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India holds 130th position in Human Development Index: UNDP

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New Delhi: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in its latest report has placed India’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2014 at 0.609, as the country climbed five spots to 130 in a list of 188 countries and territories.

Between 1980 and 2014, India’s HDI value increased from 0.326 to 0.609 — an increase of 68.1 percent or an average annual increase of about 1.54 percent.

The HDI is a summary measure of assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development — long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

India loses 28.6 percent HDI due to inequalities, largely due to inequalities in education (42.1 percent). Among BRICS, South Africa has the highest loss due to inequalities at 35 percent and lowest is in Russia at 10.5 percent,

On the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India ranks 130 out of 155 countries with a value of 0.563.

The GII reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions — reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity.

The 2015 Global Human Development report by the UNDP, named “Work for Human Development”, was released on Monday in Ethiopia.

The report encourages governments to look beyond jobs to consider the many kinds of work such as unpaid care, voluntary or creative work that are important for human development.

As per the report, 2 billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years.

The report shows that providing universal social protection in India could cost an estimate 4 percent of GDP.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of direct jobs in information and communications technology in India jumped from 284,000 to more than 2 million.

As per the data provided in the report, only 39 percent of women in India were internet users compared to 61 percent of men in 2013.

The report cites that off-grid solar photovoltaic technologies will generate 90 direct and indirect jobs per megawatt in India.

For India, unpaid work, predominantly performed by women, is estimated at 39 percent of GDP.

It further stated that India’s workforce participation of women is declining — from 35 percent in 1990 to 27 percent in 2013.

In 38 countries, including India, Pakistan, Mexico and Uganda, 80 percent women were unbanked.

Globally, 74 million youths were unemployed. In India, over 10 percent of youth were unemployed, the report says.

Haoliang Xu, assistant administrator and director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, said: “The availability and quality of work are key for human development in Asia and the Pacific, a region that is home to two-thirds of the world’s working-age population.

In order to ensure that the workforce is capable of adapting to rapidly changing demands, the governments need to make strategic investments into education and health care.

Commending the Indian government for its leadership role in the design and adoption of the Sustain Development Goals, Yuri Afansasiev, UN resident coordinator and UN resident representative in India, said: “With national development programs like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Skill India, Digital India, and Make in India in place, the government of India is on a strong footing for the SDGs.

A greater focus on work, especially for women and youth will undoubtedly ensure success in the achievement of Agenda 2030.(IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:www.undp.org)

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US Offers $181 million Humanitarian Aid as Iraq launches drive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State

There is no clear plan yet for how Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, will be managed if and when it is recaptured from Islamic State

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FILE - Hundreds of civilians flee villages outside Mosul a day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launched an operation east of Islamic State-held Mosul, Aug. 15, 2016. VOA
  • The advance on Mosul, the biggest city held by the militant group also known as ISIL, could begin as soon as next month
  • The United Nations expects up to 1 million people could flee their homes in Mosul, the group’s de facto Iraqi capital
  • Critics say preparations for the humanitarian and political fallout have not kept pace with military gains

The United States said on Wednesday it would give Iraq $181 million in humanitarian aid, anticipating a wave of displaced people when Iraqi forces launch a drive to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State.

The advance on Mosul, the biggest city held by the militant group also known as ISIL, could begin as soon as next month.

“We are now in a position where ISIL here in Iraq is increasingly on the run and on the ropes, and the urgent work ahead is to complete that effort. And Mosul, of course, is the big piece ahead of Iraq and ahead of us,” Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Baghdad.

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On a visit to discuss planning for the offensive with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other officials, he said the money would be used to the pre-position emergency food and relief supplies.

The United Nations expects up to 1 million people could flee their homes in Mosul, the group’s de facto Iraqi capital.

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Critics say preparations for the humanitarian and political fallout have not kept pace with military gains.

The additional aid brings U.S humanitarian assistance to more than $1 billion since 2014, when a U.S led coalition started bombing Islamic State in Iraq and neighboring Syria as well as providing training and advice to Iraq’s security forces.

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There is no clear plan yet for how Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, will be managed if and when it is recaptured, or how pro-government forces will be positioned to avoid aggravating ethnic and sectarian tensions in the diverse region.

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Blinken said Islamic State has lost half the Iraqi territory it seized in 2014 when the army and police dropped their weapons and fled despite billions of dollars of aid from Washington since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

He said the Mosul offensive would not be easy, and the timing was up to the Iraqis. Iraqi commanders have indicated the operation could start by late October.

Blinken is due to visit Erbil on Thursday to meet leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government, whose peshmerga forces are expected to participate in the Mosul campaign. (VOA)