Fortunately, every third stat is said to be a lie

The Human Development Report for 2007-08 has been released by the UNDP and there are few surprises.

# India’s human development index (HDI) of 0.619 puts it just below Equatorial Guinea (0.642) and Solomon Islands (0.602).

# India’s life expectancy of 63.7 years is sandwiched between Comoros (64.1) and Mauritania (63.2), while Malawi and Rwanda have higher adult literacy than India.

# India’s GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) is $3,452, far below China’s $6,757.

India was ranked 126 by the HDR 2006, a rung higher than the previous year’s 127. This year, it continues to be dubbed a country at medium level of human development.

Infographic courtesy: The Telegraph, Calcutta

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14 Responses to “Fortunately, every third stat is said to be a lie”

  1. shreeram Says:

    Inspite of all the noise about the fruits of globalisation one thing is sure rich become richer while poor become poorer…… it is utterly disgraceful that a nation which boasts of so many millionaires has double the number of people who starve to death due to want of food(which according to me is the harshest of death a person can have)… Media instead of focusing on stock markets and ambanis and murthys should show the plight of these poor people who struggle daily for even a single meal/day….. what India needs now is not only creation of wealth but also its effective distribution among the less fortunate…

  2. Sanjay Guha Says:

    Two reasons why India lags behind whenever studies of this nature are conducted- Population and Ignorance. In sixty years since independence our population has grown more than three times. As ours is a democracy of the ignorant, the superstious and the poor, population growth continues unchecked. I doubt if any of our leaders realize the chaos this country is plunging into. What’s needed here is a massive social transformation and I don’t see the government contributing much here. It is the society that has to pitch in and change things. This won’t happen soon given the social structure in this country which is corroding from inside.

  3. aashadabhoothi Says:

    I agree with Sanjay. Just wondering what happened to all those population control prorammes – ‘ we two ours two’. Nowadays no one i bothered about it and we Indians are breeding with abandon.

  4. Bharat Says:

    I agree that India has lots of problems with infrastructure, poverty, overpopulation, etc. Still, when we talk about “Human development index”, one question that comes to my mind is – what is human development?

    Is human development just about building roads, malls, etc? Should GDP be a factor at all? As US and UK (along with other western countries) occupy the top slots, does this mean Americans and British humans are “more developed” than Indian or Chinese humans?

    What about human values? Things that include meaningful human relationships, sacrificing for fellow human beings, staying away from mindless consumerism and living in tune with nature to a possible extent – Do they find a place in “human development”?

    When a nation has a capitalist economy and a liberal culture that focuses less on human relationships and more on shopping, they find a better place in this human development index. So, record percentage of divorces, teenage pregnancies, drug addictions, work related stress, reckless consumption, etc are all part of “human development”!

    Our illiterate grandmas who sacrificed a lot and tought as wonderful human values are “less developed humans” than Oprah Winfreys and Madonnas!

  5. Shiva with Ananda Says:

    I agree with Mr Shreeram. Starving to death is henious kind of death. I remember reading about people eating mango kernels due to hunger.
    this is a shame on a country projected as future superpower.

    commenting about Mr aashadabhoothi . It is possible govt are not focussing about population control could be minority apessement. people in cities, towns(educated class) have default opted for small family due to all sorts of constraints. Any how illetrate class continue to make children in dozens and our leaders wants this as these people are there vote banks.

    Yes as long an Indian is dieing of hunger we cannot call ourself a devloped nation.

  6. Mayura Says:

    When the NDA government was in power, it set up a committee to go into the population explosion problem and then decided it is too early to worry about this as we have another 10-15 years to take care of this problem.

    But good thing, is that the insititution of marriage itself is becoming shaky in present day india, what with living in pairs becoming the cool thing to do instead of getting married. Probably, this might restrict the population growth at least in cities.


  7. Alok Says:

    Actually it is a bit unfair tacking India and China as a whole into this one list and comparing us to say, Iceland or even, Sri Lanka.

    We know that there are parts of India, i.e., Kerala, Gujarat, parts of TN, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab among other places where we are actually getting close to a developed lifestyle. And it is not just the local businessmen and the politicians, but also a middle class with increasing affluence.

    There are other parts which are still developing, but need a few years of decent governance and investment to catch up, i.e., smaller states like HP. Sikkim, Goa, parts of AP, WB and Jharkhand. Here, the middle class is small but definitely growing, and there is potential for future growth either because of education or natural resources or decent governance or some combination of the above.

    Then there are the black holes of India where barring a miracle in the next few years, nothing can be changed. Here I am referring to Chattisgarh, Bihar, UP, North Karnataka, MP, parts of the North East. Poor governance, violence, depletion of natural resources and rotten governance work together to keep these areas in the dark and almost without hope.

    We can’t talk about rich getting richer etc. without keeping in mind these regional differences and the governance problems. Its no use blaming globalization, or privatization because the fruits of these will not trickle down in a corrupt and ungovernable society. If we improve the governance and institutions in our society, they will be useless if people do not have adequate economic opportunities. While the latter was the problem for the first thirty years or so, the former is the problem now.

  8. Veerasundar Says:

    until unless the opportunities are available for all class of people, India can not be names as a developed country. In India, the growth is only for certain group of people. There is a say that ‘Richer get richer, poor get poor’ – if this is not changed, nothing will change.

  9. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi Says:

    My lads, forget this biased ranking system. Let us first focus on making Karnataka, a stand-alone country. This will solve many issues, like unemployment, Cavery water rights, regulation of migrants, dual system of governance for both Technology and Agriculture, revised IT laws that are friendlier, proper land economics, proper distribution of wealth and the growth and development of Tumkur, Mandya, Shimoga and Hassan as major centres of Global Commerce. Deve Gowda and his ilk should be dealt with the way Ferdinand Marcos was by the Philipinos. It is a small wonder that Karnataka has no statue erected of that fossil farmer. Gowda’s wife’s ( is the old bag still alive?) 1000 chappals should be confiscated and distributed to the poor and needy.

  10. Anonymous Guy Says:

    I feel, things will improve in the long run. The conditions exist in India for that.

    Maybe not in our generation or the next. Say 3 generations from now. Just consider how it was in India 3 generations ago – and how far we have come since then. Even the people who got the worst deal are better off (at least we have fought off famines and widespread plagues).

    Of course in the short term there may be rebellions and revolutions. A few leaders will emerge from this who will make the much needed corrections in the political and bureaucratic setup (after all we have a basic framework which is solid – things may seem chaotic but it all works due to the basic decency, goodness and generosity of the majority of Indians). Its only been 6 decades since we put the current system into place – and it hasnt been corrected yet.

    Here’s my prediction – in 3 generations from now (say another 60 years) – India rate as high as any other country in any these ‘stats’. May a couple of percentage points lesser since it is a bigger country (there I would have to agree with Sir Aatmapudi about smaller manageable units – like an independent Karnataka).

    Provided the population is controlled by education (and birth control being adopted by majority of people eventually) and government and the bureacracy dont interfere too much…

  11. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Talking of generations, here is a link to the Imperial Gazeteer published in 1909.

    The places are listed in links below in alphabetical order.

    You can look up your native place and see what the population was, what was the chief commercial activities. And see how far we have come since then – for good or for bad.

    It is also a quaint and interesting read – esp. how the British seemed to have mapped out the whole of our country with an eye on exploiting everything which lies within it.

  12. Kadana Kuthuhala Says:

    This kind of ranking will not give the true picture!! We need to build a country that will have place all kinds of people sharing dfferent philosophies!!
    Targeting people like NRN or Socialists will not take us anywhere.
    India in the past was richer financially and philosophically because people embraced hinduism which basically helped construct a hierarchial society!! Today majority of the people in india belong to a group that has no intellect to contribute economically or philosophically!!
    This majority wants everyone to be treated the way they treat themselves!
    It is this majority that has made a mockery of democracy and has caused huge damage to the potential the country has!

  13. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi Says:

    You people are bothered about India’s ranking. First bother about your state: Free karnataka from the Indian Union. Coorg has been fighting for this since ages. The Old Mysore state enjoyed an independent reign until it merged with the Indian Union and of course now is a playing field for the fossil farmer Devegowda and his ilk. Look at the bigger picture you chaps.

  14. babuds Says:

    Actually, we should have been clubbed with Ethiopia and the likes. Crores of our people are either starving or underfed. Just because some Premji or some Ambani made trillions, the country would be no better. As long as starvation deaths continue, we should be ranked at the bottom of the rung. Probably henceforth they should make a rule that starvation deaths would pull down a country’s ranking by 200 points or so.

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