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New Delhi: India ranked last out of 40 countries in the 2021 edition of the Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which assesses a country’s commitment to policies that affect the development of other poorer nations. It scored a 0 overall out of a possible 100.

Published since 2003 by US-based think tank, Center for Global Development, the index ranks 40 of the world’s high- and middle-income countries on eight policy areas — development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security and technology.

It analyses the countries’ “dedication to policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations”, according to the think tank’s website. Sweden topped this index with a perfect score of 100.

India performed the worst in the trade, development finance, health and migration areas ranking 40th, 39th, 39th and 37th, respectively, and performed the best in the environment category, ranking sixth.

India was added to the index for the first time in 2020 and ranked 37 then, ahead of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Also read: Why did India not fulfil its economic potential? New book outlines ‘economics of non-performance’

India’s performance

According to the index, India ranked 39th in the health area because of placing significant new restrictions on the export of food and medical goods, which “amounted to 138 separate product restrictions”.

It further noted that the human consumption of antibiotics in the country is also well below the global CDI average.

While the CDI put India among the top five in migration for accepting 53 per cent female migrants, it ultimately ranked India as 39th on the basis of its “migration integration policies”.

It also urged India to ratify the International Labour Organization conventions on migration for employment and migrant workers.

On environment, which is India’s best performing category, CDI credited the country for having “the lowest direct greenhouse gas emissions”, for embodying negative emissions in its international trade and for producing low amounts of oil and gas.

However, it advised India to reduce coal production and to take measures to increase carbon pricing.

What these indicators mean

The index is broadly divided into three categories of indicators, namely development finance, exchange and global public goods.

The CDI labels development finance (i.e. utilising the public sector to aid the private sector in investing in developing nations) as “the first policy area”, assessing the extent to which countries are promoting global development.

Meanwhile, exchange measures the way in which “countries manage the international flows of capital, goods and services, ideas, and people” and is further divided into the investment, migration and trade indicators.

Similarly, the global public goods category is divided into environment, health, security and technology indicators.

“No country alone can stop a pandemic from spreading, halt climate change, or produce all new knowledge. Therefore, we give credit to countries which take the initiative to work on these issues of global importance,” the CDI noted.

Also read: India ranks 122nd on new Global Youth Development Index among 181 countries


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