United Nations Development Programme has been publishing Human Development Report annually since 1990. HDI helped the government to the real uplifting of standard of living of the people.
HDI was developed by the Pakistani Economist Mahbub ul Haq and the Indian Economist Amartya Kumar Sen in 1990 and was published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is constructed based on Life Expectancy Index, Education Index and GDP Per Capita.
HDI is based on the following three indicators
1. Longevity is measured by life expectancy at birth,
2. Educational attainments,
3. Standard of living, measured by real GDP per capita (PPP$).
Before calculating HDI, the fixed minimum and maximum values of each indicator are chosen.
The performance in each dimension is expressed as a value between 0 and 1 by applying the following formula
Dimension Index = (Actual value – Minimum value) / (Maximum value - Minimum value)
According to Planning Commission’s National Human Development Report 2011, HDI has improved significantly between 1980 and 2011. That is, The HDI went up from 0.302 in 1981 to 0.472 score in 2011.
As per latest Human Development Report (2016) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India has been ranked 131st out of 188 countries. Out of 188 countries, India lies in Medium Human Development bracket.
The other nations such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Kenya, Myanmar and Nepal attained the medium human development. The HDR 2016 stated that regional disparities in education, health and living standards within India has caused India’s downfall to 27 % on HDI score. India’s HDI rank value in 2015 stood at 0.624, which had increased from 0.580 in 2010. India’s rank in 2014 was 131.
Biswajeet Guha has stated that the calculation of HDI neglected many important aspects of human development. He has created four indices of HDI as HDI1, HDI2, HDI3, and HDI4. HDI1 is based on UNDP methodology as given in Human Development Report. He has enlarged the scope of HDI by adding three more dimensions such as quality of life, poverty eradication, and urbanization.
Various countries including India are continuously making efforts to improve and enlarge the scope of available statistical information.
Morris D Morris developed the Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI). The PQLI is a measure to calculate the quality of life (well being of a country). For this, he included three indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality rate and literacy rate. A scale of each indicator ranges from the number 1 to 100.
Number 1 represents the worst performance by any country. 100 is the best performance. For example, in case of life expectancy, the upper limit of 100. This was assigned to 77 years which was achieved by Sweden in 1973. The lower limit of 1 was assigned to 28 years which was achieved by Guinea-Bissau in 1960.
The main difference between the two is the inclusion of income in HDI and exclusion of income from PQLI. HDI represents both physical and financial attributes of development and PQLI has only the physical aspects of life.