India’s human development index (HDI) ranking for 2015 puts Asia’s third largest economy among a group of countries classed as “medium” in the list, as opposed to “low” in the 1990s, thanks to factors such as an increase in life expectancy and mean years of schooling in the past 25 years.
But the bad news from the report released on Tuesday in Stockholm is that regional disparities in education, health and living standards within India—or inequality in human development—shave off 27 % from India’s HDI score.
As it stands, India is ranked 131 out of 188 countries in a list that is topped by Norway.
Yuri Afanasiev, UN resident coordinator for India, noted India’s progress in its HDI score between 1990 and 2015. “The success of national development programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Make in India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, aimed at bridging gaps in human development, will be crucial in ensuring the success of Agenda 2030,” Afanasiev said, referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals unveiled in 2015.
“These programmes, and the long-running affirmative action measures, illustrate the government’s commitment to identifying and mapping human development deficits, as well as taking action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.