The Ministry of Finance on Thursday rejected the World Bank’s Human Capital Index, which placed India 115th of 157 countries based on several parameters and with a score of 0.43. The index seeks to measure the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect when he or she turns 18.
“There are serious reservations about the advisability and utility of this exercise of constructing a Human Capital Index,” the government said in a press release. “There are major methodological weaknesses, besides substantial data gaps...The gap in data and methodology overlook the initiatives taken by a country and, in turn, portray an incomplete and predetermined picture...Analysed in the context of India, the HCI score for India does not reflect the key initiatives that are being taken for developing human capital in the country.”
“The Government of India, therefore, has decided to ignore the HCI and will continue to undertake its path breaking programme for human capital development aiming to rapidly transforming quality and ease of life for all its children,” the statement added.
The World Bank’s HCI brief for India says that a child born in India today will be 44% as productive at adulthood as he or she could with complete education and full health. The World Bank measured the HCI for girls in India at 45%, and for boys at 43%.
The World Bank said that as of 2017, India’s HCI is lower than the region’s average, and less than what could be predicted for its income level. The report said that while Indian children complete 10.2 years of schooling on average, this reduces to 5.8 years when adjusted for quality of learning. The report also asserted that 38% of children in India experience stunted growth.
“The Human Capital Project seeks to raise awareness and increase demand for interventions to build human capital,” the Word Bank said. “It aims to accelerate better and more investments in people.”