Wide Disparities in Human Development in India

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March 21, 2023

Why in news?

Despite increased awareness about suicide the suicide rates are increasing and has to be addressed.

What is HDI?

  • Human development index (HDI) is a composite statistical measure to evaluate and compare the level of human development in different regions around the world.
  • HDI was created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990
  • The dimensions of HDI are
  1. Long and healthy life
  2. Knowledge
  3. A decent standard of living
  • HDI scores range from 0 to 1, with higher values indicating higher levels of human development.


What is the status of subnational HDI of India?

63 million people are pushed into poverty because of healthcare costs every year - almost two people every second

  • There is  wide disparities in human development across the states in  India

According to the Human Development Report of 2021-22

  • The five States with the highest HDI scores are Delhi, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, and Chandigarh.
  • The bottom five States are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Assam, with medium levels of human development.
  • Despite having the highest SGDP per capita among larger States, Gujarat and Haryana have failed to translate this advantage into human development and rank 21 and 10, respectively

According to the Human Development Report of 2021-22, India ranks 132 out of 191 countries, behind Bangladesh (129) and Sri Lanka (73).

What are the reasons for the wide disparities among the states?

  •  Income inequality - The top 10% of the Indian population holds over 77% of the wealth.
  • Low quality in service provided by government - While the country has achieved near-universal enrolment in primary education, the quality of education remains low.
  • Healthcare - Healthcare being considered as luxury good causes financial burden to poor.

What is the need of the hour?

  • Health care infrastructure  - Robust healthcare infrastructure is needed to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities.
  • High literacy rates – High literacy rates is essential for human development.
  • Social protection schemes – There is a need for more social protection schemes.



  1. The Hindu │Wide Disparities In Human Development
  2. UNDP │HDI Index
  3. The Oxfam International │Quick Facts   
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