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  • Haryana tops Anemia Mukt Bharat Index

    4 hours 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.

    Global tuberculosis report 2020

    4 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

    4 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

    21 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

    36 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

    41 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

    43 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

    44 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

    50 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

    58 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

    122 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

    127 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

    133 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

    139 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

    142 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

    157 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

    171 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

    172 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

    179 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

    217 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

    225 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

    225 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

    227 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

    227 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

    227 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

    227 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

    238 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

    242 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

    245 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

    245 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

    245 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

    248 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

    254 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

    254 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

    255 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

    259 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

    260 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

    270 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

    273 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

    273 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

    274 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

    275 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

    276 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

    280 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

    281 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

    281 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

    286 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

    286 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

    286 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

    291 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

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