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  • India Innovation Index 2020 by NITI Aayog

    4 days ago
    NITI Aayog launched the second edition of "India Innovation Index 2020". The Indian Innovation Index 2020 seeks to rank States and Union Territories. Highlights: ♦ The Indian Innovation Index 2020 seeks to rank States and Union Territories based on their relative performance in supporting innovation, and to highlight their strengths and weaknesses to enable them to improve their innovation policies. ♦ The first edition of the India Innovation Index was released in 2019.

    India Ranked 85th in Henley Passport Index

    8 days ago
    India takes the 85th position in the most powerful passport report "Henry Passport Index 2021". The Henry Passport Index is ranking of all passports in the world based on the number of destinations that the holder can enter without a prior visa. Highlights: ♦ The Henry Index is an original ranking of all passports in the globe based on the number of destinations that the holder can enter without a prior visa. ♦ The ranking was originally created by Dr Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners. The Henry Index ranking is from the exclusive data from the IATA (International Air Transport Association). IATA maintains the world's largest and most accurate travel information database. ♦ Henry Passport Index was launched in 2006 and includes 199 different passports. ♦ Japan continues to rank first in the index, and passport holders can enter 191 destinations in the world visa-free. ♦ Singapore ranked second (with a score of 190), and South Korea tied for third with Germany (with a score of 189). ♦ Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be the countries with the worst passport holdings, with passport scores of 29, 28 and 26 respectively. ♦ India took 85th position with a visa-free score of 58. Indian passports rank higher in 2020 (84th) and 2019 (82nd). Pakistan ranks 107th and Nepal ranks 104th.

    PMI Data Service Sector of India is at Slow Pace

    17 days ago
    According to the latest PMI data, India’s service industry activity grew at a slower rate in December. The service industry PMI rose to 52.3 in December from 53.7 in November. Purchasing Managers Index: ♦ The Purchasing Managers Index is an economic indicator that can indicate the business activities and economic health of the manufacturing and service industries. ♦ India's PMI was published by Japanese company Nikkei, but was written and constructed by IHS Markit, a global information provider based in London. ♦ Unlike the Industrial Production Index (IIP), which denotes changes in input or output. ♦ PMI is an investor sentiment tracking index, and it is more dynamic in nature. They come from a monthly survey of about 400 private companies. ♦ The variables used to calculate PMI are: output, new orders, employment, input costs, output prices, backlogs, export orders, purchase quantities, supplier delivery time, purchase inventory, and finished goods inventory. ♦ While Purchasing Managers Index >50 implies an expansion of business and economic activity, Purchasing Managers Index <50 means contraction.   

    World Food Price Index by FAO

    17 days ago
    Food Price Index of the Food & Agriculture Organization - FAO averaged 107.5 points in December 2020, which is an increase of 2.3 points from November 2020. This is the 7th consecutive month of growth. Highlights: ♦ The food price index was established in 1996 as a public good. ♦ The Price Index is a public good in order to help monitoring the development of the global agricultural market. ♦ The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) is a measure of the monthly changes in the international price of a basket of food. ♦ It measures changes in a basket of grains, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar. ♦ The Base period is 2014-16. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN), leading international efforts to eradicate hunger globally. On October 16, World Food Day is observed every year globally. Celebrate this day to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of FAO in 1945. India issued a commemorative rupee coin of 75 denominations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of FAO (October 16, 2020). It is one of the United Nations food aid organizations based in Rome (Italy). Its sister institutions are the World Food Program and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  

    WHO Released Global Health Estimates

    30 days ago
    World Health Organization (WHO) released the 2019 Global Health Estimates. According to the report, non-communicable diseases currently account for 7 of the top 10 causes of death in the world, an increase from 4 of the 10 leading causes of death in 2000. Highlights: ♦ The new data covers the period from 2000 to 2019. ♦ Heart disease:  (1) In the past 20 years, it has been the leading cause of death worldwide;   (2) It now accounts for 16% of total deaths from all causes;   (3) The number of deaths from heart disease increased by more than two million         since 2000 to nearly 9 million in 2019 ♦ Diabetes and dementia are also among the top 10 causes of death in the world. ♦ HIV/AIDS dropped from the 8th leading cause of death in 2000 to the 19th in 2019. ♦ Tuberculosis is no longer in the top 20 in the world. It has dropped from 7th place in 2000 to 13th in 2019, and the number of deaths worldwide has decreased by 30%. ♦ In 2019, people will live more than 6 years longer than in 2000. In 2019, the global average life expectancy was more than 73 years, compared with 67 years in 2000. ♦ There has been a global decline in deaths from communicable diseases, which, however, still remain a major challenge in low- and middle-income countries.

    Human Development Index - UNDP

    38 days ago
    According to the Human Development Report -HDR 2020 released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), India ranked 131st out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2019, a drop of two places from the previous year. Highlights: ♦ The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure of the health, education, and living standards of a country. ♦ The life expectancy of Indians in 2019 is 69.7 years. ♦ The life expectancy in Bangladesh is 72.6 years and that in Pakistan is 67.3 years. ♦ India, Bhutan (129), Bangladesh (133), Nepal (142), and Pakistan (154) were ranked among countries with Medium Human Development. ♦ Top countries: Norway (1), Ireland (2), Switzerland (3), Hong Kong (4), and Iceland (5). ♦ According to the report, India’s gross national income per capita fell to $6,681 in 2019 from $6,829 in 2018 on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis. ♦ Indigenous children in Cambodia, Thailand, and India show more problems related to malnutrition, such as stunting and wasting.

    UNESCOs 2020 State Of Education For India Report

    39 days ago
    UNESCO recently released the State of Education Report (SER) in India. The report highlights the vision of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) contained in India’s new National Education Policy 2020. UNESCO formulated the TVET strategy (2016-21). The strategy is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Education 2030 Action Plan. TVET: It refers to the learning of technology, the mastery of practical skills, the understanding and knowledge related to the profession and various departments. Vocational and technical education and training are very important to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship. It promotes equality and gender equality. It facilitates the transition to a sustainable society and green economy. TVET in India: According to the UNESCO report on the state of education in India, there are currently thousands of universities in India operating under vocational bachelor's degree programs. Approximately 10,158 state government schools provide vocational education to 1.2 million students. TVET will help India build a strong workforce. According to the National Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Policy, India’s goal is to create a workforce of 110 million people by 2022. According to the report on the state of education in India, India is currently training 10 million young people through many programs.

    First-Phase Data of the NFHS-5 2019-20 Has Been Released

    41 days ago
    Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has released the first phase of the 2019-20 National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS-5) data. The NFHS is a large-scale multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. Highlights: ♦ All NFHS are conducted under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India, and the International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai is the institution of this node. ♦ IIPS was established in 1956 under the co-sponsorship of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, the Government of India and the United Nations (UN). It has now become the premier institute for population studies, training and research developing countries in Asia and the Pacific. ♦ Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the second phase of the investigation (covering the remaining states) was postponed, and the results are expected to be announced in May 2021. ♦ The data captured by NFHS-5 during 2014-19 is similar in content to NFHS-4 (2015-16), can be compared over time, and also indicates changes. It provides an indicator for tracking the country's 30 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. ♦ However, NFHS-5 includes some new topics such as preschool education, disability, toilet facilities, death registration, bathing habits during menstruation, and methods and causes of abortion. In 2019, NFHS-5 sought for the first time detailed information on the proportion of men and women who used the Internet. Data Analysis:  Although sanitation conditions have improved and people have access to more fuel and drinking water, several states across the country have reversed roads and recorded deterioration in child malnutrition. The latest data capture the health status of the states before the pandemic. Some states have witnessed insignificant improvements or continued reversals in the four key indicators of malnutrition in children (under 5 years of age). The four key indicators are child stunting, child waste, the proportion of underweight children and child mortality. The data of these indicators are also used in multiple global indexes, such as the Global Hunger Index. Child Stunting: The most surprising reversal occurred in children with stunting, reflecting chronic malnutrition, and refers to the percentage of under-age children. Compared with any other factors, the developmental delay may have long-term adverse effects on children's cognitive and physical development. Telangana, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal have seen an increase in stunting in children. Under normal circumstances, the reversal of stunting in children is a "great trouble", and the level of stunting has not increased, because, with the development of stable democracies and economic development, all factors affecting children's growth are improving. Child Wasting: It reflects severe malnutrition and refers to children who are underweight and tall. India has been wasting children. Telangana, Kerala, Bihar, Assam, and Jammu Kashmir did not decrease, but increased, while Maharashtra and West Bengal stagnated. Children Underweight: Among the underweight children, the number of children in major states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Assam and Kerala has increased. Child mortality: Infant mortality (the number of deaths per 1,000 live births for children under one year of age) and under-five mortality data are mostly stagnant. Between NFHS-3 (2005-05) and NFHS-4, progress has been made in reducing mortality, but NFHS-5 and NFHS-4 are separated by about five years. In many states, little progress has been made. In Maharashtra, the under-five mortality rate is the same in NFHS-4, and in Bihar, it has been reduced by only 3% in five years. Child malnutrition is the cause of over 60% of the child mortality rate. This is the central issue that needs to be resolved. Urban-Rural Gender Gap In Internet Use: In several states and labour union regions, there are urban-rural gaps and gender gaps in Internet use. On average, less than three in ten women in rural India and four in ten women in urban India have used the Internet Routine data: On average, 42.6% of women have used the Internet, while the average proportion of men is 62.16%. In urban areas of India, an average of 56.81% of women have used the Internet, while an average of 73.76% of men. In rural areas of India: 33.94% of women in rural areas of India have used the Internet, while the proportion of men is 55.6%. In rural India, the proportion of women who have used the Internet has dropped significantly.

    The New Climate Institute Released global Climate Change Performance Index

    47 days ago
    The Global Climate Change Performance Index was recently released by the New Climate Institute, Germanwatch and CAN (Climate Action Network). Highlights: ♦ Since 2005, the index has rated 57 greenhouse gas emitters worldwide. These countries account for 90% of global emissions.  ♦ The index aims to compare mitigation measures and increase the transparency of international climate politics. ♦ India ranked in the top 10in the climate change performance index for the second consecutive year. ♦ China is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, ranking 33rd. In 2020, India's ranking fell to 10th. India ranked 31st in 2014. ♦ According to the index, only two G20 countries (India and the United Kingdom) rank among the top. The rest of the 6 countries (such as Saudi Arabia, the United States, South Korea, Australia, and Russia) are at the bottom of the index.  ♦ No country is in the top three. This is because no country is fulfilling its commitment to the Paris Agreement. ♦ Sweden ranked fourth, followed by the United Kingdom, Denmark, Morocco, Norway, and Chile. ♦ The index is compiled by evaluating the performance of 47 countries in the four categories of renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, climate policy and energy use. India's responses to Climate Change: ♦ India launched the National Climate Change Action Plan to address climate adaptation and mitigation issues ♦ The National Clean Energy Fund was launched in 2010 to promote clean energy plans. ♦ India has made three commitments under the Paris Agreement. ♦ By 2030, India's greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 33% to 35% from 2005 levels. 40% of India's electricity capacity will be based on non-fossil fuels. ♦ By 2030, India will create a carbon sink with an additional forest cover of 250 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. ♦ India established the International Solar Energy Alliance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

    Finance Minister Released The Smuggling In India Report

    47 days ago
    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently released the "Smuggling Report in India 2019-20". The report was released at the 63rd-anniversary celebration of the US Revenue Intelligence Agency. The report analyzes the smuggling trends of narcotic drugs, gold and foreign currencies, security and commercial fraud. Highlights: ♦ The Revenue Intelligence Agency has investigated 412 smuggling cases and, seized 1,949 crore rupees in 2019-20. The Revenue Intelligence Bureau arrested 837 economic criminals. It unearthed 761 complicated tax evasion cases. The total is Rs 218.3 billion. ♦ Gold: According to the report, about 120 tons of gold were smuggled into India in 2019-20. According to the World Gold Council, this is 15% to 17% of the country's annual demand. In recent years, the amount of gold smuggled across land borders has increased. The porous international borders between India and other countries such as Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh help gold smugglers. There is a 16-kilometre free passage system between India and Myanmar. This allows people to travel without visa restrictions. If gold smugglers use the area, it is also part of China's Myanmar smuggling network. ♦ Narcotic Drugs: In April 2019, with the support of the Assamese rifle, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence conducted a covert operation during the fall of Manipur. During the operation, approximately 100,000 methamphetamine tablets were seized. These tablets are commonly called YaBa tablets.  ♦ Cigarettes and tobacco products:  According to the report, India has become the world's fourth-largest illegal cigarette market. In 2019-20, the Revenue Intelligence Agency seized 76.95 crore cigarettes. ♦ Wildlife smuggling:  Red Sandalwood is an endangered species of Indian wildlife. It is unique to the southern part of the Eastern Ghats. It is included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The Revenue Intelligence Bureau seized approximately 174 metric tons of Red Sanders or Red Sandalwood in 2019-20, and exported it to countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan and China. The Revenue Intelligence Service seized more than 9,120-star tortoises in the country in 2019-20. The Indian star tortoise is a vulnerable species found in northwestern India and southeastern Pakistan, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, eastern Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It belongs to the provisions of Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Law. The Indian star tortoise has been listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. ♦ Some other major wildlife seizures in 2019-20 are as follows: -    Black and White Ruffed Lemur: Listed in CITES Appendix I, Critically Endangered Species -    Hollock Gibbon: Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, an endangered species. -    Palm Civet: An endangered species specified in Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

    IIT Comes Up With Urban Quality Of Life Index

    48 days ago
    Researchers from IIT-Bombay proposed the current quality of urban life index related to actual urban life in India. This is the first time that gender parity has been taken into account. According to research, women experience different cities. Meeting the needs of women is essential to promote sustainable urban development. Besides, only 36% of urban households in Patna can use treated tap water. Rankings of the cities according to the index: ♦ Top city - Mumbai  ♦ The other top cities - Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. ♦ Most women-friendly - Chennai  ♦ Least women-friendly - Patna ♦ Highest crime rate against women - Jaipur  ♦ Lowest crime rate against women - Chennai ♦ Lowest gap in literacy rate between women and men  - Kolkata (5.4%). ♦ Widest gap in literacy rate between women and men   - Jaipur (13.2%)  ♦ Highest overall Literacy rate - Pune (91%)  ♦ Lowest overall Literacy rate - Hyderabad (83%). ♦ Highest unemployment rate for women – Patna

    India ranked 77th In Global Bribery Risk Matrix Of TRACE

    66 days ago
    In 2019, India ranked 78th with 48 points. By 2020, India will perform better than China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Bhutan is the only neighbour who ranked higher than India. Bhutan is ranked 48th. Highlights: ♦ The ranking is prepared by TRACE International. It is the world's leading anti-bribery standard-setting organization. The TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix (2020) measures bribery in 194 jurisdictions.  ♦ The jurisdictions are ranked based on scores. The score is calculated based on four parameters. They are the transparency of the government and the civil service system, business dealings with the government, the ability of civil society to monitor, and the deterrence and law enforcement capabilities of anti-bribery.  ♦ Although jurisdictions are weighed based on these four parameters, their role must also be considered when scoring the media. When a country gets the highest score, it means that the country is at higher risk of commercial bribery. The smaller the score, the less bribery the country has. ♦ India's overall score is 45. In the field of interaction with the government, India scored 50 points. In the field of anti-bribery deterrence and law enforcement, India scored 53 points.  ♦ In the field of government and civil service transparency, India scored 36 points. India’s opinion poll scored 40. This shows that compared with other major parameters, India’s civil servants are highly transparent. Civil servants have always been regarded as the pillars of Indian governance. ♦ Denmark tops the list, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. At the bottom are North Korea, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Venezuela and Eritrea.

    Param Siddhi Supercomputer Positioned In 63rd Place

    66 days ago
    India's AI supercomputer Param Siddhi ranks 63rd among the world's top 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems. About Param Siddhi ♦ Param Siddhi is a high-performance computing artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer established under C-DAC's National Supercomputing Mission (NSM). ♦ The supercomputer with Rpeak 5.267 Petaflops and 4.6 Petaflops Rmax (continued) was conceived by C-DAC and jointly developed with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology of NSM. ♦ The Param Siddhi supercomputer is based on the NVIDIA DGX Super POD reference architecture network and the HPC-AI engine, software framework and cloud platform developed locally by C-DAC, which will help deep learning, visual computing, virtual reality, accelerated computing and graphics virtualization.

    Arunachal Pradesh Tops the Sex Ratio

    69 days ago
    The Registrar of India released the 2018 report on ``Indian vital statistics based on the civil registration system''. Sex ratio is a demographic concept used to measure the ratio of women to men in a given population. The sex ratio at birth is the no. of women born per 1,000 men. Highlights: ♦ According to the report, the sex ratio in Arunachal Pradesh is the highest in the country, while the sex ratio in Manipur is the worst. ♦ Arunachal Pradesh recorded 1084 women per 1,000 men, followed by Nagaland (965) Mizoram (964), Kerala (963) and Karnataka (957). ♦ Manipur (757), Lakshadweep (839) and Dammam and Diu (877), Punjab (896) and Gujarat (897) reported the most serious reports. ♦ The number of registered births in 2018 increased from 2.21 million in the previous year to 2.33 million. The number of birth registrations increased from 81.3% in 2009 to 89.3% in 2018. ♦ The prescribed time limit for registration of a birth or death is 21 days. However, some countries still record births and deaths even after one year. ♦ The life or death reported one year later should be registered by the first-class magistrate only after the correctness has been verified and the prescribed fees have been paid.

    India Ranks the Lowest Rank in BMI Ranking

    76 days ago
    By the study in The Lancet, India took the position of third and fifth from the bottom respectively among countries where 19-year-old girls and boys have a low Body Mass Index (BMI) Highlights: ♦ The investigation of Lancet gives new analysis to height and Body Mass Index (BMI) patterns in 2019 across 200 nations subsequent to breaking down information from 2,181 studies.  ♦ The mean BMI of 19-year-old young men is 20.1 in India, contrasted with a high of 29.6 in the Cook Islands and a low of 19.2 in Ethiopia. ♦ For Indian young ladies, the mean BMI is again 20.1, contrasted with a high of 29.0 in Tonga and a low of 19.6 in Timor-Leste.  ♦ The mean height of Indian 19-year-olds is 166.5 cm for young men and 155.2 cm for young ladies, well underneath the high of Netherlands young men (183.8 cm) and young ladies (170 cm).  ♦ BMI is estimated as the weight in kg isolated by the square of the tallness in meters. WHO rules characterize a typical BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9, overweight as 25 or higher, and Obesity as 30 or higher.

    India Ranks the Lowest Rank in BMI Ranking

    77 days ago
    By the study in The Lancet, India took the position of third and fifth from the bottom respectively among countries where 19-year-old girls and boys have a low Body Mass Index (BMI) Highlights: ♦ The investigation of Lancet gives new analysis to height and Body Mass Index (BMI) patterns in 2019 across 200 nations subsequent to breaking down information from 2,181 studies.  ♦ The mean BMI of 19-year-old young men is 20.1 in India, contrasted with a high of 29.6 in the Cook Islands and a low of 19.2 in Ethiopia. ♦ For Indian young ladies, the mean BMI is again 20.1, contrasted with a high of 29.0 in Tonga and a low of 19.6 in Timor-Leste.  ♦ The mean height of Indian 19-year-olds is 166.5 cm for young men and 155.2 cm for young ladies, well underneath the high of Netherlands young men (183.8 cm) and young ladies (170 cm).  ♦ BMI is estimated as the weight in kg isolated by the square of the tallness in meters. WHO rules characterize a typical BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9, overweight as 25 or higher, and Obesity as 30 or higher.

    Purchasing Managers Index was released

    79 days ago
    According to the latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data, India's manufacturing sector activity improved for the third straight month in October. Companies raised their output to the greatest extent in 13 years amid robust sales growth.  Highlights: ♦ The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose from 56.8 in September to 58.9 in October, and pointed to the most vital improvement in the sector's health in more than a decade. ♦ Purchasing Managers Index is an economic indicator that indicates the business activity and economic health of both the manufacturing & service sectors.  ♦ Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of India is published by Japanese firm Nikkei. It is compiled and constructed by IHS Markit which is a London–based global information provider.  ♦ Index of Industrial Production (IIP) indicates the changes in production volume or output, but the Purchasing Managers' Index is an investor sentiment tracking index and is more dynamic. ♦ Variables used for calculating are Output, New Orders, Employment, Input Costs, Output Prices, Backlogs of Work, Export Orders, Quantity of Purchases, Suppliers' Delivery Times, Stocks of Purchases and Stocks of Finished Goods. ♦ PMI: While PMI >50 implies expanding business and economic activity, PMI <50 means contraction.

    Academic Freedom Index

    81 days ago
    Academic Freedom Index(AFI) report provides a score to individual countries to specify the level of academic liberation its universities and educational centres.  Highlights: ♦India has scored considerably low in the international index of academic freedom. ♦The index helps to define each country’s academic freedom level and the researchers asserted that the primary goal behind this idea is to comprehend a university’s attractiveness in addition to its infrastructure, research output, etc. ♦The maximum value of the index is 1. ♦India has an AFI of 0.352, comparable to the scores of Saudi Arabia and Libya.  ♦Countries that scored higher than India are Pakistan (0.554), Brazil (0.466), Ukraine (0.422), Somalia (0.436) and Malaysia (0.582). ♦Uruguay and Portugal top the list with scores of 0.971 each, followed closely by Latvia and Germany.  ♦At the bottom are North Korea (0.011), Eritrea (0.015), Bahrain (0.039) and Iran (0.116). The AFI has eight components. They  are:      - Freedom to research and teaching      - Freedom of academic exchange and dissemination      - Institutional autonomy      - Campus integrity      - Freedom of academic and cultural expression      - Constitutional protection of academic freedom      - An international legal commitment to academic freedom under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights      - Existence of universities

    Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa best-governed states in India: PAI Index

    85 days ago
    Kerala has adjudged the best - governed state in the country while Uttar Pradesh (UP) pushed to the bottom in the large states category, according to the PAI - Public Affairs Index 2020 released by the Public Affairs Centre.  Highlights: ♦ The city-based not-for-profit organisation, headed by former  ISRO - Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Kasturirangan, highlighted that the states were ranked on governance performance based on a composite index in the context of sustainable development. ♦ Four southern states, Kerala (1.388 ), Tamil Nadu (0.912), Andhra Pradesh (0.531) & Karnataka (0.468) stood in the 1st four ranks in the large state category in terms of governance. ♦ Uttar Pradesh (-1.461), Odisha (-1.201) & Bihar (-1.158 ) were at the bottom of the ranking. ♦ In the small state category, Goa ranked 1st with (1.745), followed by Meghalaya (0.797) and Himachal Pradesh (0.725). ♦ The worst performers with negative points are Manipur (-0.363), Delhi (-0.289) & Uttarakhand (-0.277), according to the PAC report. ♦ Chandigarh emerged the best - governed union territory in the category of UTs with (1.05) PAI points, followed by Puducherry (0.52) & Lakshadweep (0.003).   ♦ Dadar & Nagar Haveli (-0.69), Andaman, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) (-0.50) & Nicobar (-0.30) were the least performers.  ♦ By the PAC, the governance performance is analysed in the context of sustainable development defined by 3 pillars of equity, growth and sustainability.  ♦ Chandigarh became the best-governed union territory (UT) in the category of UTs with (1.05) PAI points, followed by Puducherry (0.52) & Lakshadweep (0.003).

    ASER survey 2020 report

    85 days ago
    Recently, the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) survey has been released, which provides a view into the levels of learning loss that students in rural India are suffering, with varying levels of access to technology, school, and family resources resulting in a digital divide in education.  Highlights: ♦ The ASER survey shows a small shift in enrollment from private to government schools, across all grades and among both girls and boys. ♦ The survey shows that while the proportion of children not currently enrolled for the 2020-21 school years is higher than the equivalent figures for 2018, these differences are small for most age groups. ♦ Among enrolled children, more than 60% live in families with at least one smartphone. This proportion has increased enormously in the last two years, from 36.5% to 61.8% among enrolled children.  ♦ Most teachers were in possession of phone numbers of at least 50% of their students. More than 80% of children have textbooks for their current grade. ♦ ASER is a household-based rather than a school-based survey. This model enables all children to be included – those who have never been to school or have dropped out and those in government schools, private schools, religious schools, etc. ♦ In every rural district, 30 villages are sampled. In each town, 20 randomly selected households are surveyed. Information on schooling status is gathered for all children living in sampled households in the age group 3-16. ♦ Children in the age group 5-16 are analyzed in basic reading & basic arithmetic. The highest level of reading analyzed corresponds to what is expected in Std 2, this test was administered in 16 regional languages. ♦ This model has included household size, parental education, and some information on household assets in recent years. ♦ The ASER survey model has been adapted for use in several countries worldwide: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Pakistan, Mali, and Senegal. ASER Survey: ASER survey is an annual survey (published by education NGO Pratham) that focuses to provide reliable estimates of children's enrolment & basic learning levels for each and every district & state in India. ASER survey has been conducted annually since 2005 in all rural districts of India. It is the largest citizen-led survey in India. It is also the annual source of information on children's learning outcomes available in India.

    Electricity Access In India And Benchmarking Distribution Utilities Report

    88 days ago
    NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Rockefeller Foundation, and Smart Power India launched the ‘Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report on October 28, 2020. Highlights: ♦ According to the report, 92% of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises. ♦ And 87 per cent of the surveyed customers have access to grid-based electricity. The remaining 13 per cent can use non-grid sources or do not use any electricity at all. ♦ The hours of supply have improved significantly across the customer categories to nearly 17 hrs/day. ♦ The report is based on a primary survey conducted across ten states, representing about 65 per cent of the total rural population of India and with a sample size of more than 25 thousand, including households, commercial enterprises and institutions. ♦ The report highlights the benefits of government-led schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. ♦ The key recommendations provided in the report in the areas of policy and regulation, process improvement and infrastructure will be utilized for improving the power distribution sector. ♦ The report underlines some best practices adopted by the better-performing electricity distribution utilities in India and provides key recommendations to enhance sustainable electricity access.

    Haryana tops Anemia Mukt Bharat Index

    95 days ago
    Haryana State has the best Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Index among 29 states in the country. Highlights: ♦ The Anemia Mukt Bharat, an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), has been launched to reduce the prevalence of Anemia all over India. ♦ This information came to light during the 8th Governing Body Meeting of the State Health Society of the National Health Mission (NHM) in Chandigarh. ♦ In a recently released scorecard of the Anemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Index, Haryana was ranked at the top slot with an AMB Index of 46.7.  ♦ There are 34 National Programmes being run under NHM. ♦ First time in the year 2019-20 that the state had achieved 93 per cent of immunization. ♦ Haryana is one of 11 states in the country that have achieved National Health Policy targets well before 2020.  ♦ The institutional deliveries have increased to 93.7 per cent, and it was possible due to 24-hours delivery facilities in the state.

    India took the place of world No. 2 in Migrations to OECD nations - 44th International Migration Outlook 2020

    96 days ago
    Secretary-General of OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development announced the 44th International Migration Outlook 2020 on October 19, 2020. OECD is an international organisation where the governments of 37 member states work with each other to foster sustainable development. Highlights: ♦ India emerged as the 2nd largest source country both in terms of the total inflow of new migrants to OECD countries and also as regards the number of Indians acquiring citizenship of these countries. China took the 1st position while Romania backed the 3rd place. ♦ India succeeded Romania to emerge as the second-largest source country. Migration from India to OECD countries increased sharply by 10% and now it reached 3.3 lakhs. It represents 5% of the overall migration to OECD countries. ♦ Due to ongoing pandemic issuances of new visas in OECD countries saw the largest drop by 46% in the first half of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. In the second quarter, it declined to 72%. ♦ The top 4 countries where Indians choose to become citizens are the United States (US), Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom (UK).

    Global tuberculosis report 2020

    98 days ago
    World Health Organisation(WHO) has published global tuberculosis (TB) report of 2020. Highlights: ♦ WHO has published a global tuberculosis (TB) report every year from 1997. ♦ The report published by WHO provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic, progress in prevention, diagnosis & treatment of the disease at the regional level and country level and global level. ♦ This is done in the context of global strategies and targets endorsed by WHO's the Member States, broader development goals set by the United Nations & targets set in the political declaration at the 2018 United Nation high-level meeting on Tuberculosis. ♦ The 2020 edition of the report was published on 14 October 2020. ♦ The data in this report are updated every year. ♦ Global TB reports from previous years are available from the WHO Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS). ♦ The most recent time-series of estimates are published in the 2020 global TB report.  

    India ranks 94 out of 107 nations on the Global Hunger Index 2020

    98 days ago
    India took place 94th place among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the 'serious' hunger category with experts blaming low implementation processes, lack of effective monitoring, siloed approach in tackling malnutrition and poor performance by large states behind the low ranking. Highlights: ♦ In 2019, India's rank was 102 out of 117 countries. ♦ The neighbouring countries, Bangladesh ranked 75th, Myanmar ranked 78th and Pakistan ranked 88th is in the 'serious' hunger category. ♦ Nepal took 73rd and Sri Lanka in 64th position are in 'moderate' hunger category. ♦ 17 nations, including China, Belarus, Turkey, Cuba, Ukraine,  and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores.  ♦ According to the report, 14% of India's population is undernourished. ♦ The country recorded a 37.4% stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 %. The under-five mortality rate is at 3.7 %. ♦ The large states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh need to be improved because the national average is affected a lot by these states. ♦  GHI score is calculated on four indicators              1. Undernourishment;               2. Child Wasting=children under the age of five who have low weight for their height reflecting acute undernutrition;               3. Child Stunting = children under the age of five those have low height for their age reflecting chronic undernutrition.              4. child mortality = mortality rate of children under the age of five. 

    NCRB states Crime against SC, ST saw a rise of 7 percent and 26 percent in 2019 yr

    115 days ago
    National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) launched the annual Crime in India 2019 report on 30 September. The report stated that the Crime against Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) has increased to over 7% and 26% respectively in 2019 when compared to 2018. Highlights: ♦ As per the report, a total of 45,935 cases were registered for committing a crime against SCs against 42,793 cases were recorded in 2018, which shows an increase of 7.3% in 2019. ♦ With 11,829 cases, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes against SCs in 2019. It was followed by 6,794 cases in Rajasthan and 6,544 cases in Bihar. Considering the number of cases of rape of women belonging to SCs, Rajasthan has topped the list with 554 cases. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh at 537 and Madhya Pradesh at 510 cases. ♦ The report stated that a total of 8,257 cases were registered for committing a crime against STs. The mark shows a raise of 26.5% over 2018, which registered 6,528 such cases. With 1,922 cases, Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of cases against STs. It was followed by Rajasthan, which recorded 1,797 cases and Odisha-576 cases. ♦ The highest rape cases of tribal women, 358, was registered in Madhya Pradesh. It was followed by 180 incidents in Chhattisgarh and 114 in Maharashtra. ♦ Under cognizable crimes, a total of 51,56,172 comprising 32,25,701 Indian Penal Code (IPC) cases and 19,30,471 Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes were registered in 2019. This number shows a rise of 1.6% in the registration of cases over 2018, which registered 50,74,635 cases.

    India ranks 116 in Human capital Index of World Bank

    130 days ago
    India has ranked 116th position in the latest edition of the World Bank's annual Human Capital Index 2020. Last year, India ranked 115 out of 157 countries. The index benchmarks key components of human capital across countries.  Highlights: ♦ The Human Capital Index 2020 update included health and education data for 174 countries up to March 2020. It covered around 98% of the world’s population. ♦ The analysis showed that pre-pandemic, most countries made steady progress in building the human capital of children. It also stated that the biggest strides made in low-income countries. ♦ India’s score increased to 0.49 from 0.44 in 2018, as per the Human Capital Index report released by the World Bank. ♦ The index also stated that there has been a major decline in remittances and total income is going down by 11 or 12%. 

    India ranks 105th on 2020 Global Economic Freedom Index

    135 days ago
    India has ranked 105th position on the Global Economic Freedom Index 2020. India has fallen 26 spots as it stood at the 79th spot in last year's rankings. Hong Kong topped the rankings. It was followed by Singapore.  Highlights: ♦ The report stated that the increasing economic freedom in India depend on next generation reforms in factor markets and in greater openness to international trade. ♦ The rankings are done based on various parameteras and the scores are given for 10, which indicates a higher level of economic freedom. ♦ India reported marginal decrease in size of government from 8.22 to 7.16, freedom to trade internationally from 6.08 to 5.71, legal system and property rights from 5.17 to 5.06,  and regulation of credit, labour and business from 6.63 to 6.53. ♦ China ranked 124th as per the rankings. ♦ Top 10 countries: Hong Kong Singapore New Zealand Switzerland US Australia Mauritius Georgia Canada Ireland ♦ 10 lowest-rated countries African Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo Zimbabwe Republic of Congo Algeria, Iran Angola Libya Sudan  Venezuela Economic Freedom of the World:  Economic Freedom of the World 2020 Annual Report is prepared by Canada's Fraser Institute. The report has been released in India in conjunction with New Delhi-based Centre For Civil Society.

    Finance Minister launched Doorstep Banking Services

    137 days ago
    Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services by Public Sector Banks (PSBs). She also felicitated the best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index. Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs: ♦ Doorstep Banking Services aims to provide the convenience of banking services to the customers at their doorstep through the universal touchpoints of Call Centre, Web Portal, or Mobile App.   ♦ The move comes as a part of the EASE Reforms. ♦ Under these reforms, the Customers can track their service requests through these channels. ♦ The needed services will be rendered by the Doorstep Banking Agents deployed by the selected Service Providers at 100 centres across the country.  ♦ Currently, only the non-financial services like pick up of negotiable instruments and new checkbook requisition slip, Pick up of 15G / 15H forms, Pick up of IT / GST challan, Delivery of non-personalized cheque book, demand draft, etc, are available to customers.   ♦ From October 2020, Financial services will be made available.  ♦ The services can be availed by customers of Public Sector Banks at nominal charges. The move is expected to benefit the customers, particularly Senior Citizens and Divyangs who would find it at ease to avail of these services.  EASE 2.0 Index ♦ EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking. The index was launched in January 2018. Reform Action Points in EASE 2.0, which was built on EASE 1.0, is aimed to strengthen processes and systems, make the reforms journey irreversible, and driving outcomes. ♦ PSBs have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over four quarters since the launch of EASE 2.0 Reforms Agenda.  ♦ The top three in the ‘Top Performing Banks’ category are: Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce ♦ Under the ‘Top Improvers’ category: Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India & erstwhile Corporation Bank were awarded  ♦ The awards are  list in the below image:

    Kerala topped NSO report as Most literate state in India

    138 days ago
    Kerala topped the list of the most literate state in India in the National Statistical Office (NSO) survey. The literacy rate of Kerala is 96.2%. Andhra Pradesh stood last with 66.4% literacy rate. The report was released by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.  Highlights: ♦ The report by NSO was titled “Household Social Consumption on Education in India”.  ♦ The report provides state-wise details of education among people above the age of 7.  ♦ The survey used the date between July 2017 and June 2018 as base data. ♦ As per the report, India’s overall literacy rate stands at 77.7%. ♦ The literacy rate in rural India is 73.5% and 87.7% in urban areas. ♦ The report stated that 84.7% of males and 70.3% of females above the age of seven are literate. ♦ The survey showed around 4% of the rural population and 23% of the urban population has access to computers. It stated that about 24% of households in India, which is 15% in rural areas and 42% in urban areas, have access to the internet.  ♦ Delhi stands at the second spot with 88.7% literacy rate. It is followed by Uttarkhand at 87.6% and Himachal Pradesh at 86.6%.  ♦ Also, Rajasthan occupied the second-last spot with 69.7% literacy rate. It is preceded by Bihar at 70.9%, Telangana at 72.8%, and Uttar Pradesh at 73%.

    India ranks 48 on 2020 Global Innovation Index

    144 days ago
    India has ranked 48th position in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020. India has jumped to four places since 2019. The index was compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) along with Cornell University and the INSEAD business school, presents the latest global innovation trends and annual innovation ranking of 131 economies.  Highlights: ♦ Switzerland topped the GII ranking. It is followed by Sweden, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.  ♦ As per the Index, India became the third most innovative lower-middle-income economy in the world. It is attributed to newly available indicators and improvements in various areas of the GII.  ♦ China is the only middle-income economy that ranked among the top 30 and currently holds the 14th place. India: ♦ India ranked in the top 15 in indicators such as ICT services exports, graduates in science and engineering, government online services, and R&D intensive global companies. ♦ As per the report, India increased the most in Institutions (61st), business sophistication (55th), and creative outputs (64th). ♦ The report also stated that India, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam have made the most progress on the index in recent years.

    Gujarat topped NITI Aayogs report on 2020 Export Preparedness Index

    152 days ago
    NITI Aayog in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness released the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020 on 26 August 2020. It is the first report to examine the export preparedness and performance of Indian states. The report was aimed to identify challenges and opportunities. Gujarat topped the Export Preparedness Index 2020. Highlights: ♦ The Export Preparedness Index 2020 focus to enhance the effectiveness of government policies and encourage a facilitative regulatory framework. ♦ EPI structure included 4 pillars namely: Policy Business Ecosystem Export Ecosystem Export Performance ♦ The Report was also based on 11 sub-pillars namely Export Promotion Policy; Institutional Framework; Business Environment; Infrastructure; Transport Connectivity; Access to Finance; Export Infrastructure; Trade Support; R&D Infrastructure; Export Diversification; and Growth Orientation. The report will identify the core areas crucial for export promotion at the sub-national level.  ♦ All the Indian States and Union Territories (UTs) were assessed on crucial parameters that are critical for any typical economic unit to achieve sustainable export growth.  ♦ The Index will help the state governments to benchmark regional performance with respect to export promotion. It also delivers key policy insights on how to improve and enhance performance. ♦ Top three ranks of the index: Gujarat Maharashtra Tamil Nadu

    India became 12th largest holder of US govt securities at April

    217 days ago
    India became the 12th largest holder of the United States government securities at the end of April. As per the official data, India held securities worth 157.4 billion dollars.  Highlights: ♦ The US Treasury Department data stated showed that after March India marginally hiked the holding by 0.9 billion dollars to 157.4 billion dollars the next month. ♦ India's holding touched a record high of 177.5 billion dollars in February, the same was drastically reduced in March. It stood at 164.3 billion dollars in January.  ♦ As per the report, at the end of April, Japan remained the country with the maximum exposure at 1.27 trillion dollars. It is followed by China at 1.1 trillion dollars and the UK at 368.5 billion dollars. ♦ In India, the American government securities are held by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as the Central Banks invests in foreign assets as part of its prudential liquidity management. Top 10 countries: Japan with 1.27 trillion dollars China with 1.1 trillion dollars The UK with 368.5 billion dollars Ireland with $300.2 billion Luxembourg with $265.5 billion Brazil with $259.5 billion Hong Kong with $242.8 billion Switzerland with $241.3 billion Belgium with $210.2 billion The Cayman Islands with $206.8 billion

    India ranked 43rd on the IMDs World Competitiveness Index

    222 days ago
    India ranked 43rd on the Institute for Management Development's (IMD) 2020 World Competitiveness Index ranks. It stated that the continued low ranking of India is due to the traditional weaknesses such as insufficient education investment and poor infrastructure. Highlights: ♦ The Index was topped the 63rd edition of IMD rankings. ♦ Denmark ranked 2nd. It secured 8th rank in 2019. ♦ Among the BRICS Nations, China topped and India has ranked second followed by Russia at 50th rank, Brazil 56th, and South Africa 59th rank. Top 5 countries in the list are: Singapore Denmark Switzerland Netherland Hong Kong Note: India has secures 41st rank on the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking every year since 1989. In 2017, it slipped to 45th and improved to 44th in 2018 and then to 43rd in 2019.

    Three DST institutes among top 30 Indian Institutions in 2020 Nature Index

    228 days ago
    Three institutions of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India have found places in the Nature Index 2020. The annual tables highlight the institutions and countries that dominated high-quality research in the natural sciences in 2019 as tracked by Nature Index. It features not only the Nature Index Global Top 50 institutions across all sectors but also the Top 25 Rising institutions that had the strongest growth in output since 2015.  Highlights: ♦ The three institutions that are placed among the top 30 ranks in the list are: IACS (Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science), Kolkata - 7th position,  JNCASR (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research), Bangalore - 14th position  Kolkata's S.N.Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences - 30th position ♦ The country or institution is ranked based on its share of articles published in the 82 scientific journals selected by an independent panel of experts and tracked by the Nature Index database. ♦ Other Indian institutions that are on the list are: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at 160th position Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore at 184th position

    President promulgates 2 Ordinances to boost rural India and agriculture

    233 days ago
    The President of India Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the two Ordinances namely the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020. The move comes after the announcement of the landmark decisions by the Government of India for reforms in the agricultural sector for raising the income of the farmers as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Highlights: ♦ The ordinance aims to boost rural India for farmers engaged in agriculture and allied activities.  ♦ The two ordinances will enable barrier-free trade in agriculture produce, and also empower the farmers to engage with sponsors of his choice.  ♦ It provides the freedom to the farmers, which is of paramount importance. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020: The ordinance will support the farmers and traders relating to the sale and purchase of farmers' produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.  It will promote transparent, efficient, and barrier-free inter-State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce that are produced outside the deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations.  Also, the Ordinance will provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020: The ordinance will provide for a national framework on farming agreements.  It will protect and empower farmers to engage with agri-business firms, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers. The ordinance will enhance farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework and transparent manner.

    India ranked 23rd in the 2020 Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report

    236 days ago
    StartupBlink has released the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2020. India ranked 23rd in the report. The report ranks 1,000 cities and 100 countries worldwide, based on their startup ecosystem strength and activity level. StartupBlink is a global startup ecosystem map and research center. Highlights: ♦ India has dropped 6 places to be ranked at the 23rd spot in the latest ranking. India scored 5.698. In 2019, India ranked at the 17th spot. ♦ The Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2020 was topped by the United States with a score of 123.167. ♦ The ranking is based upon three primary parameters:  Quantity Quality Business Environment ♦ In terms of cities, only 4 Indian cities made a place in the top 100, compared to 7 cities in 2019. ♦ India's Silicon Valley Bengaluru is the top Indian city with the best startup ecosystem ranking, ranked 14th in the list. ♦ Delhi ranked 15th rank, Mumbai ranked 22nd and Hyderabad ranked 96th. ♦ Globally, the top three cities with the best startup ecosystems are: San Francisco Bay, United States New York, United States London, United Kingdom Top 5 countries: United States United Kingdom Israel Canada Germany

    MoHUA announced results of Star rating of garbage-free cities

    251 days ago
    Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced results of the Star rating of garbage-free cities for the assessment year 2019-2020. A total of six cities have been certified as 5-Star, 65 cities as 3-Star, and 70 cities as 1-Star. The results were announced by Hardeep S, Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs. The revised protocol for the Star Rating Framework was also launched. Highlights: ♦ The Star Rating Protocol was launched by MoHUA in January 2018. The aim is to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve Garbage Free status and motivate cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.  ♦ The 6 5-star rated cities are Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysuru, Indore, and Navi Mumbai. ♦ The rating acknowledges the clean status of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and strengthened Solid Waste Management (SWM) systems. ♦ The performance of the cities under the Star Rating Protocol is crucial as it carries significant weightage when it comes to their final assessment in Swachh Survekshan. ♦ The 5-start rating protocol has been devised to include components such as the cleanliness of drains & water bodies, plastic waste management, managing construction & demolition waste, etc. ♦ Over 1435 cities applied for the Star Rating Assessment. It was based on 1.19 crore citizen feedbacks and over 10 lakh geo-tagged pictures were collected and 5175 solid waste processing plants were visited by 1210 field assessors. A total of 141 cities have been certified with Star Rating during field assessment.  ♦ The low number of certifications signifies the rigorous and robust certification mechanism of the protocol. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U): Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) was launched in 2014. Under the mission, both sanitation and solid waste management have shown significant improvement. Under the mission, so far, 4324 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) have been declared ODF (4204 certified ODF), 1306 cities certified ODF+ and 489 cities certified ODF++. In the area of solid waste management, 96% of wards have 100% door-to-door collection while 65% of the total waste generated is being processed.

    GRFC 2020 says around 135 million people are living under food crisis

    265 days ago
    The Global Network against Food Crisis released the Global Report on Food Crisis (GRFC) 2020. The report stated that around 135 million people are living under the food crisis. The report aims to address the root causes of extreme hunger. Global Report on Food Crises: ♦ The report described the scale of acute hunger in the world.  ♦ It provided an analysis of the drivers that are contributing to food crises across the globe. It examines how the COVID-19 pandemic might contribute to their perpetuation or deterioration. ♦ The analyses in the GRFC report were prepared before the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and do not account for its impact on vulnerable people in food-crisis situations. ♦ The report stated that around 183 million people in 47 countries were classified in Stressed (IPC/CH Phase 2) conditions, at risk of slipping into crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) if confronted by an additional shock or stressor. ♦ As per the report, the population in crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) increased from 112 to 123 million.  ♦ The reports stated that the main driver of food crises in 2019 was Conflict and insecurity. And, weather extremes and economic shocks became increasingly significant.

    India ranks 3rd in scientific publication

    267 days ago
    The National Science and Technology Management Information (NSTMIS), Department of Science and Technology (DST), has conducted a survey on Research and Development (R&D) Statistics and Indicators 2019-20. As per the survey, India ranks 3rd among countries in a scientific publication. Parameters of the Survey: The survey included more than 6800 S&T Institutions spread across varied sectors like central government, state governments, higher education, public sector industry, and private sector industry in the country. A response rate of more than 90% was achieved. Report Highlights: ♦ The report on R&D indicators for the nation is an extraordinarily important document for evidence-based policymaking and planning in higher education, R&D activities and support, intellectual property, and industrial competitiveness.  ♦ The report captured the R&D landscape of the country through various Input-Output S&T Indicators in the form of Tables and graphs.  ♦ It pertains to Investments in national R&D, R&D investments by Government and Private sector; R&D relationship with the economy (GDP), Enrolment of S&T personnel, Manpower engaged in R&D, Outrun of S&T personnel, papers published, patents and their international S&T comparisons. ♦ As per the report, India spent 0.7% of its GDP on R&D in 2017-18, while the same among other developing BRICS countries were Brazil 1.3%, Russia 1.1%, China 2.1%, and South Africa 0.8%. In 2018, India was ranked 3rd, 5th, and 9th  in scientific publication output as per the NSF, SCOPUS, and SCI database respectively. ♦ During 2011-2016, India's growth rate of scientific publication as per the SCOPUS and SCI database was 8.4% and 6.4% as against the world average of 1.9% and 3.7%, respectively. ♦ The report has also highlighted that India's share in global research publication output has increased over the years as reflected in publication databases.

    India became third largest military spender in the world

    273 days ago
    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report titled "Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019" stated that India has become the third-largest military spender in the world, after the US and China.  Highlights: ♦ For the first time that India and China are among the top three military spenders. ♦ It highlighted that India's tensions and rivalry with Pakistan and China are among the main reasons for its increased military expenditure. ♦ The military spending of India grew by 6.8% to $71.1 billion in 2019. This was the highest military spending in South Asia. ♦ The report stated that the total global military expenditure rose to $1,917 billion in 2019, which is an increase of 3.6% from 2018 and the largest annual growth in spending since 2010. Top 5 countries in  the list: 1) US 2) China 3) India 4) Russia 5) Saudi Arabia ♦ The five largest spenders in 2019 accounted for 62% of the expenditure.

    India is third-largest producer of Electricity in the World

    311 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

    319 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

    319 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

    321 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

    321 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

    321 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

    322 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

    332 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

    336 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.

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