Gender Inequality Index


Proportion of Seats Held by Women in National Parliament


Human Development Index for SC


Human Development Index for ST


Proportion of Land Area Covered by Forest


CO Emission Per Capital (Metric Tons)


Adult Literacy Rate


HIV Prevalence Youth (ages 15-24)

About India: Successes

Strong Economic Growth

Strong Economic GrowthPhoto: Zubeni Lotha/UNDP India

India has shown remarkable progress. The economy grew at an average annual rate of 7.26 percent over the past five years. Between 2014 and 2015, the manufacturing sector grew by 8.4 percent, up from 4.4 percent a year ago. Between 2014 and 2015, the Indian manufacturing sector grew by a substantial 8.4 percent, up from 4.4 percent a year ago. India has also firmly established itself as a lucrative foreign investment destination, with foreign capital inflows of over US$ 31 billion in 2015 - surpassing the US and China. India’s dynamic services sector, second only to China in terms of growth rate, clocked an impressive double-digit growth rate of 10.6 percent in 2015, up from 9.1 percent in 2014.

Leadership in South-South Collaboration

Leadership in South-South CollaborationPhoto: Prashanth Vishwanathan/UNDP India

The world’s largest and fastest growing democracy, India has emerged as a major leader in key global and South-South initiatives. By sharing its knowledge and development experience with other developing countries in bilateral, regional and multilateral frameworks, India has become a critical player in regional organisations such as SAARC, as well as in international forums such as BRICS. In 2015, BRICS states came together to establish the multilateral New Development Bank, as an alternative to the existing US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The Bank has been set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets which account for nearly 42 percent of the worlds’ population and 25 percent of global GDP.

IBSA, the forum for India, Brazil and South Africa cooperation, is another such initiative operationalised in 2005, following the establishment of a Trust Fund in partnership with UNDP. The Fund, with an initial corpus of US$ 3 million, today has an accumulated capital of more than US$ 30 million, with various success stories implemented and several others ongoing. While India promotes regional integration through strengthening trade relations and increasing investment in regional infrastructure, it also offers technical assistance through triangular co-operation, by providing training to participants from developing countries with funding being made available by donor countries or multilateral institutions.

Progressive Rights-based legislations

Progressive Rights-based legislationsPhoto: Grasssroot Consultant

Over the past decade, India has introduced some of the world’s most far-reaching and progressive rights-based legislations in the world aimed at reducing poverty.  Some of these ambitious legislations include, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Right to Education, Right to Information and Right to Food (National Food Security Act) which have emerged as cornerstones of poverty reduction strategies.  MGNREGA has improved the average wage rate per day, which has increased from US$ 1.79 in 2009-2010 to US$ 2.83 in 2015.

The government has also introduced numerous social security and financial inclusion schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) - to ensure access to financial services, along with schemes for the upliftment of urban and rural poor - by enhancing livelihood opportunities through skill development and other means.

Education and Skill development programmes targeting the youth have also received greater impetus under literacy programmes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the recently launched Padhe Bharat, Badhe Bharat. The National Rural Health Mission has strengthened public health systems by increasing community participation, adding to human resources in the system, improving health infrastructure, public health management and increasing public expenditure on health. Furthermore, as part of the Housing for All by 2022 Mission, construction of around 20 million houses for the poor and slum dwellers in urban areas has been approved. In 2014, India launched the Clean India mission, a countrywide sanitation initiative with an outlay budget of US$9.4 billion. Focusing on renewable energy generation, the government has raised the previous target, aimed at creating a capacity of 20,000 MW grid solar power to 100,000 MW by 2022. Additionally, India also wants to put in place 60,000 MW of wind power capacity by then. Efforts to provide electricity, safe drinking water, telephones and broadband connectivity to remote villages are also continuing and have been enhanced under the Digital India programme.

In 2015, the Indian government, with an aim of decentralizing the planning process and enhancing state involvement in economic policy making, replaced the Planning Commission with the National Institution for Transforming India. The NITI Aayog, headed by the Prime Minister is a policy think-tank of the government, which provides strategic and technical advice to the central and the state.

India has reached a significant juncture in its story of development. With one of the largest and youngest workforces at its disposal, it is imperative that the country utilises its human capital optimally.

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