Human Development Report and Indices in India Upsc

Human development Index

The human development Index (HDI) is a geometric means of life expectancy, education and per capita income. India ranks 131 in United Nations HDI in 2020.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

Health and human development

Economics of Health is similar to the economics of education in many respects. Health expenditures are also investing in people as educational expenditures.

Quite often, expenditures on education and health are joint expenditures made in the same person. Improved health lengthens the life expectancy of a person and this, in turn, raises returns on investment in his education.

Like education, health is consumption as well as investment. Health improves the quality as well as the quantity of labor. Health expenditures contribute to economic growth by reducing mortality and morbidity.

There is a general consensus that health must be provided by the State according to need and not according to the ability to pay. This is called “Communism in health”.

Health and human development
Health Facilities in India By No machine-readable author provided. SwiftRakesh assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0,

Health and human development in India

Human Development Index

The human development Index (HDI) is a holistic measure of living levels.

The human development report (1977) describes human development as follows: “ the process of widening people’s choices and the level of well–being they achieve are at the core of the notion of human development.

But regardless of the level of development, the three essential choices for people are to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge, and to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living”.

People want to have political, economic, and social freedom, opportunities for being creative and productive, and enjoy self-respect and guaranteed human rights. It is true that income is very important for people.

But it is only a means and human growth is the end. The first Human Development Report was published in 1990 by UNDP under the guidance of Muhabub–Ul–Haq, an eminent economist from Pakistan.

Economic growth will contribute most to poverty reduction when it expands employment, increases productivity and wages of poor people.

And public resources must be directed to promoting human growth. Only when economic growth is labor-using and employment-generating and when skills and health improve rapidly, economic growth will promote economic betterment.

The HDI ranks all countries on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest) based on three goals: longevity as measured by life expectancy at birth, knowledge as measured by a weighted average of adult literacy (two–thirds), and mean years of schooling (one – third), and standard of living as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP) of each country’s currency to reflect the cost of living.

Using these three measures, HDI ranks all countries into three groups. Low HDI (00.0 to 0.499), medium HDI (0.50 – 0.799), and high human development (0.80 to 1.0).

According to HDR 2004, (based on HDI for 2002), India found a place in the Medium Human Development group.

One major advantage of HDI is that it tells that even countries with a low level of income can achieve better development than countries with substantial incomes.

The HDI points out that there are greater disparities in income than other indicators of development such as health and education measures. So by development, we mean broad human development, not just higher incomes.

Some countries (oil-rich countries), it is said experienced growth without development.

Gender-Related Development Index

GDI adjusts the HDI to reflect the inequalities between men and women.

The three measures used related to female life expectancy, female adult literacy and gross enrolment ratio, and female per capita income.

Human poverty index (HPI)

The 1997 HDI introduced Human Poverty Index (HPI). It measures deprivation in longevity, knowledge, and a decent living standard.

If people are expected to die before the age of 40 if the adult illiteracy rate is high, and if health services are poor, access to safe water is low and if the percentage of malnourished children under five is high, then HPI will be high and the country can be ranked as poor.

Based on the lines of HDI, HDI for various states of India was constructed.

The Planning Commission of India brought out National Human Development Report(HDR). It provides statewide as well as All – India Human Development Indices.

Some states like Tamil Nadu have also brought out HDR.

Role Health and human development

Health plays a vital role in capital formation for the following reasons. Only a physically and mentally sound person can perform to his full potential, which also means giving equal opportunities to Physically Handicapped persons.

Only a healthy person can do the work effectively and only a healthy person can contribute to the growth and development of the economy.

A good education to people plays an important role in the overall development of any Economy.

The skill, knowledge, confidence, equality, acquired by people through better education, social justice, and health facilities are the way to attain rapid economic growth which is the ultimate aim of the nation.


Health and human development help us understand the complexity of health and education is linked to human development in turn improving the economic condition of the nation.

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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