Socio-economic development Indicators UPSC NOTE


  • India is re-evaluating the international data parameters used to measure its socio-economic progress, considering the need to accommodate national diversity and local anthropometric measurements.

  • The country is actively discussing the formulation of its own standards to cater to its specific needs and address alleged anomalies associated with using international norms.

  • Global indicators like childhood stunting, female labor force participation rate, and life expectancy at birth often present a misleading picture of India's socio-economic development, leading to underestimation and improper data adjustments.

  • The growing use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) norms in investment and trade decisions increases the need for accurate socio-economic data. 

  • Skewed or underestimated data can impact policy interventions and global indices.

  • Countries like Indonesia, the U.K., and the U.S. have developed their own growth charts for reference by medical practitioners, acknowledging the diversity of children's growth.

  • The United Nations Population Division sharply reduced India's life expectancy at birth from 70.19 in 2019 to 67.24 in 2021, raising concerns about the application of globally established standards.

  • Instead of questioning the standards, some experts suggest that India should focus on analyzing the status of health and nutrition services provided to children.

  • India aims to improve its performance and is open to a paradigm shift in the current biased parameters to better reflect its progress and drive further development.

  • Concerns have been raised about the universal applicability of growth standards, leading some countries, including the United States, to adopt their own country-specific benchmarks.

  • The use of WHO growth standards in India has resulted in the overestimation of stunting and wasting cases. 

  • Adopting an India-specific reference could provide a more accurate assessment.

  • While WHO growth standards are valuable for global comparisons, caution is advised when modifying clinical protocols or formulating feeding recommendations. 

  • India should engage in a transparent discussion to assess the appropriateness of sole reliance on these standards.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Socio-economic development Indicators UPSC NOTE
Socio-economic development Indicators UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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