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South Asia’s Slow Progress in HDI Remains A Concern

Published Dec 11, 2019
Updated Feb 05, 2020

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides an insight into not just the progress in development in the World but the rise in new inequalities which is claimed to be a reason for the 2019 Spring – the wave of protests that have swept in countries across the World.

These are touching not just the developing countries but many developed ones in say Europe which the UNDP Report “Beyond Income, Beyond Averages and Beyond Today,” concludes “ is a clear sign that, for all our progress, something in our globalized society is not working. Different triggers are bringing people onto the streets: the cost of a train ticket, the price of petrol, political demands for independence. A connecting thread, though, is deep  and rising frustration with inequalities.

The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the next generation of poverty is based on technology, education and climate, says the report.

Also Read – Snap Shot Human Development Index 2017

The new inequalities referred to could be actually a sign of progress implying those that were considered as luxuries are now necessities or demands  by the people even in countries with low penetration of say broadband. Education is also a reason for driving aspirations which when unfulfilled moves people to the streets.

Statistically speaking South Asian countries figured poorly in the HDI ranking

Sri Lanka scored the highest at 71, followed by Maldives at 104, India at 129, and Bhutan at 134. Bangladesh came fifth at 135th. Nepal has been placed at 147, Pakistan 152, and Afghanistan at 170.

South Asian countries have made steady progress in human development over the years yet the level of poverty continues to impact large numbers. For instance, India is home of 364 million poor people (28 percent), out of a global population of the 1.3 billion.

India constitutes 41 per cent of the world’s poor as per the HDI.

While India’s leadership has been claiming spike in indices such as ease of doing business, the lack of substantial rise in the HDI year on year denotes that development or Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas will continue to remain a slow process in a country of over 1.3 billion.