Inequalities among states affect human development: Study


New Delhi : Wide inequalities among states affect human development outcomes in India which is ranked 119 out of 169 countries, according to a study released Friday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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India, ranked 119 on the human development index (HDI), loses 30 percent of its value when adjusted for inequality, the study reveals.

In its first-ever study to compute inequality-adjusted human development index (IHDI), the UNDP said the performance of individual states in the HDI hides significant inequalities in attainment within states. The study covered 19 states in India.

Madhya Pradesh, which is ranked 16 on the HDI among the Indian states, loses 35 percent of its value when adjusted for inequalities, thus sliding to the lowest position among 19 states covered under the study.

Kerala, which tops the HDI, is also the most equal in human development attainments. Thus Kerala ranks first in HDI as well as IHDI.

The study takes into consideration inequalities in three areas — income, education and health.

“Variations in inequality-adjusted human development index across India’s states reveal that inequality is negatively impacting human development attainments, which makes inclusive and equitable growth a real need of the hour,” Caitlin Wiesen, country director, UNDP India, said in a statement.

The study reveals that educational outcomes are most unequal within states, resulting in a loss of 43 percent to HDI values of states.

This is a significantly higher loss than the global average of 28 percent of their HDI value when inequality in health outcomes is factored in.

Indian states suffer a higher loss when adjusted for inequality in health compared to the global average of 21 percent.

“We hope this new evidence on state-level inequality will inform the design of the 12th five year plan (2012-17),” said Patrice Coeur-Bizot, United Nations resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in India.