Human Development Index: India drops to 134th place, behind China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.

World Human Development Index:
According to the report, half of the world’s poorest countries have not made the progress they did before the pandemic, while wealthy countries are seeing growth that has never been seen before.

According to Oxfam, in just three years, there has been a worldwide pandemic, a war, and a crisis related to the cost of living. These events have not only widened the gap between the rich and the poor, but also “between an oligarchic few and the vast majority.”

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released its most recent report on human development, and India comes in at number 134 on the worldwide Human Development Index (HDI). According to the report, half of the world’s poorest countries have not made the progress they did before the pandemic, while wealthy countries are seeing growth that has never been seen before.

The 2023/24 Human Development Report, titled “Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a polarized world,” states that there is a significant gap in the development levels of rich and poor countries, even if the HDI is expected to hit record highs in 2023 following dips in 2020 and 2021.

The research notes that significant economic concentration has exacerbated global inequality, with about 40% of world commerce in products concentrated in three or fewer nations. According to the estimate, in 2021, the combined market capitalization of the three biggest IT companies globally exceeded the GDP of over 90% of nations.

The report’s findings indicate that the two-decade trend of continuously declining disparities between wealthy and poor countries is now in reverse, as evidenced by the rising human development gap. We are failing despite our extremely interconnected global communities. To meet people’s ambitions and handle our common and existential issues, we must make the most of our interdependence and capacities, according to UNDP chief Achim Steiner.

There is a high human cost associated with this congestion. In addition to impeding human growth, the inability of collaborative action to address issues like digitalization, poverty, and inequality also exacerbates polarization and further erodes public confidence in governments and individuals across the globe, the speaker stated.

India’s position

In the Human Development category, they are categorized as “Very High,” “High,” “Medium,” and “Low.” India is rated 134th, while China and Sri Lanka are ranked 75th and 78th, respectively. Despite being categorized as “medium human development,” India is ranked lower than Bangladesh (129) and Bhutan (125) both of them.

The paradox of democracy
‘Democracy paradox’

Nine out of ten people globally support democracy, yet more than half of the respondents said they supported leaders who could weaken it by disobeying basic democratic norms.

Along with this paradox, more than two-thirds of respondents felt they have little influence over decisions made by their government and half of those polled said they have little to no control over their lives.

Protectionist or inward-looking policy approaches, which are “starkly at odds with the global cooperation needed to address urgent issues like the decarbonization of our economies, misuse of digital technologies, and conflict,” are another result of political polarization in nations, according to the report, which also emphasizes the necessity of taking coordinated action to address global issues.

Our security and well-being are seriously threatened when we fail to invest in one another in a society where polarization and division are on the rise. Digital regulation, climate change mitigation, and pandemic prevention are just a few of the intricately intertwined issues that protectionist policies are unable to handle, according to Steiner.

Our issues are linked together, necessitating solutions that are also linked together. We have an opportunity to break through the current impasse and rekindle a commitment to a common future by embracing an opportunity-driven agenda that highlights the advantages of the energy transition and artificial intelligence for human progress, he stated.

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