(India, People and Economy) 3. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – (NCERT Class-XII)

  • A process of enlarging the range of people‟s choices, increasing their opportunities for education, health care, income and empowerment and covering the full range of human choices from a sound physical environment to economic, social and political freedom.” 
  • Thus, enlarging the range of people’s choices is the most significant aspect of human development. People’s choices may involve a host of other issues, but, living a long and healthy life, to be educated and have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living including political freedom, guaranteed human rights and personal self-respect, etc. are considered some of the non-negotiable aspects of the human development.
  • First Human Development Report by United Nations development Program (UNDP) in 1990 Since then, this organization has been bringing out World Human Development Report every year
  • This report define human development, make amendments and changes its indicators and ranks all the countries
  • Human Development Report 1993, “progressive democratization and increasing empowerment of people are seen as the minimum conditions for human development”. it also mentions that “development must be woven around people, not the people around development”

Human Development in India

  • Ranked 135 (2014)- Norway topped among the countries of the world in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI). With the composite HDI value of O.602. 
  • HDI-Scale (0-1) 1 is good and 0 is bad
  • Lack of sensitivity to the historical factors like colonization, imperialism and neo-imperialism, socio-cultural factors like human rights violation, social discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender and caste, social problems like crimes, terrorism, and war and political factors like nature of the state, forms of the government (democracy or dictatorship) level of empowerment are some factors that are very crucial in determining the nature of human development. 
  • The Planning Commission of India also prepared the Human Development Report for India. It used states and the Union Territories as the units of analysis 
  • Kerala with the composite index value of 0.638 is placed at the top rank followed by Punjab (0.537), Tamil Nadu (0.531) Maharashtra (0.523) and Haryana (0.509). As expected, states like Bihar (0.367), Assam (0.386), Uttar Pradesh (0.388), Madhya Pradesh (0.394) and Orissa (0.404) are at the bottom among the 15 major states in India.

Indicators of Economic Attainments

  • Rich resource base and access to these resources by all, particularly the poor, down trodden and the marginalised is the key to productivity, well-being and human development.
  • Gross National Product (GNP) and its per capita availability are taken as measures to assess the resource base/ endowment of any country 
  • consumption and expenditure rate 
  • population living below the poverty line
  • Employment rate

Indicators of a Healthy Life 

  • Life free from illness and ailment and living a reasonably long life span are indicative of a healthy life.
  • Availability of pre and post natal health care facilities in order to reduce infant mortality and post-delivery deaths among mothers, old age health care, adequate nutrition and safety of individual are some important measures of a healthy and reasonably long life.
  • India has done reasonably well in some of the health indicators like decline in death rate from 25.1 per thousand in 1951 to 8.1 per thousand in 1999 and infant mortality from 148 per thousand to 70 during the same period.
  • Increase in life expectancy at birth from 37.1 years to 62.3 years for males and 36.2 to 65.3 years for females from 1951 to 1999.
  • Decrease in birth rate from 40.8 to 26.1 during the same years, but it still is much higher than many developed countries. 
  • India has recorded declining female sex ratio.

Indicators of Social Empowerment 

  • “Development is freedom”. Freedom from hunger, poverty, servitude, bondage, ignorance, illiteracy and any other forms of domination is the key to human development.
  • Freedom in real sense of the term is possible only with the empowerment and participation of the people in the exercise of their capabilities and choices in the society 
  • Literacy is the beginning of access to such a world of knowledge and freedom.

Population, Environment and Development

  • The UNDP in its Human Development Report 1993 this report recognized greater constructive role of „Civil Societies‟ in bringing about peace and human development.
  • The civil society should work for building up opinion for reduction in the military expenditure, de- mobilization of armed forces, transition from defense to production of basic goods and services and particularly disarmament and reduction in the nuclear warheads by the developed countries. 
  • Neo-Malthusians, environmentalists and radical ecologists believe that for a happy and peaceful social life proper balance between population and resources is a necessary condition.
  • It is not the availability of resources that is as important as their social distribution

Indian culture and civilization have been very sensitive to the issues of population, resource and development for a long time.

  • the ancient scriptures were essentially concerned about the balance and harmony among the elements of nature. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi in the recent times advocated the reinforcement of the harmony and balance between the two.
  • In his opinion, austerity for individual, trusteeship of social wealth and nonviolence are the key to attain higher goals in the life of an individual as well as that of a nation. His views were also re-echoed in the Club of Rome Report “Limits to Growth” (1972), Schumacher‟s book “Small is Beautiful” (1974), Brundtland Commission‟s Report “Our Common Future” (1987) and finally in the “Agenda-21 Report of the Rio Conference” (1993).

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