The index monitors nations’ long-term progress and considers factors such as their citizens’ ability to lead a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
The report, titled “The next frontier Human development and the Anthropocene”, stated that India’s HDI value for 2019 was 0.645, placing it in the medium human development category.
Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland. India’s neighbours Sri Lanka and China ranked higher, at 72 and 85, respectively. Whereas, Bangladesh (133), Myanmar (147), Nepal (142), Pakistan (154) and Afghanistan (169) were ranked lower on the list.
The reported stated that indigenous children in Cambodia, India and Thailand showed more malnutrition-related problems such as stunting and wasting. “In India different responses in parent behaviour as well as some disinvestment in girls’ health and education have led to higher malnutrition among girls than among boys as a consequence of shocks likely linked to climate change,” it added.
India’s gross national income per capita, meanwhile, fell to $6,681 in 2019 from $6,829 in 2018 on purchasing power parity basis. Purchasing power parity, or PPP, is a measurement of prices in different countries that uses the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries’ currencies.
The report further noted that solar capacity in India increased from 2.6 gigawatts in March 2014 to 30 gigawatts in July 2019, achieving its target of 20 gigawatts four years ahead of schedule. In 2019, India ranked fifth for installed solar capacity.
UNDP Resident Representative Shoko Noda said the drop in India’s ranking doesn’t mean “India didn’t do well, but other countries did better”, reported PTI.
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. The material footprint measures the amount of fossil fuels, metals and other resources used by a country to make the goods and services it consumes, according to The Hindu. This is known as the Planetary Pressures-adjusted HDI, or PHDI.
If the index were adjusted to assess the planetary pressures caused by each nation’s development, India would move up eight places in the ranking. Norway, which tops the HDI, falls 15 places if this metric is used, leaving Ireland at the top. Australia falls 72 places in the ranking, while the United States and Canada would fall 45 and 40 places, respectively.