On October 11, India turned down the judgment of the World Bank’s report on HCI (i.e. Human Capital Index ) that actually allocated our country the 115th position in the list, which was lower than Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Singapore surpassed the poll because of its high rating for its education exams results, universal health care system and life expectancy figures, as per the HCI released by the World Bank. It is followed by South Korea, Japan then Hong Kong and Finland.
The World Bank, in its first report on the Human Capital Index , ranked 157 economies on multiple specifications like health, child mortality and education.
The Finance Ministry informed the public that this is not a true indicator of our development as the Human Capital Index score for India does not echo the key initiatives that have been undertaken for developing human capital by the government, in the country.
Further quoting the various successfully running programs, he added that the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan which was launched to focus on approach, capacity, and condition of education in our country has today benefitted more than 197 million school children, the direct result of which we are reaping in terms of improved economic conditions.
Through the medium of the Ayushman Bharat Programme, our country has now begun the world’s largest Health Insurance initiative that provides more than 500 million citizens with adequate health coverage and has transformed around 150,000 Health Centres into Wellness Centres in order to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has abated drudgery from our country and bettered the health of more than 38 million women by equipping them with LPG connections and replacing the firewood and coke based cooking stoves.
In pursuance of the plan of financial inclusion, the Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojana has successfully provided access to formal banking services to over 328 million Indians. The state of account ownership among rural adults has increased more than double from 33 percent in 2011 to over 79 percent in 2017, necessarily bridging the rural-urban gap.
The Aadhaar identification system, as well as Financial inclusion, has facilitated our country to make direct cash transfer of about USD 64 billion to citizens, thereby improving governance as well as social protection.
The Government of India, therefore, has settled to scorn the Human Capital Index and has decided to continue to undertake its path-breaking programme for human capital development aiming to briskly transform the quality and ease of life for all its children.
The Finance Ministry’s statement informed that the government has taken multiple initiatives for transforming human capital in India and has touched the lives of millions of people living in rural and tribal areas.
The qualitative aspects of enhanced governance that have a strong interrelationship with human capital development cannot be and have not been captured by the way that the Human Capital Index had established.
The divergence both in data as well as methodology overlook the initiatives taken by a country and in turn, represent an incomplete plus pre-determined picture. An addition to this, in fact, makes the scenario for the adoption of the index by more nations somewhat irrelevant.
The abrupt introduction of the Human Capital Index by the World Bank may decline the larger Human Capital Project its due in spite of the lofty objectives of the latter.