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Last Updated: March 20, 2020

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  • India is third-largest producer of Electricity in the World

    14 days ago
    The World Energy Statistics published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2019 states that India is the 3rd largest producer of electricity in the world. India ranked 106th in terms of per capita consumption in 2017. Highlights: ♦ As per the list, the reforms in the power sector has grown continuously.   ♦ India has now become a power surplus from a power deficit situation.   ♦ The power sector reforms focus on the supply of 24×7 quality power to consumers, higher standards of service, promotion of renewable energy sources, development of hydropower, improving efficiency, especially in the distribution sector, etc.   ♦ Also, the Central government is planning to implement reforms linked distribution schemes and changes in tariff policy, among others.

    India ranked second as the better-performing countries in the API list

    22 days ago
    The international animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection, released the global Animal Protection Index 2020. India has ranked second as the better-performing countries in the Animal Protection Index (API).  Highlights: ♦ The aim of API is to showcase where countries are doing well, where they fall short on animal welfare policy and legislation, in order to take steps to improve.  ♦ The index ranks countries from A, being the highest score, to G, being the weakest score.  ♦ India secured a 'C' ranking in the index, along with countries like Spain, New Zealand, Mexico, and France. ♦ India has strong laws on the protection of animals, and the welfare of dairy animals is yet to part of any such law. This index highlighted the work that still needs to done to protect every animal. ♦ New research reveals poor animal welfare practices will provide a perfect breeding ground for viruses to mutate and spread while trading. ♦ If animal welfare laws aren't improved, the risk of disease outbreaks becoming more frequent is high.  ♦ World Animal Protection assessed the animal welfare policies and legislation of 50 countries. ♦ The report highlighted the lack of adequate animal welfare laws.  ♦ The index is aimed to help countries to put in place good animal welfare practices such as keeping animals clean, healthy, and with sufficient space to exhibit natural behaviours.

    India ranks second as the most promising source of disruptive technology

    22 days ago
    According to KPMG's "2020 Global Technology Industry Innovation Survey" report, India shared the second position with China as the most promising source of disruptive technology in the world. The report was topped by the United States as the most promising market for developing disruptive technologies. Highlights: ♦ The report ranked countries that are committed to setting up strong innovation ecosystems. ♦ In terms of the world cities, it highlighted that Silicon Valley/San Francisco would be leading technology innovation hubs over the next four years. Under this category, Bengaluru entered the top 10 list and ranked ninth. Mumbai was ranked 16th. ♦ In terms of hubs globally outside Silicon Valley, Singapore topped the global rankings for the year 2020. Singapore offers strong government support, advanced IT infrastructure, IP protection laws, and a deep pool of talent. It was followed by London, Tel Aviv.

    Jack Ma overtook Mukesh Ambani to become Asias richest man

    24 days ago
    Bloomberg Billionaires Index reported that Jack Ma became Asia's richest man. Mukesh Ambani, who stood as Asia's richest man, has moved to the second position after oil prices collapsed along with global stocks. The novel coronavirus erased $5.8 billion from Ambani's net worth on and pushed him to No.2 on the list of Asia's richest people.  Jack Ma: Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. He topped the list with a $44.5 billion fortune, which is $2.6 billion more than Ambani. Earlier, in mid-2018, Ma topped the list. Alibaba Group Holding Limited: Founded on: 4 April 1999  Founder: Jack Ma Executive Chairman and CEO: Daniel Zhang Executive vice-chairman: Joseph Tsai The Chinese multinational technology company specialized Internet, technology, retail and e-commerce. 

    India listed as the worlds second-largest arms importer as per SIPRI

    24 days ago
    India stands as the world's second-largest arms importer as per the "Trends in international arms transfers 2019" report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data. The data was released on 9 March. Saudi Arabia topped the list. Also, India has ranked 23rd position among the top 25 weapon exporters.  Highlights: ♦ Saudi Arabia registered 12% of the total global arms imports. ♦ India accounted for 9.2% of the total global arms imports during the year 2015-2019.   ♦ China stood at fifth position with 4.3% ♦ Pakistan stands at 11th with 2.6%.  ♦ It stated that India has been taking steps to modernize its armed forces by acquiring helicopters, combat jets, submarines, warships, artillery guns, and assault rifles from countries like Russia, the US, France, and Israel.  India: India's major exporters are Mauritius, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Russia was the largest supplier to India during 2010-14 and 2015-19 and followed by the US, the second-largest arms supplier during 2010-14.

    Gujarat topped the list in the installations of solar rooftop plants

    24 days ago
    As per Government data, Gujarat has topped the list in the installations of solar rooftop plants. It is followed by Maharashtra. The aim of the installations of solar rooftop plants is to achieve renewable power generation goals. Report Highlights: ♦ As of 2 March, a total of 79,950 systems have been installed across the country with a combined capacity of 322 MW. ♦ Gujarat has installed about 50,915 systems being fixed on domestic rooftops in the State. The total capacity of the system is 177.67 MW.  ♦ Gujarat has adopted "Surya Gujarat," a solar rooftop scheme that covers about 8 lakh domestic electricity consumers under the scheme by 2022. ♦ Maharashtra has about 5,513 installations of solar rooftop plants. Surya Gujarat: Under the scheme, Gujarat relaxed subsidy criteria for domestic users with up to 40% subsidy on the cost of projects up to 3 kWh capacity, while 20% subsidy assistance is being provided for projects with a capacity between 3 and 10 kWh. The state government has also allotted Rs.912 crore for the scheme. The electricity that is generated thus will be used for households, and the excess units are purchased by the Gujarat State discoms at the rate of Rs.2.25 per unit.

    UNDP released Gender Social Norms Index

    24 days ago
    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released the new Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) on 5 March. The report stated that gender disparity still exists in every country.  Highlights: ♦ The index measured how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in work, politics, and education in 75 countries or 80% of the world's population.  ♦ It revealed that about half of the world's men and women feel that men make better political leaders, and over 40% feel that men make better business executives. ♦ It also stated that people think that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce, and 28% think it is justified for a man to beat his wife. ♦ It highlighted that enormous power gaps still exist between men and women. ♦ Only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women, and only 10 out of a possible 193 female heads of government. ♦ GSNI stated that less than 6% of CEOs in S&P 500 companies are women.  ♦ UNDP said that even though women work more hours than men, the work is more likely to be unpaid care work. ♦ Parity has been achieved in primary school enrollment and reduced maternal mortality by 45% since 1990.

    Bengaluru accounted highest number of digital transactions

    34 days ago
    Online payment processor Worldline India reported that Bengaluru accounted for the highest number of digital transactions in India in 2019. The aim is to move India towards a less-cash economy. Highlights: ♦ As per the report, Bengaluru is followed by Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune. ♦ United Payments Interface (UPI) was the most preferred mode of payment. It is followed by debit cards, immediate payment service (IMPS), and credit cards, in terms of volume share of digital transactions. In 2019, the four payment modes recorded a combined transaction volume of over 20 trillion and a combined value of over Rs.54 trillion.  ♦ UPI, which is operated by the National Payment Council of India (NPCI), recorded around 10.8 billion transactions in 2019, a 188% year-on-year (YoY). In terms of value, UPI facilitated transactions worth Rs.18.36 trillion in 2019, up 214% YoY compared to 2018.

    Delhi, Ahmedabad topped the list of seven metro cities in daily average consumption of added fat

    38 days ago
    Delhi and Ahmedabad topped the list of seven metro cities in daily average consumption of "added fat" in dishes such as dal fry, stuffed paratha, and mutton biryani. The seven cities are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Survey Highlights: ♦ The survey was carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN).  ♦ The database of the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau study (2015-16), ICMR-NIN-Hyderabad was used for the survey. ♦ International Life Sciences Institute-India (ILSI-India) supported tha analysis ♦ Hyderabad ranked last in the survey. ♦ As per the review, men consume more fat at 34.1 gram per person daily, than women who consume 31.1 gram. ♦ The report highlighted that added fat was high in dishes such as dal fry, chuduva, rice, stuffed paratha, bisibele bath, and puliyodharai also known as tamarind rice.  ♦ The survey stated that Mutton Biryani has more fat than chicken biryani or cereal-based and non-vegetarian recipes. ♦ People who eat deep-fried food consumed more added fat than those who ate boiled and shallow-fried food.  ♦ It stated that all non-vegetarian foods, mostly consumed in urban areas, have high amounts of added fat.

    India ranked 77th on the Sustainability Index as per UN report

    42 days ago
    India secured 77th rank on the Sustainability Index and 131st on the Flourishing Index in the UN report that was commissioned by a Commission of World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and The Lancet. The report was released by over 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world.  Report Highlights: ♦ The report considered per capita carbon emissions and the ability of children in a nation to live healthy lives. ♦ The flourishing index measured the best chance at survival and well-being for children. ♦ The report assessed 180 countries capacity to ensure that their youngsters can survive and thrive. ♦ The domains that were considered are educational achievement, growth and nutrition, reproductive freedom, and protection from violence. ♦ The Sustainability Index ranked the selected countries on excess carbon emissions compared with the 2030 target.  ♦ The report highlighted that the world's survival is depended on the well being of the children, and their ability to flourish. But no country in the world is doing enough to provide the children a sustainable future.

    India ranks 35th in 2019 WEFFI list

    42 days ago
    The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019. India jumped five ranks and secured 35th rank in the list.  Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019: ♦ WEFFI ranked countries that are based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education. ♦ It analyzed the education system from the perspective of skill-based education in areas like problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship, and digital and technical skills. ♦ India scored 53, based on three categories namely policy environment (56.3), teaching environment (52.2) and overall socio-economic environment (32.2). In 2018, India scored 41.2 and secured 40th rank.  ♦ The report highlighted that the decentralized education system is another shortcoming of India's education policy. WEFFI: The WEFFI report and index were commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation. It ranks 50 economies, which represent nearly 93% of global Gross domestic product (GDP) and 89% of the world's population. It analyses the methods a country uses to equip the people aged 15-24 with skills for the future.

    CSIR tops the 2020 Nature Ranking Index

    42 days ago
    The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) topped the Nature Ranking Index 2020. The rankings are based on the output of the total research that was carried out from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019 in all the institutions.  Report highlights: ♦ The total research output indicated: counts which mean total citations in numbers shares which mean the sharing percentage per article ♦ The top subjects associated with the research work include Chemistry, Physical Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Life Sciences. ♦ CSIR, New Delhi scored 142 counts and a share of 87.74%. ♦ Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, has ranked second. It scored 211 counts and a share of 83.61% in share percentage.  ♦ Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR-Mumbai) secured the third position with a research count of 232 and a share percentage of 62.18.  The top 10 institutions in the list are:  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR): Established in: September 1942  Established by: GoI President: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Vice President, CSIR: Cabinet Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan Director General: Shekhar C. Mande CSIR has 3 Innovation Complexes, 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, and 5 units. Over 4600 active scientists and about 8000 scientific and technical personnel are involved in CSIR’s R&D. It covers areas including radio and space physics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, oceanography, nanotechnology, aeronautics, instrumentation, information technology, among others.

    Hindi is the 3rd most spoken language of the world

    44 days ago
    The 22nd edition of the world language database Ethnologue reported that Hindi is the 3rd most spoken language of the world in 2019.  Report Highlights: ♦ Ethnologue brought out a yearly database of living languages of the world since its establishment in 1951. ♦ Ethnologue stated that over 615 million people speak Hindi across the world.   ♦ English at the top of the list with 1,132 million speakers.  ♦ Chinese Mandarin is in second position with 1,117 million speakers. ♦ Bangla has ranked as the 7th most spoken language of the world with 228 million native speakers. ♦ The current round of the database covers 7,111 living languages in the world. Ethnologue also holds data on languages that have gone out of use in recent history. This edition lists 348 such languages.

    ONGC, Indian Oil, NTPC topped the 2018-19 Public Enterprises Survey

    51 days ago
    Public Enterprises Survey 2018-19 tabled at Parliament stated that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation and NTPC Limited were the top three profitable PSUs in 2018-19. Also, BSNL, Air India and MTNL incurred the highest losses for a third consecutive year.  Survey Highlights: ♦ The survey mapped the annual financial performance of all central PSUs. ♦ The survey revealed that the top 10 companies claimed 94.04% of the total losses made by all the 70 loss-making central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) during the year.  ♦ The top three profit-making PSUs contributed 15.3%, 9.68%, and 6.73%, respectively to the total profit earned by all profitable CPSEs.  ♦ State Trading Corporation of India, MSTC and Chennai Petroleum Corporation incurred losses in 2018-19. These PSUs are placed among the top ten loss-making firms. ♦ The total income of all CPSEs during 2018-19 is Rs.24,40,748 crore against Rs.20,32,001 crore in 2017-18. It showed a growth of 20.12%.

    UNICEF released 2019 State of the Worlds Children Report

    51 days ago
    The State of the World's Children Report 2019 stated more than 8 lakhs under 5 Mortality Rate in India. The report was released by the United Nations Children's Fund is a United Nations agency (UNICEF). Report Highlights: ♦ The report has ranked countries in the order of 'highest burden of death among children of under-5' to the 'lowest burden Of death among children Of under-5'.  ♦ The report analyses the global state Of children's health vis-a-vis malnutrition, obesity, anemia, and other health issues. ♦ The report showed the Under 5 Mortality Rate in India is 37 per 1,000 live births against the Global average of 39 per 1,000 live births in 2018. ♦ It also stated that globalization, urbanization, inequities, humanitarian crisis and climate shocks are driving unprecedented negative changes in the nutrition situation of children around the world. ♦ According to the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2010-13 report major causes of child mortality in India are: Prematurity & low birth weight, Pneumonia, Diarrheal diseases, Other non-communicable diseases, Birth asphyxia, and birth trauma, Injuries, Congenital anomalies, Ill-defined or cause unknown, Acute bacterial sepsis and severe infections, Fever of unknown origin, all Other Remaining Causes. GoI's measure: ♦ To address the malnutrition changes in India. GoI has launched Prime Minister Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN).  POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to prevent and reduce stunting, underweight and low birth weight by 2% per annum and the reduction of anemia by 3% per annum. ♦ Government also launched several schemes including Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna (PMMVY) to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years.  ♦ Government also supports all States/UTs under National Health Mission (NHM) to implement Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) strategies to address child mortality and morbidity.

    NCRB reported Mumbai and Kolkata holds the highest cases on women and child trafficking

    52 days ago
    A study by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) stated that the highest incidence of children and women being trafficked was observed from the cities of Mumbai and Kolkata. NCRB's data on missing children and women was compiled on the directions of the Supreme Court (SC). Report Highlights: ♦ The NCRB study on women and child trafficking was based on the annual Crime in India Report compiled by the agency for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. ♦ NCRB study highlighted that the common causes of trafficking were child labour, forced marriages, domestic help, and sexual exploitation, among others. ♦ Mumbai and Kolkata reported the maximum number of trafficking. ♦ In the case of missing women, Maharashtra reported the maximum number. ♦ Madhya Pradesh reported a maximum number of cases of missing children. ♦ Mumbai, Pune, and Thane are considered the most vulnerable. Background: In 2011, the SC constituted a panel that submitted its report in 2019. The panel was asked to direct the NCRB to compile data on missing children and women with an aim to identify the areas prone to trafficking.

    Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index 2019 Launched

    56 days ago
    Ease of living index (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. The indices designed to assess the quality of life of citizens in 100 Smart Cities and 14 other Million Plus Cities. Municipal Performance Index 2019, the Ministry sought to evaluate the performance of municipalities based on five enablers, namely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology, and Governance, which have been further divided into 20 sectors, which will be evaluated across 100 indicators. This will help Municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens. Ease of Living Index            Ease of Living Index aimed at providing a holistic view of Indian cities - beginning from the services provided by local bodies, the effectiveness of the administration, the outcomes generated through these services in terms of the liveability within cities, and, finally, the citizen perception of these outcomes. Ease of Living Index is namely a) generate information to guide evidence-based policy making b) catalyze action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the SDG c) assess and compare the outcomes achieved from various urban policies and schemes and d)obtain the perception of citizens about their view of the services provided by the city administration. EoLI 2019 will facilitate the assessment of ease of living of citizens across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic Ability, and Sustainability, which are further divided into 14 categories across 50 indicators.    All participating cities have appointed nodal officers whose responsibility is to collect and collate the relevant data points from various departments both within and outside of the ULB and upload the same along with supporting documents in the exclusive web portal designed for this purpose. This portal formally launched by Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, on the 19 th of December 2019. There is a central helpdesk which is used by nodal officers to seek process-specific and indicator specific clarifications and assistance as and when required. Ease of Living Index Assessment, a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted on behalf of the Ministry (which carries 30% of the marks of the Ease of Living Index). This is a very important component of the assessment exercise as it will help indirectly capturing the perception of citizens with respect to the quality of life in their cities. This survey, which is being administered both online and offline, has commenced from 1st February 2020 and will continue till 29th February 2020. The offline version involving face-to-face interviews will commence on the 1st of February and will run parallel to the on-line versions. The same is being promoted through bulk SMS push as well as extensive coverage in social media.

    India ranked 40th in the International IP Index

    57 days ago
    India ranked 40th on a global International Intellectual Property (IP) Index. It was released by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce. GIPC conducted the survey for 53 countries.  Report Highlights: ♦ India scored 38.46% (19.23 out of 50) in 2020. It 2019, it scored 36.04% (16.22 out of 45).  ♦ As per the report, India has shown improvement in terms of scores when it comes to the protection of IP and copyright issues. India showed a 2.42% jump in the absolute score.  ♦ Also, India's relative score increased by 6.71%. ♦ GIPC said India has continued to score well in the Systemic Efficiency indicator by scoring ahead of 28 other economies in these indicators. ♦ The report identified several challenges for India including compulsory licensing, patentability requirements, patent enforcement, patent opposition, regulatory data protection, transparency in reporting seizures by customs, Singapore Treaty of Law of Trademarks and Patent Law Treaty. Global Innovation Policy Center: GIPC is the premier institution of the United States Chamber of Commerce. It handles all issues relating to innovation and creativity through advocating for strong IP standards. It aims to promote & defend the system of IP rights in the US, multilateral forums, and other key countries. Note: India secured 36th rank among 50 countries in 2019.

    Current Affairs: China ranked second as the worlds second-largest weapons manufacturer

    66 days ago
    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish research institute, reported that China ranked second as the world's second-largest weapons manufacturer, behind the US.  Report Highlights: ♦ China ranked ahead of Russia, from whom the country used to buy many weapons. ♦ The report showed that the Chinese arms groups have generated sufficient sales to be ranked among the world's top 20 weapons sellers. The four groups have combined sales worth $54.1 billion in 2017.  ♦ The report represented the most comprehensive picture of Chinese companies' weapons production to date. ♦ The report highlighted that the new figures are an underestimate, given the lack of transparency in China.

    India ranked 80th in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index

    70 days ago
    India ranked 80th in the global Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 (CPI-2019). In 2018, India ranked 78th in the index. The index was released by Transparency International. Report Findings: ♦ The report considered revealed that a majority of countries showed little to no improvement in tackling corruption against the previous report. ♦ It considered 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries ♦ It ranks the countries of a score from zero, highly corrupt, to 100, very clean. ♦ The report stated that corruption is more pervasive in most of the countries that it surveyed. ♦ It highlighted that, in countries like India and Australia, opaque political financing, lobbying by the corporate sector has caused control of corruption.  ♦ Yemen (177), Syria (178), South Sudan (179) and Somali (180) performed worst in the ranked at the bottom of the list. Transparency International: Transparency International is a non-governmental organization. It was established in 1993. It is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. Managing Director: Patricia Moreira Chairman: Delia Ferreira Rubio The organization aims to combat global corruption with civil societal anti-corruption measures and to prevent criminal activities arising from corruption. The top 10 countries of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 are:  

    ILO released 2020 World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends

    70 days ago
    International Labour Organization (ILO) released the World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO). The report highlighted that more than 470 million people worldwide are unemployed or underemployed. Report Highlights: ♦ The report forecasted Global unemployment to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020. ♦ It reported that around 188 million people are unemployed in the world.  ♦ Also, 165 million people, aged between 15 and 24, lack sufficient paid work  ♦ It stated that 120 million people either lack access to the labour market or have given up actively searching for work.   ♦ The report stated that unemployment is projected to rise after a long period of stability. It stated that many people are working for fewer paid hours than they would like or lack adequate access to paid work. International Labour Organization (ILO): ILO was established in 1919. The ILO became the United Nation's first specialized agency in 1946. ILO has 187 member States. It aims to bring together governments, employers, and workers to set labour standards, devise programmes and develop policies to promote decent work for all women and men. ILO aims to promote rights at work, enhance social protection, encourage decent employment opportunities, and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO): WESO report provides an overview of global and regional trends in employment, unemployment, labour force participation and productivity.

    India ranked 51st in the 2019 Democracy Index

    71 days ago
    India ranked 51st in the Democracy Index 2019. It has dropped 10 places in the Democracy Index’s global ranking. The survey described the erosion of civil liberties in India as the primary cause of democratic regression. Report Highlights: ♦ The index is based on the functioning of government, electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, political participation, and political culture. ♦ The report A year of democratic setbacks and popular protest was prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit. ♦ It provided a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. ♦ Norway topped EIU's index with a score of 9.87 ♦ North Korea ranked last of the global rankings, with a score of 1.08. ♦ China ranked 153rd with a score of 2.26. ♦ The report described the year 2019 as a tumultuous year for Asian countries. ♦ Three countries namely Chile, France, and Portugal were from the flawed democracy category to the full democracy category. ♦ Malta fell out of the full democracy category to the flawed democracy category. India: ♦ India's scored an overall of 6.90 in 2019 on a scale of 0-10. It fell from 7.23 in 2018 among other countries where there were regressions. ♦ In the Asia and Australia region, India ranked 8th after countries namely Timor-Leste, Malaysia, and Taiwan. ♦ The index referred to the changes in Jammu & Kashmir and the controversial implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam as the democratic regression caused in India. India was graded with 8.67 in electoral process and pluralism, 6.79 in government functioning, 6.67 in political participation, 5.63 in political culture and 6.76 in civil liberties. Top 5 countries in the List: 1) Norway with 9.87 2) Iceland with 9.58 3) Sweden with 9.39 4) New Zealand with 9.26 5) Finland with 9.25 Bottom 5 countries: 163) Chad with 1.61 164) Syria with 1.43 165) The Central African Republic with 1.32 166) The Republic of Congo with 1.13 167) North Korea with 1.08 Democracy Index: The Democracy Index is prepared by a UK-based company Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group. It measures the state of democracy in 167 countries. 

    Sri Lanka topped the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative list

    72 days ago
    Sri Lanka topped on breastfeeding rate according to a new survey conducted by the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi). The survey was taken among 97 countries globally. Report Highlights: ♦ Sri Lanka's rank is based on its performance on ten indicators of policies and programs.  ♦ Sri Lanka has scored 91 out of 100 points  ♦ WBTi uses color-code to rank countries. Sri Lanka earned a green color code, which implies the best level of performance.  ♦ Sri Lanka has been making an effort to support and provide supportive measures for breastfeeding since 2005. ♦ Sri Lanka has demonstrated a high level of commitment towards the health and nutrition of mothers and babies. World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi): WBTi was launched in 2004. WBTi assists countries to assess the status of the participating countries. It will also benchmark the progress in implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding in a standard way. The WBTi assists countries to measure strengths and weaknesses on the 10 parameters of policy and programmes that protect, promote and support optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. So far, 120 countries have been involved in WBTi and 97 have completed assessments.

    India ranked 5th in the CDP India annual report

    73 days ago
    India ranked 5th in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) India annual report. The non-profit organization surveyed among the countries for corporate commitments to science-based targets (SBT).  Report Highlights: ♦ The report identified that the investors demand better disclosure of climate change risk from Indian companies. ♦ The report examined the carbon reduction activities of the selected companies ♦ It stated that 98% of the firms surveyed between 2018 and 2019 have board-level oversight of climate-related issues.  ♦ The report highlighted that the top responding Indian companies now have committees and members designated to address climate risk. This is because of increasing climate activism. ♦ Scores of investors will actively engage companies to disclose their climate risk and helping them to do better. ♦ Around 6,900 companies with over 55% of global market capitalization disclosed environmental data through CDP in 2018. Top 5 ranks: ♦ The United States topped the list with 135 companies ♦ Japan ranked second with 83 companies respectively ♦ The United Kingdom ranked third with 78 countries ♦ France ranked fourth with 51 companies ♦ India ranked fifth with 38 companies

    Japan topped the 2020 Henley Passport Index

    76 days ago
    Henley Passport Index 2020 was launched recently by Henley & Partners. India ranked 84th in the index. Japan has the world's strongest passport. The index was based on the data collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Report Highlights: ♦ In the index, around 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations were considered.  ♦ It is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa. ♦ Japan has been holding the top rank positions for the past 3 years. As per the report, the citizens can access 191 destinations without the necessity of obtaining a visa in advance.  Top 5 ranking countries: ♦ Japan ranked first ♦ Singapore ranked second ♦ Germany and South Korea shared third ♦ Finland and Italy shared fourth ♦ Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain fifth position Passport Index: The passport index provides insights about visa-free travel options. The index score represents how welcoming the countries are. The index includes the World Openness score, Welcoming score, Visa- Frees score, and Global Mobility score. If the scores are high, the passport index is also high and then the passport is said to be highly powerful.

    ASER report showed the learning status of Uttar Pradesh students

    78 days ago
    The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) was showed over 46% in Lucknow and 45.9% in Varanasi kids are unable to read or recognize numbers. The survey covered 1,514 villages, 30,425 households and 36,930 children in the age group of 4-8 in the state. Report HIghlights: ♦ The report stated that the children studying in Class 3 in the cities of Varanasi and Lucknow cannot read or recognize numbers between 1 to 100. ♦ It said that the standard of education continues to remain grim in Uttar Pradesh. ♦ Over 28.1% of kids studying in Class 1 of Lucknow were not able to identify even numbers from 1-9.   ♦ About 47% fail to recognize numbers from 1-100. ♦ According to the countrywide figures, for age 4-5 years, there were only 50.4% boys against 56.8% girls enrolled in government schools. Varanasi: ♦ 16.8% of class I children could not read even a letter and 46.5% of class III and 58% of class II children in Varanasi could not read class I texts. Also, in Varanasi, 45.9% of class III children do not recognize the numbers till 99 while 31.2% of class I children could not recognize 1-9 numbers in the district.

    WHO released 2020 Global Health Challenges report

    78 days ago
    The World Health Organization (WHO) released the list of Global Health Challenges of the forthcoming year on 13 January 2020. Report Highlights: ♦ The list of Global Health Challenges highlighted 13 potential threats. ♦ The top among the listed threats was Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and climate crisis.  ♦ As per the report, around 7 million people are affected because of climate change.  ♦ The report said that climate change has increased malnutrition and is fueling the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria.  ♦ Following these 2, the other threats mentioned in the list include the influenza epidemic and the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.  ♦ The report stated that most of the death is due to stroke, chronic respiratory disease, heart attack, and lung cancer. These diseases are increased by raising levels of air pollution.  ♦ For the first time, Lack of Access has entered the list.  ♦ It highlighted that a lack of access to vaccines, diagnostic tools, medicines, and other essential health products is one of the challenges and threats faced by society.

    IEA released a first in-depth review of India's energy policies

    83 days ago
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) along with the country's policy think tank NITI Aayog released the first in-depth review of India's energy policies on 10 January 2020. The review aims to set out a range of recommendations in each energy policy area. The IEA regularly releases energy policy reviews for its member and association countries. For the first time, it has carried out the review for India. This is the first review IEA carried out for India. Report Highlights: ♦ The report highlighted the achievements made through the country's energy policies ♦ It suggested recommendations to support the Government of India's (GoI) goals to promote the well-functioning energy markets and boost the deployment of renewables.  ♦ The review encourages India to institutionalize energy policy coordination across the government with a national energy policy framework.  It marked the government's policy that provided access to electricity, affordable efficient lighting, and clean cooking through schemes like SAUBHAGYA, UJJWALA, and UJALA. ♦ Also, India is pursuing energy market reforms and the swift deployment of renewable technologies.  ♦ It highlighted the growth of renewables in India which accounts for almost 23% of India's total installed capacity.  ♦ The review also founded that the energy efficiency improvements in the country has avoided 15% of oil and gas imports, additional energy demand, and air pollution and 300 million tonnes (MT) of CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2018. Note: India has been an IEA association country since March 2017.

    India ranked fifth-biggest geopolitical risk of 2020 by Eurasia Group

    83 days ago
    Eurasia Group reported that India is one of the world's top geopolitical risks for 2020. The political risk consultancy India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was listed as the fifth biggest geopolitical risk of 2020. Report Highlights: ♦ Eurasia Group is one of the United States' most influential risk assessment companies. ♦ The report said that the Indian PM Narendra Modi has spent much of his second term to promote the controversial social policies, include the revocation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir through an Act, at the expense of an economic agenda.  ♦ It also highlighted that the impacts will be shown in 2020, with intensified communal and sectarian instability, foreign policy and economic setbacks. ♦ The list was topped by-elections in the US and followed by events and developments like the US-China technology tug of war on 5G and the trade war between China and the US.

    Power Ministry released the 2019 State Energy Efficiency Index

    83 days ago
    Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in association with Alliance for Energy-Efficient Economy released the State Energy Efficiency Index 2019. The index used 97 significant indicators and tracked the progress of Energy Efficiency (EE) initiatives in 36 states and union territories (UTs). State Energy Efficiency Index 2019: ♦ The index showed that a majority of the initiatives taken by states are on the Policies and Regulations front. ♦ State Energy Efficiency Index categorized states as four types based on their efforts and achievements towards energy efficiency implementation. They are Front Runner, Achiever, Contender, and Aspirant.  ♦ In the Achiever Category Haryana, Kerala and Karnataka secured the top position. ♦ There was no front runner’ state mentioned in the report. It conveys that a lot more can be done at the state level to realize energy savings from energy efficiency.  ♦ The States and UTs are grouped into four groups based on the aggregated Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and considered the basic energy requirements such as coal, electricity, gas, and oil to meet the state's actual energy demand. Karnataka, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Puducherry topped the category. Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan performed the worst in each the same. ♦ It directed the States/UTs to focus on ensuring greater compliance to achieve savings to contribute towards the national goals on energy security and climate action.

    India ranked 34th in TTCI of WEF

    88 days ago
    India has ranked 34th in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) of the World Economic Forum for the year 2019. In 2013, India ranked 65th. WEF analyzed 139 countries and scored each according to three sub-indices:  ♦ Regulatory Framework ♦ Business Environment and Infrastructure ♦ Human, Cultural, and Natural Resources These sub-indices are, in turn, composed of 14 pillars of Travel and Tourism Competitiveness. The Ministry of Tourism reported that India has gained popularity among overseas travellers as foreign tourist arrivals grew by 3.23% to 96,69,633 during January-November 2019. It also reported that 93,66,478 overseas travellers had arrived in January-November 2018. Measures taken by Government: ♦ In 2019, the tourism ministry has taken several steps by opening 120 new peaks for mountaineering in order to boost inbound tourism. It has also reduced e-visa fees and reduced the GST rates on hotel room bookings, among others. ♦ The government also reduced GST on hotel rooms with tariffs of Rs.1,001-7,500 per night to 12%, while those above Rs.7,501 to 18%. ♦ Also, the government-sanctioned 77 projects for the development of thematic circuits and allocated an amount of Rs.6,035.70 crore, so far, under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. ♦ Under the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme the Central government identified pilgrimage destinations. It sanctioned 28 projects that amount to Rs.840.02 crore. TTCI: The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) is released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The index measures the factors and policies that make a country a viable place to invest in the Travel and Tourism sector. This sustainability indicator can be used to calculate the status of the Travel and Tourism goal. The top 10 countries of the Index are: 1) Spain 2) France 3) Germany     4) Japan 5) United States 6) United Kingdom 7) Australia 8) Italy 9) Canada 10) Switzerland

    Ratan Tata Gautam Adani among India's top 10 most Googled business tycoons

    96 days ago
    Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata emerged as India's most searched business tycoon on Google in 2019. Google released a Year in Search 2019 report shows what was trending on the world's largest search engine during the year in India.  Here is the top 10 list of trending searches for business personalities in India. 1) Ratan Tata: The Tata Group patriarch Google's most searched Indian business personality in 2019. He heads the Tata Group for 21 years credited with transforming the group from a conventional corporate house into a $100 billion global conglomerate with high-profile acquisitions abroad. 2) Azim Premji: The Indian IT industry who turned Wipro from a cooking oil company into an $8.5 billion IT behemoth retired this July as the conglomerate's chairman and managing director. The third richest Indian with a wealth of ₹1,17,100 crore according to the latest IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List. 3) Lakshmi Mittal: LN Mittal-led global steel giant ArcelorMittal concluded a ₹42,000 crore acquisition of debt-laden Essar Steel. 4) Cyrus S. Poonawalla:  Cyrus Poonawalla is not only one of the richest men in India, one of the most popular on Google. The 77-year-old runs the Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer, by several doses produced and sold. In one of the largest real estate deals in Mumbai, the billionaire had bought Lincoln House in the Breach Candy area of south Mumbai for a mind-boggling sum of ₹750 crore. 5) Anand Mahindra: One of the few industrialists to pour his heart out on Twitter almost daily. Mahindra & Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra will transition to the role of non-executive chairman from 1 April 2020. 6) Shiv Nadar HCL Technologies is now an $8.6 billion global IT company. He is also known for his philanthropic initiatives. 7) Gautam Adani: A college dropout, the billionaire, is known as the ports tycoon of India. 8) Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: He is among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon, Asia’s leading bio-pharmaceuticals enterprise. 9) Uday Kotak: The 60-year-old billionaire banker is the managing director and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank. 10) Radhakishan Damani: The retail king of India runs Avenue Supermarts operates D-Mart retail stores. A college dropout, Damani had started his career as a stockbroker.

    India ranks 47th in house price appreciation during July, September

    97 days ago
    India ranks 47th in the world in terms of appreciation in housing prices as rates grew by only 0.6 percent during the July-September quarter over the year-ago period on slow demand, global property consultant Knight Frank. India stood at 11th position in the April-June quarter of 2019, with a 7.7 percent year-on-year rise in home prices. Knight Frank Knight Frank released its latest report Global House Price Index Q3 2019  tracks the movement in mainstream residential prices across 56 countries and territories worldwide using official statistics. India at the 47th spot among the 56 countries/territories tracked, in terms of appreciation in residential real estate prices, with a marginal 0.6 percent year-on-year (YoY) rise in home prices. The regulations imposed by the government to ensure accountability in the system such as the Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act, 2016, Goods and Services Tax Act, and the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 laid the foundation for a healthy end-user market. Country List Hungary leads the index this quarter with 15.4 percent annual price growth, followed by Luxembourg at 11.4 percent and Croatia at 10.4 percent Slovakia is at number four with the home price rising by 9.7 percent, followed by Latvia (9 percent), Czech Republic (8.7 percent), China (8.5 percent), Jersey (8.5 percent), Mexico (8.4 percent) and Russia (8.1 percent). The prices across 56 countries and territories worldwide rose at an annual rate of 3.7 percent on average, which marks the index's slowest rate of growth for over six years. The majority of the countries and territories registered a static or positive growth in the year to September 2019. During the last four years, the increase in residential prices in most of the top eight cities of India below retail inflation growth.

    Good Governance Index launched by Jitendra Singh TamilNadu

    99 days ago
    Dr. Jitendra Singh launched the Good Governance Index at an event organized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day. What is Good Governance Day? Good Governance Day is observed for former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The 15th edition of the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP) launched the Handbook for the Retiring Central Government Employees and the Smart Card facility for Department Canteen of DoPT. He released a booklet on major initiatives/achievements of DoPT and Strategic Initiatives of the Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare (DoPPW). Good Governance Index Good Governance Index scientifically designed on various parameters of governance. The GGI would plan to determine the status of governance. They provide a reference threshold for future documentation of good governance index is our effort in the direction to carry forward Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision for good governance. The GGI consider ten sectors: 1). Agriculture and Allied Sectors, 2). Commerce & Industries, 3). Human Resource Development, 4). Public Health, 5). Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 6). Economic Governance, 7). Social Welfare & Development, 8). Judicial & Public Security, 9). Environment and 10). Citizen-Centric Governance. The states and UTs are divided into three groups: a). Big States, b). North-East & Hill States and c). UTs.  Big States- Tamil Nadu topped the Good Governance Index.  The poor performers are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, and Uttar Pradesh with Jharkhand finishing last in the group. North-East and Hill States-  Himachal Pradesh topped the index, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram, and Sikkim.  The poor performers in this group are Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, with Arunachal Pradesh Union Territories -  Puducherry topped the index followed by Chandigarh and Delhi.  Lakshwadeep is the worst UT.

    India became the world's 3rd largest publisher of science and engineering articles

    106 days ago
    The US National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that India has become the world's third-largest publisher of science and engineering articles. It has published over 1.35 lakh scientific papers. China topped the report as the world's largest publisher.   Report highlights: ♦ As per the data provided by NSF, the number of scientific papers published worldwide has increased from 1,755,850 in 2008 to 2,555,959 in 2018. ♦ It also said that science and engineering (S&E) journal articles and conference papers, grew about 4% annually over the last 10 years. China: ♦ China has accounted for 20.67% of all the global publications of articles. The number of global scientific publications increased from 2,49,049 in 2008 to 5,28,263 in 2018. It has a growth rate of 7.81% per annum. ♦ It also said that  China’s rate of research output has grown almost twice as fast as the world's annual average for the last 10 years. US: ♦ The US stands second and accounts for 16.54%. The total global publications in science and engineering articles by the US grew at a rate of 0.71% from 3,93,979 in 2008 to 4,22,808 in 2018. India: In 2008, around 48,998 science and engineering articles were published by India. The number increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018. The average annual growth rate in India is 10.73%. India now accounts for 5.31% of the total world publications in science and engineering. Top 10 countries in the list are: 1) China with 5,28,263 science and engineering articles 2) The US with 4,22,808 science and engineering articles 3) India with 2,555,959 science and engineering articles 4) Germany with 1,04,396 science and engineering articles 5) Japan with 98,793 science and engineering articles 6) UK with 97,681 science and engineering articles 7) Russia with 81,579 science and engineering articles 8) Italy with 71,240 science and engineering articles 9) South Korea with 66,376 science and engineering articles 10) France with 66,352 science and engineering articles 

    India ranked 112 in the 2019 WEFs Gender Gap Report

    107 days ago
    India ranked 112th on the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report 2019. The report listed 153 nations in terms of the gap between genders. India was among the bottom five for women's health and survival and economic participation. India secured 108th rank in 2018. The list was topped Iceland. The country remained the world's most gender-neutral country in the Gender Gap Report.  Report Highlights: The report used four key areas namely health, economy, education, and politics to analyze and rank the state of gender equality in a country. The report stated that the time to close the gender gap has been narrowed to 99.5 years in 2019. In 2018, it was estimated to 108 years. It also reported that the parity between men and women across health, education, work and politics will take more than a lifetime to close the gender gap. India: ♦ India's rank has worsened on 3 of 4 metrics that were used for the overall ranking ♦ India ranked 18th in terms of political empowerment ♦ It slipped to 150th on health and survival and to 149th in terms of economic participation and opportunity ♦ It ranked 112th place in terms of educational attainment ♦ As per the report, the economic opportunities for women are extremely limited, 35.4%, in India India's neighbour countries: ♦ China ranked 106th, Sri Lanka ranked 102nd, Nepal ranked 101st,  Bangladesh ranked 50th, Indonesia ranked 85th.  ♦ Yemen ranked the worst and secured 153rd (last) rank and Iraq is 152nd and Pakistan was ranked 151st in the list. Gender gap report: The WEF published the first gender gap report in 2006. India was ranked 98th in 2006. The index has been designed to measure gender equality.

    India has ranked 9th in the 2019 Climate Change Performance Index

    114 days ago
    India has ranked 9th in the high category of 2019 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) presented on 10 December at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain. This is the first time India has ranked among the top 10 among the list.  Report highlights: ♦ The current levels of per capita emissions and energy used in India are still comparatively low for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use categories. ♦ The report suggest the Indian government to develop a roadmap for the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies that would consequently reduce the country's high dependence on coal. ♦ India received an overall medium rating in the renewable energy category ♦ India's 2030 renewable energy target has been rated very high for its well-below 2 degrees Celsius compatibility.  ♦ National experts have recommended the government for strong policies to support the expansion of renewable energy. ♦ The first three places of the ranking remain unoccupied as none of the countries assessed is already on a path compatible with the Paris climate targets.  ♦ Sweden ranked 4th and Denmark ranked 5th among the list. These countries achieved the overall high or very high ratings, the performance of EU countries varied largely.

    India ranked 129 in the Human Development Index

    115 days ago
    India ranked 129 in the Human Development Index (HDI) for the year 2018. The index was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report said that India has improved marginally by a notch.  Report highlights: ♦ UNDP warned about the inequalities that India might have to struggle with. The report said that the group-based inequalities persist in India, especially affecting women and girls.  ♦ It stated that more Indians showed biases in gender social norms, indicating a backlash to women's empowerment.  ♦ The overall index showed that India scored 0.647 in 2018, as against 0.643 in 2017. The score is calculated in the range of 1 to 0. ♦ Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21 st century report stated that 271 million Indians were lifted out of poverty from 2005-06 to 2015-16.  HDI: HDI is a statistical tool that is used to measure the overall achievement of the country in its social and economic dimensions as it is based on the health of people, the level of education attained and the standard of living. It emphasizes people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria to assess the development of a country, not the economic growth alone. 

    India ranked 5th in the Global Climate Risk Index

    115 days ago
    India ranked 5th in the 15th edition of the Global Climate Risk Index 2020. It was released by Bonn-based think-tank Germanwatch. Japan topped the list as the most vulnerable of 181 countries to the effects of climate change, with its poorest being the most at risk. The report released at the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) where 197 countries around the world meet at Spain's capital, Madrid participating.  Report highlights: ♦ The Global Climate Risk Index was prepared on an analysis of worldwide data on extreme weather events. The report on the weather events was provided by the provided by German reinsurer MunichRe's NatCatSERVICE, a comprehensive database of natural catastrophes.  ♦ The index does not consider the slower processes of glacier melting and rising sea levels, or more acidic and warmer seas due to climate change. India: ♦ In 2017, Indian ranked 14th and in 2018 India ranked 5th because of the weather events. ♦ The report highlighted that 2,081 deaths that happened in 2018 are due to extreme weather events caused by climate change like heavy rainfall, floods, cyclones, landslides among others. ♦ In 2018, the yearly monsoon season, which lasted from June to September, severely affected India. Kerala was severely affected. Around 324 people died because of landslides that were set off by the flooding. Around 2,20,000 people had to leave their homes, 20,000 houses and 80 dams were destroyed. The damage amounted to Rs.20,000 crore. ♦ India's east coast was hit by two cyclones namely Titli and Gaja, in October and November 2018, respectively. ♦ India also suffered from severe heatwaves with temperatures rising to 48 degrees Celsius. It resulted in hundreds of deaths. ♦ The Global Climate Risk Index study and analyses the extent to which the countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events like storms, floods, heatwaves, etc. The top 10 countries in the list are: ♦ Japan ♦ Philippines ♦ Germany ♦ Madagascar ♦ India ♦ Sri Lanka  ♦ Kenya  ♦ Rwanda ♦ Canada ♦ Fiji Germanwatch: Germanwatch was established in 1992. It is located in Bonn, Germany. The organization preserves the livelihood and promotes North-South equity. It aims to represent a strong lobby for sustainable development.

    India stands as fifth worst country in terms of biometric use

    119 days ago
    The Britain-based tech research firm Comparitech reported that India is the fifth worst country in terms of extensive and invasive use of biometric data. Before India stands China, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the US. India shared the fifth position along with Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Report highlights: ♦ The researchers analyzed 50 countries to find out where biometrics are being taken, the reason for the collection of the biometric data, and the process of the data storage. ♦ The countries were marked out of 25.  A high score secured by a country shows an extensive and invasive use of biometrics and surveillance.  A low score shows better restrictions and regulations regarding biometric use and surveillance. ♦ The researchers also checked whether the country failed to introduce a law to protect biometric data. ♦ The report said that despite knowing the sensitiveness of the biometric data, many countries accepted as the biometric use. India: India scored 19 out of 25. The country ranked relatively lower in the list of worst countries for biometric data collection. India does not permit law enforcement to get access to the national biometric database known as Aadhaar. Top 5 countries of the list: The top 5 best countries in terms of collection, storage and use of biometric data as per the report are: 1) Ireland 2) Portugal 3) Cyprus 4) The UK 5) Romania

    India ranked 73rd in the 2019 E-commerce Index

    119 days ago
    India ranked 73rd in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2019. The ranking was conducted for 152 countries. The Netherlands topped the index for the second consecutive year.  Report highlights: ♦ The survey was conducted among 152 countries. ♦ The index measured an economy's preparedness to support online shopping. ♦ The index marked the readiness of the countries that are engaged in online commerce.  ♦ The survey also included a parameter where the portion of every country's population that uses the internet and has an account with a financial institution or mobile-money-service provider.  ♦ The least developed countries occupy 18 of the 20 bottom positions. Among the 20 economies that ranked the lowest value in the 2019 index, 18 are the least developed countries.  ♦ Comoros, Burundi, Chad, and Niger holds the last positions in the index. India: India has slightly improved its position from 80 in 2018 and 83 in 2017. India Internet shoppers as a share of Internet users were 11% and Internet shoppers as a share of population of 3% in 2017. Countries are measured on the access to secure internet servers, the reliability of postal services and infrastructure.  Top 10 countries of the list: 1) Netherlands 2) Switzerland 3) Singapore 4) Finland 5) The United Kingdom 6) Denmark 7) Norway 8) Ireland 9) Germany 10) Australia UNCTAD: Formed on: 30 December 1964 Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland Secretary-General: Mukhisa Kituyi Parent organization: United Nations General Assembly UNCTAD deals with investment, trade, and development issues. It formulates policies for the development including trade, transport, finance, and technology.

    UNEP gas emissions reports say achieving 1.5 deg C is almost impossible

    122 days ago
    UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released the 2019 Emissions Gap Report. The reported stated that even if the current climate commitments are met, the world is on course to exceed 3°C in global temperature rise. The report assesses the emissions gap. The report focuses on energy transition. The report was released in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-25). Report highlights: ♦ The report said that in order to limit temperature rise, annual emissions in 2030 should be maintained at 15 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent lower than current unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) imply for the 2°C goal. ♦ It stated that Green House Gas (GHG) emissions continue to rise, despite scientific warnings and political commitments ♦ Many countries have announced net-zero GHG emission targets for 2050. But only a few countries have formally submitted long-term low-emission development strategies to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) so far. Recommendation of UNEP: The report highlighted that renewables and energy efficiency along with electrification of end uses are key to a successful energy transition. It will drive down energy-related CO2 emissions. Strengthening of the NDCs is needed in 2020. All the countries are recommended to increase their NDC ambitions threefold to achieve the well below 2°C goal and more than fivefold to achieve the 1.5°C goal. Note: Emissions gap: The gap between anticipated emission levels in 2030 and levels consistent with a 2°C/1.5°C target.

    Mukesh Ambani ranked as the 9th richest person in the world

    124 days ago
    Reliance Industries (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani ranked as the 9th richest person globally in the Real-Time Billionaires List of Forbes. His net worth was $60 billion. Ambani made it to the daily list of the top 10 richest people in the world because of the increase in the share price of his flagship firm Reliance Industries. Also, he became the first Indian firm to hit the Rs.10 lakh crore market valuation mark. Top 5 in the list: ♦ The list was topped by Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $113 billion  ♦ Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ranked second with a net worth of $107.4 billion ♦ Bernard Arnault & family Chairman and CEO, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton ranked third with a net worth of $107.2 billion ♦ CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett stands fourth with a net worth of $86.9 billion ♦ CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was ranked fifth with a net worth of $74.9 billion

    China topped with the most diplomatic posts across the world

    126 days ago
    Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, reported that China has overtaken the United States as the country with the most diplomatic posts across the world. India ranked 12th in the diplomatic sweepstakes in the report. Report highlights: ♦ China now has 276 diplomatic posts globally whereas the US holds 273 diplomatic posts.  ♦ China has just one additional embassy and high commission, 169, than the US that has 168 ♦ Beijing has 96 consulates around the world and Washington has 88. ♦ India has 123 embassies and high commissions, and 54 consulates, across the world Top 5 of the list: ♦ China ranked first ♦ The US ranked second ♦ France ranked third ♦ Japan ranked fourth ♦ Russia ranked fifth

    India has 96 universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2020 Asia

    127 days ago
    India has 96 universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2020. Out of these, 20 are new entries. The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) leads nationally at the overall 34th place, and it is followed by IIT Delhi (IIT-D) in the 43rd place and by IIT Madras (IITM) in the 50th position. The country has 31 institutes among the top 250. Report Highlights: ♦ Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) reported 8 Indian universities are placed among the top 100.  ♦ The Indian higher education system has grown exponentially over the past decade.  ♦ The domestic demand for tertiary education of the country's young population is growing more rapidly than the expanded provision.  ♦ India's higher education system plays a vital role in driving the nation's competitiveness.  ♦ The report highlighted the sustained investment in research funding, teaching, and internationalization is paramount to enhance India's competitive edge. Top 3 in the list: Overall for the second consecutive year, the National University of Singapore stands top among Asia's best universities. It is followed by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and the University of Hong Kong, China. Only Mainland China is more represented than India, with 118 featured universities. Among these, 4 stands in the top 10 list.

    India Ranks 44th In 2019 Nomuras Food Vulnerability Index

    130 days ago
    Nomura's Food Vulnerability Index (NFVI) ranks countries based on their exposure to large swings in food prices. NFVI NFVI has three components: (1) the country's GDP per person, (2) the share of food in household consumption, and (3) the net food imports. The lower per capita GDP, a higher percentage of food in household consumption, and top net food imports would make a country more vulnerable to spikes in food prices. Around 50 countries most vulnerable to food price surges in the coming months mostly belong to the Emerging Market group. The top 50 together account for almost 60 percent of the global population. India ranked 44 out of 110 countries; a higher rank is worse. At 4.6%, India's retail inflation for October touched a 16-month high because of the jump in food prices. Food inflation grew by almost 8%-nearly double the rate of overall retail inflation. The essential items that contributed to this rise were pulses (inflation rate 12%) and vegetables (inflation rate 26%) and fish and meat (inflation rate 10%), the Asia-headquartered financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries.

    Ministry of Road Transport released 2018 Road Accidents in India report

    135 days ago
    Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of Government of India has released the Road Accidents in India 2018. The annual publication was brought out by the Transport Research Wing of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The wing reports on accidents related deaths and injuries based on information supplied by the Police Departments of States and Union Territories (UTs) calendar year-wise. The report said that road accidents are often the result of an interplay of various factors like human error, road environment, and vehicular condition. Report highlights: ♦ The report said that road accidents in the country had increased marginally by 0.46% during 2018, with the year seeing 4,67,044 road accidents as against 4,64,910 in 2017. ♦ The fatalities during the same period have also risen by about 2.37%, and 1,51,471 persons were killed in 2018 as against 1,47,913 in 2017. ♦ Road accident injuries have shown a decrease of 0.33% in 2018 as compared to 2017. ♦ The Compound annual growth rate of accidents and accident-related deaths in the period 2010-2018 dropped drastically and was the least when compared with the previous decades, despite the very high rate of growth of automobiles. ♦ National Highways comprised of 1.94% of total road network, accounted for 30.2% of total road accidents and 35.7% of deaths in 2018.  ♦ State Highways accounted for 2.97% of the road length accounted for 25.2% and 26.8% of accidents and deaths, respectively.  ♦ In the case of other roads, about 95.1% of the total roads were responsible for the balance 45% of accidents and 38% deaths, respectively. ♦ During 2018, young adults in the age group of 18-45 years were accounted for nearly 69.6% of road accident victims. The working-age group of 18–60 accounted for a share of 84.7% in the total road accident deaths. ♦ In 2018, the hit and run cases accounted for 18.9% of the deaths compared to 17.5% in 2017.  ♦ The category which registered the maximum increase in terms of persons killed in 2018 was collision with parked vehicles. ♦ The share of males in the number of total accident deaths was 86%, and the females stood around 14% in 2018.

    India ranked 59th in the 2019 IMD World Talent Ranking

    136 days ago
    Switzerland topped the 2019 IMD World Talent Ranking. India ranked 59 on the global annual list of 63 countries. The list was released by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Parameters: The ranking was based on the performance in three main categories, namely investment and development, appeal, and readiness.  India's decline: India has witnessed one of the sharpest declines among Asian economies that were owing to a low quality of life, the negative impact of brain drain, and the low priority of its economy on attracting and retaining talents. The drop includes various factors like expenditure on education, pollution issues, and the quality of education that can be linked to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Top 10: The top countries on the list share strong levels of investment in education and a high quality of life.  Top 10 Countries in the  2019 IMD World Talent Ranking list are: Rank 1-Switzerland  Rank 2-Denmark  Rank 3-Sweden Rank 4-Austria  Rank 5-Luxembourg Rank 6-Norway  Rank 7-Iceland  Rank 8-Finland Rank 9-The Netherlands Rank 10-Singapore

    Mumbai named as the world's worst cities to drive

    139 days ago
    The Driving Cities Index released by European car parts retailer Mister Auto, a part of the PSA Group, reported that Mumbai and Kolkata had been rated as the world's worst cities to drive in 2019. The retailer released a detailed study on the best and worst places in the world to drive in. Parameters: The three main parameters that were considered by the study that impacts the driving condition are Infrastructure, Safety, and Costs. These three main categories were then broken down into 15 sub-categories. Report Highlights: ♦ As per the report, Calgary in Canada has been named as the best city for driving, considering low congestion, fatalities, and affordability.  ♦ The other best places among the 100 for driving conditions are Dubai and Ottawa.  ♦ Bern in Switzerland and El Paso in Texas, USA, respectively hold the third and fourth position on the list. The worst cities to drive in and the last ranked cities are: ♦ Karachi in Pakistan ranked 96th, Nigeria ranked 97th, Kolkata ranked 98th, Mongolia ranked 99th, and Mumbai ranked 100th in the list.

    AirVisual data showed Delhi as the most polluted city

    139 days ago
    IQAirVisual, a Swiss-based group, named India's Capital Delhi, is the most polluted city in the world. The report also showed that Kolkata and Mumbai on its list as the world's sixth and ninth most polluted cities. Top 10 polluted cities: The top 10 polluted cities include Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, the Chinese cities, namely Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Beijing, and Pakistan's Lahore, Uzbekistan's Tashkent, and Nepal's Kathmandu. AirVisual data: IQAirVisual data gathers air-quality data globally. It is updated frequently, so the Air Quality Index (AQI) count and the ranking changes during the day.

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Current Affairs 2020 February

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