The Print recently published a report about the Commitment to Development Index (CDI), in which India was ranked last out of world’s high- and middle-income countries in its assessment of the country’s commitment to policies affecting poorer nations.
What is the Commitment to Development Index (CDI)?
Published by the US-based think tank, Center for Global Development since 2003, CDI ranks 40 of the world’s high- and middle-income countries with reference to eight policy areas- development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security and technology.
The CDI hasn’t been without controversy. In 2006, Japan was ranked at the last spot in the Index and the Japanese Foreign Ministry had even issued a formal statement at that time which read, “the criteria for selecting the seven (now eight) components are not clear. Furthermore, the Index does not take into account different degrees of impact the seven components have on development, as it simply adds the scores from each area with an equal weight. This would mean, for instance, “aid” and “migration” are regarded as having equal effects on development.”
How has the Center for Global Development misjudged India?
The Center for Global Development has ranked India at the 40th, 39th, 39th and 37th rank in the trade, development finance, health and migration areas, respectively. In terms of the environment category, India has been given the sixth rank, which is also the country’s highest performance across all categories.
However, we tend to disagree with the findings of the Center for Global Development. In fact, it is particularly erroneous when India set aside Rs 7,100 crore in its budget for the ongoing Financial Year as development assistance for countries in its neighbourhood as well as in Africa and Latin America.
In fact, India’s outreach to the poorest regions of the world has been spectacular, given the country’s overall economic development and resources. For instance, India is the seventh-largest investor in Africa. India has also accelerated development in the poverty-ridden through soft loans called concessional lines of credit (LoC) to fund construction of infrastructure projects like railway lines, electrification and irrigation projects, and farm mechanisation projects.
Moreover, India’s benevolent engagement with poorer countries has already led to significant turnarounds. One of India’s irrigation projects in Senegal led to a six-fold growth in the country’s rice production. Similarly, a Line of Credit worth US$ 640 million helped Ethiopia become self-sufficient in sugar production.
India’s engagement in its neighbourhood:
When it comes to India’s commitment to development in its neighbourhood, India has been helping entire the South Asia minus Pakistan, to eradicate poverty and move towards development.
In the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), New Delhi has extended Lines of Credit worth millions of Dollars to both Maldives and Sri Lanka. In the Himalayas, India has allocated Rs 3,004 crore for development assistance to Bhutan and Rs 992 crore for development assistance to Nepal. Moreover, Rs 200 crore will also be allocated for Bangladesh.
India is one of the few countries that is promoting all round development and equitable growth across all deprived parts of the world. However, leftist platforms like The Print, The Wire, and many others, wouldn’t hesitate to spread any false news or false data that shows India in a bad light.