Poverty Lesser, Inequality Higher In India: UN Report

Poverty Lesser, Inequality Higher In India: UN Report

The United Nations Human Development Index report states that though India’s level of poverty is decreasing, inequality is on the rise. Now, India ranks 130 among 189 countries, in terms of standard of living, public health and literacy.

High human development value increased

United Nations Development Programme released 2018’s report recently. It shows an improvement by one spot from last year. The high human development (HDI) value is now 0.64 compared to last year’s 0.636. Also, there has been a 50% increase in India’s HDI value, from 0.427 to 0.640, between 1990 and 2017.

The report highlighted that millions in the country have risen above poverty over the years. Sadly, the state of inequality hasn’t gone through much of an improvement. As per the 2018 HDI, the value of India’s Inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI) falls by a fourth to 0.468. This is significantly higher than the average rate for decrease due to inequality (the global average is 20%). Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores in the HDI.

Gender and economic inequality

HDI measures a nation’s development with respect to standard of living, literacy and health. It also takes into account gross national income (GNI) per capita and life expectancy at birth. This also significantly considers mean years of education among the adult population and expected years of schooling for children.


The report said people are living longer and are more educated today. It also pointed out that people have greater income today than in 1990. The most important conclusion, however, is that inequality is evident in massive differences across the world.

Another factor laid down is that children now tend to study for 4.7 years longer than they did in 1990. However, there is massive inequality in access to and outcomes of education programmes.

The disparity is even more large when it comes to women, as India ranks 127 among 160 countries on the Gender Inequality Index. This assessment is based on reproductive health, empowerment, representation, and economic activity.

The report has drawn out facts mentioning that women in India occupy only 11.66% of parliamentary seats. Also, only 39% of them have secondary education (compared to 64 per cent men) and only 27.2% participation in the workforce compared to 78.8% for men and 49% women in the world.

There has been a huge rise in India’s Gross National Income per capit,a which registered a 266 per cent increase between 1990 and 2017. While the report acknowledged these overall growths, it urged the government to take active measures for factors that remain responsible for bringing the country’s HDI down. The UN report also recommended building climate resilience to improving index score, referring to the recent Kerala floods.

Also Read: Key Takeaways From World Bank Study On Gender Inequality

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