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Day 43 – Q 3.What are the key demographic indicators for measuring the status of human development in a state? Why do some states lag far behind on some of these indicators? Explain.

3. What are the key demographic indicators for measuring the status of human development in a state? Why do some states lag far behind on some of these indicators? Explain.  

किसी राज्य में मानव विकास की स्थिति को मापने के लिए प्रमुख जनसांख्यिकीय संकेतक क्या हैं? इनमें से कुछ संकेतकों पर कुछ राज्य क्यों पिछड़ जाते हैं? समझाएं।


India with a population of over 1.20 billion is ranked 130 among 189 countries of the world in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI). With the composite HDI value of 0.64, India finds herself grouped with countries showing medium human development (UNDP 2017). 


  1. Human development is a process of enlarging the range of people’s choices, increasing their opportunities for education, health care, income and empowerment and covering the full range of human choices from a sound physical environment to economic, social and political freedom.
  2. Using the indicators selected by the UNDP, the erstwhile Planning Commission of India also prepared the Human Development Report for India. It used states and the Union Territories as the units of analysis. Subsequently, each state government also started preparing the state level Human Development Reports, using districts as the units of analysis. 
  3. The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development:
    • Long and healthy life –  A long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy.
    • Access to knowledge –  Knowledge level is measured by mean years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and access to learning and knowledge by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entry age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child’s life. 
    • Standard of living – Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2011 international dollars converted using purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion rates. 
TLP Phase 1 – Day 43 Synopsis

TLP Phase 1 – Day 43 Synopsis

TLP Phase 1 – Day 43 Synopsis

TLP Phase 1 – Day 43 Synopsis

4. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar do poorly on the human development index (HDI), as smaller states Haryana and Himachal improved in the last 27 years at the same time, Industrial Gujarat and Maharashtra slipped in the HDI ranking between 1990 and 2017, while Haryana has improved the most. Southern states continue to lead the pack.

5. These variations between states in terms of human development indicators are due to multiple factors, some of which can be as seen below : 

    1. Geographical variations – India being a geographically diverse nation, it presents challenges towards achieving uniform success in HDI rankings across the states. 
    2. Economic Disparity – The states, which are economically better off, performed well in human development while the states, which were at the bottom of economic progress, also had a low level of human development.
    3. Governance factors – The states with high HDI have well developed governance structures which facilitates implementation of programs for human development effectively.
    4. Social factors – States with high HDI have a progressive characteristics where social indicators of development are emphasised leading to allocation of required resources to these sectors while others have a mostly feudal outlook.

Many consider that Ayushman Bharat scheme, which provides health cover to the poor, can help improve HDI value both at the national and sub-national level in the coming years if rolled out properly and rolled out across the states.


Thus, enlarging the range of people’s choices is the most significant aspect of human development. People’s choices may involve a host of other issues, but, living a long and healthy life, to be educated and have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living, including political freedom, guaranteed human rights and personal self-respect, etc. are considered some of the non-negotiable aspects of the human development and become important in the backdrop of ideals of ‘New India’.

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