Bangladesh has moved one notch up to the 142nd place in the Human Development Index (HDI) among 187 countries for its progress in health sector and reducing gender gap, says a UNDP report.
It puts Bangladesh among the 18 countries showing extraordinary progress in human development.
The Human Development Report 2014, released worldwide yesterday, shows the country has demonstrated a good track record of inclusive development and is doing better than India, Pakistan and Nepal, the positions of which remained unchanged.
Titled "Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience", the report was launched at the conference room of the Planning Commission office in the capital yesterday.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) publishes the annual assessment based on the data of three elements -- a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
This year, the UNDP has also introduced a Gender Development Index (GDI) where Bangladesh ranks 107th, well ahead of India and Pakistan at 132nd and 145th places respectively.
Sri Lanka is ranked top among the nine South Asian countries securing 73rd position while Maldives is at 103th, India 135th, Bhutan 136th, Nepal 145th, Pakistan 146th, Myanmar 150th and Afghanistan 169th place in the HDI.
Bangladesh shares the 142nd spot with the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe.
Presenting the report, KAM Morshed, assistant country director of UNDP Bangladesh, said "Last year the positions of Bangladesh and Pakistan in HDI were the same ... But this year, bordering on health and education sectors, the country [Bangladesh] has done better than Pakistan albeit Pakistan's income is almost double ours."
Mohammad Mejbahuddin, secretary of Economic Relations Division, credited this achievement partly to the micro-credit programmes across the country.
"The revolution of micro-credit has created the opportunity of self-employment. When people's income increases, investment in health and education will automatically go up," he said.
The ERD secretary also attributed the success to the government's initiatives in expanding social safety net and food security measures and in health and education sectors.
"All these have contributed [to the achievement] and we hope that we will be able to move faster in the coming days," he added.
Bangladesh has fared better than India in the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as well.