India’s Capital City and Human Development

India’s Capital City and Human Development
The Delhi HDR was released by the Hon’ble Vice President of India Mr. Hamid Ansari in the presence of Ms. Sheila Dikshit, Hon’ble Chief Minister of the NCT of Delhi; Ms. Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative; Dr. A.K. Shiva Kumar, Member, National Advisory Council; and Mr. Deepak Mohan Spolia, Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi.

The Delhi Human Development Report 2013 released in August provides a comprehensive analysis of Delhi’s performance on human development indicators. The Report notes that while Delhi has one of the highest per capita incomes in the country, there has been significant informalization of the labour force and female workforce participation rates at 11 percent is amongst the lowest in the country. Women’s safety emerged as one of the biggest concerns of citizens of the capital city.

Highlights

  • The Delhi Human Development Report 2013 provides a comprehensive analysis of Delhi’s performance on human development indicators
  • DHDR 2013: Delhi has one of the highest per capita incomes in the country
  • DHDR 2013: Female workforce participation rate at 11 percent is amongst the lowest in the country
  • DHDR 2013: Women’s safety emerges as one of the biggest concerns of citizens
  • DHDR 2013: Literacy rate of 86 percent still lower than that of other metros such as Kolkata and Mumbai
  • DHDR 2013: Public Perception Survey reveals that 75 percent of the respondents were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their life
  • DHDR 2013: A larger proportion of women are significantly more dissatisfied than men with respect to health
  • DHDR 2013: Key issues for youth include employment, lack of affordable housing and open spaces
  • DHDR 2013: Social and economic support emerge as the key issues of concern for the elderly

The second HDR released by India’s capital city was prepared by the Institute for Human Development for the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It has been partly supported by the Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme through a project titled ‘Human Development: Towards Bridging Inequalities”.

Migration rates have stabilized and improvements in life expectancy at birth have been consistent. Delhi needs to make greater progress in improving infant mortality which remains lower than other metro cities. While the city’s literacy rates remain high at 86 percent, it is still lower than that of other metros such as Kolkata and Mumbai. Literacy rates also differ widely depending on gender, caste and religion.   Despite massive efforts at providing housing and shelter, Delhi continues to suffer from a shortage of housing.

A unique feature of the Report this year is a Public Perception Survey that examined people’s views and concerns on development in the city and recorded their aspirations. Overall, 75 per cent of the respondents reported that they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quality of their life. However, this perception differs across different groups, pointing to the need for policymakers to devise specific policies that can address these concerns. A larger proportion of vulnerable groups such as women, members of scheduled caste, the elderly, and lower income households do feel less satisfied with their lives, as compared to their counterparts.

A larger proportion of women are significantly more dissatisfied than men with respect to health. This concern becomes more acute amongst women after the age group of 20-29 years. This could indicate the pressures of competing demands post matrimony and child birth and issues of time and prioritizing health expenditures. The Report reveals the importance of exploring further, the factors that have led many women to perceive their own health needs so negatively. It also suggests the need for welfare schemes that target women, particularly, mothers and working women. 

For youth, key issues include employment, lack of affordable housing and open spaces. Spreading awareness of employment-generating schemes through local employment centres could support efforts to address these concerns. For the elderly, issues of safety and sanitation are not reported to be as critical as are issues of both social and economic support. 

The report’s findings point to the importance of continuing to invest in developing a comprehensive understanding of poverty, human development and wellbeing in India’s cities. As India continues to urbanize, inputs such as those provided by the Delhi Human Development Report 2013, play an important role in contributing towards innovative development strategies to address the needs of urban India.    

In the News

Project and Initiatives
Strengthening Planning and Reporting for Human Development (October 2011 - December 2017)

The project, in partnership with the Planning Commission, aims to provide innovative policy options for addressing social disparities and persistent exclusion of certain groups in India.

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