Why does India rank so low on the “Where to be Born” index?

To evaluate how well a nation is performing, two parameters have been employed for almost a century. One is a nation’s gross domestic product, or GDP, which measures its income. Its unemployment rate is the other. The term “standard of life” describes the amount of money, comfort, requirements, and material items that are offered in a geographic area. 

There is no universally accepted method for assessing the standard of living and quality of life because they are general but also vague concepts. However, this has given statisticians the chance to develop a wide range of exciting equations, systems, and surveys that make the futile attempt to reduce the standard of living (or, in rarer cases, quality of life) to a single number. Hence the ‘where to be born’ index was calculated ranking 80 countries with a score of 10 in 2013.

What exactly is the ‘where to be born index’?

The Economist Group’s Economist Intelligence Unit publishes the where-to-be-born index (most well-known for The Economist magazine). The index looks at which nations have the best chance of giving their residents the best possible quality of life. This involves the nation’s future prosperity as well as its health and safety. The 2013 index, for example, assesses the quality of life in 2030, when those who were born in 2013 will reach adulthood.

On what criteria is it calculated?

The where-to-be-born index is created by combining the results of subjective surveys, projected GDP per capita, and indicators of quality of life. Information was gathered from 80 nations for the 2013 index. Life expectancy at birth, political freedoms, climate, governmental corruption, gender equality, divorce rates, unemployment rates, and homicide rates are only a few examples of the markers of quality of life.

Top nations according to the ranking

Switzerland came in first place on the where-to-be-born ranking in 2013. This nation had an overall score of 8.22 out of 10. The potential for wealth accumulation and confidence in public institutions are two of the main variables influencing its rating.

The majority of the other top 10 nations are distinguished by modest economies. Furthermore, half of the top 10 rankings are in Europe. Only the Netherlands is a member of the eurozone out of these European countries. Switzerland (8.22), Australia (8.12), Norway (8.09), Sweden (8.02), Denmark (8.01), Singapore (8.00), New Zealand (7.95), the Netherlands (7.94), Canada (7.81), and Hong Kong are among the top 10 nations (7.80).

Where does India rank?

India ranks a poor 66 as a place to be born, according to the survey. China is ranked 49th, and Britain is ranked 27th. Even Sri LaIndia Contemplates Full Execution Of 13A in Sri Lanka “Critical”: S JaishankarIndia Contemplates Full Execution Of 13A in Sri Lanka “Critical”: S JaishankarIndia Contemplates Full Execution Of 13A in Sri Lanka “Critical”: S Jaishankar and the Philippines rank 63rd, followed by Ecuador and India at 66.

Why is India ranked so poorly while it is a developing nation?

Since India’s independence, 75 years have passed. India has advanced significantly in terms of growth and development since it was released from the British Empire until the present, but it has its own unique set of issues, as it is said that “there is no rose without a thorn.”

Let us look at some factors that may have contributed for India to rank low in the index-

1. Decreased earnings and unemployment

Although it is frequently stated that having a decent job and a reliable income would not guarantee life contentment, they are vital. The fact that almost 90% of the labor in India works in the informal sector makes the problem worse. As a result, they lack social security and the kind of financial stability that insures savings and resources that can serve as a cushion against shocks like the present pandemic. Because of this, the informally employed suffered disproportionately more from the economic toll of the outbreak and its aftermath.

2. Inadequate social support

The national average of the binary responses (either 0 or 1) to the question “If you were in danger, do you have family or friends you can count on to aid you whenever you need them, or not?” makes up the social support scores at the national level. Out of the 95 countries for which data was gathered in the 2020 poll, India received a score of 0.617, which was only higher than the scores of three other countries. In other words, out of 95 countries for which data were available, India ranks as low as 92 in terms of social support.

3. Inadequate levels of education

 87.79% of the workforce only has a higher secondary education. People with higher education qualifications, who are a minority in India, are more likely to be employed in jobs with social security, a signed job contract, and other employment advantages. Most jobs that are suitable for digitization are those that employ highly qualified personnel. A laborer’s work, for example, cannot be moved online, although many aspects of the knowledge economy can. It follows that in the COVID-19 era, persons with greater educational credentials and, thus, better career opportunities, are better positioned to deal with the upcoming economic shocks. It follows that education is a key factor in determining life satisfaction.

4. Population of India by age group

India’s population is primarily youthful. About 67 percent of India’s population is between the ages of 15 and 64. Given the nation’s high unemployment rates, what was once hailed as a chance to gain demographic benefits has now evolved into a national liability.

Thus we can conclude that although a strict concentration on economic development may have improved our GDP and increased our per capita income, it also diverted attention from social welfare, the emotional and mental health of our population, and environmental sustainability. In all aspects of its economic, social, and political life, India must embrace sustainability and inclusion for better rankings on the indices.

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