CBSE Class 12 Geography Notes Human Development

Human Development

Human Development is part of Class 12 Geography Notes: India – People and Economy for Quick Revision. Here we have given Class 12 Geography Notes: India – People and Human Development.

Human Development

Development in India

India has mixed the experience of development. The distribution of available opportunities is uneven. A small section of the population enjoys all the available modern facilities. On the other hand, the marginalised sections include scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, landless agricultural labourers, poor farmers, slum dwellers and others, which do not have basic amenities even potable water, education, and health facilities.

Among all sections, women are the most marginalised. With the increasing developmental activities, these marginalised sections are becoming even more marginalised and hence are forced to live under abject poverty and sub-human conditions. There is another inter-related aspect of development that has a direct role in making human life uncomfortable and cause environmental pollution, e.g. air, water, soil and noise pollutions. These are leading to the tragedy of commons and threatening the existence of human society. Consequently, the poor are being subjected to three inter-related processes of declining capabilities, they are:

  • Social Capabilities due to displacement and weakening social ties
  • Environmental Capabilities are due to increase in pollution.
  • Personal Capabilities due to increasing incidence of diseases and accidents.

Thus, in turn, this has adverse effects on their quality of life and human development.

Human Development

After seeing the inability of the western or euro-centric view of development to handle the existing issues, the concept of human development is brought against this concept. It is considered as a solution to all the existing problems. Thus, human development is a process of widening and providing more choices to people, providing them more opportunities for education, health care, empowerment, income and covering all the choices from a healthy physical environment to economic, social and political freedom.

The first systematic effort in enhancing human development was made by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by publishing the first Human Development Report in 1990. Now, it is regularity published. UNDP is responsible for making and amending the indicators to decide the human development of a country. It gives ranks to all member countries, on the basis of calculated scores by using indicators and publish them in the report.

Human Development in India

According to the Human Development Report (HDR) of 2011, India ranks 134th with the composite HDI value of 0.547 (medium human development) among 172 member countries of the world.
There are many socio-cultural and historical factors which are responsible for the low score condition of human development in India. These are:

  • Historical factors These include colonisation, imperialism and neo-imperialism.
  • Socio-Cultural factors These include violation of human rights, social discriminations like race, religion, gender and caste-based discriminations, social problems of crimes, terrorism and war.
  • Political factors These include political stability and nature of the state, forms of government, level of empowerment, etc.

Planning Commission of India also prepares the Human Development Report (HDR) for India and takes the states and Union Territories as units for analysis. Further, the states take districts as their units of analysis. Planning Commission in its Human Development Report takes the given indicators selected by UNDP along with other indicators like economic attainment, social empowerment, social distributive justice, accessibility of opportunities, hygiene and welfare policies made by the states.

Indicators of Economic Attainment

Economic productivity forms an integral part of human development, thus. Gross National Product (GNP) and per capita availability are taken as measures to assess the resources base/endowment of any country.

On one side India’s GDP at current prices (₹ 3200 thousand crores ) and it’s per capita income (₹ 20813) is showing an impressive development in India in terms of the resource base. But on the other side, the existence of poverty deprivation, malnutrition, illiteracy and different prejudices like caste, religion and gender discrimination are showing a different face of economic achievements.

Variation in Per Capita Income

The spatial pattern of per capita income is uneven.

  • States having high per capita income (More than ₹ 4000 per year at 1980-81 prices) Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Delhi.
  • States having low per capita income ( Less than ₹ 2000 per year) Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.

Variation in Per Capita consumption

  • There are large regional disparities in terms of per capita consumption.
  • Developed states having high per capita consumption (more than ₹ 690 per month) are Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, etc.
  • Poor states having low per capita consumption (less than ₹ 520 per month) are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, etc.
  • These variations in both per capita income and consumption are showing some serious problems like poverty, unemployment and under-employment.


  • Poverty is a state of deprivation. In absolute terms, it reflects the inability of an individual to satisfy certain basic needs for a sustained healthy and reasonably productive living.
  • In India, poverty varies among different states. Bihar and Odisha (population living below poverty line) recorded more than 40% poverty, while Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland recorded more than 30% of poverty. Union Territories record poverty less than 30% in Chandigarh, Daman and Diu and Delhi.
  • The employment rate for educated youth is only 25%. Jobless growth and rampant unemployment are some of the major causes responsible for poverty in India.

Indicators of Healthy Life

Healthy and long life are important for everyone and it is measured by the availability of adequate health facilities to decrease infant deaths, post-delivery deaths of mothers, old age health care, proper nutrition and safety of people.
The Health indicators are:

  • Mortality rate India has been successful in declining mortality rate from 25.1 per thousand in 1951 to 8.1 per thousand in 1999. The infant mortality rate is also declined from 148 per thousand in 1951 to 70 per thousand in 1999.
  • Average life expectancy rate It is increased from 37.1 years to 62.3 years for males, 36.2 to 65.3 for females during 1951-1999.
  • Birth rate India has also brought down its birth rate from 40.8 in 1951 to 26.1 in 1999. But it is still higher as compared to developed countries.
  • Sex-ratio Sex-ratio in India is declining after every decade. According to the 2001 census, the findings are very disturbing particularly in case of child sex ratio between 0-6 age group. Except for Kerala (highest sex-ratio), all the states have a declining trend in child-sex ratio. For example, Haryana and Punjab have the child sex ratio below 800 female children on per thousand male children (according to the 2011 census, child sex ratio decline against 2001 from 927 to 919).

Indicators of social Empowerment

  • Freedom from hunger, poverty servitude, bondage, ignorance, illiteracy and other forms of domination is the key to human development.
  • Empowerment and participation of the people by using their capabilities and choices in the society leads to actual freedom.
  • People can use their capabilities and choices by understanding the society and environment. This can happen through literacy as it opens the door of a world of knowledge and freedom.

Literacy in India

  • According to 2001 census, India’s literacy is about 65.4%, while it’s female literacy is 54.16% (according to 2011, 74.04% is total literacy rate, of these 82.14% and 65.46% are males and females respectively).
  • Percentage of total literacy and female literacy are higher than the national average in most of the southern states.
  • The literacy rate is low in Bihar (47.53%) and high in Kerala (90.92%). It shows a large regional disparity in the context of literacy in India.
  • The literacy rate is low in rural areas, in some marginalised sections of our society like females, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, agricultural labourers, etc. In spite of having some improved condition in literacy rate in these sections, there is still a wide gap between the rich and the marginalised sections.

Human Development Index in India

Human Development Report in India is prepared annually by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research in the supervision of the Planning Commission by taking states and Union Territories as the unit of study. States with high HDI value are Kerala (highest HDI among Indian states i.e. 0.92), Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Punjab, whereas Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar (Lowest HDI among the Indian States with 0.41) recorded as lowest HDI value.

Reasons for High and Low HDI Value

There are several reasons for having high and low HDI value include socio-political, economic or historical reasons. They are:

1. The higher number of literates is the main reason for Kerala having high HDI value. On the other hand, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh have a low composite value of HDI because of their lowest literacy rate.

2. Economic development also has a very important role in HDI. Economically developed states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab have a higher value of HDI as compared to states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh.

3. Historical reasons are also responsible for having high or low human development, e.g. regional imbalances and social disparities which emerged under the British period are still crucial in determining the level of development because they are still affecting the political, economical and social system in India. Despite having planned development by the government, the most important goals are still far away from the ideal level.

Population, Environment and Development

Development is important because it improves quality of life but simultaneously brought many problems like regional disparities, social inequalities, discriminations, deprivations, displacement of people, violation of human rights and declining human values and environmental degradation. UNDP in its Human Development Report of 1993 tried to amend these issues and found an important role of civil societies in bringing about peace and human development. These civil societies can help by building up opinion for the reduction in military expenditure, demobilisation of armed forces, the transition from defence to the production of basic goods and services and reduction in the nuclear weapons in developed countries.

The view of these approaches is presented by Neomalthusians, environmentalists and Radical ecologists. These thinkers argued to maintain a balance between population and resources before starting any developmental activity. Sir Robert Malthus was the first scholar who drew the attention towards the imbalance between population and resources. Along with the problem of the scarcity of resources and growing population, there was another problem of unevenly distributed resources over the space and their accessibility only by a few rich countries and people. So there were conflicts between rich and poor countries for these unevenly distributed resources.

Along with Malthus, Mahatama Gandhi was also a supporter of balance and harmony between population and resources. According to him, industrialisation has institutionalised the loss of morality, spirituality, self-reliance, non-violence and mutual co-operation and environment. Further, Gandhiji says that higher goals in the life of a person or by a nation can be achieved through the austerity for individual, trusteeship of social wealth and non-violence.

We hope the given CBSE Class 12 Geography Notes: India – People and Economy Human Development will help you. If you have any query regarding Class 12 Geography Notes: India – People and Economy Human Development, drop a comment below and we will get back to you at the earliest.

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