NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Geography (Prelims) by Valor Academy

Created by: Mehtab Ahmed

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Human Development Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Unit I
Chapter 3
HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT
Sixty years ago, Rekha was born in a family of
small farmer in Uttarakhand. She helped her
mother in household chores. While her brothers
went to school, she did not receive any
education. She was dependent on her in laws
after she was widowed immediately after
marriage. She could not be economically
independent and faced neglect. Her brother
helped her to migrate to Delhi.
For the first time, she travelled by bus and
train and was exposed to a large city like Delhi.
After a while, the same city which attracted her
with its buildings, roads, avenues and facilities
and amenities disillusioned her.
With greater familiarity of the city, she
could comprehend the paradoxes. The jhuggi
and slum clusters, traffic jams, congestion,
crimes, poverty, small children begging on
traffic lights, people sleeping on footpaths,
polluted water and air revealed another face of
development. She used to think whether
development and under-development coexist?
Whether development help some segments of
population more than the other? Does
development create haves and have nots? Let
us examine these paradoxes and try to
understand the phenomena.
Of all the paradoxes of our times
mentioned in the story, development is the most
significant one. Development of a few regions,
individuals brought about in a short span of
time leads to poverty and malnutrition for many
along with large scale ecological degradation.
Is development class biased?
Apparently, it is believed that
“Development is freedom” which is often
associated with modernisation, leisure, comfort
and affluence. In the present context,
computerisation, industrialisation, efficient
transport and communication network, large
education system, advanced and modern
medical facilities, safety and security of
individuals, etc. are considered as the symbols
of development. Every individual, community
and government measures its performance or
levels of development in relation to the
availability and access to some of these things.
But, this may be partial and one-sided view of
development. It is often called the western or
euro-centric view of development. For a
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Unit I
Chapter 3
HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT
Sixty years ago, Rekha was born in a family of
small farmer in Uttarakhand. She helped her
mother in household chores. While her brothers
went to school, she did not receive any
education. She was dependent on her in laws
after she was widowed immediately after
marriage. She could not be economically
independent and faced neglect. Her brother
helped her to migrate to Delhi.
For the first time, she travelled by bus and
train and was exposed to a large city like Delhi.
After a while, the same city which attracted her
with its buildings, roads, avenues and facilities
and amenities disillusioned her.
With greater familiarity of the city, she
could comprehend the paradoxes. The jhuggi
and slum clusters, traffic jams, congestion,
crimes, poverty, small children begging on
traffic lights, people sleeping on footpaths,
polluted water and air revealed another face of
development. She used to think whether
development and under-development coexist?
Whether development help some segments of
population more than the other? Does
development create haves and have nots? Let
us examine these paradoxes and try to
understand the phenomena.
Of all the paradoxes of our times
mentioned in the story, development is the most
significant one. Development of a few regions,
individuals brought about in a short span of
time leads to poverty and malnutrition for many
along with large scale ecological degradation.
Is development class biased?
Apparently, it is believed that
“Development is freedom” which is often
associated with modernisation, leisure, comfort
and affluence. In the present context,
computerisation, industrialisation, efficient
transport and communication network, large
education system, advanced and modern
medical facilities, safety and security of
individuals, etc. are considered as the symbols
of development. Every individual, community
and government measures its performance or
levels of development in relation to the
availability and access to some of these things.
But, this may be partial and one-sided view of
development. It is often called the western or
euro-centric view of development. For a
© NCERT
not to be republished
24 India : People and Economy
existence of our society. Consequently, the poor
are being subjected to three inter-related
processes of declining capabilities; i.e. (1) social
capabilities – due to displacement and
weakening social ties (social capital),
(2) environmental capabilities – due to pollution
and, (3) personal capabilities – due to
increasing incidence of diseases and accidents.
This, in turn, has adverse effects on their quality
of life and human development.
Based on the above experiences, it can be
said that the present development has not been
able to address the issues of social injustice,
regional imbalances and environmental
degradation. On the contrary, it is being widely
considered as the prime cause of the social
distributive injustices, deterioration in the
quality of life and human development,
ecological crisis and social unrest. Does
development create, reinforce and perpetuate
these crises? Thus, it was thought to take up
human development as a separate issue against
the prevalent western views of development
which considers development as the remedy to
all the ills including human development,
regional disparities and environmental crisis.
Concerted efforts were made to look at
development critically at various times in the
past. But, most systematic effort towards this
was the publication of the First Human
Development Report by United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990.
Since then, this organisation has been bringing
out World Human Development Report every
year. This report does not only define human
development, make amendments and changes
its indicators but also ranks all the countries
postcolonial country like India, colonisation,
marginalisation, social discrimination and
regional disparity, etc. show the other face of
development.
Thus, for India, development is a mixed
bag of opportunities as well as neglect and
deprivations. There are a few areas like the
metropolitan centres and other developed
enclaves that have all the modern facilities
available to a small section of its population. At
the other extreme of it, there are large rural
areas and the slums in the urban areas that do
not have basic amenities like potable water,
education and health infrastructure available
to majority of this population. The situation is
more alarming if one looks at the distribution
of the development opportunities among
different sections of our society. It is a well-
established fact that majority of the scheduled
castes, scheduled tribes, landless agricultural
labourers, poor farmers and slums dwellers, etc.
are the most marginalised lot. A large segment
of female population is the worst sufferers
among all.  It is also equally true that the relative
as well as absolute conditions of the majority
of these marginalised sections have worsened
with the development happening over the years.
Consequently, vast majority of people are
compelled to live under abject poverty and sub-
human conditions.
There is yet another inter-related aspect
of development that has direct bearings on the
deteriorating human conditions. It pertains to
the environmental pollution leading to
ecological crisis. Air, soil, water and noise
pollutions have not only led to the ‘tragedy of
commons’ but these have also threatened the
What is Human Development?
“Human development is 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.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Unit I
Chapter 3
HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT
Sixty years ago, Rekha was born in a family of
small farmer in Uttarakhand. She helped her
mother in household chores. While her brothers
went to school, she did not receive any
education. She was dependent on her in laws
after she was widowed immediately after
marriage. She could not be economically
independent and faced neglect. Her brother
helped her to migrate to Delhi.
For the first time, she travelled by bus and
train and was exposed to a large city like Delhi.
After a while, the same city which attracted her
with its buildings, roads, avenues and facilities
and amenities disillusioned her.
With greater familiarity of the city, she
could comprehend the paradoxes. The jhuggi
and slum clusters, traffic jams, congestion,
crimes, poverty, small children begging on
traffic lights, people sleeping on footpaths,
polluted water and air revealed another face of
development. She used to think whether
development and under-development coexist?
Whether development help some segments of
population more than the other? Does
development create haves and have nots? Let
us examine these paradoxes and try to
understand the phenomena.
Of all the paradoxes of our times
mentioned in the story, development is the most
significant one. Development of a few regions,
individuals brought about in a short span of
time leads to poverty and malnutrition for many
along with large scale ecological degradation.
Is development class biased?
Apparently, it is believed that
“Development is freedom” which is often
associated with modernisation, leisure, comfort
and affluence. In the present context,
computerisation, industrialisation, efficient
transport and communication network, large
education system, advanced and modern
medical facilities, safety and security of
individuals, etc. are considered as the symbols
of development. Every individual, community
and government measures its performance or
levels of development in relation to the
availability and access to some of these things.
But, this may be partial and one-sided view of
development. It is often called the western or
euro-centric view of development. For a
© NCERT
not to be republished
24 India : People and Economy
existence of our society. Consequently, the poor
are being subjected to three inter-related
processes of declining capabilities; i.e. (1) social
capabilities – due to displacement and
weakening social ties (social capital),
(2) environmental capabilities – due to pollution
and, (3) personal capabilities – due to
increasing incidence of diseases and accidents.
This, in turn, has adverse effects on their quality
of life and human development.
Based on the above experiences, it can be
said that the present development has not been
able to address the issues of social injustice,
regional imbalances and environmental
degradation. On the contrary, it is being widely
considered as the prime cause of the social
distributive injustices, deterioration in the
quality of life and human development,
ecological crisis and social unrest. Does
development create, reinforce and perpetuate
these crises? Thus, it was thought to take up
human development as a separate issue against
the prevalent western views of development
which considers development as the remedy to
all the ills including human development,
regional disparities and environmental crisis.
Concerted efforts were made to look at
development critically at various times in the
past. But, most systematic effort towards this
was the publication of the First Human
Development Report by United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990.
Since then, this organisation has been bringing
out World Human Development Report every
year. This report does not only define human
development, make amendments and changes
its indicators but also ranks all the countries
postcolonial country like India, colonisation,
marginalisation, social discrimination and
regional disparity, etc. show the other face of
development.
Thus, for India, development is a mixed
bag of opportunities as well as neglect and
deprivations. There are a few areas like the
metropolitan centres and other developed
enclaves that have all the modern facilities
available to a small section of its population. At
the other extreme of it, there are large rural
areas and the slums in the urban areas that do
not have basic amenities like potable water,
education and health infrastructure available
to majority of this population. The situation is
more alarming if one looks at the distribution
of the development opportunities among
different sections of our society. It is a well-
established fact that majority of the scheduled
castes, scheduled tribes, landless agricultural
labourers, poor farmers and slums dwellers, etc.
are the most marginalised lot. A large segment
of female population is the worst sufferers
among all.  It is also equally true that the relative
as well as absolute conditions of the majority
of these marginalised sections have worsened
with the development happening over the years.
Consequently, vast majority of people are
compelled to live under abject poverty and sub-
human conditions.
There is yet another inter-related aspect
of development that has direct bearings on the
deteriorating human conditions. It pertains to
the environmental pollution leading to
ecological crisis. Air, soil, water and noise
pollutions have not only led to the ‘tragedy of
commons’ but these have also threatened the
What is Human Development?
“Human development is 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.
© NCERT
not to be republished
     25 Human Development
of the world based on the calculated scores.
According to the Human Development Report
1993, “progressive democratisation and
increasing empowerment of people are seen as
the minimum conditions for human
development”. Moreover, it also mentions that
“development must be woven around people,
not the people around development” as was the
case previously.
You have already studied the concepts,
indicators and approaches to human
development and methods of calculating the
index in your book, “Fundamentals of Human
Geography.” In this chapter, let us try to
understand the applicability of these concepts
and indicators to India.
Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India
India with a population of over 1.09 billion is
ranked 127 among 172 countries of the world
in terms of the Human Development Index
(HDI). With the composite HDI value of O.602
India finds herself grouped with countries
showing medium human development
(UNDP 2005).
Low scores in the HDI is a matter of serious
concern but, some reservations have been
expressed about the approach as well as
indicators selected to calculate the index values
and ranking of the states/countries. Lack of
sensitivity to the historical factors like
colonisation, 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. These aspects have special
significance in case of India and many other
developing countries.
Using the indicators selected by the UNDP,
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. Subsequently, each
state government also started preparing the
state level Human Development Reports, using
districts as the units of analysis. Although, the
final HDI by the Planning Commission of India
has been calculated by taking the three
indicators as discussed in the book entitled,
“Fundamentals of Human Geography”, yet,
this report also discussed other indicators like
economic attainment, social empowerment,
social distributive justice, accessibility, hygiene
and various welfare measures undertaken by
the state. Some of the important indicators have
been discussed in the following pages.
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. For India, it is
estimated that its GDP was Rs. 3200 thousand
crores (at current Price) and accordingly, per
capita income was Rs. 20,813 at current prices.
Apparently, these figures indicate an impressive
Country HDI value
Norway 0.963
Australia 0.955
Sweden 0.949
Switzerland 0.947
U.S.A. 0.944
Japan 0.943
U.K. 0.939
France 0.938
Germany 0.93
Argentina 0.863
Cuba 0.817
Russia 0.795
Brazil 0.792
Country HDI value
Thailand 0.778
Sri Lanka 0.751
Iran 0.736
Indonesia 0.697
Egypt 0.659
India 0.602
Myanmar 0.578
Pakistan 0.527
Nepal 0.526
Bangladesh 0.52
Kenya 0.474
Zambia 0.394
Chad 0.341
Niger 0.281
Table 3.1 : Human Development Index
Values of India and some other Countries
Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2005, Oxford
University Press. pp.219-222.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Unit I
Chapter 3
HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT
Sixty years ago, Rekha was born in a family of
small farmer in Uttarakhand. She helped her
mother in household chores. While her brothers
went to school, she did not receive any
education. She was dependent on her in laws
after she was widowed immediately after
marriage. She could not be economically
independent and faced neglect. Her brother
helped her to migrate to Delhi.
For the first time, she travelled by bus and
train and was exposed to a large city like Delhi.
After a while, the same city which attracted her
with its buildings, roads, avenues and facilities
and amenities disillusioned her.
With greater familiarity of the city, she
could comprehend the paradoxes. The jhuggi
and slum clusters, traffic jams, congestion,
crimes, poverty, small children begging on
traffic lights, people sleeping on footpaths,
polluted water and air revealed another face of
development. She used to think whether
development and under-development coexist?
Whether development help some segments of
population more than the other? Does
development create haves and have nots? Let
us examine these paradoxes and try to
understand the phenomena.
Of all the paradoxes of our times
mentioned in the story, development is the most
significant one. Development of a few regions,
individuals brought about in a short span of
time leads to poverty and malnutrition for many
along with large scale ecological degradation.
Is development class biased?
Apparently, it is believed that
“Development is freedom” which is often
associated with modernisation, leisure, comfort
and affluence. In the present context,
computerisation, industrialisation, efficient
transport and communication network, large
education system, advanced and modern
medical facilities, safety and security of
individuals, etc. are considered as the symbols
of development. Every individual, community
and government measures its performance or
levels of development in relation to the
availability and access to some of these things.
But, this may be partial and one-sided view of
development. It is often called the western or
euro-centric view of development. For a
© NCERT
not to be republished
24 India : People and Economy
existence of our society. Consequently, the poor
are being subjected to three inter-related
processes of declining capabilities; i.e. (1) social
capabilities – due to displacement and
weakening social ties (social capital),
(2) environmental capabilities – due to pollution
and, (3) personal capabilities – due to
increasing incidence of diseases and accidents.
This, in turn, has adverse effects on their quality
of life and human development.
Based on the above experiences, it can be
said that the present development has not been
able to address the issues of social injustice,
regional imbalances and environmental
degradation. On the contrary, it is being widely
considered as the prime cause of the social
distributive injustices, deterioration in the
quality of life and human development,
ecological crisis and social unrest. Does
development create, reinforce and perpetuate
these crises? Thus, it was thought to take up
human development as a separate issue against
the prevalent western views of development
which considers development as the remedy to
all the ills including human development,
regional disparities and environmental crisis.
Concerted efforts were made to look at
development critically at various times in the
past. But, most systematic effort towards this
was the publication of the First Human
Development Report by United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990.
Since then, this organisation has been bringing
out World Human Development Report every
year. This report does not only define human
development, make amendments and changes
its indicators but also ranks all the countries
postcolonial country like India, colonisation,
marginalisation, social discrimination and
regional disparity, etc. show the other face of
development.
Thus, for India, development is a mixed
bag of opportunities as well as neglect and
deprivations. There are a few areas like the
metropolitan centres and other developed
enclaves that have all the modern facilities
available to a small section of its population. At
the other extreme of it, there are large rural
areas and the slums in the urban areas that do
not have basic amenities like potable water,
education and health infrastructure available
to majority of this population. The situation is
more alarming if one looks at the distribution
of the development opportunities among
different sections of our society. It is a well-
established fact that majority of the scheduled
castes, scheduled tribes, landless agricultural
labourers, poor farmers and slums dwellers, etc.
are the most marginalised lot. A large segment
of female population is the worst sufferers
among all.  It is also equally true that the relative
as well as absolute conditions of the majority
of these marginalised sections have worsened
with the development happening over the years.
Consequently, vast majority of people are
compelled to live under abject poverty and sub-
human conditions.
There is yet another inter-related aspect
of development that has direct bearings on the
deteriorating human conditions. It pertains to
the environmental pollution leading to
ecological crisis. Air, soil, water and noise
pollutions have not only led to the ‘tragedy of
commons’ but these have also threatened the
What is Human Development?
“Human development is 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.
© NCERT
not to be republished
     25 Human Development
of the world based on the calculated scores.
According to the Human Development Report
1993, “progressive democratisation and
increasing empowerment of people are seen as
the minimum conditions for human
development”. Moreover, it also mentions that
“development must be woven around people,
not the people around development” as was the
case previously.
You have already studied the concepts,
indicators and approaches to human
development and methods of calculating the
index in your book, “Fundamentals of Human
Geography.” In this chapter, let us try to
understand the applicability of these concepts
and indicators to India.
Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India
India with a population of over 1.09 billion is
ranked 127 among 172 countries of the world
in terms of the Human Development Index
(HDI). With the composite HDI value of O.602
India finds herself grouped with countries
showing medium human development
(UNDP 2005).
Low scores in the HDI is a matter of serious
concern but, some reservations have been
expressed about the approach as well as
indicators selected to calculate the index values
and ranking of the states/countries. Lack of
sensitivity to the historical factors like
colonisation, 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. These aspects have special
significance in case of India and many other
developing countries.
Using the indicators selected by the UNDP,
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. Subsequently, each
state government also started preparing the
state level Human Development Reports, using
districts as the units of analysis. Although, the
final HDI by the Planning Commission of India
has been calculated by taking the three
indicators as discussed in the book entitled,
“Fundamentals of Human Geography”, yet,
this report also discussed other indicators like
economic attainment, social empowerment,
social distributive justice, accessibility, hygiene
and various welfare measures undertaken by
the state. Some of the important indicators have
been discussed in the following pages.
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. For India, it is
estimated that its GDP was Rs. 3200 thousand
crores (at current Price) and accordingly, per
capita income was Rs. 20,813 at current prices.
Apparently, these figures indicate an impressive
Country HDI value
Norway 0.963
Australia 0.955
Sweden 0.949
Switzerland 0.947
U.S.A. 0.944
Japan 0.943
U.K. 0.939
France 0.938
Germany 0.93
Argentina 0.863
Cuba 0.817
Russia 0.795
Brazil 0.792
Country HDI value
Thailand 0.778
Sri Lanka 0.751
Iran 0.736
Indonesia 0.697
Egypt 0.659
India 0.602
Myanmar 0.578
Pakistan 0.527
Nepal 0.526
Bangladesh 0.52
Kenya 0.474
Zambia 0.394
Chad 0.341
Niger 0.281
Table 3.1 : Human Development Index
Values of India and some other Countries
Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2005, Oxford
University Press. pp.219-222.
© NCERT
not to be republished
26 India : People and Economy
performance but, prevalence of poverty,
deprivation, malnutrition, illiteracy, various
types of prejudices and above all social
distributive injustices and large-scale regional
disparities belie all the so-called economic
achievements.
There are a few developed States like
Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and
Delhi that have per capita income more than
Rs. 4,000 (figure at 1980-81 prices) per year
and there are a large number of poorer States
like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya
Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.
which have recorded per capita income less
than Rs. 2,000. Corresponding to these
disparities, the developed states have higher per
capita consumption expenditure as compared
to the poorer states. It was estimated to be more
than Rs. 690 per capita per month in States
like Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra and
Gujarat and below Rs. 520 per capita per
month in States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, etc. These
variations are indicative of some other deep-
seated economic problems like poverty,
unemployment and under-employment.
The disaggregated data of poverty for
the states show that there are States like
Orissa and Bihar which have recorded more
than 40 per cent of their population living
below the poverty line. The States of Madhya
Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Tripura, Arunachal
Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland have more
than 30 per cent of their population below
poverty line. “Poverty is a state of
deprivation. In absolute terms it reflects the
inability of an individual to satisfy certain
basic needs for a sustained, healthy and
reasonably productive living.” Employment
rate for educated youth is 25 per cent. Jobless
growth and rampant unemployment are some
State %  of Population
below
poverty line
Andhra Pradesh 15.77
Arunachal Pradesh 33.47
Assam 36.09
Bihar 42.60
Goa 4.40
Gujarat 14.07
Haryana 8.47
Himachal Pradesh 7.63
West Bengal 27.02
Andaman & Nicobar 20.99
Chandigarh 5.75
Jammu & Kashmir 3.48
Karnataka 20.04
Kerala 12.72
Madhya Pradesh 37.43
Maharashtra 25.02
Manipur 28.54
Meghalaya 33.87
Mizoram 19.47
Dadra & Nagar Haveli 17.14
Daman & Diu 4.44
Delhi 8.23
Nagaland 32.67
Orissa 47.15
Punjab 6.16
Rajasthan 15.28
Sikkim 36.55
Tamil Nadu 21.12
Tripura 34.44
Uttar Pradesh 31.15
Lakshadweep 15.60
Pondichery 21.67
India 26.10
Source: Planning Commission of India, (2001): India
National Human Development Report, p.166.
Table 3.2 : Poverty in India, 1999-2000
Which one of the states in India has the highest proportion of population below poverty line?
Arrange the states on the basis of their percentage of population below poverty line in ascending order.
Select 10 states which have the high proportion of population below poverty line and represent the data by bar
diagram.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Unit I
Chapter 3
HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT
Sixty years ago, Rekha was born in a family of
small farmer in Uttarakhand. She helped her
mother in household chores. While her brothers
went to school, she did not receive any
education. She was dependent on her in laws
after she was widowed immediately after
marriage. She could not be economically
independent and faced neglect. Her brother
helped her to migrate to Delhi.
For the first time, she travelled by bus and
train and was exposed to a large city like Delhi.
After a while, the same city which attracted her
with its buildings, roads, avenues and facilities
and amenities disillusioned her.
With greater familiarity of the city, she
could comprehend the paradoxes. The jhuggi
and slum clusters, traffic jams, congestion,
crimes, poverty, small children begging on
traffic lights, people sleeping on footpaths,
polluted water and air revealed another face of
development. She used to think whether
development and under-development coexist?
Whether development help some segments of
population more than the other? Does
development create haves and have nots? Let
us examine these paradoxes and try to
understand the phenomena.
Of all the paradoxes of our times
mentioned in the story, development is the most
significant one. Development of a few regions,
individuals brought about in a short span of
time leads to poverty and malnutrition for many
along with large scale ecological degradation.
Is development class biased?
Apparently, it is believed that
“Development is freedom” which is often
associated with modernisation, leisure, comfort
and affluence. In the present context,
computerisation, industrialisation, efficient
transport and communication network, large
education system, advanced and modern
medical facilities, safety and security of
individuals, etc. are considered as the symbols
of development. Every individual, community
and government measures its performance or
levels of development in relation to the
availability and access to some of these things.
But, this may be partial and one-sided view of
development. It is often called the western or
euro-centric view of development. For a
© NCERT
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24 India : People and Economy
existence of our society. Consequently, the poor
are being subjected to three inter-related
processes of declining capabilities; i.e. (1) social
capabilities – due to displacement and
weakening social ties (social capital),
(2) environmental capabilities – due to pollution
and, (3) personal capabilities – due to
increasing incidence of diseases and accidents.
This, in turn, has adverse effects on their quality
of life and human development.
Based on the above experiences, it can be
said that the present development has not been
able to address the issues of social injustice,
regional imbalances and environmental
degradation. On the contrary, it is being widely
considered as the prime cause of the social
distributive injustices, deterioration in the
quality of life and human development,
ecological crisis and social unrest. Does
development create, reinforce and perpetuate
these crises? Thus, it was thought to take up
human development as a separate issue against
the prevalent western views of development
which considers development as the remedy to
all the ills including human development,
regional disparities and environmental crisis.
Concerted efforts were made to look at
development critically at various times in the
past. But, most systematic effort towards this
was the publication of the First Human
Development Report by United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990.
Since then, this organisation has been bringing
out World Human Development Report every
year. This report does not only define human
development, make amendments and changes
its indicators but also ranks all the countries
postcolonial country like India, colonisation,
marginalisation, social discrimination and
regional disparity, etc. show the other face of
development.
Thus, for India, development is a mixed
bag of opportunities as well as neglect and
deprivations. There are a few areas like the
metropolitan centres and other developed
enclaves that have all the modern facilities
available to a small section of its population. At
the other extreme of it, there are large rural
areas and the slums in the urban areas that do
not have basic amenities like potable water,
education and health infrastructure available
to majority of this population. The situation is
more alarming if one looks at the distribution
of the development opportunities among
different sections of our society. It is a well-
established fact that majority of the scheduled
castes, scheduled tribes, landless agricultural
labourers, poor farmers and slums dwellers, etc.
are the most marginalised lot. A large segment
of female population is the worst sufferers
among all.  It is also equally true that the relative
as well as absolute conditions of the majority
of these marginalised sections have worsened
with the development happening over the years.
Consequently, vast majority of people are
compelled to live under abject poverty and sub-
human conditions.
There is yet another inter-related aspect
of development that has direct bearings on the
deteriorating human conditions. It pertains to
the environmental pollution leading to
ecological crisis. Air, soil, water and noise
pollutions have not only led to the ‘tragedy of
commons’ but these have also threatened the
What is Human Development?
“Human development is 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.
© NCERT
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     25 Human Development
of the world based on the calculated scores.
According to the Human Development Report
1993, “progressive democratisation and
increasing empowerment of people are seen as
the minimum conditions for human
development”. Moreover, it also mentions that
“development must be woven around people,
not the people around development” as was the
case previously.
You have already studied the concepts,
indicators and approaches to human
development and methods of calculating the
index in your book, “Fundamentals of Human
Geography.” In this chapter, let us try to
understand the applicability of these concepts
and indicators to India.
Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India Human Development in India
India with a population of over 1.09 billion is
ranked 127 among 172 countries of the world
in terms of the Human Development Index
(HDI). With the composite HDI value of O.602
India finds herself grouped with countries
showing medium human development
(UNDP 2005).
Low scores in the HDI is a matter of serious
concern but, some reservations have been
expressed about the approach as well as
indicators selected to calculate the index values
and ranking of the states/countries. Lack of
sensitivity to the historical factors like
colonisation, 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. These aspects have special
significance in case of India and many other
developing countries.
Using the indicators selected by the UNDP,
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. Subsequently, each
state government also started preparing the
state level Human Development Reports, using
districts as the units of analysis. Although, the
final HDI by the Planning Commission of India
has been calculated by taking the three
indicators as discussed in the book entitled,
“Fundamentals of Human Geography”, yet,
this report also discussed other indicators like
economic attainment, social empowerment,
social distributive justice, accessibility, hygiene
and various welfare measures undertaken by
the state. Some of the important indicators have
been discussed in the following pages.
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. For India, it is
estimated that its GDP was Rs. 3200 thousand
crores (at current Price) and accordingly, per
capita income was Rs. 20,813 at current prices.
Apparently, these figures indicate an impressive
Country HDI value
Norway 0.963
Australia 0.955
Sweden 0.949
Switzerland 0.947
U.S.A. 0.944
Japan 0.943
U.K. 0.939
France 0.938
Germany 0.93
Argentina 0.863
Cuba 0.817
Russia 0.795
Brazil 0.792
Country HDI value
Thailand 0.778
Sri Lanka 0.751
Iran 0.736
Indonesia 0.697
Egypt 0.659
India 0.602
Myanmar 0.578
Pakistan 0.527
Nepal 0.526
Bangladesh 0.52
Kenya 0.474
Zambia 0.394
Chad 0.341
Niger 0.281
Table 3.1 : Human Development Index
Values of India and some other Countries
Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2005, Oxford
University Press. pp.219-222.
© NCERT
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26 India : People and Economy
performance but, prevalence of poverty,
deprivation, malnutrition, illiteracy, various
types of prejudices and above all social
distributive injustices and large-scale regional
disparities belie all the so-called economic
achievements.
There are a few developed States like
Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and
Delhi that have per capita income more than
Rs. 4,000 (figure at 1980-81 prices) per year
and there are a large number of poorer States
like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya
Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.
which have recorded per capita income less
than Rs. 2,000. Corresponding to these
disparities, the developed states have higher per
capita consumption expenditure as compared
to the poorer states. It was estimated to be more
than Rs. 690 per capita per month in States
like Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra and
Gujarat and below Rs. 520 per capita per
month in States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, etc. These
variations are indicative of some other deep-
seated economic problems like poverty,
unemployment and under-employment.
The disaggregated data of poverty for
the states show that there are States like
Orissa and Bihar which have recorded more
than 40 per cent of their population living
below the poverty line. The States of Madhya
Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Tripura, Arunachal
Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland have more
than 30 per cent of their population below
poverty line. “Poverty is a state of
deprivation. In absolute terms it reflects the
inability of an individual to satisfy certain
basic needs for a sustained, healthy and
reasonably productive living.” Employment
rate for educated youth is 25 per cent. Jobless
growth and rampant unemployment are some
State %  of Population
below
poverty line
Andhra Pradesh 15.77
Arunachal Pradesh 33.47
Assam 36.09
Bihar 42.60
Goa 4.40
Gujarat 14.07
Haryana 8.47
Himachal Pradesh 7.63
West Bengal 27.02
Andaman & Nicobar 20.99
Chandigarh 5.75
Jammu & Kashmir 3.48
Karnataka 20.04
Kerala 12.72
Madhya Pradesh 37.43
Maharashtra 25.02
Manipur 28.54
Meghalaya 33.87
Mizoram 19.47
Dadra & Nagar Haveli 17.14
Daman & Diu 4.44
Delhi 8.23
Nagaland 32.67
Orissa 47.15
Punjab 6.16
Rajasthan 15.28
Sikkim 36.55
Tamil Nadu 21.12
Tripura 34.44
Uttar Pradesh 31.15
Lakshadweep 15.60
Pondichery 21.67
India 26.10
Source: Planning Commission of India, (2001): India
National Human Development Report, p.166.
Table 3.2 : Poverty in India, 1999-2000
Which one of the states in India has the highest proportion of population below poverty line?
Arrange the states on the basis of their percentage of population below poverty line in ascending order.
Select 10 states which have the high proportion of population below poverty line and represent the data by bar
diagram.
© NCERT
not to be republished
     27 Human Development
of the important reasons for higher incidences
of poverty in India.
Indicators of a Healthy Life Indicators of a Healthy Life Indicators of a Healthy Life Indicators of a Healthy Life 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.
Similarly, it also succeeded in increasing 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. Though, these are
great achievements, a lot needs to be done.
Similarly, it has also done reasonably well in
bringing down birth rate from 40.8 to 26.1
during the same years, but it still is much higher
than many developed countries.
The situation is more alarming when seen
in the context of gender specific and rural and
urban health indicators. India has recorded
declining female sex ratio. The findings of 2001
Census of India are very disturbing particularly
in case of child sex ratio between 0-6 age
groups. The other significant features of the
report are, with the exception of Kerala, the
child sex ratio has declined in all the states
and it is the most alarming in the developed
state of Haryana and Punjab where it is
below 800 female children per thousand
male children. What factors are responsible for
it? Is it the social attitude or scientific methods
of sex-determination?
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. Access to knowledge
about the society and environment are
State Total Female
literacy literacy
Andaman & Nicobar 81.18 75.29
Andhra Pradesh 61.11 51.17
Arunachal Pradesh 54.74 44.24
Assam 64.28 56.03
Bihar 47.53 33.57
Chandigarh 85.65 76.65
Chhattisgarh 65.18 52.4
Dadra & Nagar Haveli 60.03 42.99
Daman & Diu 81.09 70.37
Delhi 81.82 75
Goa 82.32 75.51
Gujarat 69.97 58.6
Haryana 68.59 56.31
Himachal Pradesh 77.13 68.08
Jammu & Kashmir 54.46 41.82
Jharkhand 54.13 39.38
Karnataka 67.04 57.45
Kerala 90.92 87.86
Lakshadweep 87.52 81.56
Madhya Pradesh 64.11 50.28
Maharashtra 77.27 67.51
Manipur 68.87 59.7
Meghalaya 63.31 60.41
Mizoram 88.49 86.13
Nagaland 67.11 61.92
Orissa 63.61 50.97
Pondicherry 81.49 74.13
Punjab 69.95 63.55
Rajasthan 61.03 44.34
Sikkim 69.68 61.46
Tamil Nadu 73.47 64.55
Tripura 73.66 65.41
Uttar Pradesh 57.36 42.98
Uttaranchal 72.28 60.26
West Bengal 69.22 60.22
India 65.38 54.16
Table 3.3 : India Literacy Rates, 2001
Source: Census of India, 2001; Provisional Population
Tables Series -1, p.142.
© NCERT
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