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HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & ITS MEASUREMENT

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & ITS MEASUREMENT

INTRODUCTION

  • GNP per capita is one of the basic ways in which we measure the level of economic development a country has obtained. However, excessive reliance on it as a reliable indicator of overall economic development might be dangerous.
  • A better indicator of development should focus not only on the average income of population but also on whether such income is being manifested for the development of the population also.
  • This motivates us to look for some commonsense indicators of development, such as literacy, life expectancy, access to drinking water, low infant mortality rate and so on.
  • We must also focus on whether such indicators of human development are accessible to different categories of population in an equitable manner.
  • For instance, despite significant level of human development, there might be difference in their accessibility on the basis of gender and castes.  HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & ITS MEASUREMENT

Measurement of Human Development

  • Different parameters of human development like those related to education and health, are generally measured in different units.  HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & ITS MEASUREMENT
  • When we want to compare the level of human development across different nations, we can compare a particular parameter (e.g. literacy rate or life expectancy) separately across nations.
  • However, it is desirable to have a comprehensive index that can incorporate different aspects of human development together so that an overall comparison of human development becomes easier.
  • Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI) was one of the pioneering indices in this field. PQLI was developed by Morris D. Morris in 1979 for 23 developing countries.  HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & ITS MEASUREMENT

The three components of human development incorporated in PQLI were:

  • Infant Mortality
  • Life Expectancy at Age 1
  • Basic Literacy at Age 15
  • A more formal approach towards developing such indices was made by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • It’s Headquarter is in New York and Helen Clark is the Chief. UNDP has been publishing Human Development Report (HDR) every year since 1990 which provides a summary status of different parameters of human development across the world along with the calculation of some important indices.
  • HDR was originated by Mahbub UI Haq, a Pakistani economist. Amartya Sen has also played important role in the formulation of different indices later.  HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & ITS MEASUREMENT

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