Human Development Index (HDI) of India

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PURPOSE – the purpose of the paper is to define the human development in India and define the human development index Rank and world HDI Ranking of India in human development report.

DESINE- METHODOLOGY/ APPROACH– Extensive Review of literature has been done for conceptualization of the human development in India.

IMPLECATION-.The paper adds to the existing literature of human development and human development index. Development helps to make an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives. Human development is input for the growth and development of the country, as well as excellence in life.

KEY WORD Human development, Human development index, growth, world HDI Rank etc

PAPER TYPE– Conceptual and theoretical paper.


In 1990, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) transformed the landscape of development theory, measurement, and policy with the publication of its first annual Human Development Report (HDR) and the introduction of the Human Development Index. HDR 1990 presented the concept of “human development” as progress towards greater human well-being, and provided country-level data for a wide range of well-being indicators. The Human Development Index, or HDI, embodies Amartya Sen’s “capabilities” approach to understanding human well-being, which emphasizes the decent standard of living, income per capita) (Sen 1985). Key capabilities are stadardized in HDI by the inclusion of proxies for three significant ends of development: access to health, education, and goods, and other capabilities, individuals can achieve their preferred condition of human being .In HDI, component indices for life expectancy, literacy, school enrollment, and income are combined together into a single index that can be used to compare the level of human well-being among countries or to monitor one country’s progress over time. HDI provides an alternative to the still common practice of evaluating a country’s progress in development based on per capita national income.

The Concept of Human Development:

“The basic purpose of development is to expand people’s choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and can change over time. People often value achievements that do not show up at all, or not immediately, in income or growth figures: greater access to knowledge, better nutrition and health services, more secure livelihoods, security against crime and physical violence, satisfying leisure hours, political and cultural freedoms and sense of participation in community activities. The objective of development is to make an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives.”- Mahbub ul Haq ‐‐ Founder of the Human Development Report

The Human Development Index(HDI) is the preeminent recognized composite index of social and economic well-being. It was first developed in 1990 by a Pakistani economist Mahbub-ul-Haq and India born American Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

Dimensions & Indicators of HDI

Longevity – Life expectancy at birth

– index of population health and longevity

Knowledge and Education – Mean years of schooling

– Expected years of schooling

Standard of Living -Natural logarithm of gross domestic product (GDP) per

capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) in US $

WHY Human Development Index?

  • Human development is both an result and a practice of enlarging people’s choices to guide lives they value;
  • Economic growth is important for human development.


  • “Human Development”, is a index indicating the development of the country.
  • It views human progress and the composite relationship between income and well being.
  • Governments often obtain it as an instrument for measuring their performance against that of neighboring countries.
  • A preview of standard national performance in human development.
  • Useful access point into the affluent information enclosed in the consequent display tables on different aspects of human development.

Literature review

Anand and Sen (1994) In this the author says that the only income is not only the source of well beings well other factors are also important because one would be important for one itself and not for the other, it looked up that on averaging the income and life expectancy the result could not be concluded properly. On the other hand literacy and education is defined by 0 or 1 that also do not come up with the basic factor that were used for measurement. The factors and levels were designed which range from low, medium and high. HDI says that not only per capita income measures the well being of human development yet another factors are there such as access to health, education and goods Elizabeth (2007). UNDP (1993) – The UNDP has lived up to the promise made in early HDRs that “ The HDI should be seen as evolving and improving rather than something as something cast in stone. It is also an exercise in which as many of its users as possible should actively participate.”. UNDP ( 1990 through 2006) – It was said that if UNDP was unable to include original operational of HDI, it was just because of lack of data. Gasper(2002) Sen’s Capability Approach was very much fruitful for human development, it has brought much wider opportunities for human well beings but also has some troubling features and requires modification and enrichment. Author analyzes that besides Sen’s opportunity, concept of capability skill and potential should be distinguished. Levels and types of functioning too should be distinguished. He also says that different aspects of well being should be elaborated, content and requirement of ‘agency’ SCA priority category must be considered as a personal advantage measure relevant In public policy situations rather than theory of well being and concept of freedom must be carried by the concept of reasons and need. Welzel et al. (2003) socioeconomic development, emancipative cultural change and democratization constitute a human development of social progress. Socioeconomic development increases individual resources, emancipative values leads to choice democratization provides freedom rights. He also finds that all these factors are similar universal vise. Hence, it states that human development syndrome is shaped by causal effects of individual and emancipative values on freedom rights and it operates through elite integrity which makes freedom rights effective.

Where does India Stand?

“India is witnessing extraordinary economic growth, but for the overall development of the country, hard work also should be made to improve the human development index,’’

Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Deputy chairman of the planning commission

India: A Few Facts

•India has 7th position in world areawise and 2nd by population.

• 12th largest economy at market exchange rate and 4th largest by PPP

• India has 28 States and 7 Union Territories

HDI with dimensions

orange colour Vertical bars for states and red for India, indicate the HDI; dark black circles (inside the bars) indicate the education dimension index; cross within white squares, the income dimension index; and dark black diamond’s (outside the bars), the health dimension index; and the states are arranged in ascending order of their HDIs.

Source: UNDP HDR

India and HDI

India ranks 135 on HDI and there has been a steady progress over the past 23 years. India’s

HDI is above the average for countries in South Asia.

Table : 1
















































0 593
































Source: UNDP HDR

Note: the data of UNDP Human development report have been disclosed here. The human development index and world HDI rank was calculated for aged 23 year from 1990 to 2013As we know that India is developing country and HDI Rank is 37 in 1990, human development index is 0.439. The increase in human development index and HDI Rank is fast in last 23 years and highest HDI Rank is 139 in year 1998

Figure-1 Human Development Index




0.439 0.439 0.436 0.446 0.451

0.4 0.382

0.308 0.297

0.3 0.309




1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Source: UNDP HDR (1980-2011)

Figure-2 HDI Rank

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000







120123121 135 135 132 128

140 134 134 138 139


Source: UNDP HDR (1980-2011)

Note: the data of UNDP Human development report have been disclosed here. In figure-1 human development index Rank have been calculated for aged 11 year from 1990 to 2000 and highest human development Rank is 0.563 in year 2000.

In figure-2 world HDI Rank have been calculated for aged 11 year from 1990 to 2000 .As we know that India is developing country and in figure- 2 HDI Rank is 37 in 1990. The increase in human development index and HDI Rank is fast in last 23 years and highest HDI Rank is 139 in year 1998

1.2 Figure-3 Human Development Index

1 0.995


0.571 0.577 0.602 0.611 0.619 0.586

0.6 0.612

0.593 0.519 0.547





2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 -08 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Source: UNDP HDR (1980-2011)

Figure-4 HDI Rank

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 200708 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013



115 115 119


125 127 127 127 126 128


135 134 135

140 134 136

Source: UNDP HDR (1980-2011)

Note: In figure-3 human development index Rank have been calculated for last aged 13 year from 2001 to 2013 and highest human development Rank is 0.995 in year 2004.

. In figure-4 world HDI Rank have been calculated for last aged 13 year from 2001 to 2013 HDI Rank is 115 in 2001. The increase in HDI Rank is fast in last 23 years and highest HDI Rank in figure-2 is 136 in year 2012.


The advanced countries of the world are able to sustain their powerful position in the world economy due to their strong human development base. The developing countries should try to strengthen their human development.HDI Report, 2013 identifies four precise areas of focus for sustaining development force: attractive fairness, including on the gender dimension; enabling larger accent and involvement of nation, including youth; confronting environmental pressures; and managing demographic change. Canada and Norway has been highest ranked at eight times each, followed by Japan which has been ranked highest three times. India came in the 10th position as far as enhancement in the income index was concerned but lagged behind neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan in education and healthcare Economic growth alone does not interpret into human development progress. Pro-poor policies and significant investments in people’s capabilities through a focus on education, nutrition and health, and service skills can expand access to honest work and provide for constant progress is must for improving HDI.


Anand, S. and Sen, A. K. -Human Development Index, Methodology and Measurement by, Published by Human Development Report Office, Occasional Paper 1997

Elizabeth, A. Stanton, Human Development Report ,.”The Human Development Index : A History” PERI Working Paper Series number 127 UNDP, New York, February 2007.

Gasper, D. , Institute of Social Studies, The Hague Review of political Economy, Volume 14, Number 4, 2002.

Human Development Index(HDI) State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Jaipur an ISO 9001:2008 Certified Institution

Human Development Report 2013 The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, Published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Human Development Report 2014 ,Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience. Published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP

Majumdar.R,“Human Development in India: Regional Pattern and Policy Issues“,Indian Journal of Applied Economics,Vol-2,No-1,2005.

Sen, Amartya (2000a) ‘A Decade of Human Development.’ Journal of Human Development, 1(1). pp. 17-23.

Welzel, C., Inglehart, R. and Klingemann, H.: The Theory of Human Development: A Cross-Cultural Analysis, European Journal of Political Reseach, 42, 341-379,2003.

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