India Ranks Lowest Among BRICS Nations On Global Human Capital Index

India also ranks among the lowest in the world in employment gender gap.

A boy studies in the light provided by a kerosene lamp at night in the village of Fateh Nagla, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)
A boy studies in the light provided by a kerosene lamp at night in the village of Fateh Nagla, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

India came 103rd, the lowest among BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies, on the World Economic Forum’s Global Human Capital Index, which has been topped by Norway.

India also ranks “among the lowest in the world” when it comes to the employment gender gap, but has fared well in terms of skill development, needed for future with a rank of 65 out of total 130 countries surveyed.

The list compiled by Geneva-based WEF takes into account “the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system” to measure the ‘human capital’ rank of a country.

India was ranked 105 on this list last year, while Finland was on the top which has now been pushed by Norway to the second place this year.

The WEF said that India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers, with Russian Federation placed as high as on rank 16, followed by China at 34, Brazil at 77 and South Africa at 87 rank.

Among the South Asian countries also, India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka and Nepal, although higher than neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan.

India is held back by a number of factors, including low educational attainment (primary education attainment among 25 -54 year olds is at rank 110 for example) and low deployment of its human capital, meaning the skills available are not being put to good use.
World Economic Forum Statement

Giving instances, WEF said India ranks 118 for labour force participation among the key 35-54 year old demographic, suggesting far too many Indians are engaged in informal or subsistent employment.

“However there is a modern India rising. When it comes to development of skills needed for the future, the country fares strongly, ranking 65 out of 130,” it said, adding that the country also performed well in the know-how parameter that measures the use of specialised skills at work. “India faces a number of challenges but looks to be moving in the right direction,” WEF noted.

The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Finland and Switzerland in the second and third place respectively. Other countries in the top 10 include, the U.S. (fourth), Denmark (fifth), Germany (sixth), New Zealand (seventh), Sweden (eighth), Slovenia (ninth) and Austria (10th).

The report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity (determined by past investment in formal education), Deployment (accumulation of skills through work), Development (continued upskilling and reskilling of existing workers) and know-how (specialised skills-use at work).

According to the report, 62 percent of human capital has now been developed globally.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution does not just disrupt employment, it creates a shortfall of newly required skills. Therefore, we are facing a global talent crisis.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Schwab further noted that “we need a new mind-set and a true revolution to adapt our educational systems to the education needed for the future workforce.”