World Bank has ranked India at 116th position out of 174 nations in its annual Human Capital Index. The 2020 Human Capital Index update includes health and education data for 174 countries – covering 98% of the world’s population – up to March 2020, providing a pre-pandemic baseline on the health and education of children.

India’s ranking has dropped since last year when it was placed at 115th position out of 157 nations. Its score, however, has increased from 0.44 in 2018 to 0.49, this year.

The coronavirus is expected to reverse the strides made by India in providing education and healthcare to children. 

Among its neighbours, India has scored less than Nepal (0.50), Sri Lanka (0.60) and China (0.65). It has scored better than Afghanistan (0.40), Pakistan (0.41), Bangladesh (0.46) and Bhutan (0.48).

Also read: Kerala leads in literacy rate followed by Delhi, Andhra Pradesh ranks worst

Among the 174 nations, Singapore had the best score of 0.88, followed by Hong Kong (0.81) and Japan (0.80). Among the worst scorers were the Central African Republic (0.29), Chad (0.30) and South Sudan (0.31). 

As per the report, the biggest strides in human capital were made in low-income countries, but the pandemic poses a big challenge to it.

“The pandemic puts at risk the decade’s progress in building human capital, including the improvements in health, survival rates, school enrollment, and reduced stunting. The economic impact of the pandemic has been particularly deep for women and for the most disadvantaged families, leaving many vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.