Human Development Report 2021-22

The report noted that 90% of countries reported a decline in HDI value in 2020-2021.

Human Development Report 2021-2022

United Nations Development Programme released the Human Development Report 2021-22 highlighting the Uncertain Times of the last two years. The Human Development Index has seen a decline in the last two years for the first time. HDI for all countries were increasing since the 1990s. 90% of countries reported a decline in HDI value in 2020 and 2021. The decline is primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and dangerous planetary changes. 

Human Development Index is measured through three key dimensions – a long and healthy life, access to education, and a decent standard of living. This index helps the countries to monitor their progress and make policy changes if required.  

How India performed? 

India’s global ranking has fallen down to 132 in 2021 as against 130 in 2020. 

Indicators 20202021 
Life Expectancy 70.1 years 67.2 years 
Expected Years of Schooling 11.9 years 11.9 years 
Mean Years of Schooling 6.7 years 6.7 years 
Gross National Income Per Capita $6107$6590 
Source – HDI

While, the Education parameter for India remain constant, the country dipped into the life expectancy parameter.  


UNDP has recommended the three pathways that will lead to sustainable growth and cater to human development. The recommendations fall into two broad categories – Enhancing Social Arrangement and Changing Culture. 

Enhancing Social Arrangement 

UNDP recommends that the policy should be framed through three following lenses. 

  1. Investment 

To navigate the path of uncertainty, countries need investment in human capital and other resources to prepare for various challenges (environmental, health) in the future. 

Example – Investing in public goods 

  1. Insurance 

To guarantee protection or compensation in the case of threats like natural disasters, or pandemics, countries need insurance mechanisms to enhance human security.  

Example – Devising Social Protection Policies 

  1. Innovation 

The world is changing rapidly and hence countries need to invest in science and research to innovate technology that aids to our knowledge. 

Example – Technologies leading to energy efficiency or social innovation     

Cultural Changes 

With enhancing the social arrangement, UNDP believes that it needs support from society that can be inculcated through cultural changes. Following are the ways in which countries can steadily make that change. 

  1. Education 

Education is the foundation for social and cultural change. It embodies critical thinking, developing scientific temperament and reasoning in society. This aids in behavioral changes that are needed to navigate the human developmental path. 

Example – Developing a school curriculum that talks about diversity. 

  1. Recognition 

Activism is successfull when the suggestions from the activist groups turn into law. Therefore, recognition through laws especially for the socio-economic marginalized communities is essential to have inclusive development. 

Example – Media campaigns to prevent discrimination 

  1. Representation 

As it is often said, Representation Matters! It caters to the inclusive society and gives powers to the individuals to participate in decision making process in every social and political sphere of the country.

Example – Enhancing representation of Women, and the LGBTQ+ community in the political sphere. 

The report suggests pathways to bridge the dip that the countries have experienced in the last two years. Technology can act as an aid but the world needs flexibility, creativity, solidarity, and inclusive development to guide our path to enhancing human development.    

Read the full report here!

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