New York: India and Pakistan lost two places each on the Human Development Index (HDI) prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compared with last year.
The just released Human Development reports places India at 128 spot among 177 countries rated by it and Pakistan is eight places below at 136. But interestingly, Myanmar is placed higher than both the countries at 132, just above Bhutan.
Sri Lanka is at 99th position and Nepal way down at 144. China gets 81st spot. Iceland narrowly passed Norway to take the top spot. Norway which had occupied top place for last six years slipped to second position as a result of new estimates of life expectancy and updated GDP per capita, the authors of the report say.
Introduced in 1999, the HDI assess the state of human development based on several factors including life expectancy, adult literacy and school enrollment at primary, secondary and tertiary levels as also income.
The top five positions are occupied by Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada and Ireland. The bottom five are Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and Mali.
The United States is placed at 12th position followed by Britain at 16 and Germany at 22. Japan is the only Asian country among the top ten occupying 8th spot.
Twenty-two countries, all in sub Saharan Africa, fall into the category of "low human development". In ten of these countries, two children in five will not reach the age of 40 and in case of Zambia, the figure is one in two.
By contrast, amongst the top 20, only in Denmark and the United States fewer than 9 children in ten reach the age of 60.
In most countries, including India, China and Brazil, human development has risen over the years though some including India, have suffered some reverses this year.
The report shows that only 16 countries have lower HDI today than in 1990. Three of these Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe have lower human development that they did in 1975.
The report finds that top 20 countries in HDI all developed emitted more greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in 2004 than all medium and low human development countries combined.
Though China and India are the largest emitters in that order of carbon dioxide among developing countries, together they emitted less in 2004 than the top 32 countries in the HDI excluding the United States.
By itself, the United States emitted almost as much as China and India and combined, the report says.