Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on this Independence Day to bring India to the ranks of developed countries by 2047. But looking at the 2021 rankings published by the United Nations in terms of human development indicators, that path seems difficult. Because India is in 1innd place among 191 countries on that list. India has dropped one step from 2019 and two steps from 2020. India’s position in this year’s list is lower than China (79), Bangladesh (129), Bhutan (127), and Sri Lanka (73).
This picture is clear in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report released yesterday. They calculated four factors – the life expectancy of a person, the average duration of formal education, the expected duration of formal education, and national income per capita. India’s score on this index (HDI) stands at 0.633, which was 0.645 in 2019. India ranks among the average countries in terms of human development.
The main reason for the decline
The main reason for this decline is believed to be the decline in the potential life expectancy of Indians. According to the report, the life expectancy of people in this country in 2020 was 70.1 years. That fell to 67.2 years in 2021, the lowest in a decade. The report, however, says that this trend is worldwide. In 2019, the average life expectancy of people in the whole world was 72.8 years, in 2021 it decreased to 71.4 years. In the last 3 decades, the world’s human development index has been on a continuous upward trend. But it started falling in 2020, a trend that continued in 2021 as well.
As of this year, 90 percent of the country’s human development index has fallen. But why? The report, titled ‘Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives’, says an unprecedented set of crises is behind the decline. The strongest shock among them is the covid epidemic. There are also political, economic, and climate change crises, the shocks which the world cannot cope with. People’s quality of life went back five years during the pandemic.
Statement from UN officials
Achim Steiner, head of the UNDP, says, “There have been disasters before, there have been conflicts. But this combined flow of different streams of crises is holding back human development. We are living shorter days, getting less education, and incomes are falling. Judging from these aspects, we can understand why so many people are frustrated, desperate, and worried about the future.” The report’s lead author, Pedro Conceição, said the average life expectancy in America has also dropped by two years or more. Humanity has decreased in political unrest. Mutual trust has also decreased.
Significantly, the report said, ethnic minorities in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are the worst victims of mental disorders. However, the report says that women’s rights have been more protected in India. These include legal rights, greater participation of women in politics, and protection from sexual harassment. According to the report, between 1990 and 2021, India’s average life expectancy expected duration of education, and average duration of education – all changed.