India is indexed at 133 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) 2016 released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
India was placed behind countries like Gabon (109), Egypt (111), Indonesia (113), South Africa (119) and Iraq (121) among others. The report lists a total of 188 countries.
India fell under the "medium human development category" and its HDI, at 0.624, was behind Sri Lanka and the Maldives in South Asia.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic which ranks countries into four tiers of human development on the basis of indicators like life expectancy, education and per capita income.
NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant on Tuesday said India was backward because of the eastern states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, especially on social indicators. These states predominantly speaks hindi observes linguistics experts.
While speaking at the first Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Memorial Lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kant said, "We have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backwards on human development index."
The Indian economy is growing at 7 -8 per cent which needs to be reflected on the human development index, Kant said earlier.
"There is a need for a radical change at the state and district levels to improve the current situation," Kant believes.
The UNDP report said gender equality and women's empowerment were fundamental dimensions of human development.
Reacting to 'Challenges of Transforming India' Kant said that the part of southern and western India was doing well and growing speedily.
"And when the country's HDI has to improve and we have to focus on these social indicators. We are working on these things through Aspirational Districts Programme," he added.
Earlier, the NITI Aayog launched the baseline ranking for 101 aspirational districts based on 49 indicators across several sectors including health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources.
The other sectors include financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure. From May onwards, the districts will be ranked on their incremental progress, hence exemplifying and encouraging the spirit of competitive federalism.
Emphasizing the importance of education Kant said at the event, "Education and health are vital and in these two areas India is lagging behind. Our learning outcomes are poor - a class 5 student is not able to do class 2 subtractions. Class 5 student is not able to read his mother tongue."