India wants better metric for Human Capital Index
Soon after India rejected the findings of the World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI), Indian Economic Affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said a better metric was needed for the index to measure the status of human capital in the digital age.
“HCI uses metric of industrial era to measure the status of human capital for digital age and its production system. He (Garg) said that a better metric is needed,” a finance ministry statement on Saturday quoted Garg, who led the Indian delegation at the IMF summit at Bali.
Speaking at the International Monetary Fund’s Development Committee Lunch Session Friday, Garg said there is a need to recognise that the digital technological changes taking place are more fundamental than even the invention of the steam engine, which had laid the foundation of the industrial revolution.
“There is a digital revolution which is transforming the world... (and) Human Capital needs to continuously evolve and develop,” he said at the session on World Development Report, as per the ministry’s statement.
The World Bank’s inaugural HCI has placed India at 115 out of 157 countries in terms of the quality of human capital based on five parameters - child survival, school enrollment, quality of learning, healthy growth and adult survival.
India’s HCI score is 0.44, which means a child born in the country today will be only 44 per cent as productive “when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health”. This puts India even lower than most of its neighbours in South Asia (HCI 0.46).
On Friday, India rejected the findings of the index that claims to predict the productivity of the next generation of workers, saying it has major methodological weaknesses and substantial data gaps and hence the country has decided to ignore the HCI.