,681 fared better than some others in 2019, despite a fall over the previous year. In South Asia, the average was $6,532 and among medium HDI countries it was $6,153. The expected years of schooling in India was 12.2 years, compared with 11.2 years in Bangladesh and 8.3 years in Pakistan.
    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.
    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.

     COVID, it projected that in 2020, global HDI would fall below for the first time in the three decades since the Index was introduced.
     No country has yet been able to achieve a very high level of development without putting a huge strain on natural resources. We have to be the first generation to do things right.
     India’s record in achieving its carbon emissions goals so far, and urged Indian policy makers to take the path of sustainable development.