India ranks 158th in human capital index

The human capital, according to the study, is a measure of a government's investment in improving the health and educational status of its workforce, resulting in better productivity.

India ranks 158th out of the 195 countries for its investments in education and health care as measurements of its commitment to economic growth, says the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital.

India is placed just behind Sudan (ranked 157) and ahead of Namibia (ranked 159).

The United States ranked 27th, while China placed at 44th and Pakistan 164th position.

Finland tops the list of countries when compared in terms of “human capital”.

The human capital, according to the study, is a measure of a government's investment in improving the health and educational status of its workforce, resulting in better productivity.

It's a concept that recognises all labours are not equal and the quality of workers can be improved by investing in them.

“Its the sum total of a population’s health, skills, knowledge, experience, and habits,” says the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.

In the last 15 years, India made some improvements as the ranking rose to the 158th spot from the 162th position in 1990.

But its not good enough, suggesting that the government needs to do more to improve the health and education status of the workforce.

Among the world's ten most populous countries, India comes at seventh position followed by Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in collaboration with University of California, Los Angeles, the study on the measurement of human capital has been published in the journal The Lancet.

“Our findings show the association— between investments in education and health and improved human capital and GDP— that policymakers ignore at their own peril,” says IHME director Christopher Murray.

“As the world economy grows increasingly dependent on digital technology, from agriculture to manufacturing to the service industry, human capital grows increasingly important for stimulating local and national economies.”

South Asian countries ranking below India in this report include Pakistan (164), Bangladesh (161) and Afghanistan (188).

Countries in the region that have fared better than India in terms of human capital include Sri Lanka (102), Nepal (156), Bhutan (133) and Maldives (116).

Turkey showed the most dramatic increase in human capital between 1990 and 2016. Asian countries with notable improvement include China, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. Within Latin America, Brazil stands out for improvement.

All these countries have had faster economic growth over this period than peer countries with lower levels of human capital improvement.

Kim said measuring and ranking countries by their human capital would enable comparisons over time, thereby providing governments and investors insights into where critical investments are needed to improve health and education.

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India ranks 158th in human capital index

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