The position of India has dropped in the UN Human Development Index, with the present ranking being 131st out of 189 countries. Neighbouring Sri Lanka, China and Bhutan have performed better than India, while Bangladesh is just a step behind. The UN Human Development Project publishes Annual Reports on the improvement of Education, Health and Quality of life in its Member Countries, and India has slid down two places from the previous year. It does not mean that India has not made any progress; the fact is other nations have performed better than India.
This year’s report has been prepared on the basis of the Countries’ performance in 2019. As the Coronavirus did not jeopardise activities in the world last year, there was no unprecedented misery in the livelihood of the people. Hence, it is a serious issue that India’s per capita national income declined even before the COVID-19 Pandemic. Again, there is quite a possibility that India will record another drop in next report!
The employment scenario in India was not good at all in the pre-Corona period; and there is an increase in unemployment in 2020. India’s GDP, too, has experienced a sharp decline. The Government in New Delhi, led by Narendra Modi, in all probability, hoped that it would be better to take the burden off the market, as it could balance the supply and demand. However, the condition of the poor, backward and disadvantaged people has remained the same. With the Government lowering the budget allocations for social development, India experiences new problems, like food shortages and malnutrition. The Education Sector, too, is also reeling under pressure, as the number of school dropouts has increased since the outbreak of the Pandemic.
The UN report has mentioned that Financial Security and Land Ownership not only increase Women’s Security and Empowerment, but also decrease the number of incidents related to Gender-Based Violence. So, the Government of India should have to monitor these issues. The State has fewer options, other than meeting the basic needs of development of the society.
According to experts, India should learn a lesson from her neighbouring countries. Although Bangladesh has failed to perform well in the latest report, it has successfully implemented several development projects in the last 10 years. As far as infant mortality rate and vaccination are concerned, Bangladesh has performed better than India. India lags behind Bangladesh in Global Hunger Index, Gender-Based Development Index, and even World Happiness Index! India should be aware of the fact that chiefly Resilience and Foresight can ensure Human Development in the Society.
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