(GIST OF YOJANA) Progress in Human Development since Independence

(GIST OF YOJANA) Progress in Human Development since Independence


Progress in Human Development since Independence


  • In 1990, the time had come for a broad approach to improving human wellbeing that would cover all aspects of human life, for all people. 
  • The term “human development” is accepted in the development economics literature as an
  • expansion of human capabilities, a widening of choices, an enhancement of freedom and the fulfilment of human rights.

Human Development Reports and Measurement:

  • The first Human Development Report of UNDP was published in 1990.
  • In contrast to the GNP – the only other widely used indicator of a country’s overall development – the Human Development Index (HDI) reflects the average achievements along three dimensions of human development: longevity, educational attainment and command over resources needed for a decent living.
  • A gender-related development index (GDI) and a gender empowerment measure (GEM) emerged in 1995.
  • The GDI measures achievements in the same dimensions and variables as the HDI, but considers inequality in achievements between men and women. The GEM indicates whether women are able to actively take part in economic and political life. It focusses on participation, measuring gender inequality in key areas of economic and political participation and decision-making.
  • In 1997, a composite measure for multi-dimensional poverty, the Human Poverty Index (HPI) was introduced.
  • There has been a change in the methodology of computation of HDI from 2010. The 2014 HDR introduced changes to minimum and maximum values (goalposts) which are now fixed rather than set at the observed values.

The minimum and maximum levels for the dimension indicators are currently set as follows:

  • Life expectancy: the minimum value is set at 20 years. The maximum value is fixed at 85 years.
  • The minimum value for both education variables is set at 0. The maximum values for mean years and expected years of schooling are fixed at 15 and 18 years, respectively.
  • GNI per capita (2011 PPP): the minimum value is $100. The maximum value is capped at $75,000.

India’s Ranking in Human Development

  • Out of 189 countries, India ranks 131 on the Human Development Index 2020. 
  • With an HDI value of 0.645, the country fell in to the medium human development category.
  • The UNDP in to its country report gave some statistics tracing India’s journey inhuman development between 1990 and 2019.
  • The report stated that since 1990, the HDI value of India has increased from 0.429 to 0.645, registering an increase of over 50%. During the same period, the life expectancy at birth in India rose by nearly 12 years, while the mean years of schooling witnessed an increase of 3.5 years. During this while, the expected years of schooling also rose by 4.5 years. 
  • Moreover, during this period, India's GNI per capita also increased, registering a rise of nearly 274%. The UNDP compared India’s value in the HDI with other countries in South Asia, viz, Bangladesh and Pakistan. 
  • As against India’s rank at 131, Bangladesh ranked at the 133rd position, while Pakistan stood at 154th place. 
  • In the South Asian region, India’s HDI is more than the region’s average which stands at 641, while India is also above the average value of 0.631 among the medium HDI category countries.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

  • In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences and summits, 149 world leaders countries came together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
  • The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the eight goals set by the 189 UN member states in September 2000 and agreed to be achieved by 2015. There are 8 goals, 18 targets, and 48 performance indicators. 

The following are the eight Millennium Development Goals:

1. to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger;

2. to achieve global primary education;

3. to empower women and promote gender equality;

4. to reduce child mortality;

5. to promote maternal health;

6. to fight malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases;

7. to promote environmental sustainability; and

8. to develop a universal partnership for development.

Bare Necessities Index

  • Availability of “bare necessities” such as housing, water, sanitation, electricity and clean cooking fuel, improved across all states in the country in 2018 compared to 2012, the Economic Survey for 2020-21 showed based on the first ever BNI (bare necessities index), released on 28.01.2021as part of the Economic Survey.
  • The BNI has been developed for rural, urban and all-India level using data from two
  • NSO (rounds 69 and 76) on drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and housing conditions. 
  • The index summarises 26 indicators on five dimensions — water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities (assessed using indicators like access to the type of kitchen, ventilation of the dwelling unit, access to a bathroom, electricity and type of fuel used for cooking).
  • The survey reports that improved access to “the bare necessities” has led to improvements in health indicators and correlates with future improvements in education indicators.



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