India ranks 115 in World Banks Human Capital Index; govt dismisses report

Irving Hamilton
October 12, 2018

"There are major methodological weaknesses, besides substantial data gaps.The gap in data and methodology overlook the initiatives taken by a country and, in turn, portray an incomplete and predetermined picture.Analysed in the context of India, the HCI score for India does not reflect the key initiatives that are being taken for developing human capital in the country".

The government has chose to ignore the World Bank's human capital index (HCI) saying the score for India does not reflect the key initiatives that are being taken for developing human capital in the country.

The Finance Ministry statement said the government has taken various initiatives for transforming human capital in India touching lives of millions of people living in rural and tribal areas. I hope that it drives countries to take urgent action and invest more - and more effectively - in their people. However, factoring in what children actually learn, the expected years of school are only 5.8 in India.

In harmonised test scores, students in Bangladesh score 368 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment. Only 96% of the Indians born today will have the probability to survive to age five indicative of how India is still struggling to control infant mortality in a big way.

On other parameters, the index reveals that 83 per cent of 15-year-olds will survive until 60. The report also asserted that 38% of children in India experience stunted growth.

The Human Capital Project seeks to raise awareness and increase demand for interventions to build human capital.

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At the 2018 World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, President Jim Yong Kim announced the launch of the Human Capital Index.

In Chad, the lowest country ranked on the list, the World Bank said productivity and earnings potential would be only about 29 percent of what their potential would be under ideal conditions there. Further, the earnings potential in the country was 88 percent of potential, better than the U.S, which ranked 24th between Israel and Macau, productivity and earnings were measured at 76 percent of potential.

"We've got old folks in their 70s and 80s who are learning to dance ballet and doing not badly, and they're much healthier and happier for it", he said.

The Index measures each country's distance to the frontier of complete education and full health for a child born today. "For instance, for the schooling parameter, though quantity is assessed using enrolment rates reported by UNESCO, quality is gauged using harmonized test scores from major worldwide student achievement testing programs", the union government said in a statement. It conveys the productivity of the next generation of workers compared to a benchmark of complete education and full health.

Globally, 56 percent of all children born today will grow up to be, at best, half as productive as they could be; and 92 percent will grow up to be, at best, 75 percent as productive as they could be.

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