India has been ranked among the bottom 11 countries in a new worldwide index on the commitment of different nations to reduce inequalities in their populations.
UK-based charity Oxfam International's 'Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index', released, ranks India 147th among 157 countries analysed, describing the country's commitment to reducing inequality as a "a very worrying situation" given that it is home to 1.3 billion people, many of whom live in extreme poverty.
"Oxfam has calculated that if India were to reduce inequality by a third, more than 170 million people would no longer be poor," the index notes.
"Government spending on health, education and social protection is woefully low and often subsidises the private sector. Civil society has consistently campaigned for increased spending," it adds.
The second edition of the annual index finds that countries such as South Korea, Namibia and Uruguay are taking strong steps to reduce inequality. However, countries such as India and Nigeria "do very badly" overall, as does the US among rich countries, showing what Oxfam describes as a lack of commitment to closing the inequality gap.