India has failed to give its citizens a better quality of life so far and the country now ranks 134 among 182 countries in the human development index of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), released today.
India, in fact, has continued to slip in its rakings for the past three years. In the HDI published in 2007-2008 it ranked 128 while the position in 2006 was 126.
"Overall, however, India has made steady progress on the human development index. Its value has gone up from 0.556 in 2000 to 0.612 in 2007," according to Patrice Coeur-Bizot, resident representative of UNDP in India.
In comparison, neighbouring China ranked 92 in the list of 182 countries while smaller countries such as Sri Lanka and Bhutan also ranked higher at 102 and 132. Pakistan was ranked 141, Nepal at 144 and Bangladesh at 146.
Norway continues to be at the top the chart, while Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Japan in that order make up the top 10. The US is ranked 13, while the UK and Germany have come down their rankings to 21 and 22.
"Human development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about people realising their potential, increasing their choices and enjoying the freedom to lead lives they value," the report noted.
"Migration, both within and beyond borders, has become an increasingly prominent theme in domestic and international debates, and is the topic of the 2009 Human Development Report. The starting point is that the global distribution of capabilities is extraordinarily unequal, and that this is a major driver for movement of people," the report said.