Human Development Report

Last Update: June 2023 (Human Development Report)

Human Development Report

This article deals with ‘Human Development Report’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ and ‘Society’. For more articles , you can click here .


UNDP defines Human Development as the process of widening people’s choices and raising the level of well-being.

For instance, look at the following example.

Human Development Report

Human Development is the critical enabler for upward social mobility.

Human Development Report

  • It is prepared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which provides a comprehensive analysis of human development across countries. 
  • In 1990, Mahbub-ul-Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen of India gave the concept of HDI. 
  • In various reports, it has been found that the Human Development of everyone is not taking place.
    • The human development of males is 20 points greater than females in South Asia.
    • Everywhere, the Human Development of elites and religious majorities is more than others.
    • Due to Climate Change, the Human Development of the present generation is more than what can be achieved by future generations. 

In Human Development Report, there are 5 Indexes.

  1. Human Development Index (HDI) 
  2. HDI – Inequality Adjusted 
  3. Gender Development Index(GDI) 
  4. Gender Inequality Index 
  5. Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

The latest report for 2021/22 was released in 2022

1. Human Development Index  (HDI)

  • It was developed by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 1990 by a team headed by Prof. Mahbub ul Haq. Prof Amartya Sen was also a prominent member of this. 

Dimensions of HDI

Dimension Indicator 
Health Life Expectancy at Birth 
Knowledge Mean Years of Schooling
Expected Years of Schooling
Standard of Living GNI per capita
  • Switzerland topped the ranking in the latest report (2021/2022). India was ranked 132.

Indian Ranking

  Indian Ranking HDI Score
1990   0.429
2015 130 0.624
2016 131 0.624
2017 130 0.643
2018 129 0.647
2019 131 0.645
2021/22 132 0.633

Based on a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), approximately 90% of nations have witnessed a decline in their Human Development Index (HDI) value during either 2020 or 2021. It signifies that global human development has come to a halt for the first time in 32 years.

2. Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)

  • Human Development Index is Geometric Mean. Hence HDI masks internal inequalities.
  • UNDP releases another Index which also accounts for inequalities.
  • HDI (Inequality adjusted) = HDI -(minus) HDI (lost due to Inequality), i.e. Human Development which is lost because of inequalities present in the country wrt gender is adjusted in this. 

IHDI (2022) Ranking

Rank Country HDI Score HDI-Inequality Adjusted Score
1 Iceland 0.959 0.915
2 Norway 0.961 0.908
—— —–    
108 India 0.633 0.475

When there is perfect equality, the HDI and the Inequality Adjusted HDI (IHDI) are equal. However, as the difference between the two increases, it indicates greater levels of inequality within the country.

Note: SDG Goal 10 calls for ‘reducing the Inequalities.’

3. Gender Development Index

  • The Gender Development Index (GDI) is a separate measurement released by the UNDP to complement the Human Development Index (HDI) to address females’ development specifically. 
  • While the HDI does not provide specific information on female development, the GDI calculates the ratio of Female HDI to Male HDI. 

GDI = Female HDI/ Male HDI.

  • If the Development Index for females exceeds that of males, the GDI can be greater than 1.

4. Gender Inequality Index

  • The Gender Inequality Index (GII) has been calculated since 2010.
  • Despite improvements in life expectancy and access to education for women, they still face specific forms of inequality, such as early pregnancies, lack of representation, and limited participation in economic activities. Therefore, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) introduced a specialized index to examine gender inequality.

Dimensions of Gender Inequality Index

Dimension Indicator 
Reproductive Health Maternal Mortality Rate
Adolescent Birth Rate
Empowerment Parliament Seats occupied by Women
Higher Education Attainment Levels
Economic Activity Female Labour Force Participation

The calculations used for the Gender Inequality Index (GII) are represented on a scale of 0 to 1, with 0 indicating no inequality (i.e., women fare equally to men) and 1 representing complete inequality (i.e., significant disparities between women and men).

GII (2022) Ranking

  • India is Ranked = 122 (Score: 0.490)
  • This score is better than that of the South Asian region (value: 0.508) and close to the world average of 0.465. This reflects the Government’s initiatives and investments towards more inclusive growth, social protection, and gender-responsive development policies. 

5. Multidimensional Poverty

  • In India, we calculate poverty using Tendulkar Method based on household consumption.
  • But UNDP takes a holistic view of poverty and measures it differently. 
  • The report has been released since 2010.
  • In Multidimensional Poverty, they look into the following components to measure poverty (HES)
    • Health with components like child mortality
    • Education with components like years of schooling
    • Standard of Living with components like electricity, water etc.
Multidimensional Poverty
  • According to the 2022 Report, 16.4 per cent of the Indian population (22.8 crores) is Multidimensionally Poor
  • Additionally, Multidimensional Poverty is continuously decreasing in India.
Multidimensional Poverty  in India - Trend

Issue of Hunger in India

Issue of Hunger in India

This article deals with ‘Issue of Hunger in India.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

What is Food Security? 

Issue of Hunger in India

It has three aspects wrt access

Physical There should be a presence of food  
Social There should be social access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food. Consider the following situations
1. Dalits aren’t given food or given food on the ground
2. Male child is given nutritious food than the girl child
Economic People should have money to buy safe, sufficient and nutritious food  


Malnutrition in India
  • It is a physiological condition due to an unbalanced intake of macro and micronutrients manifested in the form of 
    • Wasting, i.e. low weight: height ratio
    • Stunting, i.e. the height is lower wrt age.
    • Underweight, i.e. weight is lower wrt age. 
    • Anaemia, i.e. low Red Blood Cells 
  • Malnutrition at early stages reduces intelligence and affects the formation of cognitive and non-cognitive skills that affect long-term wellbeing. 
  • The cost of malnutrition is high both for individuals and nations. 


  • Anaemia is a condition of having a lower quantity of red blood cells or lower haemoglobin in the body. 
  • Its causes include 
    1. Inadequate intake of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12
    2. Infections such as malaria, hookworm infestation, and other parasitic diseases which cause blood loss, impairing nutrient absorption
    3. Women are vulnerable to Anaemia due to menstrual blood loss, pregnancy, and lactation

Sustainable Development Goals and Hunger

SDGs also deal with the issue of Hunger. For example,

Sustainable Development Goals and Hunger

IFPRI Global Hunger Index

  • Status of India on the Global Hunger Index (2022) released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
    • Rank = 107 (out of 121 countries)
    • According to the report, India is home to the largest number of hungry in the world.    
  • But they have also appreciated MGNREGA, NRHM & ICDS programs of the government and recognized their role in reducing Hunger, but even after that, the absolute number is very high. 

Concept of Hidden Hunger

  • 2014 Report has spoken about HIDDEN HUNGER 
  • If the person is just taking Carbohydrates in his diet, he willn’t die. But this isn’t enough for the overall development of the human body. Vitamins and other micronutrients are equally important. It is known as Hidden Hunger because it often goes unnoticed.
  • More than 50% of women & children in India suffer from Anaemia. 
  • To fight Hidden Hunger, one can use  
    • Iodized Salt
    • Fortified Flour
    • Biofortification of crops 
    • PDS Reforms
    • Education 

Causes of Malnutrition

The green revolution phase saw new, fast-growing varieties of staples, especially wheat and rice; the following decades saw a steady decline in the food basket diversity, especially of traditional grains such as bajra and millet, which have nutritional value.

  • Micronutrient Deficiencies / Hangover of Green Revolution: Green Revolution phase saw new and fast-growing varieties of staples, especially wheat and rice; the following decades saw a steady decline in the food basket diversity, especially of traditional grains such as bajra and millet, which have high nutritional value. Indians suffer deficiencies in vitamins and minerals- iron, vitamin A, zinc and iodine due to faulty diet. 
  • Breastfeeding Practices:  Lack of improvement in infant and young child feeding practices are also responsible for poor nutrition status.
  • Poor Sanitation: About half of Indians defecate outside without using toilets, and from here, children pick up parasites and chronic infections that impair the ability of the intestines to absorb nutrition.  
  • Problem with Public Distribution System (PDS) 
    • Leakages in PDS: In 2012, 46% of total grains released through PDS leaked 
    • Wastage: 62,000 tonnes of wheat & rice damaged in Food Corporation of India godowns
  • Social Causes: Women in the household and Girlchild don’t get proper food (compared to other members) 
  • Social and Cultural Factors: Social and cultural factors, such as traditional food practices, dietary beliefs, and taboos, can influence food choices and dietary patterns.
  • Climate Change and Agricultural Challenges: Climate change impacts agriculture, affecting crop yields and food production affecting food availability and affordability.


Implications of NFSA

What India is doing to fight Hunger / Malnutrition

  • National Food Security Act (NFSA):  Explained below
  • Mid-Day Meals in School: The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is a school feeding program providing free meals to students in government and government-aided schools to meet their dietary requirements.
  • POSHAN Scheme:  Explained below
  • National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM): NRLM aims to alleviate rural poverty by promoting livelihoods. 
  • MGNREGA: Provides guarantee of 100-day work and has increased income of poor. 
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM): SBM aims to eliminate open defecation, thus contributing to reduced waterborne diseases, improving sanitation, and enhancing nutrition outcomes.
  • Integrated Child Development Program (ICDP): It focuses on the holistic development of children under six years by providing supplementary nutrition, healthcare, immunization, early childhood education, and other services through Anganwadi centres. 
  • Initiatives such as India Food Banking Network (IFBN) are promoting the concept of collaborative consumption with support from the private sector and civil society organizations. 
  • Other Schemes
    • National Iron Plus Initiative and Vitamin A Supplements 
    • Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding  

National Food Safety Act (NFSA)/ Public Distribution System

National Food Safety Act
  • Central government procures the produce from farmers at MSP, store and then supply it to states at Central Issue Price.
  • State Government identifies the beneficiaries using Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) in a way that it cover 67% of population and then distribute cereals /allowance to them at low price through Fair Price Shops.

Eligible Households

There are two types of eligible households under NFSA, 2013

Priority Household State Governments shall prepare guidelines to prepare the list of Priority Households (consisting of 67% of population).
Antyodaya Household Houses covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana

Entitlements under NFSA

National Food Safety Act


  • Fiscal Deficit: There is no need to cover 67% population & it should have been a targeted scheme. Such a broad coverage leads to a Fiscal deficit.
  • The Hidden Hunger Problem remains because it doesn’t have pulses, edible oil, fruits, veggies and milk component in it. The present diet entitlement just provides carbohydrates.  
  • Nothing done to reduce leakage: GPS Truck tracking, CCTV etc., should have been used in this, but there isn’t any provision like this in the act.
  • Exclusion Errors: Deserving beneficiaries are excluded due to inaccurate identification of eligible households, ineffective ration card distribution, and corruption, thus limiting the reach of the program.
  • Quality of Food Grains: The quality of food grains provided through the PDS is often substandard due to poor quality, adulteration, and insect infestation.
  • Storage Issues: Large amount of grains rot in godowns because proper infrastructure is not present

Economic Survey is of the view that instead of this, Food Stamps should be given to target people who can buy the food of their choice from the market.  

Best Practices Introduced by States

Issue of Smart Card Haryana , Tamil Nadu, Punjab
Using GPS Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu
SMS based Monitoring Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, UP

One Nation One Ration Card

Issue: Currently, the ration card for accessing the benefits provided under National Food Safety Act (NFSA) is location specific. Hence, if a person migrates to another state or another place in the same state, the beneficiary can’t buy cheap grains.

Way out: The government has introduced the One Nation One Ration Card, under which all the ration cards have been connected to the central server. Beneficiaries can access their entitlement to cheaper food grains anywhere in the country. 


  • POSHAN, or PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment Abhiyaan, aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
  • The mission’s target is to reduce stunting in children aged between 0-6 years. It also aims to reduce Anaemia among women and adolescent girls.
  • In 2021, Central Government merged schemes like the Supplementary Nutrition Programme under Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and POSHAN Abhiyaan, known as POSHAN 2.0.


Last Updated: June 2023 (Communalism)


This article deals with Communalism’ . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Communalism can be defined as allegiance to one’s own ethnic/religious group rather than wider society. Although it is exclusive in outlook, a communalist considers his religion superior to other religions. 

Stages of Communalism

Communalism is manifested at three levels

Mild When people belonging to the same community believe that they have the same secular interest.
Moderate When people belonging to different communities believe that they have different secular interests.
Extreme When people believe that they not only have different interests but mutually antagonistic and hostile interests (i.e. one community can prosper only at the cost of another community).

Note: Communalism is an ideological tool often used by the upper class to mobilize people to achieve their own political goals. 

6 Types of Communalism

Often there is a perception in the society that communalism is a threat to national security. But, it is not a threat to national security per se. It depends upon the type of communalism we are looking at.

According to Sociologists, there are 6 types of Communalism.


1. Assimilationist

  • When a large religious community tries to bring into its fold small communities.  
  • E.g., Hindu organizations projecting Tribals as Hindus. 

2. Welfarist

  • When a religious community makes an effort for the welfare of the members of that community.
  • E.g., Christian organizations doing welfare work for Christians.

3. Retreatist

  • When the religious community forbid their members from participating in political affairs.
  • E.g., Bahi Community.

4. Retaliatory

  • When members of the religious communities are made to believe that their interests are mutually antagonist to the interests of other religious communities.
  • E.g., the Hindu-Muslim community.

5. Separatist

  • When people demand a separate state based on religious identities within the federal framework.
  • E.g., Punjabi Suba Movement by Punjabi Sikhs. 

6. Secessionist

  • When people demand secession based on religious identities.
  • E.g., Khalistan Movement. 

The last three threaten national integration, but the first three aren’t. Hence, we cant say communalism is always a threat to national integration.

Characteristics of Communalism

  • Communalism is an ideological concept. 
  • It is a total commitment to a set of beliefs & unwillingness to accept other beliefs.
  • It mostly rests on prejudices. 
  • It closes the self and is highly emotional.
  • It causes rivalry and violence among the masses. 
  • The higher class people and elites use it as an instrument for division and exploitation.
  • It strikes at the roots of secularism and national integration.

Evolution of Communalism in India

The genesis of communalism in India can be traced back to British rule.

  • With the emergence of secular education, a new educated middle class emerged. But the aspirations of the middle class were not getting satisfied in the absence of adequate economic opportunities. Communal Politics emerged to get the largest pie for their community.
  • In India, socio-economic classes coincided with religious distinctions. E.g.,
    • Hindu Zamindars vs Muslim peasants in Bengal, Kerala etc.
    • Hindu Banias vs Muslim (Jatt) Peasants in Punjab. 
  • Divide and Rule Policy of Britishers: To counter the growing national movement.

However, the overthrow of the colonial state was only the necessary condition to fight the menace of communalism but not sufficient condition. There were other forces at play too. Even in the post-independence period, the Government failed to control communalism. After independence, communalism persisted and has been the biggest threat to the secular fabric of our nation. As a result, the following communal violence outbreaks happened in India:-

  1. Anti-Sikh riots of 1984
  2. Mass killing and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley (1989) 
  3. Riots after Babri Masjid demolition (1992) 
  4. Godhra riots of 2002
  5. Assam violence between Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslims (2012)
  6. Muzzafarnagar riots (2013)
  7. Delhi riots (2020) 
Communal Riots in India

Causes of Communalism

Failing of Minorities to integrate into mainstream

  • Muslims failed to intermix in the national mainstream and insisted on sustaining a separate identity. 

Vote Bank Politics

  • Various religion base parties use communalism to consolidate their vote banks.

Communal way of history writing

  • British historians like James Mill described the ancient period as the Hindu period and the medieval period as the Muslim period.

Economic Causes

  • If a certain religious community is economically weak, it leads to the feeling of relative deprivation and leads to the rise of communalism.

Absence of Uniform Civil Code

  • In the absence of a Uniform civil code, there is a perception that all communities have divergent and contradictory interests. 

Psychological factors

  • Hindu groups consider Muslims are crusaders, fundamentalists and unpatriotic.
  • On the other hand, the Muslims believe that they are treated as inferior in India.  

Politics of Appeasement

  • Political parties try to appease communities for votes epitomized by Shah Bano Case. This promote Communalism.

Provocation of Enemy Countries

  • E.g., Pakistan fosters Communal feelings, especially in Kashmiri Muslim Youth.

Social factors

  • Issues like beef consumption, Hindi/Urdu imposition, conversion efforts by groups etc., further created a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims. 

Present issues related to Communalism

Love Jihad

  • Ultra Right Hindu outfits allege that organized conspiracy is going on under which Muslim males marry Hindu females with the sole purpose to convert them into Islam.
  • Although the term ‘love jihad’ has no legal basis, states like UP, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh are planning to make a law against ‘love jihad’.

Problems in State Machinery to fight Communalism

  • National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) fights for communal violence-related causes. But its recommendations are advisory in nature.
  • Various commissions have given suggestions to solve the issue of communal violence. Prominent among them are SACHAR COMMITTEE and RANGANATH MISHRA COMMISSION.
    • Sachar committee (2010) : Recommended to set up Equal opportunity commission (EOC). 
    • Ranganath Misra Commission: Recommended reservation for minorities. 
  • There is no specific act to deal with communal violence and targeted violence. It was also held in the Sajjan Kumar vs NCT of Delhi Case (2018) regarding communal riots against Sikhs of 1984.
  • The role of police in communal riots is highly controversial. It is further aggravated by the large scale concentration of the dominant caste in the police.  

Impact of Communalism

1. On Politics

  • Organization of political parties on a communal basis.
  • Voting in elections also happens on a communal basis.
  • Large scale riots near elections to polarize voters.

2. On Society

  • It has created a wide rift among the people.
  • Hampers unity of the nation and creates various sub-national feelings.
  • Curbing of Progressive voices. E.g. Voices for the abolition of Triple Talaq is being opposed.  

3. On Economy

  • The vandalization of public property like burning of buses, trains etc.
  • Badly impacts the investor’s confidence.

Ways to eradicate Communalism

  1. Building solidarity and assimilation of various religious groups by fostering a secular culture, e.g. celebrating each other’s religious festivals.
  2. Swift and prompt response to radicalization by a militant group on social media through police action and psychological counselling. 
  3. Ensuring that political parties refrain from using religion in order to h votes through strict vigilance by institutional mechanisms such as the Election Commission. 
  4. The Parliament should frame stern laws against communal violence.
  5. CBI or a special investigative body should investigate communal riots within a stipulated time frame. Further, special courts should hear such cases for quick delivery of justice to victims.
  6. A pluralistic settlement where members of different communities live should be encouraged by removing existing barriers as religious segregation strengthens communal identities and reinforces negative stereotypes of other religious groups.
  7. Government should not ban minority practices in order to appease the majority group. E.g. the state should not show a preference for vegetarianism. 
  8. Uniform Civil Code should be formulated and implemented with the consensus of all religious communities so that there is uniformity in personal laws.
  9. Equal Opportunities Commission should be formed. 
  10. The state should show zero Tolerance toward riots.  
  11. Promote the Indian ideology of Vasudeva Kutumbakam, i.e. the whole world is a family.