Important Reports and Index


Statsguru: Six charts explain another dimension of poverty in India

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Source: This post is based on the article Statsguru: Six charts explain another dimension of poverty in India published in Business Standard on 18th October 2021.

What is the News?

Researchers have released a paper titled “Examining multidimensional poverty reduction in India between 2005/6–2015/16”.

What are the key highlights of the paper released?
Incidence of Poverty

Incidence of Poverty or the headcount ratio defines the percentage of people who are poor.

According to the research, the all-India national average of Incidence of Poverty was 27.9 %.

When compared social group-wise, the incidence of poverty was highest among Scheduled Tribes(STs). Over half (50.6%) of the ST population was multidimensionally poor.

They were followed by Scheduled Caste groups where a third(33.3%) were affected by multidimensional poverty.

Intensity of Poverty

The intensity of Poverty defines the average share of deprivation experienced by the poor.

The all-India national average of Intensity of Poverty was 43.9 per cent.

When compared social group-wise, the intensity of poverty was marginally higher among Scheduled Tribes (45.9%) compared to Scheduled Caste(44.1%) and Other Backward Classes(43.5%).

Religion wise differences in incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty 

The NFHS 2015-16 data shows the difference in incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty among religious groups. 

Muslims had a higher incidence and intensity of Poverty, followed by Hindus and Christians.

Asset Ownership among Social Groups

All India Debt and Investment Survey(AIDIS) provides data regarding asset holdings of social groups. 

According to the survey, about 98.8% of ST households in rural areas had assets vis-à-vis the 99.4% national average. 

In urban areas, the divide was even starker with only 93% of ST households having assets, compared to 98% national average.

However, the data also shows that the average value of assets held by Scheduled Tribes(STs) was higher compared to Scheduled Castes.

Covid-19 Impact on Poverty

The multidimensional poverty index does not show the deprivation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the Pew Research Centre study indicates that India may have added 75 million poor because of the disruption caused due to Covid-19.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC

World’s most powerful passports as per Henley’s Index; India at 90th spot

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Source: This post is based on the article World’s most powerful passports as per Henley’s Index; India at 90th spotpublished in TOI on 16th October 2021.

What is the News?

Henley & Partners has released the Henley Passport Index.

What is the Henley Passport Index?

Henley Passport Index(HPI) was started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018.

The index ​​ranks the passports of countries according to the number of destinations their holders can visit without a prior visa.

The rankings are based on the analysis of data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

What are the key findings of the index?

Topped by: Japan and Singapore stood at the top of the index, with their passport holders allowed to travel visa-free to 192 countries.

India: India, which held the 84th rank in 2020 fell down to the 90th position with its passport holders allowed to travel visa-free to 58 countries.

Bottom: At the bottom of the index is Afghanistan with an Afghan passport allowing visa-free travel to only 26 countries. 

Other countries at the bottom of the index are Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen. Most of the countries at the bottom are either war-torn or seeing some state of strife. 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

India slips 7 spots to rank 101 among 116 countries on Global Hunger Index

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Source: This post is based on the articles 

  • “Hunger Index: poor ranking devoid of ground reality and facts, says Govt” published in The Hindu on 16th October 2021. 
  • “India slips 7 spots to rank 101 among 116 countries on Global Hunger Index” published in Down To Earth on 15th October 2021. 
  • “Statement of Ministry of Women and Child Development on Global Hunger Report 2021” published in PIB on 15th October 2021. 
What is the News? 

Global Hunger Index 2021 has been released and the government has challenged India’s poor ranking and the methodology used, calling it “devoid of ground reality and facts”. 

The data used to come up with the Index this time was from 2016–2020. 

What are the key findings of the “Global Hunger Index”-2021? 
Findings regarding India

India’s score on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) in the recent two decades has declined by 10 points. It slipped to 28.8 in 2021, from 38.8 in 2000. 

It ranked India at 101st position of 116 countries. India was ranked 94 among 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) released last year. 

Globally, India ranked among the worst in ‘child wasting’ or ‘weight for height’. Its performance was worse than Djibouti and Somalia. 

Report has shown increase in the value of ‘proportion of population undernourished’ from 14.0% for the previous period 2017-19 to 15.3% for the latest period 2018-20. 

According to the report, only 15 countries fare worse than India. India was also behind most of the neighbouring countries. Pakistan was placed at 92, Nepal and Bangladesh at 76 and Sri Lanka at 65. 

Global findings

Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming. 

The level of hunger was ‘serious’ in 36 countries besides India. In nine countries severity was ‘alarming’. It was ‘extremely alarming’ in Somalia, which ranked 116 on the Index this year. 

What are the allegations of the government against the report? 

It is the FAO report used for assessing undernourishment that the Government has questioned 

The results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll have been questioned by the Government that has been conducted for undernourishment. 

According to FAO report ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021’, four countries of this region — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka-despite covid 19, were able to improve their position on the indicator ‘proportion of undernourished population during the period 2018-20 over 2017-19. 

What is theGlobal Hunger Index’? 

It is an annual report jointly published by ‘Concern Worldwide’ and ‘Welthungerhilfe’. 

GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators — child wasting, child stunting, child mortality and undernourishment. 

IndicatorsData sourced from
UndernourishmentFAO
Child MortalityU.N. Inter- agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation
Child Wasting and StuntingJoint database of UNICEF, WHO, World Bank 

The prevalence of undernourishment in a population is calculated in a scientific manner that includes habitual dietary energy intake levels, information on the population structure and median height in each sex and age. 

Read More: Global Hunger Index 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC

Global energy transition too slow, needs a ‘low emissions revolution’: IEA

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What is the News?

The International Energy Agency(IEA) has published its World Energy Outlook 2021 (WEO) report.

What is the purpose of the World Energy Outlook report?

The goal of the report is to assess progress made by countries on their clean energy transitions ahead of the 26th Conference of Parties meeting in Glasgow next month.

What are the Key Findings of the World Energy Outlook report?

The report explores two scenarios to gain insights into how the global energy sector may develop over the next three decades:

Stated Policies Scenario

It represents a path based on the energy and climate measures governments have actually put in place to date, as well as specific policy initiatives that are under development. 

In this scenario, global average temperatures will rise to 2.6 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

Announced Pledges Scenario 

It maps out a path in which the nationally determined contributions and net-zero emissions pledges announced by governments so far are implemented in time and in full. 

In this scenario, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will reduce by 40% by 2050. Yet, global temperatures will still rise by 2.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in 2100.  

Investment in Clean Energy

To achieve the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree goal, investments in clean energy must reach $4 trillion by 2030, 70% of which will focus on developing countries.

Moreover, major energy decarbonisation measures should be on the shoulders of the developed countries. However, developed countries are proceeding with their oil and gas exploration plans, with the United States opening up the Gulf of Mexico for drilling and the UK approving new projects in the North Sea.

World Energy Outlook report on India

The report has praised India as a success story for financing renewable energy towards the achievement of its 450 GW target. 

But coal remains deeply entrenched in the economy, with the auctioning of mines to private investors continuing unabated.

Source: This post is based on the article Global energy transition too slow, needs a ‘low emissions revolution’: IEApublished in Down To Earth on 13th October 2021.

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Globally, India recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storage

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What is the News?

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a report titled 2021 State of Climate Services Report.

What are the key findings of the 2021 State of Climate Services Report?

Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS)

Terrestrial Water Storage(TWS) has dropped at a rate of 1 cm per year in 20 years (2002-2021).

Note: TWS is the sum of all water on the land surface and in the subsurface, i.e. surface water, soil moisture, snow and ice and groundwater. 

The biggest losses have occurred in Antarctica and Greenland. But many highly populated, lower latitude locations have also experienced TWS losses.

Findings related to India

The TWS has been lost at a rate of at least 3 cm per year. In some regions, the loss has been over 4 cm per year too.

India has recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storage if the loss of water storage in Antarctica and Greenland is excluded. The northern part of India has experienced the maximum loss within the country.

India’s Per Capita Water Availability

In India, per capita, water availability is reducing due to an increase in population.

The average annual per capita water availability has reduced to 1,545 cubic metres in 2011, from 1,816 cubic metres in 2001. It is projected to further decrease to 1,367 cubic metres in 2031.

Water Scarce River Basins

According to the Falkenmark Water Stress Indicator, Five of the 21 river basins in India are ‘absolute water scarce’ (per capita water availability below 500 cubic metres).

Five are ‘water scarce’ (per capita water availability below 1,000 cubic metres) and three are ‘water stressed’ (per capita water availability below 1,700 cubic metres).

By 2050, six will become absolute water-scarce, six will become water-scarce and four will become water-stressed.

Note: The Falkenmark indicator is one of the most widely used indicators for assessing the stress on water. It relates the total freshwater resources with the total population in a country and indicates the pressure that population puts on water resources, including the need for natural ecosystems 

Source:  This article is based onGlobally, India recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storagepublished in Down To Earth s on 9th October

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In India, 5 out of 6 multidimensionally poor are from lower tribes or castes: UN report

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What is the news? 

The UN report: Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 highlights yet another divide in the Indian society as 5 out of 6 multidimensionally poor are from lower tribes or castes. 

What is the key focus of the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021?

The report provides estimates on multidimensional poverty for 109 developing countries.

Present multidimensional poverty estimates disaggregated by ethnicity and caste for 41 countries to identify who is – and how people are – being left behind. 

The intrahousehold analysis of poverty with a gender focus. 

It revealed how multidimensional poverty could amplify the impacts of COVID-19 shocks, hurting education, employment and livelihood. 

What are the key findings of the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021? 
Key findings at the global level

The report mentions that there are 1.3 billion multidimensionally poor people globally.

The top five countries with the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty are India (381 million), Nigeria (93 million), Pakistan (83 million), Ethiopia (77 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (56million).

Women and Children: Almost two-thirds of global multidimensionally poor people – 836 million- live in households in which no female member has completed at least six years of schooling. These people live mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa (363 million) and South Asia (350 million).

The report also found that half of global multidimensionally poor people are children.

Women-led houses: One in six multidimensionally poor people across 108 countries live in female-headed households.

Key findings related to India

The report mentions that, in India, five out of six multidimensionally poor people are from lower tribes or castes.

The Scheduled Tribe group accounts for 9.4% of the population and is the poorest, with 65 million of the 129 million people living in multidimensional poverty. They account for about one-sixth of all people living in multidimensional poverty in India. 

Following the Scheduled Tribe group is the Scheduled Caste group with 33.3 percent – 94 million of 283 million people living in multidimensional poverty.

The report further said that 27.2 percent of the Other Backward Class group– 160 million of 588 million people — live in multidimensional poverty.

Overall, five out of six multidimensionally poor people in India live in households whose head is from a Scheduled Tribe, a Scheduled Caste or Other Backward Class.

In India, close to 12 percent of the Multidimensional poor population — 162 million people — live in female-headed households.

About the Multidimensional Poverty Index

The report is developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 2010 for UNDP’s Human Development Reports. 

Read more: Human Development Index (HDI) and other Indices of UNDP

NITI Aayog is the nodal agency that has been assigned the responsibility of leveraging the monitoring mechanism of the Global MPI to drive reforms. 

According to Global MPI 2020, India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123 and 27.91% headcount ratio, based on the NFHS 4 (2015/16) data. 

Source: This post is based on the article In India, 5 out of 6 multidimensionally poor are from lower tribes or castes: UN report published in Times of India on 08 October 2021. 

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Education Ministry report: At least 40% school children in 7 large states lack access to digital devices

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What is the news? 

The report, “Initiatives by the School Education Sector in 2020-21“, released by the Union Ministry of Education talks about the response to challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

What are the key findings of the report? 

The report shows that 40% to 70% of school-going children in seven large states do not have access to digital devices. These states are– Assam (44.24%), Andhra Pradesh (57%), Bihar (58.09%), Gujarat (40%), Jharkhand (43.42%), Madhya Pradesh (70%) and Uttarakhand (41.17%). 

In absolute numbers, prepared on the basis of surveys of various sample sizes by the states and UTs in 2020 and 2021, 29 crore students, including 14.33 crore in Bihar, were found without access to digital devices. 

The digital divide has hit some states disproportionately hard, while a few may have coped well due to the adequate availability of smartphones and television sets. 

Among the better-placed states and UTs are Delhi with around 4% students without access, Kerala 1.63%, Tamil Nadu 14.51%. 

What is the significance of the report? 

Report once again spotlights the grim reality of differential access to education, made starker by the pandemic-induced disruption and the consequential digital divide. 

The official figures also validate the concerns expressed by non-profits working in the education sector. 

The report also highlights the interventions at various levels to bridge the divide, but those interventions did not emphasise enough on the need to scale up the efforts. 

What are the challenges associated with the report? 

There are questionable claims like that of Rajasthan that it does not have students without digital access. 

The true picture remains incomplete in the absence of data from states such as Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Education Ministry report: At least 40% school children in 7 large states lack access to digital devices” published in ‘Indian Express’ on 08 October 2021. 

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India’s school system faces acute shortage of teachers, says UNESCO report

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What is the news?

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently released its 2021 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India: “No Teachers, No Class”.

About the State of the Education Report (SOER) for India

It is an annual flagship report of UNESCO New Delhi. So far, two editions have been released in the past and this is the third edition of the State of Education Report.

The UNESCO analysed two data sets for the preparation of the report. These are the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+) 2018-19 round and the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2018-19.

What are the key findings of the State of the Education Report (SOER) 2021?
UNESCO's SOER 2021
Source: UNESCO

Lack of teachers: The data suggests that the teaching cadre is generally young, with over 65% of teachers aged less than 44 years. But, in about 15 years, 27% of the current workforce will need to be replaced. The workforce has a deficit of over 1 million teachers (at current student strength).

Apart from that, almost, 69% of teachers in India are working without job contracts in private schools.

SOER 21
Source: UNESCO

Poor student-teacher ratio: The overall number of teachers (around 9.5 million) looks perfect to maintain a good pupil-teacher ratio. But there is a segmental disparity. For instance, the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) at senior secondary schools is 47:1 as against 26:1 of the overall school system.

Prevalence of single-teacher institutions: At the national level, 7% of schools are single-teacher schools, the percentage is far higher in several states. Around 10% to 15% of schools in several states were single-teacher institutions.

Prevalence of under-qualified teachers: 7.7% of teachers in pre-primary, 4.6% at the primary level and 3.3% upper-primary are under-qualified.

Women make half of the teacher workforce: Half of India’s 9.43 million school teachers are women. In some states and union territories (UTs) over 70% of teachers are women. These include Chandigarh (82%), Delhi (74%), Kerala (78%), Punjab (75%) and Tamil Nadu (75%).

Low retention rates: Overall retention is 74.6% for elementary education and 59.6% for secondary education in 2019-20.

Low access to the Internet: Access to the internet in schools is 19% all over India – only 14% in rural areas compared to 42% in urban areas.

Technological challenges: The use of technology in education has exposed a range of issues – lack of devices and Internet bandwidth for a significant proportion of students, lack of preparedness of teachers in the use of technology, and lack of resources in Indian languages.

What are the key recommendations of the SOER report?

The report recommended the following things,

a) Improve the terms of employment of teachers in both public and private schools.

b) Increase the number of teachers and improve working conditions in North-Eastern states, rural areas and ‘aspirational districts.

c) Increase the number of physical education, music, art, vocational education, early childhood and special education teachers.

d) Build teachers career pathways and provide meaningful ICT training to teachers.

Source:  This post is based on the following articles

  • “India’s school system faces acute shortage of teachers, says Unesco report” published in Livemint on 6th October 2021.
  • “Only 19% schools have access to internet: UNESCO report” published in Indian Express on 6th October 2021.
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41 Industrial Parks identified as “Leaders” in the Industrial Park Ratings System Report

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What is the news? 

The 2nd edition of the Industrial Park Rating System (IPRS) Report was launched by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). All the States of India and 51 SEZs, including 29 Private, have participated in the IPRS 2.0 Report.

What are the key findings of the IPRS 2.0 Report? 

The Report is an extension of the India Industrial Land Bank, which features more than 4,400 industrial parks in a GIS-enabled database to help investors identify their preferred location for investment.

Read MoreIndia industrial Land Bank System

The report classifies different industrial parks into categories namely ‘leaders’, ‘Challenger’, ‘Aspirers’. IPRS 2.0 Report. Accordingly, there were 41 Industrial Parks that have been assessed as “Leaders“, 90 Industrial Parks have been rated as under the “Challenger” category while 185 have been rated as under “Aspirers“.  

What is the significance of the IPRS 2.0 Report? 

The IPRS 2.0 Report will enhance India’s industrial competitiveness and attract investment. The investors can remotely refer to this report to identify the suitable investable land area, as per the various parameters of infrastructure, connectivity, business support services and environment and safety standards and make informed investment decisions.

What is the Industrial Park Rating System (IRPS) exercise? 

IPRS was organized as a pilot level exercise in 2018 with support from Asian Development Bank along with its knowledge partner PwC.

IPRS was conceptualized with an aim to enhance industrial infrastructure competitiveness and support policy development for enabling industrialization across the country.  

SourceThis post is based on the article 41 Industrial Parks identified as “Leaders” in the Industrial Park Ratings System Report published in ‘PIB’ on 05 October 2021. 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , , ,

Jobs increased by 29% since 2013, says survey

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What is the News?

The Labour Bureau, which works under the Ministry of Labour, has released findings from the All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey.

About All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey(AQEES)

AQEES has been taken up by the Labour Bureau to provide frequent (quarterly) updates about the employment and related variables of establishments, in both organised and unorganised segments, of nine selected sectors.

These nine selected sectors are Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation and Restaurant, IT/ BPO and Financial Services.

Note: This survey report covers employment figures for the first quarter of 2021-22 (April 2021 – June 2021). 

What are the key findings of the survey?
AQEES
Source: The Hindu

Firstly, there was a 29% increase in employment in these nine sectors during the peak Covid-19 outbreak months of April-June 2021 over a base of 2013-14.

Secondly, among these nine sectors, manufacturing accounts for nearly 41% of the employment followed by Education with 22% and Health with 8%. 

Thirdly, the most impressive growth in employment has been recorded in the IT/BPO sector, with 152%. On the other hand, employment in Trade came down by 25% and in Accommodation & Restaurant, the decline was by 13%.

Fourthly, the overall participation of female workers stood at 29% slightly lower than 31%  reported during 2013-14.

Fifthly, around 27% of the establishments reported pandemic-induced retrenchment. But the silver lining was that 81% of the workers had received their full wages during the lockdown.

Lastly, regular workers constituted 88% of the estimated workforce in the nine selected sectors, with only 2% being casual workers.

What are the issues with the existing current survey?

Data accuracy: This first round of the QES was conducted mainly during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and thus much of the surveying had to be done using the telephone.

Transparency: The original database from which the sample of surveyed establishments was selected dates from the full-scale Economic Census of 2013-14, a more recent round of the Economic Census was carried out in 2020 but is yet to be made public.

Faulty conclusion: The government has compared its inference of employment in the nine sectors to the full figure in the Economic Census of 2013-14 and concluded there has been healthy growth in the amount of employment available in these sectors.

However, this comparison may be faulty, given that many establishments in the 2013-14 sample were non-responsive and some of them had shut down. The gain or loss of jobs in these sectors can only be determined with a higher degree of certainty when the 2020 Economic Census results are released.

What is the way forward?

First, 2020 Economic Census results should be released without delay in order to make the QES more relevant and to give it a clear baseline.

Second, consensus to bring reforms. The government has made a good start towards re-creating a structure for labour statistics in India. It must follow up taking on board constructive criticism from the academic community about the statistical features of the QES.

Source: This post is based on the following articles

  • “Jobs increased by 29% since 2013, says surveypublished in The Hindu on 28th Sep 2021.
  • A good start” published in Business Standard on 28th September 2021.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

Three IITs among world’s top 200 in QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022

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What is the News?

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022 has been released.

About QS Graduate Employability Rankings

QS Graduate Employability Rankings is released by global higher education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds(QS).

Purpose: It is an innovative exercise designed to provide the world’s students with a unique tool by which they can compare university performance in terms of graduate employability outcomes and prospects.

Indicators: The rankings of institutions have been done based on five indicators: Employer reputation (30%), Alumni outcomes (25%), Partnerships with Employers per Faculty (25%), Employer/Student Connections (10%) and graduate employment rate (10%).

What are the key takeaways?
Rankings Related to India

Twelve Indian higher education institutions, including six Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), figured in the top 500 universities.

Among them, ​​IIT-Bombay has emerged as the best Indian Institute.

Source: TOI
Topped by

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has topped the rankings. It was followed by Stanford University and the University of California.

Source: This post is based on the following article

  • Three IITs among world’s top 200 in QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022published in Business Standard on 24th September 2021.
  • IIT-B, IIT-D grads most employable in Indiapublished in TOI on 24th September 2021.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , , , ,

State Food Safety Index: FSSAI

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What is the news?

Recently, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) -State Food Safety Index (SFSI). This index is used to measure the performance of States across various parameters of food safety.

What is State Food Safety Index?

It is an index is developed by FSSAI. It helps to measure the performance of states on five significant parameters of Food Safety. These include Compliance, Human Resources and Institutional Data, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.

The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.

What are the key findings of the State Food Safety Index?

The index identifies the presence of industrially produced trans fatty acid content in the selected foods. However, it was found that out of 6245 samples only 84 samples, i.e. 1.34%, have more than 3% industrially-produced trans fats. Thus, India is on the right track of becoming industrial trans fats-free.

It also felicitated states based on the ranking for the year 2020-21 for their impressive performance:

Among the larger states: Gujarat was the top-ranking state, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Among the smaller states: Goa stood first, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur.

Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir:  Andaman & Nicobar Islands and New Delhi secured top ranks.

What are the initiatives undertaken to Promote Food Safety?

Launch of Mobile Food Testing Vans (Food Safety on Wheels):  These labs will help States/UTs to enhance their outreach and conduct surveillance activities even in the far-flung areas. It will also be used for training and awareness generation activities among citizens. Their aim is to supplement the food safety ecosystem across the country.

Awards and Grants:  Launch of Eat Right Research Awards and issue of grants to encourage and recognize high-quality research in the area of food safety and nutrition in India

Segregation of veg and non-vegan foods: A logo for Vegan Foods has been introduced to distinguish food from non-vegan. This will empower consumers to make informed food choices.

E-Books: Various e-books have been introduced. These will help to capture recipes on local seasonal food items, indigenous millets and plant-based sources of protein.

Private Participation:  24 food businesses signed a pledge on becoming “Plastic Waste Neutral” by collecting, processing and recycling of 100% plastic waste from across the sources.

Source: This post is based on the following articles “State Food Safety Index” published in PIB on 20th September 2021.

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Population growth rates have shrunk more for minorities: Pew report

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What is the News?

Pew Research has released its key findings about the religious composition of India.

What are the Key Findings?

India’s overall population more than tripled between 1951 and 2011, though growth rates have slowed since the 1990s: The total number of Indians grew to 1.2 billion in the 2011 census from 361 million in the 1951 census. However, India’s overall population growth has slowed considerably especially since the 1990s. 

Religious Composition: Hindus make up 79.8% of India’s population and Muslims account for 14.2%; Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains account for most of the remaining 6%.

Fertility Rate: The average fertility rate in India is 2.2 which is higher than the rates in economically advanced countries such as the U.S. (1.6), but much lower than what it was in 1992 (3.4) or 1951 (5.9).

Pew research on population
Source: The Hindu

Fertility rates of Hindus and Muslims converging: From 1992 to 2015, the total fertility rates of Muslims declined from 4.4 to 2.6, while that of Hindus declined from 3.3 to 2.1. This indicates the gaps in childbearing between India’s religious groups are much smaller than they used to be.

Growth of Muslim Population: Between 1951 and 1961, the Muslim population expanded by 32.7 per cent, 11% poi­nts more than India’s overall rate of 21.6%. But from 2001 to 2011, the difference in growth between Muslims (24.7 per cent) and Indians overall (17.7 per cent) was 7 percentage points.

Fertility Rate and Religion: Religion is by no means the only or even the primary factor affecting fertility rates. The women in central India tended to have more children, with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh showing a total fertility rate (TFR) of 3.4 and 2.7 respectively, in contrast to a TFR of 1.7 and 1.6 in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively.

Note: In India and elsewhere, education is a primary factor in how many children women tend to have. Other prosperity indicators – such as life expectancy and average levels of wealth – also frequently correlate with fertility measures: Women who have better access to schooling, jobs and health care tend to have fewer children.

Migration has not greatly affected India’s religious composition: In 2019, the United Nations estimated that about 17.5 million people who were born in India reside elsewhere. These numbers are not large enough to have much impact on the religious composition of a country of India’s size.

Non-Religious Groups: In India, about 8 million did not belong to any of the six major religious groups. Within this category, mostly were adivasi people. The largest grouping was of the Sarnas (nearly 5 million adherents), followed by the Gond (1 million) and the Sari Dharma (5,10,000).

Preference for Son over daughters: The preference for sons over daughters could play a role in overall fertility. The sex-selective abortions had caused an estimated deficit of 20 million girls, compared with what would naturally be expected between 1970 and 2017. This practice is more common among Indian Hindus than among Muslims and Christians.

Religious Conversion: The religious switching or conversion also appears to have had a relatively small impact on India’s overall composition, with 98% of Indian adults still identifying with the religion in which they were raised. 

Read more: Population control measures in India – Explained, pointwise

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

  • Fertility rates of Hindus and Muslims converging: studypublished in The Hindu on 22nd September 2021.
  • “Population growth rates have shrunk more for minorities: Pew reportpublished in Business Standard on 22nd September 2021.

Terms to know:

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , ,

Pandemic study reveals lack of trained health personnel

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What is the News?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) have released a report titled ‘Health Workforce in India-Why, Where and How to Invest’.

What are the Key Findings of the Report?

Nurse to Doctor Ratio
Source: TOI
Nurse to Doctor Ratio:

The nurse to doctor ratio in India is estimated to be 1.7:1. This is too low when compared with most OECD countries where there are 3-4 nurses per doctor. 

Moreover, the Indian High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) recommendation for the nurse-doctor ratio in India stood at 3:1.

When compared state wise, the nurse to doctor ratio ranges from Punjab (6.4:1) and Delhi (4.5:1) on the higher side and Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh having less than one nurse per doctor. 

Even in Kerala, where the number of nurses is very high, the worker nurse to doctor ratio was less than 1:1.

Note: According to the 15th Finance Commission, a nurse-to-population ratio in India is at 1:670 as against the WHO norm of 1:300. 

Allied Health Workers to Doctor Ratio

The ratio of allied health workers to doctors is estimated to be 1:1.

When compared state wise, there are large variations across states, ranging from more than five allied personnel per allopathic doctor in Himachal Pradesh to as low as one-tenth (0.1) allied health professionals per doctor in Bihar.

Source: This post is based on the articlePandemic study reveals lack of trained health personnelpublished in TOI on 21st Sep 2021.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , , ,

India scores 46th rank in the Global Innovation Index 2021

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What is the News?

The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 has been released.

What is the Global Innovation Index?

The Global Innovation Index is published by the ​​World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in partnership with the Portulans Institute and with the support of corporate network partners.

Objective: The index ranks 132 world economies according to their innovation capabilities.

Indicators used: The index ranks countries based on roughly 80 indicators which are based on the following parameters: Institutions, Human capital and research, Infrastructure, Credit, Investment, Linkages, Creation, Absorption and Diffusion of knowledge and Creative outputs.

What are the key findings of the Global Innovation Index 2021?
Key findings related to India
Global Innovation Index
Source: PIB

India has been ranked 46th in the Global Innovation Index 2021 rankings. It was ranked at 48th in 2020.

India has been on a rising trajectory over the past several years in the Index, from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 46 in 2021.

Graduates in science and engineering disciplines and global corporate research and development investors are India’s strengths.

Other Key findings
Global Innovation Index
Source: Business Standard

Switzerland has topped the index. It was followed by Sweden, the US and the UK.

Among Asian economies, South Korea jumped to the fifth position, up from 10 last year. China was in the 12th position.

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

  • India scores 46th rank in the Global Innovation Index 2021published in PIB on 21st September 2021.
  • “India moves to 46th in innovation index” published in Livemint on 21st September 2021.
  • “India climbs to 46th rank in Global Innovation Index” published in TOI on 21st September 2021.
  • India jumps 2 spots to 46th rank in Global Innovation Index 2021” published in Business Standard on 21st September 2021.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

1.2 lakh people died in road accidents in 2020: NCRB

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What is the News?

National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) has released a report titled ‘Crime in India’ Report, 2020. The report has talked about road accidents in India.

Read more: Crime in India Report, 2020

What are the Key Findings of the Report on Road Accidents?

Road Accidents in 2020: India has recorded 1.20 lakh cases of deaths due to negligence relating to road accidents in 2020. This means 328 people lost their lives every day on an average.

State-wise: Uttar Pradesh continues to top the list in road accidents in 2020. It was followed by Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. 

Road Accidents in the last three years: As many as 3.92 lakh people have lost their lives to road accidents in 2020. While 1.20 lakh such deaths were recorded in 2020, the figures stood at 1.36 lakh in 2019 and 1.35 lakh in 2018.

Hit and Run Cases of Road Accidents: In 2020, there were 41,196 cases of hit-and-run. This means, on an average, there were 112 cases of “hit-and-run” reported across the country every day.

Note: In the last three years, the country has registered 1.35 lakh cases of hit-and-run.

Rail Accidents: As many as 52 cases of deaths due to negligence relating to rail accidents were recorded across the country in 2020 from 55 in 2019 and 35 in 2018.

Source: This post is based on the article 1.2 lakh people died in road accidents in 2020: NCRBpublished in The Hindu on 20th September 2021.

Terms to know:

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NITI Aayog Launches Report on Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog has launched a report titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’.

Read more: NITI Aayog to Launch Report on ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’
What are the Key Findings of the Report?

India is home to 11% of the total global urban population. By 2027, India will surpass China as the most populous country in the world. However, unplanned urbanisation will exert great strain on our cities. Hence, there is an urgent need for planning and management of our cities.

Recommendations of the report on Urban Planning

Healthy Cities Programme: Every city must aspire to become a ‘Healthy City for All’ by 2030. For this purpose, the report suggests a central sector scheme titled “500 Healthy Cities Programme” for a period of five years, where priority cities will be selected jointly by the states and local bodies 

Ramping Up of Human Resources: To combat the shortage of urban planners in the public sector, the report recommends that states/UTs may need to expedite the filling up of vacant positions of town planners and additionally sanction new posts as lateral entry positions.

Re-engineering of Urban Governance: The report recommends the constitution of a high-powered committee to re-engineer the present urban-planning governance structure.

The report also suggests the government to revise the Town and Country Planning Acts.

Citizens Participation: The report recommends a ‘Citizen Outreach Campaign’ for enabling citizens participation in urban planning.

Enhancing the Role of the Private Sector: The report recommends strengthening the role of the private sector to improve the overall planning capacity in the country. 

Recommendations of the report on Urban Planning Education

Postgraduate Programmes in Urban Planning: The Central universities and technical institutions in all the other States/UTs are encouraged to offer postgraduate degree programmes (M. Tech Planning) to cater to the requirement of planners in the country in a phased manner.

Faculty Shortage: Faculty shortage in educational institutions conducting degree and PhD programmes in planning needs to be resolved in a time-bound manner by 2022.

Other Recommendations of the report

National Council of Town and Country Planners: The report recommends the constitution of a ‘National Council of Town and Country Planners’ as a statutory body of the Government of India. 

Also, a ‘National Digital Platform of Town and Country Planners’ is suggested to be created within the National Urban Innovation Stack of MoHUA. This portal will enable the self-registration of all planners and evolve as a marketplace for potential employers and urban planners.

Source:  This post is based on the article “NITI Aayog Launches Report on ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India” published in PIB on 16th September 2021.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , ,

28% jump in filing of cases in 2020: NCRB

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What is the News?

National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) has released a report titled Crime in India 2020.

What are the key findings of the Crime in India Report?

Source: The Hindu

Registration of Cases: There was a 28% increase in the registration of cases in 2020 in the country compared to 2019. The surge in cases was primarily due to cases registered under violation of COVID-19 norms. 

Special and Local Laws:  Cases increased by four times under the Special and Local Laws (SLL) between 2019 and 2020. This section refers to state regulations imposed to enforce COVID-19 norms. On the other hand, the cases under ‘traditional crime’ had reduced by about 2 lakh cases in 2020.

Crime/Atrocities against Scheduled Castes (SCs): A total of 50,291 cases were registered for committing crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs), showing an increase of 9.4% over 2019 (45,961 cases). 

Crime/Atrocities against Scheduled Tribes (STs): A total of 8,272 cases were registered for committing crimes against Scheduled Tribes (STs), showing an increase of 9.3% over 2019 (7,570 cases).

Crime against Women: A total of 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were registered during 2020, showing a decline of 8.3% over 2019. The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 56.5 in 2020 in comparison with 62.3 in 2019. 

Crime against Children: A total of 1,28,531 cases of crime against children were registered during 2020, showing a decrease of 13.2% over 2019 (1,48,090 cases). The crime rate registered per lakh children population is 28.9 in 2020 in comparison with 33.2 in 2019.

Sedition Cases: The cases of sedition declined from 93 in 2019 to 73 last year, with Manipur reporting 15, Assam 12, Karnataka eight, Uttar Pradesh seven, Haryana six, Delhi five and Kashmir two.

Cyber Crimes: A total of 50,035 cybercrime cases were registered in 2020, showing an increase of 11.8% compared to the 2019 figures of 44,735 cases.

Fake News: A total of 1,527 cases of fake news were recorded in 2020. This is a 214% increase — against 486 cases in 2019 and 280 cases in 2018. Telangana with 273 cases tops the list of states, followed by Tamil Nadu (188) and Uttar Pradesh (166).

Source: This post is based on the following articles 

  • “28% jump in filing of cases in 2020: NCRB” published in The Hindu on 16th September 2021.
  • NCRB data: 214% rise in cases relating to fake news, rumours” published in The Indian Express on 16th September 2021.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

‘No new coal plants needed to meet 2030 demand’

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What is the News?

According to a report prepared by EMBER, an independent British energy think-tank in collaboration with Bangalore-based Climate Risk Horizons, India does not require additional new coal capacity to meet expected demand growth by the financial year 2030.

Key Findings of the report

India does not require additional new coal capacity to meet expected demand growth by Financial Year(FY) 2030: Even if India’s power demand grows 5% annually(as per projections made by the Central Electricity Authority), demand for coal-fired generation in FY 2030 will be lower than in FY 2020 as long as India achieves its non-coal generation targets.

India can meet its peak demand in FY 2030 without building the “zombie” coal plants: The country’s peak power demand would reach 301 GW by FY 2030. India’s planned solar capacity can cover much of it. Therefore, adding new coal plants will lead to “zombie” units. 

Note: Zombie units refer to the ones which will exist, but not be operational.

India can free up Rs.2.5 lakh crore in capital expenditure by not investing in “zombie” coal projects. However, once incurred, these wasted investments will lock DISCOMs (power distribution companies) and consumers into expensive contracts and impact India’s Renewable Energy goals by adding to the system’s overcapacity

Moreover, India can make annual savings of Rs. 43,219 cr by investing in renewables and storage, instead of “zombie” coal projects. 

Source: This post is based on the article “No new coal plants needed to meet 2030 demand” published in the Indian Express on 10th September 2021.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

Survey: 37% poor rural students not studying at all

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What is the News?

A Survey named School Children’s Online and Offline Learning(SCHOOL) was conducted to understand the impact of the prolonged closure of schools due to the pandemic.

About the Survey SCHOOL

The survey was conducted in 15 states and Union Territories(UTs). It focused on relatively deprived hamlets and ‘bastis’(slums), where children generally attend government schools. 

Four states — Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh — accounted for half of the sample.

What are the findings of the Survey?

Students Studying Online: Around 37% of the sample students were not studying at all. On the other hand, only 19% ​​in urban areas and 8% in rural areas were studying online regularly.

Reasons for Limited reach of online classes: Many sample households (about half in rural areas) have no smartphone. But even among households with a smartphone, the proportion of children who are studying online regularly is just 31% in urban areas and 15% in rural areas.

Impact of Limited Access to Online Classes: Due to limited access to online classes, 48% of the surveyed poor children in rural areas weren’t able to read more than a few words while in urban areas, the figure was at 42%.

Shift from Private to Government Schools: Around 26% of the households had switched from private to government schools for lack of funds, while mid-day meals had been discontinued in all sample schools.

Marginalised communities were the worst affected. For instance, only 4% of rural scheduled caste and tribe children were studying online regularly compared with 15% among other rural children. 

Parents on Online Education:  Around 75% of parents feel their child’s reading ability has massively declined and almost all of them want physical classrooms to open immediately.

Source: This post is based on the following articles

  • Survey: 37% poor rural students not studying at all published in TOI on 7th September 2021.
  • 75% kids see literacy loss as most schools remain shut, says surveypublished in Business Standard on 7th September 2021.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , ,

Over 4 billion don’t have social protection: UN

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What is the News?

The International Labour Organization(ILO) has released a report titled ‘World Social Protection Report 2020–22’.

Purpose of the Report:

The report provides a global overview of recent developments in social protection systems, including social protection floors and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: Social protection includes access to health care and income security particularly in relation to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, work injury, maternity or loss of the main income earner, as well as for families with children.

Key Findings of the Report:

Coverage of Social Protection: Currently, only 47% of the global population are effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while 4.1 billion people (53%) obtain no income security at all from their national social protection system. 

Inequalities in Social Protection: There are significant regional inequalities in social protection. Europe and Central Asia have the highest rates of coverage with 84% of people being covered by at least one benefit. On the other hand, Asia and the Pacific (44%), the Arab States (40%) and Africa (17.4% ) have marked coverage gaps. 

Government Spending on Social Protection: It varies significantly. On average, countries spend 12.8% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on social protection (excluding health). However, high-income countries spend 16.4% and low-income countries only 1.1% of their GDP on social protection.

Social Protection by Category wise:

Children: The vast majority of children still have no effective social protection coverage – only one in four children (26.4%) receives a social protection benefit. 

Cash Maternity Benefit: Only 45% of women with newborns worldwide receive a cash maternity benefit. 

Disability: Only one in three persons with severe disabilities (33.5%) worldwide receive a disability benefit. 

Unemployment: Coverage of unemployment benefits is even lower; only 18.6%  of unemployed workers worldwide are effectively covered. 

Old Age Pension: Around 77.5% of people above retirement age receive some form of old-age pension. But major disparities remain across regions, between rural and urban areas and between women and men. 

Source: This post is based on the article Over 4 billion don’t have social protection: UNpublished in The Hindu on 1st September 2021.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

NITI Aayog Releases North Eastern Region District SDG Index and Dashboard

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Source: PIB (Article 1 and Article 2)

What is the News?

NITI Aayog has released the first edition of the North Eastern Region District SDG Index and Dashboard 2021–22.

About North Eastern Region District SDG Index:
  • Developed by: NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). The index has been developed with the technical inputs from the United Nations Development Programme.
  • Purpose: To measure the performance of the districts of the eight North Eastern States on the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) and their corresponding targets and ranks the districts based on the same.
    • Eight states include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura
  • Based on: The index is based on NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index –the principal and official tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs at the national and State/ Union Territory levels.
  • Indicators used: The index utilizes 84 indicators that cover 15 Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) across 50 targets.

Rankings:

  • East Sikkim district ranks first in the index, followed by districts Gomati and North Tripura in the second position.
  • Out of the 103 districts considered for the ranking, 64 districts belonged to the Front Runner category while 39 districts were in the Performer category in the composite score and ranking of districts. 
  • All districts in Sikkim and Tripura fall in the Front Runner category, and there are no districts in the Aspirant or Achiever categories.
Significance of the index:
  1. Firstly, the index is the first of its kind in the country, as it focuses on a specific region.
  2. Secondly, the index offers insights into the social, economic, and environmental status of the region and the districts in their march towards achieving the SDGs. 
  3. Thirdly, the index will help in evidence-based planning, resource allocation both financial as well as others. It will also help in effective supervision and monitoring of developmental efforts for focused and balanced regional development.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

India pips US to rank second in list of most attractive manufacturing hub globally; China first

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Source: Indian Express

What is the News?

The Global Manufacturing Risk Index 2021 has been released.

About Global Manufacturing Risk Index:
  1. Released by: US-based property consultant Cushman & Wakefield
  2. Purpose: To assess and rank the most advantageous locations for global manufacturing among 47 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
  3. Parameters: The ranking is determined based on four key parameters:
    • Country’s capability to restart manufacturing
    • Business environment (availability of talent/labour, access to markets)
    • Operating costs
    • Risks (political, economic and environmental).
Key Findings of the Index:
  1. India has overtaken the United States (US) to become the second-most sought-after manufacturing destination globally.
  2. China remains at the number one position and the US is now at the third position.
Reasons for India’s improvement in ranking:
  1. India’s improvement in ranking can be attributed to India’s operating conditions and cost competitiveness.
    • India has a huge population, which means a younger workforce with innovative capabilities that has the potential to fuel the country’s manufacturing sector.
  2. The improvement in ranking can be also attributed to plant relocations from China to other parts of Asia such as India where there is an already established base in pharma, chemicals and engineering sectors.
  3. However, reforms in land and labour laws are critical to ensure India’s success as a global manufacturing hub.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

India could gain $11 trn in 50 years with climate action: Deloitte report

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Source: Business Standard

What is the News?

Deloitte Economics Institute has released a report, titled “India’s turning point: How climate action can drive our economic future”.

Key Findings of the Report:

Impact of Climate Change on Economy:

  1. India can gain $11 trillion in economic value over the next 50 years by limiting rising global temperatures and realising its potential to ‘export decarbonisation’ to the world.
    • Decarbonisation is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the use of low carbon power sources, achieving a lower output of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
  2. However, if  India doesn’t act now to mitigate the effects of climate change, it could lose $35 trillion in economic potential which could be 12.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2070.
Top Five Impacted Industries due to Climate Change:
  1. Over the next 50 years, the top five most impacted industries in terms of economic activity are expected to incur a significant share of climate-related loss.
  2. These industries will be services (government and private), manufacturing, retail and tourism, construction, and transport which currently account for more than 80% of India’s GDP.
  3. The report estimates that by 2070, these five industries alone would experience an annual loss in the value-added to GDP of more than $1.5 trillion per year.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , , ,

How transparent are India’s pollution control boards?

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Source: Down To Earth

What is the News?

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has released the report titled ‘Transparency Index — Rating of Pollution Control Boards on Public Disclosure’.

About CSE Transparency Index:
  1. The index assessed the data disclosure performance of 29 state pollution control boards and six pollution control committees from across the country.
  2. The study has evaluated the information shared by SPCBs/PCCs during the last four to five years (2016-21) and uses 25 indicators that provide a broader assessment of the type and amount of information shared. 
  3. A few key indicators used in the study include the availability of information on public hearings, non-attainment cities among others. 
Key Findings of the Transparency Index:
  1. Data Disclosure: Most of the State Pollution Control Boards(SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committees(PCCs) are non-transparent when it comes to sharing information with the public. Out of 29 boards, only 17 boards and committees scored 50% or above.
    • The pollution control boards of Odisha and Telangana were the top performers and had scored 67% in transparency.
  2. Limited data on current pollution levels: Data indicating that the current pollution levels – air pollutants, waste etc – and the basic indicators of environmental health are missing. Most boards display inadequate data, indicating no trends.
  3. Information on the compliance status of industries: One of the serious drawbacks found during the review of annual reports is the lack of information on the compliance status of industries under various acts and rules. 
  4. The index also mentions serious non-transparency regarding the information on public hearings, Board meetings also.
  5. Annual Reports: No initiative has been taken by 11 SPCBs and PCCs of the following states and Union territories in sharing their annual reports
Recommendations of the Transparency Index:
  1. There should be a uniform format for presenting annual reports and sharing information on websites. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) should come up with a website format for the SPCBs / PCCs and guidelines for framing annual reports
  2. CPCB should come up with a website format for all SPCBs / PCCs for uploading information about the compliance history of industries at least for the grossly polluting. 
  3. All SPCBs must share Public hearing information online.
  4. Information related to waste management should be made available on the websites of the pollution control bodies.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

Delhi moves five places down to 37th spot on Global prime cities index

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Source: Business Standard

What is the News?

The Prime Global Cities Index has been released.

About Prime Global Cities Index:
  1. Released by:  Knight Frank, a residential and property consultant firm.
  2. Purpose: It is a valuation-based index that tracks the movement in prime residential prices in local currency across 45+ cities worldwide.
  3. Prime residential property is defined as the most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, generally defined as the top 5% of each market by value.
Key Findings:
  1. Prices of prime residential properties in Delhi fell a marginal 0.2% in the second quarter of 2021 leading to a drop of five spots — from 32 to 37.
  2. Mumbai and Bengaluru also saw a decline in the prices of prime residential properties. They have moved down to the 40th and 43rd rank in Q2 of 2021 compared to 36th and 40th in Q1 2021 respectively.
  3. Globally, 35 cities witnessed a rise in prime residential prices in Q2 2021 on a YoY basis.
    • This can be attributed to a strong buyer appetite for residential due to extended time spent indoors, appreciation for larger homes and a low-interest rate regime followed by central banks globally.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

Reserve Bank launches index to capture financial inclusion

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Source: Livemint and Business Standard

What is the News?

The Reserve Bank of India has released India’s First composite Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index).

About Financial Inclusion Index(FI-Index):
  1. Released by: Reserve Bank of India(RBI)
  2. Aim: To capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country.
  3. Parameters: The index comprises three broad parameters — access (35% weightage), usage (45%) and quality (20%). Each of these parameters will consist of various dimensions, which are computed based on 97 indicators.
  4. Unique Feature: A unique feature of the index is the parameter related to the quality of financial inclusion. It captures information related to financial literacy, consumer protection and inequalities and deficiencies in services, 
  5. Scores: The index captures information on various aspects of financial inclusion in a single value ranging between 0 and 100 where 0 represents complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion.
  6. When it will be published?  The index will be published in July every year.
  7. Base Year:  The index has been constructed without any “base year”. It reflects the cumulative efforts of all stakeholders.
Key Findings of the Index:
  1. The FI-Index for the financial year ended March 2021 crossed the halfway mark to 53.9, as compared to 43.4 for the year ended March 2017.
  2. This indicates that 46.1% of the parameters considered are still financially excluded, despite the launch of several initiatives by the Government.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , , ,

NITI Aayog Releases Handbook to Guide EV Charging Infrastructure in India

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Source: PIB

What is the News?

NITI Aayog has released a report titled “The Handbook for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Implementation”.

 Prepared by: NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power (MoP), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), and World Resources Institute (WRI) India.

Objective:

  1. To guide state governments and local bodies to frame policies and norms towards setting up charging networks for electric vehicles (EV). 
  2. To enhance charging infrastructure and facilitate a rapid transition to electric mobility in the country.
Key Findings of the report:

Electric Vehicles Charging Station:

  1. Electric Vehicles(EV) Charging is a piece of equipment that supplies electrical power for charging plug-in electric vehicles.
  2. The Central Nodal Agency for the establishment of Charging Infrastructure for EVs in India is the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
The target for Electric Vehicles(EV) Charging:
  1. Ministry of Power(MoP) has set a national target of having at least one charging station for every 3*3 grid, or for every 25 km on a highway.
Approach towards Electric Vehicles Charging:
  1. Discoms to play a pivotal role: EV charging is a new type of power demand for discoms. Hence,discoms will play a pivotal role in providing a seamless power supply for charging facilities.
  2. Planning of EV charging networks requires a distinct approach: Electric vehicles can be charged at any location, provided charging points are available. But this requires a distinct approach. Local authorities need to set targets for the required scale of public charging infrastructure and ensure that it is covered in planning processes.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

‘29% of students exposed to second-hand smoke’

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has presided over the release of the Fourth Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019.

About Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019:
  • The fourth round of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4) was conducted in 2019 by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
    • The first three rounds of GYTS were conducted in 2003, 2006 and 2009.
  • Purpose: The survey was designed to produce national estimates of tobacco use among school-going children aged 13-15 years at the state level and Union Territory (UT) by sex, location of school (rural-urban), and management of a school (public-private). 
Key Findings of the Survey:
  • Use of Tobacco: Nearly one-fifth of the students aged 13-15 used any form of tobacco product (smoking, smokeless, and any other form) in their life. However, there has been a 42% decline in tobacco use in the past decade.
  • Gender wise: The use of any form of tobacco was higher among boys than girls. 
  • State-wise: The current use of tobacco among students across the States/ UTs ranged from the highest in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram (58% each) to the lowest in Himachal Pradesh (1.1%) and Karnataka (1.2%).
  • Age of Initiation of Tobacco: 38% of cigarettes, 47% of bidi smokers and 52% of smokeless tobacco users initiated the use before their 10th birthday.
  • Second-hand smoke: 29.5% of the students were exposed to second-hand smoke (11.2% at home, 21.2% inside enclosed public places, 23.4% at outdoor public places.
  • Use of E-Cigarettes: The use of e-cigarette among the students was 2.8%.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , , ,

Kerala has highest share of elderly in population, Bihar lowest

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Source: TOI

 What is the News?

Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation(MOSPI) has released a report titled “Elderly in India 2021”.The report is based on the findings of the Technical Group on Population Projections for India and States for 2011-2036.

Key Findings of the Elderly in India 2021 Report:

Elderly in India 2021

 Growth of Elderly Population:
  • The general population has grown by 12.4% during 2011-2021 in comparison to around 18% in the earlier decade.
  • On the other hand, the elderly population has grown by 36% in each of the last two decades (2001-2011 and 2011-2021).
  • A high growth rate in the elderly population compared to the general population was also observed earlier in the two decades between 1961 and 1981.
  • Reasons: The growth in the elderly population has been attributed to the longevity of life achieved because of economic well-being, better healthcare and medical facilities and reduction in fertility rates.
Read more: Govt launched (Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine) “SAGE Initiative and SAGE Portal”
State Wise Elderly Population:
  • As per 2021 data, Kerala has the maximum proportion (16.5%) of elderly people in its population.
  • It was followed by Tamil Nadu (13.6%), Himachal Pradesh (13.1%), Punjab (12.6%) and Andhra Pradesh (12.4%).
  • The proportion of the Elderly Population is the least in Bihar (7.7%) followed by Uttar Pradesh (8.1%) and Assam (8.2%).
Read more: Kerala’s “Bell of Faith Scheme” for elderly

 Future Projections:

  • The projections for 2031 show that Kerala will have the maximum proportion (20.9%) of elderly people in its population.
  • It will be followed by Tamil Nadu (18.2%), Himachal Pradesh (17.1%), Andhra Pradesh (16.4%) and Punjab (16.2%), according to the report.

Old-Age Dependency Ratio:

  • The old-age dependency ratio provides a clearer picture of the number of persons aged 60-plus per 100 persons in the age group of 15-59 years.
  • According to the report, an increasing trend has been observed in the old-age dependency ratio. It has risen from 10.9% in 1961 to 14.2% in 2011 and is further projected to increase to 15.7% and 20.1% in 2021 and 2031 respectively.
  • The projected dependency ratio for females and males is 14.8% and 16.7% respectively in 2021.
Read more: “ELDERLINE” is providing assistance to thousands of elderly persons
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UN warns hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspots

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Program(WFP) has released a new report titled “Hunger Hotspots”.

About Hunger Hotspots Report:
  • The Hunger Hotspots Report is an early-warning analysis of countries and situations called hotspots where acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate over the coming months.
Key Findings of the Report:
  • Hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspot countries in the next three months.
  • The highest alerts for “catastrophic” situations are in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, southern Madagascar, Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria.
    • Note: India is not one of the Hotspot countries.
  • Overall, over 41 million people worldwide are at risk of falling into famine or famine-like conditions unless they receive immediate life and livelihood-saving assistance.
  • The primary reasons for an increase in hunger are conflict dynamics, economic shocks, the socio-economic impacts of COVID- 19, weather extremes and the diffusion of plant pests and animal diseases.

Note: The Global Food Crises Report released in May 2021 has already warned that 40.5 million people in 17 countries are facing acute food insecurity because of “economic shocks”.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

NITI Aayog and RMI Release a Report on Power Distribution Sector

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Source: PIB

What is the News?

NITI Aayog and RMI have released a report titled “Turning Around the Power Distribution Sector”.

Purpose of the Report:
  • The report presents a review of reform efforts in the Indian and global power distribution sector. It extracts the learnings and best practices from policy experience that exists in the country.
Key Findings of the Report:

Power Distribution Sector in India:

  • Most power distribution companies (or discoms) in India incur losses every year—the total loss is estimated to be ₹ 90,000 crores in FY 2021.
  • Due to these accumulated losses, discoms are unable to pay for generators on time.
  • Reasons: Part of the reason for these losses is the tension between two different outlooks:
    1. Is electricity an essential public service whose provision at low rates is necessary for citizen welfare, or
    2. Is it a commodity to be bought and sold on the market like any other?
Read more: Problems with discoms need radical reforms 
Reforms suggested by the Report:
  • Discom Restructuring: Only 10% of India’s population is served by private distribution licensees. Hence, good Corporate Governance and higher private participation in distribution hold out the possibility of greater efficiency.
  • Regulatory Reforms: The state governments should promote autonomy, competence and transparency of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission(SERC).
  • Operational Reforms: The overall AT&C loss figure in India is as high as 24.54%. Many discoms need to improve their billing efficiency through better and smart metering.
  • Renewable Energy Integration Reforms: Discoms need to prepare to accommodate an increasing amount of renewable energy (RE), from generators as well as prosumers.
  • Managerial Reforms: Effective reforms such as easily accessible call centres, convenient bill payment facilities can help reduce customer dissatisfaction and increase revenue. Moreover, Performance incentives can also help align discom employees to the interests of the organisation.
Read more: Reform-based scheme: Discoms get till Dec 31
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India tough place for business: US report

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Source: TOI

What is the News?

The US State Department has released a report titled ‘2021 Investment Climate Statements: India’.

Key Findings of the Report: India remains a challenging place to do business despite taking up many reforms and improving its position in the ease of doing business index. This is because:

  • Protectionist Measures: New protectionist measures including increased tariffs, procurement rules that limit competitive choices, sanitary and phytosanitary measures restrict the expansion in bilateral trade.
  • FDI Rule for Aviation: Under FDI rules for aviation, 100% overseas flows have been permitted. But the substantial ownership and effective control (SOEC) rules that mandate majority control by Indian nationals have not been clarified yet.
  • FDI Rule for Insurance Sector: The report was also critical of discriminatory FDI policy for the insurance sector where the FDI ceiling has been increased to 74% but with the Indian management and control rider.
  • Data Localisation Norms: RBI’s order on storing data on payment transactions within the country has led to significant compliance costs and increased risk of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • Equalisation Levy: US had threatened retaliatory action over the equalisation levy on US tech companies.
  • Political Risk: The report also referred to the removal of the special constitutional status from the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Way Forward:

  • The report has urged India to foster an attractive and reliable investment climate by reducing barriers to investment and minimising the bureaucratic hurdles.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

Explained: ICMR’s fourth serosurvey and its findings

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Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindu, The Mint, Times of India and Down to Earth

About the news:

The fourth nationwide serological survey was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in June-July. Its findings are significant because this is for the first time children aged 6-17 years were included in the national serosurvey.

What is the ICMR serosurvey?

The ICMR has conducted the fourth round of the national blood serum survey which tests for antibodies, known as a serosurvey, for Covid-19. The aim of the survey was to estimate the sero-prevalence of SARS-C0V-2 antibodies. Few important points to consider,

  • The survey only indicates past infections (which triggered an immune response) and is not used to detect active infections.
  • The survey was conducted using IgG Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay(ELISA) test which has been approved by ICMR.
Key findings of the survey:

ICMR serological survey

  • The survey shows that one-third of the population does not have antibodies, which suggests that about 40 crore people are still vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. The survey also shows that two-thirds of Indians have been exposed to novel coronavirus.
  • The overall seroprevalence in the country was 67.6% in June and July, which is higher than the seroprevalence rate recorded during the three earlier surveys.
    • The sero-prevalence is similar in rural and urban areas for all age groups.
    • 85% of healthcare workers had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and one-tenth of the healthcare workers were unvaccinated.
    • The seroprevalence among vaccinated individuals is high as compared to those who are not vaccinated.
  • Findings of Survey about Children: Antibody exposure is also similar in children as adults. More than half of the children (6 -17 years) were seropositive. It means they have been exposed to Covid-19 in the past months.
Suggestions of the survey:
  • India needs to maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour and impose a curb on community engagements.
  • The governments should continue tracking Covid infection in severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases in district hospitals and identify clusters and clinical severity, while the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics is tracking variants of concern.
  • The ICMR also suggested that it would be wise to consider reopening primary schools first, as children can handle viral infection much better (as they have a lower number of ace receptors). But this can be done only after the full vaccination of all the school staff. For instance, Some Scandinavian countries didn’t shut their primary schools in any wave of Covid-19 waves
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Midday meals leave a long-lasting impact: study

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

A Study titled “Intergenerational nutrition benefits of India’s national school feeding program’” has been published in Nature Communications.

The study used nationally representative data on mothers and their children from 1993 to 2016 to assess whether the mid-day meal scheme has supported intergenerational improvements in a child’s linear growth.

Read More: About Mid Day Meal Scheme

Key Findings of the Study:
  • The study has found that the midday meal scheme was associated with 13-32% of the improvement in the height-for-age scores in India between 2006 and 2016.
  • Girls who had access to free lunches provided at government schools had children with a higher height-to-age ratio than those who did not.
  • Moreover, the linkages between midday meals and lower stunting in the next generation were stronger in the lower socio-economic strata
Importance of Mid Day Meal Scheme:
  • In India, more than one in three children are stunted or too short for their age, which reflects chronic undernutrition.
  • The fight against stunting has often focussed on boosting nutrition for young children.
  • However, nutritionists have long argued that maternal health and well-being is the key to reducing stunting in their offspring.
  • Hence, the study has noted that interventions to improve maternal height and education must be implemented years before those girls and young women become mothers.
    • The interventions in fields such as women’s education, fertility and the use of health services will reduce malnutrition.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

India largest source of govt. info requests, says Twitter

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

Twitter has released the biannual Twitter Transparency Report. The report shares details on the number of government and legal requests, removal requests and data around accounts actioned for various violations.

Key Findings of the Report: 

Government’s Request for Account Information:
  • Globally, Twitter received 14,561 government requests for account information in the six-month period from June to December 2020.
    • Among these requests, 3,615 requests were from India. This is an increase of about 38% for India from the first half of the year when the number of such requests stood at 2,613.
  • Governments and law enforcement agencies submitted approximately 15% more information requests compared to the previous reporting period.
  • The compliance rate for government information requests was 30% globally and 0.6% in India.
Country-wise:
  • India was the single largest source of government requests for account information that Twitter received during this period. It accounted for 25% of the global volume.
  • The second highest volume of information requests originated from the United States, comprising 22% of global information requests.
Legal Demands to Remove Content:
  • Twitter received more than 38000 legal demands to remove the content of around 1.3 lakh accounts.
    • The platform withheld or otherwise removed some or all of the reported content in response to 29% of these global legal demands.
  • For India, the number of legal requests stood at 6,971, an increase of 151% from 2,772 such requests in the first six months of 2020.
    • Twitter withheld 60 accounts and 598 tweets. In addition, 1,310 accounts were either suspended or some content was removed.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

E-classes leading to learning gaps in higher education: Survey

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Introduction:

The gap in learning outcomes has been acknowledged across the world. World Bank data indicate nearly 220 million students have faced the brunt of the pandemic’s impact on education.

Education technology solution provider TeamLease Edtech surveyed over 700 students and officials from 75 Indian universities to assess the learning gap in higher education during the pandemic.

Key findings of the survey on learning gap:

E-classes and learning gaps

  • Nearly 85% of Indian students in higher education institutions feel they have learnt only half of what they are supposed to since teaching went online with the onset of the pandemic.
  • Similarly, about 88% of university officials believe it could take up to three years to bridge the gap in learning, says a recent survey.
    • They believe that grades didn’t reflect learning loss since exams were being conducted online.
    • Further, Sixty percent of the students who would not have been promoted are currently getting promoted with good marks
  • The perceived learning gap among students in advanced nations and India is stark.
  • There has also been a decline in the participation of women students due to their inability to access digital platforms
  • The survey blamed five factors for the gap in learning:
    1. A digital divide,
    2. Slow governance in government institutions,
    3. Pre-existing capacity deficits,
    4. Longer lockdowns in India than in other countries
    5. Weak online learning content and educational ecosystem was not digitised in time

 

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India’s neurological disease burden rising

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative has published in Lancet the first-ever comprehensive estimates of disease burden due to neurological disorders in India from 1990 to 2019.

Note: India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and others.

What are Neurological disorders?
  • Neurological disorders are medically defined as disorders that affect the brain as well as the nerves found throughout the human body and the spinal cord.
  • Categories: The three categories of neurological disorders include:
    • Non-communicable neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, central nervous system cancer, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
    • Communicable neurological disorders like encephalitis etc.
    • Injury-related neurological disorders like traumatic brain injuries etc.
Key Findings of the Study:
  • Around 82.8% of the total neurological disorders burden in India is due to non-communicable disorders, 11.2% due to communicable ones, and 6% due to injury-related ones
  • The contribution of non-communicable and injury-related neurological disorders to the total disease burden in India has more than doubled between 1990 and 2019.
  • Reason: mainly due to the aging of the population.
  • Risk Factors: High blood pressure, air pollution, and high body-mass index were the known risk factors for the burden of the neurological disorder.
  • State wise: This burden is higher in less developed States. On the other hand, the burden of the disorders related to the injury is higher in more developed States.
  • Suggestions: The study has called for increased awareness, early identification, cost-effective treatment, and rehabilitation among other efforts to reduce the burden of neurological disorders in each state.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC

Rising fuel prices eating into health spends: SBI report

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Source: Times of India 

What is the news?

A recent report by SBI shows that expenditure on non-discretionary items (including health) is reducing due to rising fuel prices. This calls for urgent lowering of prices through tax rationalisation.

Background:
  • SBI has released a report which tries to show the relationship between rising inflation and expenditure on non discretionary items.
  • The retail inflation has breached the 6% threshold owing to rising fuel prices. In many cities petrol has breached the Rs. 100/litre mark. 
Findings of SBI report:
  • An analysis of SBI card spends indicates that spending towards non-discretionary health expenditure has been substantially reduced to accommodate increased expenditure on fuel. 
  • In fact, such spending has more than crowded out the spending on other non-discretionary items, like grocery and utility services.
  • The share of non discretionary spend on items like fuel has jumped to 75% in June, 2021 from 62% in March, 2021.
Way Ahead:
  • Citing the data, the agency argued that there was an urgent need to lower fuel prices through tax rationalisation.
    • The governments, at the Centre and in states, have been mopping up revenue through high excise and VAT on petrol and diesel.
  • A reduction in levies is desired as petrol in India is currently dearer than BRICS, Indonesia, Thailand and the US as per a report by CARE ratings.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report

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Source: Down to Earth

What is the news?

Key findings of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report

  • The FAO report has quoted a study done in 63 low- and middle-income countries covering a population of 3.5 billion on changes in the income of people. It has extrapolated its impact on choice of diets.

Key findings

  • Dip in people’s affordability of healthy food: There is a significant dip in people’s affordability for healthy food due to a loss in income. The pandemic led to an additional 141 million people being unable to afford a healthy diet in the countries studied.
  • Loss of income & rise in food prices: The primary reason for a dip in affordability is the loss of income. But food price rise has made the situation more acute. By the end of 2020, global consumer food prices were the highest in six years. In the first four months of 2021, they continued to rise.
  • Healthy diet costs more: Cost of a healthy diet was 60% more than a diet that just meets “requirements for essential nutrients” and almost five times as much as a diet that just meets “the minimum dietary energy needs through a starchy staple”.
  • Lack of access to adequate and healthy food: In 2020, some 2.37 billion people couldn’t access adequate food, an increase of 320 million people in comparison to the 2019 figure. More people in 2020 were unable to afford a healthy diet in comparison to 2019.
  • Severe food insecurity: Nearly 12% of the global population faced severe levels of food insecurity or they ran out of food and in worst situations, must have a day without food. In 2020, the rise in the food insecure population was more than the combined number of the last five years.
  • Increased hunger levels: The overall decline in food intake has also increased hunger levels in 2020, making the primary Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by 2030 impossible now. Between 720 and 811 million people in the world endured hunger in 2020. In comparison to 2019, there were an additional 161 million people who faced hunger.
  • Undernourishment: The increase in the number of undernourished was more than five times greater than the highest increase in undernourishment in the last two decades. Undernourishment due to the pandemic has impacted children the most, also a global goal to fix by 2030.
    • In 2020, 149 million children (under five years of age) will grow up stunted or too short for their age. Some 45 million children have been wasted, or do not have the right weight for their height.
Findings of other studies

Global Food Policy Report 2021

According to the recently released Global Food Policy Report 2021 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

  • The impacts of rising poverty and reduced livelihoods are reflected clearly in rising levels of food insecurity and decreasing diet quality.
  • Widespread food insecurity and a shift toward consumption of low-quality diets could, in turn, have devastating consequences for health and nutrition in low- and middle-income countries, especially among women of reproductive age and young children.
What is a healthy diet as per WHO?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “a healthy diet contains a balanced, diverse and appropriate selection of foods eaten over a period of time” and “it protects against malnutrition in all its forms, including non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Why a healthy diet is necessary?

According to the WHO,

  • Poor diet is a major reason for malnutrition, stunting and wasting among children, obesity, overweight and underweight and also diet-related non-communicable diseases.
  • Poor diets are responsible for 22% of all deaths among adults in the world.

Terms to know

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Investing in water, sanitation and hygiene can fuel economic recovery: Report

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Source: Down To Earth

What is the News?

Water Aid, an international non-profit organisation has released a report titled “Mission-critical: Invest in water, sanitation, and hygiene for a healthy and green economic recovery”.

About Mission Critical Report:
  • The Mission Critical Report calls on all government and private bodies to mobilize investments in water, sanitation, and hygiene(WASH). It will fuel economic recovery and sustainable development.
Key Findings of the Report:

Impact of Inadequate Investment in WASH Infrastructure:

  • Inadequate access to WASH is responsible for as much as 10% of the global disease burden. It contributes to 1.6 million preventable deaths each year, including 60% of all diarrheal deaths.
  • A lack of basic WASH infrastructure requires households to spend 1–2 hours per day on average collecting water, displacing time spent in employment or education. The incidence of these heavily impacts on health and economic opportunities of women.

Benefits of Investing in WASH Infrastructure: The report provides the benefits of achieving universal access to safe WASH services, such as:

  • Unlocking trillions of dollars of value over the next two decades.
    • For example: achieving universal access to safely managed sanitation is estimated to yield net benefits of $86 billion per year between 2021 and 2040.
  • Health outcomes would also be improved through reducing cases of diarrheal diseases.
  • Environmental outcomes would be improved by reducing the pollution and contamination of land and water resources.
  • Social and economic outcomes would be improved by reducing the time it takes to collect water.
Recommendations:
  • G20 governments must urgently phase out their US $580 billion annual subsidies to fossil fuels and redirect this towards supporting investments in WASH services.
  • Fiscal stimulus packages – supported by the international community – should include financing for the safe and sustainable WASH services.
  • Donors and private sector investors should strengthen collaboration and create the enabling environments for increased water investments.
  • All high-income countries(HICs) should fulfil their responsibilities to provide new and additional climate finance.

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC

Over 7 lakh yearly deaths in India linked to abnormal temperatures: Lancet study

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Source: The Hindu

What is the news?

An international team, led by researchers at Monash University in Australia, found that globally more than five million extra deaths a year can be attributed to non-optimal temperatures.

  • The team looked at mortality and temperature data across the world from 2000 to 2019, a period when global temperatures rose by 0.26 degrees Celsius per decade, making it the hottest period since the Pre-Industrial era.
  • It is the first study to definitively link non-optimal temperatures to annual increases in mortality.
Key findings of the study
  • Deaths related to hot temperatures increased in all regions from 2000 to 2019 and global warming, due to climate change, will make this mortality figure worse in the future.
  • Global warming may “slightly reduce the number of temperature-related deaths, largely because of the lessening in cold-related mortality. However in the long-term climate change is expected to increase the mortality burden because heat-related mortality would be continuing to increase
Significance

Understanding the geographic patterns of temperature-related mortality is important for the international collaboration in developing policies and strategies in climate change mitigation and adaptation and health protection

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Women suffer more health-related misery than men

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Source: TOI

What is the news?

Recent findings of World Health Statistics report of 2021, indicating gender inequality in terms of quality of life of women as compared to men.

Key findings

Gender inequality mars the quality of life as women age, in much of the world. Hostile social norms undo women’s bodily advantage – in gender-unequal countries, men’s healthy life expectancy is ahead of women’s.

  • While women tend to live longer than men, they suffer more health-related misery than men.
  • Apart from nutritional deficits and time poverty, women have less access to healthcare, with barriers of resources and mobility. They also face social trivializing and misdiagnosing of their conditions. Often their reproductive illnesses or cardiovascular problems are not attended to in full
  • Their health problems are often dismissed as ‘irrational’ feminine panic.
  • Medical injustice ranges from clinical trial skews to disparities in treatment. Chronic pain conditions that affect us, from fibromyalgia to osteoporosis are still under-diagnosed around the world.
  • Studies show that women wait longer in emergency rooms and are less likely to be given painkillers. Families, institutions, women themselves are trained to ignore their distress. This is worsened by factors like poverty and location.

Conclusion
This gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy is troubling, especially in countries like ours with minimal social security. For all too many women, longevity is clearly not a blessing.

Also read: Women and men in India report 2021
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Oxfam: 11 people die of hunger each minute around the globe

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Source: The Hindu

What is the news?

Findings of the Oxfam report: The Hunger Virus Multiplies

Key findings
  • Hunger is a greater threat: Death toll from famine outpaces that of COVID-19, which kills around seven people per minute. 11 people die of hunger each minute and that the number facing famine-like conditions around the globe has increased six times over the last year.
  • Food insecurity has increased: 155 million people around the world now live at crisis levels of food insecurity or worse (some 20 million more than last year).
    • Around two-thirds of them face hunger because their country is in military conflict.
  • Today, the never-ending conflict and the economic impact of COVID-19, and a worsening climate crisis, has pushed more than 520,000 people to the brink of starvation. 
  • Many countries mired in conflict have been included as the worst hunger hot spots” including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • Military spending has increased: Despite the pandemic, global military spending increased by $51 billion during the pandemic — an amount that exceeds by at least six times what the U.N. needs to stop hunger.
  • Global warming and the economic impact of the pandemic have caused a 40% increase in global food prices, the highest in over a decade. This surge has contributed significantly to pushing tens of millions more people into hunger.

Note: As an aspiring administrator, your views about any topic should always be backed by evidence i.e. data. Hence, you can use these points in your GS and Essay papers. Even at the interview stage, such data-backed responses will fetch you more marks.

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , , , ,

Deaths by exposure to hazardous chemicals increased 29% between 2016 and 2019: WHO

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Source: Down To Earth

What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO) has released estimates on the Impact of hazardous chemicals on Public Health.

Key Findings:

Deaths due to Hazardous Chemicals Exposure:
  • Deaths due to exposure to hazardous chemicals worldwide have increased by 29% in 2019 from what they were in 2016.
    • Two million people died due to exposure to hazardous chemicals in 2019, compared to 1.56 million in 2016.
  • Around 4,270 and 5,400 people died every day due to unintentional exposure to chemicals.
  • Children and young adults are particularly affected by unintentional poisoning from hazardous chemicals.

Lead Exposure:

  • Lead is primarily used in paints for various reasons, including enhancing the color, reducing corrosion and decreasing the drying time.
  • Lead exposure causes cardiovascular diseases(CVD), chronic kidney diseases, and idiopathic intellectual disability.
  • Further, Lead is responsible for nearly 45% or close to half of deaths caused due to hazardous chemicals in 2019.
  • Over 0.9 million people died from exposure to lead. Of these, close to 9 out of every 10 persons died from CVD due to lead exposure.
    • The deaths due to lead exposure have increased by a disturbing 67% since 2016.

Note: In 2020, UNICEF in its report “The Toxic Truth” had raised concerns on the impact of lead pollution on the health of children. According to the report, at least 1 in 3 children — up to approximately 800 million globally — have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per decilitre(µg/dL).

Deaths due to other Hazardous Chemicals:
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) from exposure to occupational particulates including dust, fumes, and gas has claimed over 0.5 million lives.
  • Over 3.5 million died from cancers due to occupational exposure to carcinogenic chemicals like arsenic, asbestos, and benzene.
Disability-adjusted life-years lost too
  • In 2019, 53 million disability-adjusted life-years were lost due to Hazardous chemicals’ exposure. This is an increase of over 19% since 2016.
    • The disability-adjusted life year(DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability, or early death.
  • In 2019, 21.6 million disability-adjusted life-years were lost due to lead exposure. This is an increase by over 56% since 2016.

Steps to be taken by World and India:

  • India must bring a comprehensive law to regulate chemical use, production, and safety. However, India’s national chemical policy has been pending since 2012.
  • Moreover, the world is lagging behind in controlling lead use. Just 41% of countries including India have legally binding controls on the production, import, sale, and use of lead paints.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

COVID-19 unemployment: Make agri-food systems equitable for youth, says UN report

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Source: Down To Earth

 What is the News?

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has released a report titled “Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems”.

Key Findings of the Report:
  • COVID-19 has affected labour markets around the world. This has impacted the employment prospects for the youth more than those belonging to other age groups.
    • Globally, employment among the youth fell 8.7% in 2020 compared with 3.7% for adults.
  • However, promoting the employment of young people in food systems can reduce unemployment and also secure the future of global food security and nutrition.
Recommendations given by the Report:

The report has provided several suggestions to promote the engagement and employment of young people in food systems. These include:

  • Providing an enabling environment for youth as agents of change
  • Securing dignified and rewarding livelihoods
  • Increasing equity and rights to resources to the youth to access, conserve and protect land, seeds and biodiversity, fisheries, and forests.
  • Ensuring recognition of their legitimate tenure rights
  • Enhancing knowledge, education, and skills
  • Fostering sustainable innovation
About Committee on World Food Security(CFS):
  • CFS was established in 1974. It is an international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work to ensure food security and nutrition for all.
  • Reports to: The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC) and to the FAO Conference.
  • Secretariat: It has a permanent Secretariat. It is located in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy,
  • Funding: It receives its core funding equally from The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and The World Food Programme (WFP).
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

The Pew study’s glazed picture of our religious tolerance

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Source: Livemint

What is the News?

Pew Research Center, a non-profit based in Washington DC has released the results of the survey titled ‘Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation’. The survey takes a closer look at religious identity, nationalism, and tolerance in Indian society.

Key Findings of the Survey:

Religious Tolerance and Segregation:

  • Most Indians across all religions feel they enjoy religious freedom, value religious tolerance, and regard respect for all religions as central to what India is as a nation.
  • However, the majority of Indians prefer friendships and peer groups to be largely restricted to their own religious and/or caste groups.
    • For instance, one in three Hindus did not want a Muslim as a neighbor.
  • Further, the majority of Hindus, predominantly from North India—linked the idea of being a ‘true Indian’ with being Hindu and speaking Hindi.
Inter-Caste and Inter-Religious Marriage:
  • The majority of Indians prefer to marry within their own castes/religion and prefer their parents to ‘arrange’ their marriages.
  • However, people opposed to inter-caste marriage are a minority in the south.
Significance of the Survey:
  • Divided Society: The survey clearly shows how divided Indian society is and how central religion is to the average Indian: Hindu, Muslim, Sikh.
  • Meaning of Tolerant: The survey has shown what exactly Indians mean when they say they are ‘tolerant’.
    • Being tolerant comes with a caveat: it is clearly limited to each group living segregated lives and within their agreed lines. Transgression of these supposedly ‘agreed lines’ can and often do result in violence.
  • Patriarchal Society: The idea that women cannot marry out of their religion or caste community is something that a majority of those surveyed prefer.
    • Decades-old Indian feminist research on marriage and women has also shown how almost all religions foster patriarchal set-ups under which women are viewed as property.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

The rise in inequality of opportunity in India

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Source: Live mint

What is the News?

A World Bank study has found that children of under-educated parents in India find it much more difficult to rise up the educational and income ladder. The situation is better in other large developing countries(China, Brazil, Indonesia, Egypt, and Nigeria).

Key Findings of the Study:

 Privileged Learners:

  • In normal years without any school closures, children from affluent and better-educated families learn much more than those from poorer families.
  • Furthermore, the pandemic-induced school lockdown threatens to widen these fault lines even further. Children in poorer and under-educated families are falling far behind peers.
    • The length of school closures in India was among the highest in the world.
  • It is being estimated that around 300 million children across India have been affected due to school closures. Further, those without access to smartphones or a family member to help them with their lessons have been hit the hardest.
Caste Gap:
  • In a socially stratified society such as India, differences in class tend to reflect differences in caste, and educational outcomes reflect this reality.
  • Most college-educated Indians belong to privileged castes and tend to be the sons or daughters of college-educated parents.
  • This also means that many students from marginalized caste groups tend to be first-generation learners who struggle even in a physical classroom environment.
  • Hence, with limited access to smartphones and computers, their struggle is much greater in the current digitized learning environment.

Job Segregation:

  • Differences in educational attainments can widen job market inequalities. ‘Meritorious’ children from privileged castes and social backgrounds are gaining better-paying jobs.
  • Decent salaried jobs are rare for scheduled castes (SCs) and tribes (STs).
  • Moreover, the pandemic’s role in widening wealth inequality received a fair amount of attention due to the soaring stock prices of a few multi-billionaires firms.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC

Pandemic increased vulnerability to human trafficking: U.S. report

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Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

The U.S State Department has released the Trafficking in Persons report.

About Trafficking in Persons report:

  • Trafficking in Persons is an annual report released by the U.S State Department since 2001.

Ranking: The report ranks countries in tiers based on their compliance with the minimum standard for eliminating human trafficking:

  • Tier 1: It includes governments that wholly meet the minimum standards.
  • Tier 2: It includes governments that do not meet the requirements but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.
  • Tier 2 watchlist: It includes countries where the number of victims of trafficking is increasing and they fail to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking.
  • Tier 3: These are countries that do not fully meet minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. Being ranked in this tier means countries may be subject to certain restrictions on foreign assistance.
Key Takeaways:

Tier 3 Countries:

  • Twelve countries were found to have a policy or pattern of human trafficking, resulting in these countries being assigned a ‘Tier 3’ rating.
  • These 12 countries are Afghanistan, Burma, China, Cuba, Eritrea, North Korea, Iran, Russia, South Sudan, Syria, and Turkmenistan.

Report on India:

  • India was put under the Tier 2 category. The report said that India did not meet the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, but was making significant efforts.

Positives for India: India has taken steps such as:

  • Allocated funding for the strengthening of Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) around the country, including establishing women help desks in 10,000 police stations across the country.
  • Identifying more victims of Human trafficking and prosecuting more cases.
  • Indian courts expanded the use of video testimony for trafficking victims during the pandemic.

Negatives for India:

  • Poor success rate in convictions in human trafficking cases. The acquittal rate for traffickers in India remained high at 73%.
  • Inadequate steps, especially against bonded labor.
  • Efforts to audit government-run or -funded shelters remained inadequate.
  • Many victims waited years to receive central-government-mandated compensation.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLIC

Education Minister releases Report on United District Information System for Education Plus(UDISE+) 2019-20

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Source: PIB, The Hindu

What is the News?

The Union Education Minister has released the report on United Information System for Education Plus(UDISE+) 2019-20 for School Education in India.

About UDISE:
  • Unified District Information on School Education(UDISE) is one of the largest Management Information Systems on school education.
  • UDISE was initiated in 2012-13 by the Ministry of Education by integrating DISE for elementary education and SEMIS for secondary education.
  • Purpose: It helps measure the education parameters from classes 1 to 12 in government and private schools across India.
  • UDISE+ is an updated and improved version of UDISE. It was developed in the year 2018-19 to speed up data entry, reduce errors, improve data quality and ease its verification.
  • The present publication relates to the data for the reference year 2019-20.
Key Findings of the Report:

Enrollment in Schools:

  • Gross Enrolment Ratio at all levels of school education has improved in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19.
    • The GER is at 98% for students of Classes 1-8. For secondary and senior secondary students, GER stood at 78% and 51% respectively.
  • Pupil-Teacher Ratio(PTR) has also improved at all levels of school education.
  • The enrolment of girls increased at all levels of school education in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19. The increase was highest in the pre-primary level.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2019-20, the Gender Parity Index (GPI) at both Secondary and Higher Secondary levels have also improved.
Facilities in Schools:
  • More than 80% of schools in India in 2019-20 had functional electricity. This is an improvement of more than 6% over the previous year 2018-19.
  • The number of schools having functional computers increased to 5.2 lakh in 2019-20 from 4.7 lakh in 2018-19.
  • The number of schools having internet facilities increased to 3.36 lakh in 2019-20 from 2.9 lakh in 2018-19.
  • More than 90% of schools in India had hand wash facilities in 2019-20. This is a major improvement as this percentage was only 36.3% in 2012-13.
  • More than 83% of schools had electricity in 2019-20, an improvement of almost 7% over the previous year, 2018-19. In 2012-13, about 54.6% of schools had electricity.
  • More than 82% of schools conducted medical check-ups of students in 2019-20, an increase of more than 4% compared to the previous year 2018-19.
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC

World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP)

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Source: 
Livemint

Syllabus:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources

Synopsis: The World Bank releases a Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report twice a year. It is the most important source for evaluating the current and future outlook for emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). The recently released edition is significant because of the warnings it contains. 

Key findings of the recent Global Economic Prospects report: 

  • The world economy is recovering from the pandemic. While the advanced economies (with successful or rapidly progressing covid vaccination programmes) appear to return to or even exceed their earlier growth rates.  
  • Emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) prospects are more mixed. 
    • The strongest-looking emerging-market region is East Asia and the Pacific followed by South Asia.  
  • The huge global disparity in vaccine access means that poorer countries are likely to face more waves of the coronavirus and its variants in the coming months and years. 
  • Inflation: If inflation in advanced economies persists, central banks may be compelled to tighten monetary policy. That could lead to higher capital inflows for advanced economies and the depreciation of EMDE currencies. 
  • The report shows that one big stumbling block to faster growth and progress for EMDEs is the high cost of a trade. Tariffs account for only one-fourteenth of the total cost of trade, with logistics, transport, bureaucracy and corruption making up the rest. As a result, a good sold to another country costs on average double what it does domestically. 

Key findings of the Global Economic Prospects related to India: 

  • The World Bank estimates that covid will cause the number of people living in poverty to increase by 143-163 million in 2021. More than half of the newly poor in South Asia, mainly in India 
  • The problem with India is not its economic fundamentals, which are strong, but the fact that poor management of its economy, and the pandemic means “confidence remains depressed, and balance sheets damaged.  
Read more World Bank 
Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Global Trends Report on Forced Displacements Released by UNHCR

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What is the News? The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has released the Global Trends Report on Forced Displacements.

About Global Trends Report:
  • The Global Trends Report is an annual report. UNHCR publishes this report.
  • Purpose: The report counts and tracks the numbers of refugees, internally displaced people. It also tracks people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin, asylum-seekers, stateless people, and other populations of concern.
Key Takeaways from the Report:
  • Around 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced, by the end of 2020. Reasons behind that were, persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, and events seriously disturbing public order.
    • This is a 4% increase in forcibly displaced people when compared to 2019.
  • Countries: More than two-thirds of all people who fled abroad came from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.
  • Turkey is hosting the largest refugee population worldwide for the seventh year in a row, It was followed by Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda, and Germany.
  • Climate Change: Climate change is also driving displacement and increasing the vulnerability of those already forced to flee.
  • Demographics: Children are particularly affected during displacement crises, especially if their displacement drags on for many years. They account for 30% of the world’s population, but an estimated 42% of all forcibly displaced people.
  • Covid-19: As of May 2021, more than 165 million people worldwide have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since the first case was recorded in December 2019. People who have been forcibly displaced have been among the hardest-hit groups among them.

Source: UNHCR

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

“Global Peace Index 2021” Released

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What is the News? The 15th edition of Global Peace Index 2021 has been released.

About Global Peace Index:
  • The Global Peace Index is released by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), an international think tank.
  • Aim: The index presents the most comprehensive analysis of trends in peace. It ranks countries according to their levels of peacefulness and identifies potential determinants of peace.
  • Coverage: The index measures the peacefulness of 163 countries and territories. It covers 99.7% of the world’s population.
  • Parameters: The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources. These indicators are grouped into three key domains:
    • ongoing conflict
    • safety and security and
    • militarization

Read Also :-Afghan Peace Process and India

Key Takeaways from the index:
  • Iceland has topped the peace index. It was followed by New Zealand, Denmark, and Portugal.
    • Out of the 10 most peaceful countries in the world, 8 are from Europe.
  • Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Only three out of nine regions in the world improved in the peace index. The largest improvement took place in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2020 was $14.96 trillion in purchasing power parity(PPP) terms. It is equivalent to 11.6% of the world’s economic activity.
  • There was an increase in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP for the second straight year. This indicator has deteriorated in 105 countries.
  • Moreover, the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07% in the Index. This is the ninth time in the last 13 years that global peacefulness has deteriorated.

India:

  • India has been ranked 135th in the 2021 Global Peace Index.
  • Bhutan and Nepal are the first and second most peaceful in the South Asia region. India is the 5th most peaceful country in this region.
  • Bangladesh was 91st out of 163 countries across the world, while it was at 3rd place in South Asia.
  • Pakistan witnessed the most improvement in peacefulness, with 150th rank globally and 6th in the South Asia region.

Source: AIR

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , , ,

Summary of State of Environment Report 2021 – Explained, Pointwise

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Introduction

The Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) has released its annual State of Environment Report, 2021. This year’s assessment has been made against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report highlights the dismal state of the environment in India wherein the country is jeopardising its natural wealth for meeting its economic objectives. 

It also throws light on the impact of Covid-19 over India, which may create a pandemic generation in future who would possess poor health and education levels.

The report is a reminder for humans to stop indiscriminate usage of the environment. As the Environment has increased, the progression towards sixth mass extinction. The focus should now be on developing eco-friendly products and living harmoniously with nature in order to attain sustainable development. 

About State of Environment Report
  • It is an annual publication by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) along with Down To Earth.
  • It covers aspects such as forests, wildlife, agriculture, rural development, water and sanitation, and climate change. 
  • This publication is regarded as the most credible and complete annual survey of India’s environment.
About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
  • CSE is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. 
  • It researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable. 
  • It creates awareness about problems and proposes sustainable solutions. For instance, it exposed the high level of pesticides present in American brands of soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi.
  • In 2018 the CSE was awarded Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development
Key Findings of the State of Environment Report 2021
  • Biodiversity and forests:
    • Environmental crime cases are increasing and the disposal of the cases is slow. In 2019, 34,671 crimes were registered and 49,877 cases are pending trial. To clear the backlog in a year, courts need to dispose of 137 cases a day.
    • Forestland diversion is continuing consistently. In 2019, over 11,000 hectares were diverted in 22 states. Eight coal projects were granted clearance in ‘No-Go’ areas.
    • More than 160 species have gone extinct over the last decade (2009-2019).
  • Sustainable Development Goals:
    • India ranks 117 among 192 nations in terms of sustainable development. Its rank was 115 in the 2020 report. 
    • Five best performing states in achieving SDGs: Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana
    • Five worst-performing states in achieving SDGs: Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pollution Levels:
    • India’s air, water, and land have become more polluted between 2009 and 2018.
    • Tarapur in Maharashtra has emerged as the most polluted cluster.
    • In 2019, 1.67 million Indians died due to air pollution. Its economic cost was over $36,000 million, which is equivalent to 1.36 percent of India’s GDP.
    • Both the surface and groundwater in the country are under threat, with 86% of the water bodies critically polluted.
  • Rural India:
    • Community health centres in rural India need 76 percent more doctors, 56 percent more radiographers and 35 percent more lab technicians.
  • Climate Change:
    • India recorded 12 of its 15 warmest years in the period between 2006 and 2020. Further, India also had its warmest decade on record. 
    • Extreme weather events continued their rampage across the country. India was the fourth-worst hit in the world in terms of internal displacements due to disasters.
    • Between 2008 and 2020, some 3.73 million people per year were displaced because of floods, earthquakes, cyclones and droughts. 
  • Pandemic related:
    • The world is going to face a pandemic like the current one more frequently, as we know just 0.1 per cent of potential zoonoses. These are diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. Ex – Bird Flu, Anthrax, Ebola etc.
    • The country is all set to host a ‘pandemic generation’. 375 million children (from newborn to 14-year-olds) will have a long-lasting impact ranging from being underweight, stunting, and increased child mortality.
    • Out of the 500 million children forced out of school globally, India accounts for more than 50%.
    • Covid-19 has also turned the world’s poor into poorer. 115 million additional people might get pushed into extreme poverty.
Analysing the Key Findings of State of Environment Report 2021

First, the data shows that humans possess a minuscule level of information to tackle future pandemics. The world remains ignorant of 99.9 percent of potential zoonotic viruses.

Second, the nations would be left with poor human capital in the future if immediate steps towards sustainable development are not taken. 

The report said that malnutrition and hunger levels could rise with more pandemic events in the future. This would reduce the potential of human capital.

Third, humans have been increasingly exploiting the environment, as observed by rising air and water pollution levels.

A reduction in intervention would allow natural healing of the environment, as seen by the appearance of the “clean air and blue sky” during the country-wide lockdown.

Fourth, India is performing poorly in the attainment of SDG goals in comparison to its peers. It is behind all South Asian nations except Pakistan.

Challenges such as hunger, low food security, achieving gender equality, fostering innovation are the reasons why India’s rank slipped in 2021.

Fifth, the loss of species and biodiversity shows a progression towards the Sixth Mass Extinction (Holocene extinction).

As per the report, before an extinction phase sets in, there are two signs: Loss in population and shrinking distribution areas. These two signs are evident among all species currently.

Suggestions from the State of Environment Report 2021
  1. The government must undo its 2020 policy decisions that effectively diluted India’s environmental regulation regimes. 
    • For instance, the draft Environment Impact Assessment notification 2020 was an extremely lenient version of its predecessor.
  2. The focus should be on tackling the pandemic without jeopardising the environment.
    • For instance, the rise in plastic waste due to the higher usage of masks and PPE kits can be tackled with innovative solutions. 
    • Dr Binesh Desai’s model of Eco Bricks should be adopted in constructing buildings and hospitals. (Around 52% of the Eco brick is made from plastic.)
  3. There should be timely completion of targets aimed at countering climate change and achieving Sustainable Development goals. This demands timely devolution of funds and resources to the respective departments. For example, 
    • With just 55 percent of the target met, India is nowhere close to installing 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022
    • The country also has a target of setting up at least 50 solar parks by 2021-22. However, not even one park has been operationalised till now.
  4. The expenditure on health and environmental research should be enhanced. This will help in finding out eco-friendly methods of production and develop greater resilience against future pandemics. 
Conclusion

The State of Environment Report is a reminder of the progressive worsening of the environment due to human actions. It calls for resetting our relationship with nature in such a way that it leads to sustainable development. India should now switch from a reactive to a proactive approach in order to mitigate and develop greater resilience against the upcoming environmental changes.

 

Posted in 7 PM, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“World Competitiveness Index 2021”: India maintained 43rd position

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What is the news?

World Competitiveness Index 2021 has been released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD).

About World Competitiveness Index

  • The World Competitiveness Index is an annual report published since 1989.
  • Released by: The index is released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD).
  • Aim: The index ranks 64 economies. It assesses the extent to which a country promotes the prosperity of its people by measuring economic well-being through data and survey responses.
  • Parameters: The index measures the prosperity and competitiveness of countries by examining four factors:
    • Economic performance
    • Government efficiency
    • Business efficiency
    • Infrastructure
Key Findings of World Competitiveness Index 2021:
  • Top Rankings: Switzerland has topped the index. It was followed by Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Singapore.
  • Asia: The top-performing Asian economies in order are: Singapore (5th), Hong Kong (7th), Taiwan (8th) and China (16th).
  • The UAE and the USA remain in the same spots as last year (9th and 10th, respectively)
Key Findings Related to India:
  • India’s Ranking: India has maintained the 43rd rank in the world competitiveness index 2021.
    • In 2020, India was ranked 43rd on the index.
  • Comparison with BRICS Countries: Among BRICS countries, India was ranked second (43rd) after China (16th), followed by Russia (45th), Brazil (57th) and South Africa (62nd).
  • Performance of India:
    • Among the four factors, India made significant improvements in government efficiency this year. These improvements are due to the following reasons:
      • Relatively stable public finances (despite difficulties brought by the pandemic, in 2020 the government deficit stayed at 7 per cent) and
      • Positive feedbacks registered among Indian business executives with respect to the support and subsidies provided by the government to the private companies
    • But India’s performance in other parameters such as economic performance, business efficiency and infrastructure remained the same.
  • Strengths of India: India’s strengths lie in investments in telecoms (1st), mobile telephone costs (1st), ICT services exports (3rd), remuneration in services professions (4th) and terms of trade index (5th).
  • Weaknesses of India: India’s weakness lies in the broadband subscribers (64th), exposure to particulate pollution (64th), human development index (64th), GDP per capita (63rd) and foreign currency reserves per capita (62nd).
Also read: World Ease of Doing Business Report
Qualities of higher-ranked countries

The report finds that

  • Qualities such as investment in innovation, digitalization, welfare benefits and leadership, resulting in social cohesion, have helped countries to perform better. Thus ranked higher in competitiveness.
  • Top-performing economies are characterized by varying degrees of investment in innovation, diversified economic activities, and supportive public policy.
  • Competitive economies succeeded in transitioning to a remote work routine while also allowing remote learning. Addressing unemployment has been fundamental

Source: Business Standard

Read Also :-Highlights of 43rd GST Council Meeting

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Great Power Summit Held Between US and Russian President

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What is the News?

U.S President and Russian President have concluded their Great Power summit meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Discussions during the summit:
  • Return of Ambassadors: The US and Russia will return their Ambassadors to their posts in a bid to lower tensions.
    • Russia’s Ambassador to the US was recalled when the US President described the Russian President as a killer.
  • Nuclear Arms Control: The two countries have agreed to begin negotiations on nuclear talks. It is to potentially replace the New START treaty after it expires in 2026.
  • Prisoners Swap: The countries discussed a potential prisoner swap. But no agreement was reached.
  • Cyber Attacks: Russia has denied the accusations of cyberattacks from Russia on US critical infrastructure. He instead blamed that most cyber-attacks in Russia originated from the US.
  • Human Rights: The US has called out Russia on Human Rights issues. The US raised the issue of jailed opposition leaders in Russia and about his condition.
About New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty):
  • New START Treaty is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. It was signed in 2010.
    • The treaty had replaced the 1991 START I treaty which expired in 2009.
  • Purpose: The treaty limits the US and Russia to possess a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, well below Cold War caps.
  • Duration of the Treaty: The duration of the treaty is ten years and can be extended for a period of no more than five years at a time.
    • The treaty was to expire in 2021. But it has been extended for five more years, i.e till February 2026.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

UNESCO Science Report Finds India’s investment in Research Unsatisfactory

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What is the News? The UNESCO Science Report(USR) has been released.

About UNESCO Science Report(USR):
  • UNESCO Science Report is a global monitoring report. It is published every five years by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization(UNESCO).
  • Objective: The report monitors trends in science governance worldwide to identify which development path countries are following.
  • Latest Report: The latest edition was published with the title ‘The race against time for smarter development’. The report has an exclusive chapter on India.
UNESCO Science Report(USR) on India:

 India’s Investment in Research:

  • India’s investment in research and development(R&D) remains unsatisfactory.
  • The gross domestic expenditure on research(GERD) has been stagnant at 0.7% of the GDP for years. However, in absolute terms, the research expenditure has increased.
  • India also has one of the lowest GERD/GDP ratios among the BRICS nations.
  • Target: The Science and Technology Policy of 2003 fixed the threshold of devoting 2% of GDP to research and development (R&D) by 2007.
    • However, the target has not been achieved and is being extended again and again.
Density of Scientists and Engineers:
  • In 1990, the density of scientists/engineers engaged in R&D in India per 10,000 of the labour force stood at 10.
  • This has now marginally increased to just 11 in 2018. This is too low when compared to 50 in China, 130 in Japan, and 180 in South Korea.
R&D by Government and Private Sector:
  • Research and Development(R&D) in the government sector has been declining steadily since 2015.
  • On the other hand, the share of private business enterprises in R&D has increased to 42%.
  • Moreover, investment in R&D by foreign multinationals is on the rise. Ir accounts for as much as 16% of private-sector investment in R&D in 2019.
Scientific Publications:
  • There has been an increase in scientific publications by Indian researchers on cutting-edge technologies. Total publications have risen from 80,458 in 2011 to 1.61 lakh in 2019.
  • However, patenting by domestic corporations, research institutes, universities, and individuals remain low in India.
Recommendations:
  • The report underscores the need for ‘policy bridges’ for developing a more effective interaction between foreign and local research firms.
  • The report has also called for improved linkages between the start-up ecosystem and manufacturers. It will push technological development in sectors where India enjoys a global presence.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

All India Survey on Higher Education(AISHE) 2019-20

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What is the News?

Ministry of Education has released the report of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20.

About AISHE Report 2019-20:
  • The AISHE Report provides key performance indicators on the current status of Higher education in the country.
  • First Report: The report was initiated in the year 2011. This is the 10th in the series of AISHE reports released annually by the Department of Higher Education.

Key Findings of the Report:

 Highest Number of Colleges:
  • The top 8 States in terms of the highest number of colleges in India are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

 Total Student Enrollment:

  • During the last five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, there has been a growth of 11.4% in student enrolment.
  • Total enrollment in higher education has been estimated to be 38.5 million, with 19.6 million boys and 18.9 million females. Females constitute 49% of the total enrolment.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest student enrolment in India. It has 49.1% male and 50.9% female students. It is followed by Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Gross Enrolment Ratio:
  • The Gross Enrollment Ratio(GER) has increased by a minuscule 0.8% in 2019-20.
    • Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) is the percentage of students enrolled in Higher Education from the eligible age group population.
    • In India, GER for higher education is calculated for the age group of 18-23.
  • GER in higher education in 2019-20 was 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015.
Enrolment of Girls:
  • There has been an overall increase of over 18% in female enrolment in higher education from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
  • However, the share of girl students is lowest in institutes of national importance. Also, female participation in professional courses is lower in comparison to academic courses.

Read Also :-Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2020 

Gender Parity Index:

  • Gender Parity Index(GPI) in Higher Education improved a bit. In 2019-20, it was 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19. This indicates an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females.

 Teacher Pupil Ratio:

  • Total Number of Teachers stands at 15 lakh comprising 57.5% male and 42.5% female.
  • The Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26.
Attractive Disciplines:
  • Nearly 85% of the students (2.85 crores) were enrolled in the six major disciplines such as Humanities, Science, Commerce, Engineering & Technology, Medical Science, and IT & Computers.
Foreign Students:
  • The highest share of foreign students comes from the neighboring countries, of which Nepal is 28.1% of the total. It was followed by Afghanistan 9.1%, Bangladesh 4.6%, Bhutan 3.8%, and Sudan 3.6%.

Read Also :-Higher Education in India: An Analysis

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

“G7 summit” takes place in the UK: Indian PM will participate virtually

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What is the News?

Indian Prime Minister will participate in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit in virtual format.

What is G7?
  • The G7 (Group of Seven) is an organisation of the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies. They are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States.
    • The European Union is also represented within the G7.
    • Russia joined the Group in 1998 creating the G8 but was excluded in 2014 for its takeover of Crimea.
  • The group meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
  • The group does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
Why is the G7 summit in the UK?
  • The UK is holding the G7 presidency for 2021, so this is where the summit is taking place.
  • Guest Countries: India along with Australia, the Republic of Korea and South Africa are guest countries for the Summit.
  • Theme: The theme for the summit is ‘Build Back Better’
  • Priority Areas: The UK has outlined four priority areas for its summit. These are
    • Leading the global recovery from coronavirus while Restrengthening resilience against future pandemics;
    • Promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade;
    • Tackling climate change and preserving the planet’s biodiversity; and
    • Championing shared values and open societies.
Is India attending it for the first time?
  • Since 2014, this is the second time Indian PM will be participating in a G7 meeting.
  • India had been invited by the G7 French Presidency in 2019 to the Biarritz Summit as a “Goodwill Partner”.
  • During the earlier Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s rule, India attended the G8 summit five times.

Read Also :-“G7 Foreign Ministers Summit” Held

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

NITI Aayog releases “Fast Tracking Freight in India” Report

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute(RMI) has released a report titled “Fast Tracking Freight in India: A Roadmap for Clean and Cost-Effective Goods Transport”.

Objectives of the Fast Tracking Freight in India Report:
  • Establish a coherent vision for a cost-effective, clean, and optimised freight transport system in India.
  • Quantify the economic, environmental, and public health benefits of the freight system.
  • Describe techno-economically feasible solutions that would collectively deliver those benefits.
India’s Logistics Sector:
  • Currently, India’s logistics sector represents 5% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sector employs around 2.2 crore people.
  • India handles 6 billion tonnes of goods each year, amounting to a total annual cost of INR 9.5 lakh crore.
  • These goods represent a variety of domestic industries and products:
    • 22% are agricultural goods,
    • 39% are mining products and
    • 39% are manufacturing-related commodities.
  • Trucks and other vehicles handle most of the movement of these goods. Railways, coastal and inland waterways, pipelines, and airways account for the rest.

Read Also :-Important Articles for Interview – 2020-21

Measures need to accommodate more urban citizens:
  • India’s freight activity will grow five-fold by 2050 and about 400 million citizens move to cities. So, a whole system transformation can help uplift the freight sector.
  • This transformation will be defined by tapping into opportunities such as:
    • Increasing share of rail-based transport
    • Optimisation of logistics and supply chains.
    • Shift to electric and other clean-fuel vehicles.
  • These solutions can help India save Rs. 311 lakh crore cumulatively over the next three decades
Other measures recommended by the Fast Tracking Freight in India Report:

The Logistic sector can reduce its rising CO2 emissions and high logistic costs by following measures:

  • Increasing the rail network’s capacity
  • Promoting intermodal transport
  • Improving warehousing and trucking practices
  • Policy measures and pilot projects for clean technology adoption and
  • Stricter fuel economy standards.

Benefits of these measures: These measures will lead to the following benefits:

  • Reduces the logistics cost by 4% of GDP
  • Achieves 10 gigatonnes of cumulative CO2 emissions savings between 2020 and 2050
  • Reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions by 35% and 28%, respectively until 2050.

Read Also :-Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“Child Labour: Global estimates 2020” report released by ILO

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What is the news?

“Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward” report has been released by International Labour Organization and UNICEF.

What is Child labour?

As per ILO,

Child labour is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development.

It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children. Or the work schedule that interferes with their ability to attend regular school or work that affects in any manner their ability to focus during school or experience healthy childhood.

What is not Child labour?

Children or adolescents who participate in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling is not child labour. Such work includes activities such as helping their parents at home, assisting family or earning pocket money outside school hours and on holidays.

Key Findings of the Child Labour: Global estimates 2020 report

Overall gist: The report warns that progress to end child labour has stalled for the first time in 20 years. It has reversed the previous downward trend that saw it fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016.

  • The number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years.
  • Covid-19 Impact: Globally, 9 million additional children are at risk of being pushed into child labour by the end of 2022 as a result of the pandemic.
  • Sectors: The agriculture sector accounts for 70% of children in child labor (112 million) followed by 20% in services (31.4 million) and 10% in industry (16.5 million).
  • Age Group: Nearly 28% of children aged 5 to 11 years and 35% of children aged 12 to 14 years in child labour are out of school.
  • Gender: Child labor is more prevalent among boys than girls at every age. But the gap narrows when household chores performed for at least 21 hours per week are taken into account.
  • Rural vs Urban: The prevalence of child labor in rural areas (14%) is close to three times higher than in urban areas (5%).
Also read: World day against Child labour
Recommendations of Child Labour: Global estimates 2020 report
  • Adequate social protection for all, including universal child benefits.
  • Increased spending on quality education and getting all children back into school – including children who were out of school before COVID-19.
  • Promotion of decent work for adults, so families don’t have to resort to children helping to generate family income.
  • An end to harmful gender norms and discrimination that influence child labor.
  • Investment in child protection systems, agricultural development, rural public services, infrastructure and livelihoods.
Child labour in India
  • As per Census 2011, the total child population in India in the age group 5-14 years is 259.6 million.
  • Among them, over 10 million (4% of total child population) are working either as ‘main worker’ or ‘marginal worker’.
  • The Census data indicates the decreased incidence of child labour in India by 2.6 million between 2001 and 2011.
  • Moreover, there is a greater decline in rural than in urban areas. This is because an increase in rural-to-urban migration is driving demand for child workers in urban areas.

Source: India Today

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

World Bank’s “Global Economic Prospects Report” predicts India’s growth as 8.3%

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What is the News?

The World Bank has released the Global Economic Prospects Report.

About the Global Economic Prospects Report:
  • Global Economic Prospects is a World Bank Group flagship report. It is issued twice a year, in January and June.
  • Aim: To examine global economic developments and prospects with a special focus on emerging markets and developing economies.
Key Findings of Global Economic Prospects Report related to India:
  • The World Bank has reduced its growth forecast for India for the 2021-’22 financial year to 8.3% from 10.1% estimated in April.
    • Reason: It has attributed it to the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that slowed down the economic revival in early 2021.
  • Moreover, the report has said that the economic activity in India would likely follow a similar but less pronounced ‘collapse and recovery’ trend seen during the first wave.
Key Global Findings of Global Economic Prospects Report:
  • The global economy is expected to expand 5.6% in 2021. This is the fastest post-recession pace in 80 years, largely due to strong rebounds from a few major economies.
  • However, many emerging markets and developing economies continue to struggle due to the following reasons,
    • A resurgence of COVID-19 cases,
    • Lagging vaccination progress
    • The withdrawal of policy support in some instances.
  • Among major economies, the growth of the US is projected to reach 6.8% this year. This is due to large-scale fiscal support and the easing of pandemic restrictions.
  • Among emerging markets and developing economies, China is anticipated to rebound to 8.5% this year, reflecting an increase in demand.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

“State of Environment Report” says “Farmer protests” increased fivefold since 2017

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What is the news?

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has released the State of Environment Report, 2021 in February recently. This article focuses upon the data related to farmer protests as mentioned in the report.

Report on Farmers Protests:
  • Farmers Protests in India have registered an almost five-fold increase since 2017.
    • In 2017, there were 34 major protests across 15 States. The number has now increased to 165 protests in 2020.
    • Among these, 12 are pan-India protests, including 11 against the three farm reform laws.
  • Reasons for Farm Protests:
    • Contentious Central farm laws
    • Procurement and agricultural market price-related failures
    • Protests against inadequate Budget allocations for the agricultural sector.
    • Battles against the acquisition of farmland for development projects
    • Loan Waivers or poor insurance coverage among others.
  • States: Numerous farmer protests have taken place in the States of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Read Also :-Prevalence of Bonded Labour in India

Other key Findings of State of Environment Report:

Farm Labourers:

India has more farm labourers than landowning farmers and cultivators.

  • This has been found in 52% of the country’s districts.
  • Among States, Bihar, Kerala and Puducherry have more farm labourers than farmers in all their districts.

Read Also :-Child Labour in India

Farmer’s Suicides:

  • Every day, over 28 farm labourers and cultivators commit suicide in our country.
  • In 2019, there were 5,957 farmer suicides along with an additional 4,324 farm labourers who died by suicide.
Suggestions from State of Environment Report:
  • The report has called for better maintenance of agricultural data. It said that 14 States had witnessed a deterioration in the quality of their land records.

Source: The Hindu

Supreme Court’s Directions for Welfare of Migrant Workers

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Govt launches “Performance Grading Index 2019-20”

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What is the news?

Performance Grading Index 2019-20, for States and Union Territories, has been released by the Education ministry.

What is the Performance Grading Index (PGI)?
  • Performance Grading Index (PGI) is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education in States and UTs. This includes key levers that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.
  • Released by: Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education.
  • Parameters: The index is structured in two categories namely: Outcomes and Governance & Management. These categories comprise a set of 70 indicators aggregate with a total weightage of 1000. These indicators are related to:
    • Learning outcomes
    • Access
    • Infrastructure and facilities
    • Equity and
    • Governance and management.
  • Data: The index is based on the data drawn from the Unified District Information System for Education, National Achievement Survey (conducted by NCERT in 2017), Mid-Day Meal, Public Financial Management System, and the Shagun portal — all maintained by the department of school education.
  • First Released in: The Index was first published in 2019 with the reference year 2017-18.

 Read Also :-Air Pollution in India

Key Findings of the Performance Grading Index 2019-20:
  • Punjab scored highest: Punjab has recorded the highest score in the index with a total of 929 out of 1,000. This is a huge improvement from 769 in 2020.
    • Punjab has overtaken Chandigarh which topped in the previous edition but has now dropped to 2nd place with a score of 912.
  • Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have all scored higher than 90% in the Index for 2019-20.
  • Gujarat drops from second to 8th place.
  • Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh also saw a severe drop in their scores. Thus pushing both States to an overall performance that was worse than in the previous edition of the index.
  • The new Union Territory of Ladakh was included separately for the first time in this edition and had the lowest score of just 545.
Significance of this Performance Grading Index:
  • Encourage states: The index would encourage states and UTs towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions leading to optimal education outcomes.
  • Identification of gaps: The index will help the states and UTs to pinpoint the gaps. Accordingly, they can prioritize areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

IEA releases “World Energy Investment Report 2021”

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What is the News?
The International Energy Agency(IEA) has released the World Energy Investment Report 2021.

About the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
  • The report presents the latest data and analysis of how energy investment flows are recovering from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes full-year outlook estimates for 2021. 
Key Findings of the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
  • Global energy investments are set to recover by nearly 10% in 2021 to $1.9 trillion reversing the decline in 2020.
    • However, the energy transition is moving more funds toward electricity and renewables and away from fossil fuels.
  • Power Sector: Global Power Sector which saw flat investments in 2020 is set to receive the highest ever funding i.e. up by about 5% to more than $820 billion. Among them, Renewables are forecast to account for 70% of the total.
  • Fossil Fuels: The technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS) are yet to attain commercial success. So, the investments in oil are expected to grow by about 10%.
  • Coal Sector: The approvals for coal-fired plants are some 80% below where they were five years ago. But coal is not out of the picture as there is a slight increase in coal-fired plants in 2020 driven by China and some other Asian economies.
  • The Energy efficiency sector will also see a substantial rise (10%) in investment. But the low fossil fuel price may act as a deterrent.
    • Energy Efficiency refers to a method of reducing energy consumption by using less energy to attain the same amount of useful output.
  • Increase in Emissions: The present scenarios will not deter the increase in carbon dioxide emission after the contraction in 2020. The Global emission is set to grow by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021.
  • Net Zero Plan: The commitments to the Net Zero plan is gaining momentum, but its transition to actual action is not visible.
    • Net-zero emission is the method of balancing the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by the greenhouse gas absorption from the atmosphere.
Suggestions provided by the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
  • Clean energy investment would need to double in the coming years to maintain temperatures well below a 2 °C rise. It needs to be more than triple in order to keep the door open for a 1.5 °C stabilisation.
  • A democratic decision-making process and de-corporatisation of the energy sector is the need of the future for the survival of civilization on this planet.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

ILO releases “World Employment and Social Outlook” report

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What is the News?

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released the annual World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 (WESO) report.

About the World Employment and Social Outlook report:
  • The report analyses key labour market issues including unemployment, labour underutilisation, working poverty, income inequality, labour income share and factors that exclude people from decent work.
  • It highlights how the COVID-19 crisis had worsened pre-existing inequalities by hitting vulnerable workers harder.
 Key Findings of the World Employment and Social Outlook report
  • COVID-induced job loss: Covid-19 induced jobs loss will reach 75 million in 2021, before falling to 23 million in 2022.
    • Further, people who have held onto their jobs have seen their working hours cut dramatically.
  • Global Unemployment: Unemployment is expected to stand at 205 million people in 2022. This far greater than the 187 million in 2019. This corresponds to an unemployment rate of 5.7%.
  • Poor quality of jobs: The quality of newly created jobs would likely deteriorate in developing and emerging economies.
  • Increase in Poverty: Compared to 2019, an additional 108 million workers worldwide are now categorized as poor or extremely poor. This means they and their families live on the equivalent of less than US$3.20 per person per day.
  • Women: Covid-19 crisis has hit women disproportionately. They have lost jobs at a greater rate than men. Moreover, additional domestic responsibilities for women from crisis lockdowns have created the risk of a “re-traditionalization” of gender roles.
  • Child Labour: The crisis has also appeared to reverse the decade of progress in battling child labour and forced labour.

The report cautions that in absence of any decisive action, COVID-crisis will impact the global labour market for the long term.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

NITI Aayog releases “SDG India Index 2020-21”

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog has released the SDG India Index 2020-21. It is the 3rd edition of SDG India Index.

Key Findings of the SDG India Index 2020-21:
  • India’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21.
    • This is due to improvement in providing facilities including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy among others.
  • Categories: Currently, there are no states in the aspirant and achiever category. Around 15 states/UTs are in the performer category and 22 states/UTs in the front runner category.
  • States:
    • Kerala has topped the index with a score of 75.
    • It was followed by Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with a score of 74.
    • Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst-performing states in the SDG India index.
  • UTs: Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the UTs with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68).
  • Top Gainers: Mizoram, Haryana and Uttarakhand are the top gainers in 2020-21 in terms of improvement in score from 2019.
About SDG India Index:
  • The SDG India Index was launched in 2018 by NITI Aayog. It was developed in collaboration with the United Nations.
  • Aim: As the States, progress will determine India’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The index aims to instil competition among States to improve their performance across social indices.
  • Indicators Covered: The third edition of the index covered 16 SDG Goals on 115 quantitative indicators.
    • In 2018, around 13 SDG goals with 62 indicators were covered.
How are states ranked & classified?
  • Scoring: A composite score for SDG Index is computed in the range of 0–100 for each State/UT based on its aggregate performance across 16 SDGs.
    • The higher the score of a State/UT, the closer it is towards achieving the 2030 national targets.
  • Classification: States/UTs are classified based on the SDG India Index Score as follows:
    • Aspirant: 0–49
    • Performer: 50–64
    • Front Runner: 65–99
    • Achiever: 100
Significance of the index:
  • The index tracks the progress of all states and UTs on 115 indicators aligned with the National Indicator Framework (NIF) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • It evaluates the progress of states and Union Territories(UTs) on various parameters including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change and environment.
  • The index helps in identifying crucial gaps related to tracking the SDGs and the need for India to develop its statistical systems.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Nearly 10,000 children in country need immediate care: NCPCR tells SC

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What is the News?

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) has informed the Supreme Court that nearly 10,000 children need immediate care and protection due to the impact of Covid-19.

 What was the case?
  • The Supreme Court of India has taken up a suo motu petition to examine ways to protect children. Especially those who have suffered personal loss and trauma due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • During the hearing, the Court had asked the states and Union Territories to upload data on the number of affected children since March 2020 on the ‘Bal Swaraj’ portal of NCPCR.
  • Moreover, the Court had also asked NCPCR to provide the statistics on the received information to the court.
What information did NCPCR provide to the Supreme Court?
  • Data: The NCPCR has informed the Court that a total of 1,742 children were orphaned, 140 abandoned and 7,464 children have lost one parent because of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020.
  • Age-Wise data: The children aged between eight and 13 form the highest age bracket who are in dire need of help.
  • States: Among States, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of children in need of protection. This was followed by Bihar and Kerala.
  • Concerns: These children if help is not provided then have a high risk of being pushed into trafficking and flesh trade.
About National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR):
  • NCPCR is a statutory body established in 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act (CPCR), 2005.
  • Nodal Ministry: It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
  • Mandate: To ensure all laws, policies, programmes, and administrative mechanisms are in accordance with the child rights perspective. As put forward in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
About Bal Swaraj Portal:
  • It was launched by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
  • Purpose: The portal has been created with a purpose for online tracking and digital real-time monitoring mechanism of children who are in need of care and protection.
  • Bal Swaraj Covid-Care: The Commission has extended the use of this portal for tracking children who have lost both their parents or either of the parents during COVID-19.
    • It has provided a link under the name of “COVID-Care” for uploading data of such children by the concerned department on the portal.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

“State of Finance for Nature Report” demands investment in “Nature-based solutions”

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What is the News?

The State of Finance for Nature Report has been released. The report recommended more investments in “Nature-based solutions”.

About State of Finance for Nature Report:
  • Released by: United Nations Environment Programme, World Economic Forum and the Economics of Land Degradation.
  • Purpose: The report tracks the global trends in public and private investment in nature-based solutions. By this, it aims to improve data quality and identify opportunities for governments, businesses and financiers.

Note: Nature-based solutions(NbS) refer to sustainable management and the use of nature to tackle socio-environmental challenges. These challenges range from disaster risk reduction, climate change and biodiversity loss to food and water security as well as human health.

Key Findings of the Report:
  • The current investments in Nature-based solutions amount to USD 133 billion. This is about 0.10% of global GDP. Public funds make up 86% and private finance makes up the remaining 14% of these investments.
  • Public Investment: The largest proportion of public investment is carried out by the United States, with approximately $36 billion a year in NbS spending. It is followed by China, Japan, Germany and Australia.
    • Countries such as Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia are likely spending large amounts of money too. But they do not report internationally comparable data, according to the report.
  • Private Investment: The private investment in Nature-based solutions is mostly contributed by
    • Commercial financial institutions,
    • Investors including insurance companies, asset management firms
    • Philanthropies including foundations and endowments.
Recommendations:
  • Firstly, the report calls for investments in nature-based solutions to triple by 2030 and to increase four-fold by 2050 from the current level.
    • By 2050, the total investment of nature needs will amount to $8.1 trillion, while annual investment should reach $536 billion annually by 2050.
  • Secondly, the report has called for a comprehensive system and framework for labelling, tracking, reporting and verifying the state of finance for NbS. This would improve data comparability and quality as an input to future decision-making.
  • Lastly, the report has recommended reforming taxes, repurposing agricultural policies and trade-related tariffs. It also recommended harnessing the potential of carbon markets to finance Nature-based solutions.

Source: Down To Earth

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“Climate Breakthroughs Summit” and “Race To Zero Campaign”

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What is the News?

The Climate Breakthroughs Summit is being held virtually.

About Climate Breakthroughs Summit:
  • Climate Breakthroughs Summit is a collaboration between the following. World Economic Forum, Mission Possible Partnership, United Nations Climate Champions and the United Kingdom Climate Change Conference (COP26) Presidency.
  • Aim: It aims to demonstrate progress in critical sectors of the global economy. This includes sectors such as steel, shipping, green hydrogen and nature. It also aims to discuss the breakthroughs needed to achieve a net-zero world in time.
Key highlights of the summit:
  • During the summit, the United Nations made a call for coordinated action to secure global net-zero emissions. UN also demands to fulfil the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050.
  • Moreover, Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping line and vessel operator, joined the Race to Zero campaign during the summit.
About Race To Zero Campaign:
  • Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery. As the recovery will prevent future threats, creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
  • Objective: The campaign is committed to halving its emissions by 2030. This is in line with achieving the long-term goal of full decarbonisation under the Paris Agreement, 2015.
  • Coalition Members: The campaign mobilises support of 708 cities, 24 regions, 2,360 businesses, 163 investors, and 624 higher education institutions to move towards zero-carbon recovery for a sustainable future.

Note:

  • According to a World Meteorological Organization report, there is a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius in at least one of the next five years. Apart from that, these odds will increase with time.
  • According to a Nature report, natural climate solutions have the potential to provide a third of the climate mitigation. This is to reach a 1.5- or 2-degree pathway by 2030.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

WHO report on “Origin of Covid-19”: India seeks more studies on virus

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What is the News?

India has welcomed the global study on the origin of Covid-19 convened by the World Health Organisation(WHO). However, India demanded initiating further studies in order to reach robust conclusions.

WHO report on Origin of Covid-19:

The report had listed “four pathways” or possible options that led to the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • A direct zoonotic transmission;
  • Introduction of the virus through another intermediate host or animal;
  • Introduction through the cold chain or food chain;
  • Laboratory incident.
What did the Global Study on the Origin of Covid-19 found?
  • The study was conducted by the World Health Organisation(WHO) in association with China.
  • The study has said that direct zoonotic transmission or the introduction of the virus through another intermediate host or animal are the most likely theories of the origin of Covid-19.
  • Moreover, the introduction of the Covid-19 through the cold chain or food chain is also possible.
  • However, the lab leak theory of the virus was “extremely unlikely”. But there was a need for further research.
India’s stand on WHO’s study:
  • India has called for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism to investigate the origin of Covid-19 in cooperation with all stakeholders.
  • Further, India also demanded that the mechanism should be supported by an additional WHO mission. This mission should have the power to visit the Chinese sites for further studies.

China’s stand on WHO’s study:

  • China has denied the theory that there was a leak from the Wuhan lab (research on zoonotic transmissions of coronaviruses was taking place).

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

“Protected Planet Report” 2020 Released by UNEP

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What is the News? UNEP released the Protected Planet Report 2020.

About Protected Planet Report 2020:
  • Released by: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Purpose: The report takes stock of measures taken to fulfill the aims of Aichi Target 11. Aichi Target 11 called for protecting 17% of Earth’s land and 10% of its marine environments by 2020.
  • Further, the report also lays the groundwork for a new framework aimed at protecting nature. It will be decided upon at the UN Biodiversity Conference, scheduled for October 2021 in Kunming, China.
  • Moreover, the report is the first to include data on other effective area-based conservation measures(OECM) taken outside protected areas. OECM conservation designation is given to the areas for achieving effective in-situ biodiversity conservation outside protected areas.
Key Findings:
  • Increase in Protected Areas and OECM: As many as 82% of countries and territories register an increase in the share of protected areas and OECM since 2010.
    • Protected Areas are clearly defined geographical space. These are recognised, dedicated, and managed through legal or other effective means to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
  • Since 2010, protected areas covering almost a million square kilometers have been added to the global network. This area is greater than the land area of the Russian Federation.
  • Over the 10-year period, the greatest growth in protected areas and OECMs has been in marine and coastal areas. Around 68% of the current network’s area is less than 10 years old.
  • Around 62.6% of key biodiversity areas (KBA) either fully or partially overlap with protected areas and OECMs.
    • Key Biodiversity Areas(KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
What are Aichi Biodiversity Targets?
  • Aichi Biodiversity Targets are a set of 20 targets classified under 5 Strategic Goals. They were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period.
  • Adoption of the targets happened at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD).
  • Purpose: The development of targets happened to prevent the loss of biological diversity in each participating country.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“Global Health Summit 2021” adopted “Rome Declaration”

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What is the News?

The Virtual Global Health Summit 2021 is being held in Rome, Italy.

About Global Health Summit 2021:
  • Global Health Summit was organised by Italy in its role as president of the G20 in partnership with the European Commission.
  • Purpose: The summit seeks to empower and enable stakeholders to address the challenges in the third sustainable development goal(SDG) of Health and Wellbeing for all.
Rome Declaration:
  • The Rome Declaration was adopted at the Global Health Summit 2021.
  • Principles: The declaration is made up of 16 mutually agreed principles. These principles aim at guiding joint action to prevent future health crises and to build a safer, fairer and more equitable and sustainable world.
Key Features of the Rome Declaration:
  • Firstly, to support and enhance the existing multilateral health architecture.
  • Secondly, to promote the multilateral trading system and global supply chains related to Health emergencies,
  • Thirdly, to enable equitable, affordable, timely global access to high-quality, safe, effective prevention, detection and response tools.
  • Fourthly, to support low and middle-income countries to build expertise and develop local and regional manufacturing capacities for tools.
  • Fifthly, to facilitate data sharing, capacity building, licensing agreements among stakeholders. Further, it aims to facilitate voluntary technology and know-how transfers on mutually agreed terms.
  • Sixthly, to invest in the worldwide health and care workforce
  • Seventhly, to increase the effectiveness of preparedness and response measures by promoting inclusive dialogue with local communities,
  • Lastly, to seek to ensure the effectiveness of financing mechanisms.

Source: WHO

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

WWF Report on Snow Leopards

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What is the News? The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has released a report. Its title is “Over 100 Years of Snow Leopards Research — A spatially explicit review of the state of knowledge in the snow leopard range”.

About the Report:
  • The report provides a comprehensive overview of research carried out across the snow leopard range.
  • It also identifies gaps that need to be addressed to ensure effective snow leopard conservation.
Key Findings of the Report:
  • The studies on snow leopard started in the 1970s, and it continued to increase exponentially since then.
  • However, just four hotspots of snow leopard have been researched so far (sites with continued multi-year research). It constitutes less than 23% of the snow leopard range.
  • Hence, more than 70% of the habitat of the species spanning over 12 Asian countries remains un-researched.
    • Reason: This species of leopard lives in rugged terrain — some of the harshest landscapes on the planet. Therefore, research poses significant logistical challenges.
  • Nepal, India, and China had conducted the most snow leopard research, followed by Mongolia and Pakistan.
Threats :
  • Globally, there could be as few as 4,000 snow leopards left in Asia’s high mountains. This remaining population also faces continued and emerging threats such as:
    • Increased habitat loss and degradation
    • poaching
    • conflict with communities among others.
About Snow Leopards:
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule I
  • State Animal: It is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It lives at high altitudes in the steep mountains of Central and Southern Asia, where the climate is extremely cold.
  • Indicator Species: The Snow Leopard (also known as Ghost of the mountains) acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live. It is because of their position as the top predator in the food web.
  • Range Countries: Further, it is found in 12 range countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • India: In India, it inhabits the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the states/union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Click Here to Read more

Source: Down To Earth

 

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WHO-ILO Study on the Impact of Long Working Hours

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What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) has published a study on the Impact of Long Working Hours.

About the study:
  • The study covered global, regional, and national level data from more than 2,300 surveys collected in 154 countries from 1970-2018.
  • It covered 37 studies on ischemic heart disease covering more than 768 000 participants and 22 studies on stroke covering more than 839 000 participants.
Key Findings of the study:
  • Deaths due to Long Working Hours: Long working hours have led to 745,000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016. This is a 29% increase since 2000.
  • Gender and Region-wise: The work-related disease burden is more in men (72% of deaths occurred among males). Whereas people living in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions, and middle-aged or older workers faced the majority of deaths.
  • Age Wise: Most of the deaths recorded were among people dying aged 60-79 years who had worked for 55 hours or more per week between the ages of 45 and 74 years.
  • The number of people working long hours is increasing and currently stands at 9% of the total population globally. This trend puts even more people at risk of work-related disability and early death.
Conclusion:
  • The study concludes that working 55 or more hours per week is dangerous. It is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease compared to working 35-40 hours a week.

Suggestions: Governments, employers, and workers can take the following actions to protect workers’ health:

  • Government can introduce, implement and enforce laws, regulations, and policies. That is to ban mandatory overtime and ensure maximum limits on working time;
  • Collective bargaining agreements between employers and workers’ associations can arrange a working time to be more flexible. While at the same time, they can agree on a maximum number of working hours.
  • Employees could share working hours. It will ensure that the number of hours worked does not climb above 55 or more per week.

Source: Indian Express

 

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Unemployment Rate in India Shoots up to 8% in April: CMIE

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What is the News?

Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy(CMIE) report on unemployment in India has been released. As per the report Unemployment Rate in India is increasing.

Key Findings of the Report:
  • Increase in Unemployment rate: The Unemployment rate in India has increased to 8% in April 2021 from 6.5% in March 2021.
    • Unemployment Rate(UER) is the percentage of the labor force who are willing to work and are actively looking for a job but are unemployed.
  • The labour participation rate(LPR) was 40% in April 2021. It is the worst since the national lockdown was imposed in May 2020.
    • LPR is the ratio of the working age population greater than 15 years of age to labor force either working or looking for work. In other words, it measures the number of persons engaging in the labour force as a percentage of the working-age population.
  • Salaried Class: The size of the salaried class has also decreased in India. During 2019-20, there were 85.9 million salaried jobs. As of April 2021, there were just 73.3 million. This may impact the domestic consumption of the country.
  • Lack of Demand: Lack of demand is hampering further growth due to the impact on income and consumer sentiment. Income is lower than it was a year earlier. 90% of families have seen income shrinkage.
  • Migration of workers: Migration from urban areas to rural areas due to loss of jobs in cities has also increased the burden on the agriculture sector and rural India.
About CMIE:
  • CMIE is a privately owned and professionally managed company headquartered in Mumbai. It was established in 1976 primarily as an independent think tank.
  • Purpose: It produces economic and business databases. It also develops specialized analytical tools to deliver these to its customers for decision-making and for research.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

World Bank’s “Migration and Development Brief”: India is the top receiver of remittances

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What is the News?

The World Bank has released a report titled “Migration and Development Brief, 2020”.

Key Findings of the Migration and Development Brief:

 Findings Related to India:

  • Firstly, India has received the highest amount of remittances in 2020. This was followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines, Egypt, Pakistan, France and Bangladesh.
  • Secondly, India’s Remittances: India has received over USD83 billion in remittances in 2020. This was despite the pandemic that devastated the world economy.
    • In 2019, India had received USD83.3 billion in remittances.
  • Thirdly, India’s remittances fell by just 0.2% in 2020. This was due to a 17% fall in remittances from the United Arab Emirates. However, this was offset by the resilient flows from the United States and other host countries.
  • Fourthly, Remittances outflow from India in 2020 was USD7 billion. In 2019, it was around USD7.5 billion.
Other Key Findings:
  • China received $59.5 billion in remittances in 2020 against $68.3 billion in 2019.
  • The remittance outflow was maximum from the United States. This is followed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Germany and China.
  • Remittance inflows have increased in Latin America, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
  • However, remittances have fallen for East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
About Migration and Development Brief Report:
  • Prepared by: The report is prepared by the Migration and Remittances Unit, Development Economics (DEC)- the premier research and data arm of the World Bank.
  • Aim: The report aims to provide an update on key developments. Especially in the area of migration and remittance flows and related policies over the past six months.
    • The report also provides medium-term projections of remittance flows to developing countries.
  • The report is produced twice a year.
About Remittances:
  • Remittance is money usually sent to a person in another country. The sender is typically an immigrant and the recipient a relative back home.
  • Remittances represent one of the largest sources of income for people in low-income and developing nations.

 Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

NITI Aayog’s Report on Creating a “Roadmap for Digitally Inclusive Bharat”

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog and Mastercard have released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’.

Purpose of the report: The report identifies challenges in accelerating digital financial inclusion in India. The report also provides recommendations for making digital services accessible to its 1.3 billion citizens.

Key Findings of the Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat:

Enabling Global Opportunities for MSMEs

  • MSMEs have been a key growth driver for the Indian economy. This sector has employed some 110 million people or over 40% of India’s non-farm workforce.
  • However, the lack of proper documentation, bankable collateral, credit history and non-standard financials force them to access informal credit. Also, the informal credit interest rates are double that of the formal lenders.
  • Suggestion:
    • Digitize registration and compliance processes and
    • Diversify credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs.
Inspiring Trust and Security in Digital Commerce
  • Firstly, there has been tremendous growth in digital payments in the past few years.
  • Secondly, the surge in digital transactions has also increased the risk for possible security breaches, both for consumers and businesses.
  • Thirdly, a Medici report of June 2020 says 40,000 cyber-attacks targeted the IT infrastructure of the banking sector in India.
  • Suggestion:
    • Build information sharing systems including a ‘fraud repository’.
    • Ensure that online digital commerce platforms carry warnings to alert consumers to the risk of frauds.
Preparing India’s Agri Enterprises for Connected Commerce
  • Agriculture with its allied sectors provides livelihood to a large section of the Indian population. Over the years, agriculture’s contribution to national GDP has declined from 34% in 1983-84 to just 16% in 2018-19.
  • However, most agri-techs have not succeeded in digitizing financial transactions for farmers. Also, they failed to enable formal credit at lower rates of interest by leveraging transaction data.
  • Suggestions:
    • Enable agricultural NBFCs to access low-cost capital and deploy a ‘phygital’ (physical + digital) model for achieving better long-term digital outcomes.
    • Digitizing land records will also provide a major boost to the sector.
Digital Financial Inclusion:
  • A lot of effort and success has been on the supply side of DFI. For example, initiatives like E-Governance initiatives, JAM trinity, Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) among others.
  • However, the success in the digital financial flow comes at the last mile where account holders mostly withdraw cash for their end-use.
  • Suggestion:
    • Strengthen the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for NBFCs and banks.
Robust Transit Systems for Smart Cities
  • The transport sector is expected to grow to 12% of GDP by 2026.
  • Hence, there is a huge opportunity for the government and private sector to collaborate and provide top-quality systems for mass transit.
  • Suggestions:
    • Make city transit seamlessly accessible to all. Transit has to include visitors, migrant workers from towns or villages also. The government can allow price benefits of digital payments to poor citizens
    • Leverage existing smartphones, cards and non-transit payment modes as far as possible.

Source: PIB


“India-UK Virtual Summit”

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“Nature in a Globalised World” – An IUCN report on Conflict and Conservation

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What is the News?

International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) has released a report titled “Nature in a Globalised World: Conflict and Conservation”.

 About the Nature in a Globalised World Report:
  • The report focuses on complex relationships between nature and the armed conflict.
  • Objective: The objective is to bring nature conservation into the mainstream of economic and political decision-making.
Key Findings of the Nature in a Globalised World Report:
  • Armed Conflicts have numerous negative effects on nature. These include:
    • Direct killing of wildlife for food or trade
    • Degradation of ecosystems as both a tactic and a consequence of war
    • Disruption of conservation, e.g. through attacks on protected area staff and other conservationists.
  • Greater conflict risk: The report gave examples about the impact on a range of species from conflicts:
    • During the 1994 war in Rwanda, 90% of the large mammals in the Akagera National Park were killed for food or trade.
    • The Vietnam War almost certainly accelerated the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros.
  • Further, the report has found that armed conflicts are particularly prevalent in some of the more biodiverse regions of the world.
  • Moreover, civil unrest and military exercises pose a risk to more than 200 Endangered species. This includes even the iconic species such as the Critically Endangered Eastern gorilla.
  • However, conflicts were less frequent within the boundaries of the natural reserves and other protected areas.
 Recommendations of the Nature in a Globalised World:

The report has recommended a series of suggestions such as:

  • Strengthening the natural resource governance through measures like inclusive decision-making
  • Improving accountability and transparency
  • Recognising the rights of indigenous peoples and of women
  • Establishment of explicit protections for protected area staff, environmental defenders and other conservationists and
  • Sanctions against those who commit environmental war crimes.

Source: Livemint


“Blue Nature Alliance” launched to restore oceans in five years

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“World food price index” reaches highest level since May 2014: FAO

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What is the News?

The Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) has released the World Food Price Index.

According to the index, world food prices have increased for the 11th consecutive month in April. Further, the prices also hit their highest level since May 2014.

About World Food Price Index:
  • Firstly, the index was introduced in 1996. It was to help in monitoring the developments in the global agricultural commodity markets.
  • Secondly, Purpose: The index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.
  • Thirdly, Commodities: It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices. Such as cereal, vegetable, dairy, meat and sugar. Also, these five indices is given weightage based on the average export shares.
  • Fourthly, Base Year: The Base Year for the index is 2014-16.
About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Source: Economic Times


 

Challenges threatening India’s democracy

Posted in CURRENT AFFAIRS, Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

SEBI technical group submits report on “Social Stock Exchanges(SSE)”

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What is the News?

A technical group on Social Stock Exchanges (SSEs), constituted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has submitted its report.

 About Social Stock Exchange(SSE):
  • Social Stock Exchange(SSE) is a platform that allows investors to invest in select social enterprises or social initiatives.
    • Social Enterprise is a revenue-generating business. The primary aim of social enterprise is to achieve a social objective such as providing healthcare or clean energy.
  • Aim: The aim is to help social and voluntary enterprises to raise capital in form of equity or debt or a unit of the mutual fund.
  • Global Examples: SSE exists in countries such as Singapore, UK among others. These countries allow firms operating in social sectors to raise risk capital.
  • India: The proposal to set up SSEs in the country was first floated during the Union Budget in 2019.
    • In 2019, SEBI constituted a group under the chairmanship of Tata group veteran Ishaat Hussain.
    • In 2020, SEBI again set up the Technical Group(TG) under Harsh Bhanwala, ex-Chairman, NABARD. This time for getting further expert advice and clarity on SSE. That committee submitted its report.
Key Recommendations on Social Stock Exchanges:
  • Eligible Entities: The group has said that both for-profit (FP) and not-for-profit organisations(NPO) should be allowed to tap the SSE.
  • Parameters: The group has said three parameters for eligibility as Social Enterprises. The parameters are:
    • A Social Enterprise should engage in at least one of the below eligible activities
    • Further, it should target underserved or less privileged population segments or regions
    • Also, a Social Enterprise shall have at least 67% of its activities qualifying as eligible activities to the target population.
  • Prohibited Organisations: Political and religious organisations, trade organisations, and corporate foundations should not be allowed to raise funds through SSEs.
  • Eligible Activities: Social enterprises can engage in activities such as:
    • Eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality;
    • Promoting health care (including mental health) and sanitation including making available safe drinking water.
    • Activities promoting education, employability and livelihoods.
    • Promoting gender equality, empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities.
    • Ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change (mitigation and adaptation), forest and wildlife conservation.
    • Also, the activities promoting livelihoods for rural and urban poor. This includes enhancing the income of small and marginal farmers and workers in the non-farm sector.
    • Slum area development, affordable housing and other interventions to build sustainable and resilient cities.
  • Annual Report: Entities listed on SSE will have to disclose their social impact report on an annual basis. This report should cover aspects such as “strategic intent and planning, approach, impact scorecard”.

Source: Indian Express

Finance Commission

Posted in CURRENT AFFAIRS, Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

COVID-19 hit urban poor more than those in villages: A Report by Hunger watch

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What is the News?

According to a Report by Hunger watch, COVID-19 has impacted India’s urban poor more than those in villages.

Key Findings of the Report by Hunger watch:
  • Impact of Covid-19: Urban respondents reported a 15% point worse condition than their rural counterparts across all important parameters.
  • Poverty: Covid-19 pandemic has made the urban poor to become more hungry, poorer and with less nutrition than their rural counterparts.
    • A large section of rural residents could overcome the impact of a pandemic due to the availability of foodgrains via the public distribution system(PDS).
  • Income: Incomes reduced by half or a quarter for more than half the urban respondents. On the other hand, it was a little over one-third for rural respondents.
  • Food: The consumption of grains and pulses were at least 12% points lower for urban respondents.
    • This is because social security schemes have relatively better coverage among the rural poor compared to the urban poor.
  • Impact on Vulnerable Groups: The impact of the lockdown was harsh on the vulnerable groups. This includes households headed by single women, households with people having disabilities and transgender people.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment persisted for six months after the lockdown. Survey of over 27% of the households show there was no source of income even six months after the imposition of the lockdown.
About the Report by Hunger watch:
  • Hunger Watch is a collection of social groups and movements.
  • Purpose: The group came together with the purpose of a periodic study of the actual status of hunger, food access and livelihood security. It is especially among various disadvantaged populations in India in the wake of the lockdown in March 2020.
  • Data: This is the first collective report based on interviews with households across 11 states. The data was collected in October 2020. There was a comparison later with pre-lockdown levels on the same parameters.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in CURRENT AFFAIRS, Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

GNAFC releases “Global Report on Food Crises 2021”

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What is the News?

Global Network Against Food Crises(GNAFC) has released the “Global Report on Food Crises 2021”.

Key Findings:
  • Firstly, more than 155 million people experienced acute food insecurity in 2020. This is an increase of 20 million as compared to 2019.
  • Secondly, two-thirds of the people in acute food crisis levels were in 10 countries. Such as Congo, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, northern Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Haiti.
  • Thirdly, the majority of the people facing acute food insecurity depend on agriculture.
  • Fourthly, according to the report, 40.5 million people in 17 countries faced acute food insecurity because of “economic shocks”. This is primarily due to cut in jobs and incomes.
  • Reasons: The magnitude and severity of food crises in 2020 worsened due to:
    • Prolonged conflicts
    • Economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Weather extremes that increased pre-existing fragilities.
About Global Report on Food Crises 2021:
  • The report focuses on 55 countries that account for 97% of the humanitarian assistance.
  • Also, the report depicts the acute food insecurity and malnutrition situation in countries chronically vulnerable to food crises. These countries often affected by fragile agri-food systems.
About Global Network Against Food Crises(GNAFC):
  • It was founded during the first World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. It was jointly found by
    • European Commission for International Cooperation and Development,
    • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and
    • The World Food Programme(WFP)
  • Purpose: It is an alliance that is united by a common commitment to tackle the root causes of food crises. They aim to tackle the food crisis through increased sharing of knowledge and analysis and strengthened coordination.

Source: Business Today

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

A report on “Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions”: India is the 3rd-largest emitter

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What is the News?

The research and consulting firm, Rhodium Group, has released a report on Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Key Findings of the report:

  • Global Greenhouse gas emissions including emissions of all six Kyoto gases have reached 52 gigatons of CO2-equivalent in 2019. This is an 11.4% increase over the past decade.
  • The six main gases under Kyoto Protocol are:
    • Carbon dioxide (CO2);
    • Methane(CH4);
    • Nitrous oxide(N2O);
    • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);
    • Perfluorocarbons(PFCs);
    • Sulphur hexafluoride(SF6).
  • Of the total emissions, China alone contributed more than 27% of total Global Greenhouse gas emissions. Further, China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 exceeded the combined emissions of the US and other developed nations.
  • China’s net emissions in 2020 also increased by roughly 1.7%. This is significant as the emissions from almost all other countries had declined during the pandemic.
  • However, China’s history as a major emitter is relatively short compared to developed countries. Since 1750, members of the OECD bloc have emitted four times more CO2 on a cumulative basis than China.
  • The United States is the second-highest emitter. The US alone contributed 11% of the total Global Greenhouse gas emissions.
  • For the first time, India has surpassed the European Union and became the third-highest Global Greenhouse gas emitter. India contributed 6.6% of the total emissions.

Source: BBC

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“State of Working India 2021” – One Year of Covid-19 Report

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What is the News?

Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment has released the annual State of Working India 2021: One Year of Covid-19 Report.

Key Findings of State of Working India 2021 report:
  • Impact of Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased informality in employment. This has lead to a decline in earnings for the majority of workers and an increase in poverty in the country.
  • Lost of Jobs: Around 100 million jobs were lost nationwide during the April-May 2020 lockdown. Most of these workers had found employment by June 2020. However, about 15 million remained out of work.
  • Impact on GDP: Due to employment and income losses, the labour share of GDP fell down by over 5% points. For example, the labour share fell down from 32.5% in the second quarter of 2019-20 to 27% in the second quarter of 2020-21.
  • Informal Sector: Post Lockdown, nearly half of salaried workers moved into informal work. They became either self-employed (30%), casual wage (10%) or informal salaried(9%).
  • Most Impacted States: Job losses were higher for states with a higher Covid-19 caseload. Hence, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, contributed to a large extent to job losses.
  • Gender Wise: During lockdown and afterwards, 61% of working men remained employed and 7% lost employment and did not return to work. For women, only 19% remained employed and 47% suffered a permanent job loss.
  • Poverty Rate: 230 million people fell below the national minimum wage threshold of ₹375 per day during the pandemic. Furthermore, there was an increase in the poverty rate by 15% in rural and nearly 20% in urban areas.
About State of Working India 2021 Report:
  • Purpose: The aim of the report  was to document the impact of one year of Covid-19 on jobs, incomes, inequality, and poverty. The report also examines the effectiveness of policy measures undertaken by the government on relief and support programmes.
  • Based on: The report is based on data sourced from
    • Consumer Pyramids Household Survey of the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy(CMIE)
    • Azim Premji University Covid-19 Livelihoods Phone Survey (CLIPS),
    • The India Working Survey(IWS) and
    • Other surveys by various civil society organisations.

Recommendations: The report recommends several measures such as:

  • Extension of free rations under the public distribution system till the end of 2021. Currently, the government stipulated till June 2021.
  • Monthly cash transfers of Rs 5,000 for three months to vulnerable households.
  • The government should provide Work Entitlement under the rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGA. Further, the government should expand work from present100 days to 150 days per household per year.
  • A Pilot urban employment programme in the worst-hit districts.

Source: The Hindu

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Long-term “nitrogen dioxide”(NO2) exposure affects lungs: Study

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What is the News?

According to a study, Long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide(NO2) pollution can affect lung function. Also, NO2 can increase the risk of pulmonary disease.

Key Findings:

  • The annual maximum NO2 exposure recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 21.3 parts per billion.
  • The study found that air pollution exposures in some parts of the survey area exceeded this figure.
  • Further, healthy individuals (mostly from low-income, urban communities) suffered a decline in lung function due to air pollution.
About the Study:
  • The study happened over a period of five years in Mysore, Karnataka. It is conducted from 2012-2014 to 2017-2018
  • The researchers conducted in-home field spirometry (lung function test). They conducted this test before and after bronchodilation (expansion of the bronchial air passages).
  • Most of the participants in the study used Liquified Petroleum Gas(LPG) cylinders provided under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
About Nitrogen Dioxide(NO2):
  • Nitrogen Dioxide(NO2) belongs to one of the highly reactive gases known as oxides of nitrogen or nitrogen oxides (NOx). Other nitrogen oxides include nitrous acid and nitric acid.
  • Formation: NO2 is formed when fossil fuels like coal, oil, gas and diesel are burned at high temperatures. It is also formed during the burning of wood and natural gases.

Effects of NO2

 Health effects

  • Breathing air with a high concentration of NO2 can irritate airways in the human respiratory system. Such exposures can aggravate respiratory diseases particularly asthma.
  • NO2 along with other NOx reacts with other chemicals in the air to form both particulate matter and ozone. Both of these are also harmful to the respiratory system.
Environmental effects:
  • NO2 and other NOx interact with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere and form acid rain. Acid rain harms sensitive ecosystems such as lakes and forests.
  • The nitrate particles make the air hazy and create visibility challenges.
  • NOx in the atmosphere contributes to nutrient pollution in coastal waters.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“Global Electric Vehicles Outlook 2021” released by IEA

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What is the News?

International Energy Agency(IEA) has released a report titled “Global Electric Vehicle Outlook Report,2021”.

The Global EV Outlook(GEVO) is an annual report published by IEA. The report looks at the latest EV trends. Apart from that, it also looks at the drivers for road transport sector electrification around the world.

Key Findings of Global Electric Vehicles Outlook 2021 related to India:
  • More than 30% of the new vehicle sales in India will be electric by 2030.
  • Electric Vehicles(EV) deployment in India will mainly be achieved through the electrification of two/three-wheelers. The report mentions that electric two/three-wheeler sales will reach a sales share of almost 50% by 2030.
  • However, the lack of government spending under the FAME II Scheme has delayed EV deployment in India.
  • Further, EV deployment was also delayed due to pressure on domestic automakers to focus on BS-VI innovation instead of EVs.
International findings of Global Electric Vehicles Outlook 2021:
  • Firstly, three million new electric cars were registered in 2020. This was 41% higher than those registered in 2019.
  • Secondly, the rise in electric car sales in 2020 came even as the worldwide automobile market contracted by 16% due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Thirdly, apart from that, the number of electric cars, buses, vans and heavy trucks on roads is expected to hit 145 million by 2030.
  • Fourthly, if the governments improve their efforts to meet international climate goals, then the number of global electric vehicles will increase to 230 million by 2030.
About International Energy Agency(IEA):
  • It was established in 1974 as an autonomous intergovernmental organization under the OECD framework.
  • Objective: To ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy for its member countries and beyond.
  • Members: It has 30 member countries and eight association countries. India became an associate member in 2017.
  • Secretariat: Paris, France.

Source: IEA

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“Global Forest Goals Report 2021” and “United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests”

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What is the News?

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations has released the Global Forest Goals Report 2021.

Findings of the Global Forest Goals Report 2021:
  • Firstly, the report finds that the world is making progress in key areas such as increasing global forest area through afforestation and restoration.
  • Secondly, the Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests.
  • Thirdly, forests have been a lifeline for millions of people during the pandemic. Some of the most vulnerable segments of society depend on forests for their most essential subsistence needs. This has increased pressures on forest systems.
About Global Forest Goals Report 2021:
  • It is the first evaluation of the global status of implementing the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030.
  • Purpose: The report provides an overview of progress towards achieving the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030. The plan has six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets for forests.
  • Data: The report draws upon data from 52 voluntary national reports and 19 voluntary national contributions. Together they represent 75% of forests in the world.

 United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF):

  • The first-ever UN Strategic Plan for Forests was adopted at a special session of the UN Forum on Forests held in 2017.
  • The plan contains a set of six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets to be reached by 2030. All these are voluntary in nature and universally applicable.
  • It also includes a target to increase forest area by 3% worldwide by 2030. This is an increase of 120 million hectares, an area over twice the size of France.
The Six Global Forest Goals are:
  • Goal 1: Reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide. This is by adopting sustainable forest management, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation.
  • Goal 2: Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits. This includes improving the livelihoods of forest-dependent people.
  • Goal 3: Increase significantly the area of protected forests worldwide and other areas of sustainably managed forests.
  • Goal 4: Mobilize significantly increased, new and additional financial resources from all sources. This is for the implementation of sustainable forest management and strengthening scientific and technical cooperation and partnerships.
  • Goal 5: Promote governance frameworks to implement sustainable forest management.
  • Goal 6: Enhance cooperation, coordination, coherence and synergies on forest-related issues at all levels.
Note:
  • Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services(IPBES)  has released the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The report highlighted that one million species were at risk of extinction and 100 million hectares of tropical forest were lost from 1980-2000.

Source: Down To Earth

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Migrants Workers, Who Returned to Cities Earned five-fold : Study

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What is the News?

 Yale University tracked 5,000 migrants workers across north and central India from April 2020 to February 2021. Recently, it released the findings of the survey.

The survey was conducted over the phone by researchers from Yale and the Inclusion Economics India Centre. Bihar and Chhattisgarh are “source states”.

What are the key findings of the survey?
  • Migrant workers who returned to cities for work after the first Covid-19 lockdown earned roughly five times as much as those who stayed back.
  • The first Covid-19 induced lockdown affected women migrants, more than men.
  • After the first lockdown, only 45% of female migrants returned to their urban workplaces. However, 40% of them earned no income across a week in which they were tracked in February 2021.
    • In comparison, 55% of men returned to their workplaces and only a quarter of them had no income across the same week in February 2021.
  • Male migrant workers who returned to urban areas after the first lockdown for work earned up to 90% of their pre-pandemic earnings. But the women earned up to 72% of their pre-pandemic income.
    • While, female migrant workers who did not return to urban areas earned only 23% of their pre-pandemic income. Whereas female migrant workers earned just 13%.
  • Further, more than 40% of those who stayed home were still concerned about running out of food after the harvest season. More than 20% of them said they were eating less than normal.
Conclusion of the survey:
  • The survey has found that those migrant workers who remained at home in rural areas after the first lockdown were more likely to report being unemployed. It reduced their food consumption, mortgaging or selling assets, spending down savings, and taking loans to make ends meet.
  • Hence, it has urged policymakers to make efforts to retain workers in urban areas. It has also asked them to focus more on women by providing economic support through employers and rations.

Source: Indian Express

 

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“Chandlers Good Governance Index” 2021 Released

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What is the News? 

The Chandler Good Government Index(CGGI) 2021 has been released.

About Chandler Good Government Index(CGGI):
  • The Chandler Institute of Governance(CIG) publishes the Chandler Good Government Index(CGGI) . It is an international non-profit organization, with headquarter in Singapore.
  • Objective: The index measures the effectiveness and capabilities of 104 governments around the world in terms of government capabilities and outcomes.
  • Parameters: The Index comprises of 34 indicators. They are organized into seven pillars:
    1. Leadership and Foresight
    2. Robust Laws and Policies
    3. Strong Institutions
    4. Financial Stewardship
    5. Attractive Marketplace
    6. Global Influence and Reputation
    7. Helping people rise.
Key Findings:
  • India’s ranking: India has been ranked 49th in the Chandler Good Government Index(CGGI).
  • Topped by: Finland has topped the index.
  • South Asian Countries: At 74th ranks Sri Lanka. Further, Pakistan is at 90th and Nepal at 92nd.
  • Seven of the top ten countries are from Europe. But there are four continents represented in the top ten. Here, Singapore stands first in Asia, New Zealand leading Oceania, and Canada leading in the Americas.
  • All the top ten countries are high-income as defined by the World Bank.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

WMO Releases “State of the Global Climate Report 2020”

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What is the News?

The World Meteorological Organization(WMO) has released its annual State of the Global Climate Report 2020.

Key Findings of annual State of the Global Climate Report 2020:
  • Temperature: 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, despite a cooling La Niña. The other two warmest years were 2016 and 2019.
    • Moreover, the six years since 2015 have been the warmest on record. Further, 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.
  • Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic: Extreme weather combined with COVID-19 is a double blow for millions of people in 2020. However, the pandemic-related economic slowdown failed to slow down climate change and its impacts.
  • Greenhouse Gases: Concentrations of the major greenhouse gases continued to increase in 2019 and 2020 despite a temporary reduction in emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 response.
  • Oceans: In 2020, the oceans had the highest heat content on the record. Over 80% of the ocean services area experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2020.
  • Sea-level rise: Sea level has recently been rising at a higher rate partly due to the increased melting of the ice sheets.
  • Arctic Region: In 2020, the Arctic sea-ice extent came down to second-lowest on record.
  • Antarctica Region: Antarctic ice sheet has exhibited a strong mass loss trend since the late 1990s. This trend accelerated around 2005.
Findings Related to India:
  • India experienced one of its wettest monsoons since 1994, with a seasonal surplus of 9% that led to severe floods and landslides.
  • Cyclone Amphan which hit Kolkata in May 2020 was the costliest tropical cyclone for the North Indian Ocean region. It brought about an estimated loss of USD 14 billion.
About World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
  • WMO is an intergovernmental organization established by the ratification of the WMO Convention in 1950.
  • Origin: WMO originated from the International Meteorological Organization(IMO) which was established after the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.
  • Members: 193 Member States and Territories. India is one of the members.
  • Significance: It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

WEF Releases “Energy Transition Index 2021”

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What is the News?

The World Economic Forum(WEF) has released the Energy Transition Index, 2021.

About Energy Transition Index(ETI), 2021:

  • Energy Transition Index is an annual report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It prepares the report in collaboration with Accenture.
  • Purpose: The ranking aims to enable policy-makers and businesses to plan for a successful energy transition.
  • ETI checks the readiness of countries for transition to secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive energy systems.
  • Parameters: The index ranks 115 countries on the basis following three dimensions:
    • Economic development and growth,
    • Environmental sustainability and
    • Lastly, Energy security and access;
Key Findings Related to India:
  • Firstly, India ranks at the 87th position among 115 countries in the Energy Transition Index (ETI).
  • Secondly, the report also says India improved in energy transition through the subsidy reforms and by increasing energy access with a regulatory environment and strong political commitment.

Other Key Takeaways:

  • Firstly, Sweden tops the index. It is followed by Norway and Denmark.
  • Further, China has been ranked 67th on the index. India and China collectively account for a third of global energy demand. However, their improvement level is strong over the past decade even though coal continues to play a significant role in their energy mix.

Source: Economic Times

 

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“Boao Forum for Asia” Annual Conference 2021

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What is the News?

The opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 was held in Boao, China.

Boao  Forum for Asia -Annual Conference 2021:
  • More than 2,600 guests from over 60 countries and region attended the conference.
  • Theme: “A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation.”
Boao Forum for Asia(BFA):
  • Boao Forum for Asia(BFA) is a non-profit international organization founded in the year 2001.
  • Purpose: The Forum is committed to promoting regional economic integration in Asia. It also aims at bringing Asian countries even closer to their development goals.
  • Members: 29 participant countries including India. Other countries include China, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iran, Nepal among others.
  • Annual Conference: BFA holds its annual conference in Boao in Hainan, China on a regular basis.
  • Significance: Boao Forum is modelled after the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland. So it also called Davos of the East.
  • Headquarters: China.

Source: Livemint

 

 

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PM Addressed “Leaders Summit on Climate”

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The Prime Minister of India has addressed the Leaders Summit on Climate virtually.

 About Leaders Summit on Climate:
  • Leaders Summit on Climate is a conference hosted by the United States(US) President on Earth Day.
  • The summit coincides with the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Paris Agreement on climate change for signature.
  • Further, the summit is also a precursor to the United Nations Climate Change Conference(COP26) that will take place later this year in Glasgow.

Objectives of the Summit: The summit brings together 40 leaders of major economies. Its main objectives are:

  • Firstly, to get the world’s major economies to reduce emission in this decade while also getting the public and private sector involvement.
  • Secondly, to see how climate action can have economic and social benefits.
  • Thirdly, to use the technology available to reduce emissions and adapt to Climate Change.
  • Fourthly, to use nature-based solutions to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Key Takeaways from the Summit:
  • India has taken steps on clean energy, energy efficiency, afforestation and bio-diversity. That is why it is among the few countries whose Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) are 2-degree-Celsius compatible.
  • India’s per capita carbon footprint is 60% lower than the global average. It is because India’s lifestyle is still rooted in sustainable traditional practices.

India-U.S. climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 partnership:

  • India-U.S. climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 Partnership was announced at this Leaders Summit on Climate.
  • Goals of the Partnership:
    • Firstly, to mobilise finance and speed clean energy deployment;
    • Secondly, to demonstrate and scale innovative clean technologies needed to decarbonise sectors including industry, transportation, power, and buildings.
    • Thirdly, to build capacity to measure, manage and adapt to the risks of climate-related impacts.
  • Tracks: The partnership will proceed along two main tracks: the strategic clean energy partnership and the climate action and finance mobilisation dialogue, which will build on and subsume a range of existing processes.
Commitments by US:
  • The United States has announced its target to achieve a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030.
  • This will be the US new Nationally Determined Contribution(NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

Source: The Hindu

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Indian Ads Increase Gender Stereotypes, Shows Study

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What is the News?

UNICEF and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media(GDI) have released a study titled “Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India”.

About the study:
  • Purpose: The study measures the level and type of gender stereotyping found in Indian advertisements on TV and YouTube. For this purpose, over 1,000 most viewed advertisements were analyzed in 2019.
  • The study found that female representation in Indian ads still depicts colorism, hypersexualization, and also women without careers or aspirations outside the home.
Key Findings of the study:
  • Women in ads dominate the screen and speaking time with 59.7% and 56.3% of female representation respectively. This is above the global average of 44% and 39%
  • Female-dominated activities in ads include roles of shopping, cleaning, and preparing meals.
  • Male-dominated activities in these ads include them being in an office, outdoors, or at a sporting event
  • A greater percentage of female characters are depicted as married, than male characters (11% compared with 8.8%).
  • Female characters are thrice as likely to be shown as caretakers or a parent than male characters (18.7% to 5.9%).
  • Male characters are more likely to be shown making decisions about their future than female characters (7.3% compared with 4.8%),
  • Lower Income Class: Characters of a lower-income class are underrepresented. Only 6.4% of the ads show people from that class. The Middle-class is most prominent with 51.3% representation.
  • Sexualisation: Female characters are 6 times more likely to be in revealing clothing than men (11.2% to 1.7%). They are 5 times more likely to be sexually objectified (4.7% compared to 0.9%).
  • Intelligence: Male characters are more likely to be shown as smart, than female characters (32.2% compared to 26.2%).
  • Skin Tone: Two-thirds of female characters (66.9%) in Indian ads have light or medium-light skin tones — a higher percentage than male characters (52.1%).

Source: The Hindu

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“World Press Freedom Index” 2021 Released

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What is the News? The World Press Freedom Index 2021 released.

About World Press Freedom Index:
  • Published by: Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders since 2002.
  • Purpose: The purpose of the Index is to rank 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
    • However, the index neither ranks public policies and nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.
  • Parameters: The index ranks 180 countries based on the following parameters, such as a) pluralism, b) media independence c) environment and self-censorship d) legislative framework e) Transparency f) Infrastructure, and g) Abuses.

Also Read- Reports and Index in news

Key Findings Related to India:
  • India ranks 142nd on the World Press Freedom Index 2021. The rank is the same as in 2020 after it had consistently slid down from 133 in 2016.
  • India continues to be counted among the countries classified “bad” for journalism. Similarly, India is termed as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their jobs properly.
Other key Findings:
  • Topped by: Norway tops the index, followed by Finland and Denmark.
  • China: China ranks 177 in the index. It is only above North Korea at 179 and Turkmenistan at 178.
  • India’s South Asian neighborhood: Nepal is at 106, Sri Lanka at 127, Myanmar (before the coup) at 140, Pakistan at 145, and Bangladesh at 152.
  • Further, the report shows that journalism is completely or partially blocked in 73% of all the countries on the index

Source: Indian Express


Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: IR, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report

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What is the News?

The Department of Science and Technology(DST) has released the National climate vulnerability assessment report.

About National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report:
  • The National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India, as per the current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability.
  • Indicators: Several key drivers of Vulnerability used by the report for the assessment, For instance: 1) percentage of the population living below the poverty line; 2) income share from natural resources; 3) Also, the proportion of marginal and small landholdings, 4) women’s participation in the workforce, and; 5) the density of healthcare workers among others.
  • Participation: Around 24 states and 2 Union Territories participated in the exercise. The DST and the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation(SDC) organized it jointly.
Key Findings:
  • Firstly, High Climate Vulnerable States: The report identifies eight eastern states as highly vulnerable to climate change: Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.
    • These states are mostly from the eastern part of the country. Thus, they require prioritization of adaptation interventions.
  • Secondly, Lower-middle Vulnerable States: Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim, and Punjab.
  • Thirdly, Low Vulnerable States: Uttarakhand, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland, Goa and Maharashtra.
  • Fourthly, Climate Vulnerable Districts: The report also identifies Climate Vulnerable districts. According to it, among all states, Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand have over 60% districts in the category of highly vulnerable.

Significance:

  • The assessment will help Policymakers in taking appropriate climate actions.
  • Further, it will also benefit climate-vulnerable communities across India through the development of better-designed climate change adaptation projects.

Source: AIR

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“Inclusive Internet Index 2021” Released

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What is the News? Inclusive Internet Index 2021 has been released.

About Inclusive Internet Index, 2021
  • Facebook Commissions the Inclusive Internet Index, 2021, and The Economist Intelligence Unit will develop the index.
  • Purpose: It seeks to measure the extent of accessibility and affordability of the Internet. Also, the internet should be able to enable positive social and economic outcomes at the individual and group levels.
  • Countries Covered: The index assesses the performance of 120 countries representing 98% of global GDP and 96% of the global population.
  • Categories: The Index score is based on the scores of 4 categories;
    1. Availability: It examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage.
    2. Affordability: It examines the cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace.
    3. Relevance: It also examines the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.
    4.  Readiness: Furthermore, it examines the capacity to access the Internet. It includes skills (literacy), cultural acceptance, and supporting policy. Literacy measures the level of education and preparedness to use the Internet
Key Findings Related to India:
  • India’s Rank: 49th out of 120 countries in the Index.
  • India is set to reach one billion internet users by 2025. There were over 687.6 million internet users in India in 2020.
Other Findings:
  • Topped by: Sweden ranks 1st in the index, followed by the US and Spain.
  • The majority of countries (77 out of 120) saw improvements in internet inclusion overall, in part because of increased availability.
  • People in low and lower-middle-income countries relied more on online education during the pandemic in comparison to wealthier countries.

Source: EIU


Important Reports and Index

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IFPRI Releases “Global Food Policy Report 2021”

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What is the News? The International Food Policy Research Institute(IFPRI) released the Global Food Policy Report, 2021.

About Global Food Policy Report, 2021:
  • Purpose: The report provides lessons drawn from the current crisis. Especially the lessons that can help
    • transform food systems to reduce the impact of the ongoing pandemic,
    • better prepare for future shocks, and
    • address long-standing weaknesses and inequalities.
  • Theme: “Transforming Food Systems After COVID-19”.
Key Findings related to India:
  • Firstly, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the pandemic restrictions resulted in half of India’s poor people deprived of nutritious food.
  • Secondly, the midday meal program of India that covers 80% of primary-school-age children in the country, was affected due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Thirdly, 50% of households in India reported that women spent more time fetching firewood and water in comparison with the previous year.
  • Fourthly, efforts of India to incorporate migrant workers into social protection programs were a huge success.
Other Key Findings:
  • The number of poor people living below the poverty line is to increase by 150 million as compared to the pre-pandemic levels.
  • Women accounted for 39% of employment globally. However, they incurred 54% of job losses during the pandemic.

About IFPRI:

  • International Food Policy Research Institute(IFPRI) is a non-profit international research center founded in 1976.
  • Mandate: To provide research-based policy solutions that sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition.
  • Headquarters: Washington, USA.

Source: Indian Express

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“UN Food Systems Summit 2021” -India Holds National Dialogue

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Agricultural and Farmers Welfare conducted a National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

About UN Food Systems Summit,2021:
  • The first-ever UN Food Systems Summit 2021 is expected to hold in September 2021. For that, the United Nations Secretary-General has called for members to participate.
  • Purpose: The summit will strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the world. It will help to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Focus: The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems nationally and globally.
  • Significance: The summit will be held as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Action Tracks: The Summit’s Action Tracks offer stakeholders to learn and share new actions, partnerships and to amplify existing initiatives. The five Action Tracks are:

  1. Track 1: Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all.
  2. Track 2: Shift to sustainable consumption patterns.
  3. Track 3: Boost nature-positive production.
  4. Track 4: Advance equitable livelihoods.
  5. Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.
Why food systems?
  • Firstly, the term “food system” refers to the constellation of activities involved in producing, processing, transporting, and consuming food.
  • Secondly, food systems touch every aspect of human existence. The health of our food systems profoundly affects the health of our bodies as well as the health of our environment, our economies, and our cultures.
  • Hence, when they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities, and nations.

Source: PIB

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Girls Faced More Pressure During Pandemic: Study

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What is the News?

EMpower, global philanthropy has released a study titled ‘COVID In Her Voice: A Girl-led and Centred Participatory Research Study’.

About the study:
  • The U.K government supported the study.  EMpower, (global philanthropy focused on at-risk youth in emerging markets) conducted it.
  • Cities covered: Girls aged 13-24 from Ahmedabad, Alwar, Bareilly, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune within their communities, conducted the study.
  • Method: The study adopted a unique methodology. Girls received training as researchers to conduct interviews with a total of 153 girls from their respective communities.
Key Findings of the study:
  • Firstly, Impact of Covid-19: The adolescent girls are facing an increased pressure to get married, and spent long hours on household chores. They lacked tools to continue school education online and reported an increase in gender-based violence.
  • Secondly, The biggest challenge girls faced was the inability to attend online school. This was due to nearly 80% of respondents reporting an increase in household chores. This impacted nearly 64% of girls and young women who felt that they did not have the time to study online.
  • Thirdly, Lack of access to resources and technology was also a challenge. Nearly 28% of those surveyed didn’t have the tools such as mobile phones or Internet access to learn online.
  • Fourthly, Marriage: 42% of girls believe that the pressure to get married has increased because of COVID- 19. This was due to the economic impact of Covid-19 on marginalised communities.
  • Fifthly, Mental Stress: Almost 90% of girls reported experiencing mental distress and despair without any access to information about coping mechanisms.
  • Sixthly, Gender-Based Violence: Nearly 26% of respondents believe there was an increase in gender-based violence. They also felt that fears and threats of violence intensified restrictions on their freedom.

Source: The Hindu

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UNFPA Releases “State of World Population Report 2021”

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What is the News?

The United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) has released its flagship report “State of World Population Report 2021” titled ‘My Body is My Own’.

About State of World Population Report 2021:
  • The State of World Population is an annual report. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) publishes it.
  • The focus of the Report: Bodily autonomy is the first time the focus of the report. Bodily autonomy defined as the power and agency to make choices about your body without fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.
  • Examples of Violation of Bodily Autonomy: Some examples of violation of bodily autonomy include:
    • child marriage
    • female genital mutilation
    • lack of contraceptive choices leading to unplanned pregnancy,
    • unwanted sex exchanged for a home and food
    • when people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities cannot walk down a street without fear of assault or humiliation.
Key Findings of the Report:
  • Nearly half the women from 57 developing countries do not have the right to make decisions regarding their bodies. Decisions including using contraception, seeking healthcare, or even on their sexuality.
  • Choices over Health Care: Only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over health care, contraception, and the ability to say yes or no to sex.
  • Maternity Care: Only 71% of countries guarantee access to overall maternity care
  • Access to Contraception: Only 75% of countries legally ensure full, equal access to contraception.
  • Sexual health: Only about 80% of countries have laws supporting sexual health and well-being.
  • Sexuality Education: Only about 56% of countries have laws and policies supporting comprehensive sexuality education.

India’s National Family Health Survey(NFHS) Report: According to NFHS-4 Report(2015-2016):

  • Decisions on Healthcare: Only about 12% of currently married women (15-49 years of age) independently make decisions about their own healthcare. While 63% decide in consultation with their spouse.
    • For a quarter of women (23%), it is the spouse that mainly takes decisions about healthcare.
  • Use of Contraception: Only 8% of currently married women (15-49 years) take decisions on the use of contraception independently. While 83% decide jointly with their spouse.
  • Information on Contraception: There is limited information provided to women about the use of contraception. Only 47% of women who use a contraceptive were informed about the side effects of the method. Further, only 54% of women were provided information about other contraceptives.
About United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA):
  • UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. It aims to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
  • Headquarters: New York, United States.

 Source: The Hindu

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NSO Releases “Women and Men in India Report, 2020”

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What is the News?

The National Statistical Office released the Women and Men in India report, 2020.

About Women and Men in India Report, 2020:
  • National Statistical Office produces the Women and Men in India Report, 2020 annually. This is the 22nd issue in its series.
  • Purpose: The report consolidates the crucial socio-economic indicators that portray gender situations in the country.
Key Facts from the Report:

Population and Related Statistics:

  • India’s projected population in 2021 is 136.13 Crore with a 48.65% female population.
  • The projected average annual exponential growth rate of the population declined from 1.63 in 2011 to 1.27 in 2016. It is likely to further decline to 1.07 in 2021.
  • The projected sex ratio is likely to increase from 943 in 2011 to 948 in 2021.
  • A notable increase in the sex ratio recorded in Delhi (5.7%), Chandigarh (5.3%), and Arunachal Pradesh (5.0%). Contrary to this, Daman & Diu recorded a decline of 13% in the sex ratio.
Participation in Decision Making
  • Women Council of Ministers: The representation of women in the Central Council of Ministers declines over the years. The proportion of women ministers is 9.26% in 2020.
  • Female Electors: The percentage of female electors participating in General Elections went up from 65.6%in 16th to 67.2% in 17th Lok Sabha Elections.
  • Women MPs: Further, a total of 78 women members, constituting 14% of the house of parliament (MPs) elected for the 17th Lok Sabha. It is the highest number since independence.
  • Judiciary: In the judiciary, the highest number of women judges is 10 in Punjab & Haryana High Court followed by 9 in Madras High Court. There are no female judges in the High Courts of Patna, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Uttarakhand.
Participation in Economy:
  • The share of workers in the Agriculture Sector is on a declining trend since the 43rd round of NSS to (1987-88) to PLFS (2018-19).
  • On the other hand, in the Trade, Hotel & Restaurant sector, the share of workers has shown an increasing trend.
Health-Related Statistics:
  • The Infant Mortality Rate(IMR) decreased from 39 in 2014 to 32 in 2018.
  • Also, the Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) decreased from 212 in 2007-09 to 113 in 2016-18.
  • Further, the Total Fertility Rate of rural India was 2.3 in 2018. It was 1.7 in urban areas in 2018.
  • According to National Family Health Survey-5(NFHS-5), almost 100% institutional delivery was observed in the states of Goa, Kerala, Lakshadweep.

Source: MoSPI


All India Open Test for Prelims 2021 | Open to All till 22nd Feb, 11:59 PM

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Achieving Paris Agreement is the key to save “endemic species”: Study

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What is the News?

According to a study published in the journal Biological Conservation, 90% of the endemic species will face extinction unless the goals of the Paris Agreement are met.

Note: Endemic species are those plants and animals that exist only in one geographical region. Species can be endemic to an island, state, nation, country or other defined zone.

For example, Kolar Leaf Nose Bat is endemic to India and endemic to only one cave in Hanumanahalli village in Kolar district, Karnataka

About the Study:
  • The scientists analysed almost 300 biodiversity hotspots — places with exceptionally high numbers of animal and plant species — on land and at sea.
  • Many of these hotspots contain endemic species that are unique to one geographic location.
What did the study find out?
  • Endemic species are 2.7 times more likely to go extinct due to unchecked increase in temperature than other species. This is because they are only found in one place. Climate change alters their only habitat. So, they are at risk of permanent extinction.
  • According to this study, If the planet heats by over 3 °C, then one-third of endemic species living on land will face extinction. Similarly, about half of the endemic species living in the sea will also face extinction.
    • On mountains, 84% of endemic animals and plants face extinction at these temperatures.
    • On islands, the number rises to 100%. It means no endemic at all.
  • Overall, 92% of land-based endemic and 95% of marine endemics face negative consequences.
  • Some endemic species threatened by climate change include:
    • Lemurs: unique to Madagascar
    • Snow leopard: unique to the Himalayas.
    • Medicinal plants such as lichen Lobaria pindarensis (this is used to alleviate arthritis).
  • In Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean islands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats will lose most of their endemic plants and animals by 2050.
  • However, remaining within the climate goals of the Paris Agreement (keep global heating well below 2 °C, ideally at 1.5 °C) will save the majority of the species.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Delhi CM to represent Delhi at “World Cities Cultural Forum”

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What is the News?

The Delhi CM will represent Delhi and India at the World Cities Cultural Forum.

About World Cities Cultural Forum:
  • The World Cities Culture Forum got established in London in 2012. Eight cities are its member(London, New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Istanbul, Sydney and Johannesburg).
  • Organized by: It is an initiative of the Mayor of London. BOP Consulting, a specialist consulting firm, is organising and coordinating it.
  • Purpose: The forum provides a way for policymakers to share research and intelligence. Further, they can explore the vital role of culture in their future prosperity.
  • Participating Cities: The forum now has 43 participating member cities. Delhi has been invited this year, but it is not a part of member cities.
World Cities Cultural Forum Summit:
  • Each year, members of the World Cities Culture Forum meet at the World Cities Culture Summit.
  • The member cities host the summit on a rotating basis. Deputy Mayors for Culture and Heads of Culture from the member cities attend it.
  • The theme for 2021: The Future of Culture.
Publications by Forum:
  • World Cities Culture report: The forum publishes it in every three years. It contains data and details on innovative projects from cities across the world. The last report was published in 2018.
    • Delhi will now also be part of the World Cities Culture Report.
  • World Cities Culture Finance Report: It is the first comparative analysis of culture financing in world cities. It was first published in 2017. Further, the reports get updated annually.

Source: The Hindu


India participated in ‘World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021’

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“BIMSTEC” 17th Ministerial Meeting

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India’s External Affairs Minister attended the 17th ministerial meet of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries.

About the 17th ministerial meet of the BIMSTEC
  • Sri Lanka Chaired the 17th Ministerial Meeting.
  • In meeting External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, reiterated India’s commitment to take BIMSTEC forward.
About BIMSTEC:
  • It is a regional organization consisting of members from South Asia and South-East Asia. It was founded in 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • Objective: The organization aims to harness shared, accelerated growth through mutual cooperation on multiple areas of common interests. The members will achieve this by using regional resources and geographical advantage.
  • Members: It comprises seven Member States:
    • Five from South Asia including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka
    • Two from Southeast Asia including Myanmar and Thailand.
  • Chairmanship: BIMSTEC Chairmanship rotates among member countries (alphabetically).
  • Significance: Nearly 1.5 billion people or 22% of the global population comes under the BIMSTEC. Together, it has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.7 trillion.
  • Sectors: Currently, it is involved in 15 sectors. This includes sectors such as trade, technology, agriculture, tourism, fisheries, energy, and climate change among others for sectoral cooperation.
  • First Summit: The First Summit Meeting of the Heads of the BIMSTEC Countries was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2004.
  • Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

WEF released “Global Gender Gap Report 2021”

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What is the News?

WEF releases the Global Gender Gap Report 2021.

About Global Gender Gap Report:
  • The World Economic Forum(WEF) publishes the Global Gender Gap Report annually since 2006.
  • Parameters: The report ranks 156 countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions. Namely,
    1. Economic Participation and Opportunity
    2. Educational Attainment
    3. Health and Survival
    4. Political Empowerment.
Findings of Global Gender Gap Report 2021 related to India:
  • Ranking: India’s ranking on the Index drops 28 places to 140 amongst the 156 nations. In 2020, India was ranked at 112th place in the report.
  • Gender Gap: India has closed 62.5% of its gender gap to date. However, the gender gap increased by 4.2% compared to 2020. This explains why India has fallen 28 places in the ranking.
  • India is the third-worst performer in the South Asia region. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan rank below India in this region.
Reasons for India’s decline in Global Gender Gap Report 2021:
  • Political Empowerment: Most of the decline occurred on political empowerment. India declined by 13.5% points with a significant reduction in the number of women ministers (from 23.1% in 2019 to 9.1% in 2021).
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity: It has also declined due to a decrease in women’s labour force. The women’s estimated earned income is only one-fifth of men’s. This puts India amongst the bottom 10 global performers on this indicator.
  • Health and Survival: India ranks amongst the bottom five countries in this due to:
    • High incidence of gender based sex-selective practices.
    • More than one in four women has faced intimate violence in her lifetime.
  • Educational Attainment: The gender gap in education has improved in primary, secondary and tertiary education. However, gender gaps still persist in terms of literacy. One-third of women are illiterate (34.2%) compared to 17.6% of men.
Other Key Findings of Global Gender Gap Report 2021:
  • Topped by: Iceland continued to top the index in 2021. It was followed by Finland and Norway. Afghanistan was at the last position at 156.
  • Neighbors: Amongst India’s Neighbours, Bangladesh is ranked at 65, Nepal at 106, Pakistan at 153, Afghanistan at 156, Bhutan at 130, and Sri Lanka at 116.
  • South Asia was the lowest performer on the index after West Asia and North Africa. Only Bhutan and Nepal had shown progress towards gender parity in 2021 in this region.

Source: Hindu Business line

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

NITI Aayog Releases “Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector” report

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog released a report titled, ‘Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector’.

Purpose of the Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector Report:

  • The report outlines the range of investment opportunities in various segments of India’s healthcare sector. This includes hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, telemedicine, home healthcare, and medical value travel.
India’s Healthcare Industry:
  • Firstly, Healthcare Sector Growth Rate: India’s healthcare industry is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 22% since 2016. At this rate, it is expected to reach USD 372 Billion in 2022.
  • Secondly, Employment: In 2015, the healthcare sector became the fifth-largest employer. It employed around 4.7 million people directly.
    • As per estimates of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), healthcare can generate 2.7 Million additional jobs in India between 2017-22.
  • Thirdly, India’s FDI Regime for Healthcare Sector: India’s Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) regime in the Health Sector has been liberalised extensively.
    • Currently, FDI is permitted up to 100% under the automatic route for the hospital sector and manufacture of medical devices.
      Automatic route: The non-resident investor or Indian company does not require prior approval from the Government of India for the investment.
    • Further, in the pharmaceutical sector, FDI is permitted up to 100% in greenfield projects. For the brownfield projects, it is up to 74% under the automatic route.
  • Fourthly, FDI Inflows: India’s FDI in the Healthcare Sector has increased considerably over the last few years. The FDI has increased from USD 94 Million (2011) to USD 1,275 Million (2016), This is a jump of over 13.5 times.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Global Wind Report 2021

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What is the News?

The Global Wind Energy Council(GWEC) has released the Global Wind Report,2021.

About Global Wind Report:

  • The Global Wind Report highlights the role of wind power on the road to net-zero emissions.

Key Findings of the report:

  • Firstly, Wind Energy: The world’s capacity to generate electricity from wind jumped 53% in 2020. A total of 93 gigawatts (GW) capacity was installed in the year.
    • However, this growth is not sufficient for the world to reach a ‘net zero’ emission status by 2050. The world needs to install a minimum of 180 GW of new wind energy capacity every year.
  • Secondly, Current Global Wind Energy Capacity: At present, the world has a total wind energy capacity of 743 GW. This has helped avoid an annual CO2 emission of over 1.1 billion tonnes which is equivalent to the volume of carbon South America emits in a year.
  • Thirdly, China and the United States accounted for 75% of the new installations and over half the world’s wind power capacity.

India’s Wind Power Capacity:

  • Wind power generation capacity in India has significantly increased in recent years.
  • As of February 2021, India’s total installed wind power capacity was 38GW, the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

About Global Wind Energy Council(GWEC):

  • The Global Wind Energy Council(GEWC) was established in 2005. It provides a credible and representative forum for the entire wind energy sector at an international level.
  • Aim: Its mission is to establish wind power as one of the world’s leading energy sources, providing substantial environmental and economic benefits.
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

US “2020 Human Rights Report” flags curbs on Indian media

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What is the News?

The US State Department released the “2020 Human Rights Report” also known as “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices”.

About 2020 Human Rights Report:
  • Firstly, the Human Rights Report is an annual report.  Each year the US State Department submits it to the US Congress.
  • Secondly, the report is retrospective and contains a country-wise discussion on the state of human rights.
  • Thirdly, the report is based on the rights listed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Key Findings of the Human Right report Related to India:
  • Human Rights Issues in India: India has several human rights issues including:
    1. Unlawful and arbitrary killings;
    2. Restrictions on freedom of expression and the press including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists;
    3. Restrictions on political participation;
    4. Widespread corruption at all levels in the government;
    5. Tolerance of violations of religious freedom
    6. Crimes involving violence and discrimination targeting members of minority groups including women based on religious affiliation or social status.
  • Requests for Data from Social Media Companies: The government’s requests for user data from Internet companies increased dramatically. In 2019, the Government made 49,382 user data requests from Facebook, a 32% increase from 2018. Over the same period, Google requests increased by 69% while Twitter requests saw a 68% increase.
  • Improvement in Situation in J&K: The report noted that there was an improvement in the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The government is taking steps to restore normalcy in J&K by gradually lifting some security and communications restrictions.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Foreign Minister attends “Heart of Asia” Ministerial Conference

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What is the News?

India’s Foreign Minister is attending the 9th ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

 About Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process:
  • Firstly, Heart of Asia Istanbul Process is a regional initiative of Afghanistan and the Republic of Turkey. It was launched in November 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Secondly, the process aims to promote economic and political cooperation for Afghanistan peace through dialogue and confidence-building measures (CBMs).
  • Thirdly, Composition: The platform comprises 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations.
    • India is one of the participating countries.
    • Other participating countries are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates
  • Fourthly, Pillars: The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process is based on three pillars:
    • Political Consultations to resolve disputes in the region and Afghanistan.
    • Implementation of the Confidence Building Measures(CBMs) and
    • Cooperation with Regional Organizations.
  • Fifthly, De facto Secretariat: The Directorate-General for Regional Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.
  • Lastly, has India ever hosted the conference: India co-hosted the 6th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Amritsar, Punjab in 2016.

Source: AIR

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“International Intellectual Property Index” 2021 Released

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What is the News?

The International Intellectual Property Index,2021 has been released.

About International Intellectual Property Index:
  • It is an annual report that the US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre(GIPC) releases.
  • Aim: The aim of the index is to evaluate Intellectual Property rights in 53 global economies. These economies represent together over 90% of global GDP.
  • Parameters: It ranks countries based on 50 unique indicators. These indicators are divided across nine categories of protection: 1) Patents 2) copyrights 3) trademarks 4) design rights 5) trade secrets 6) commercialization of IP assets 7) enforcement 8) systemic efficiency and 9) membership and ratification of international treaties.
Key Findings Related to India:
  • India ranks 40 in the 2021 index among the 53 global economies. In 2020, India ranked 40 as well.
  • Among BRICS nations, India registered the second-highest growth with an overall improvement of over 13%,
Other Key Findings Globally:
  • Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the global IP environment continued to strengthen. In the 2021 report, 32 of the 53 economies had positive improvements in their scores.
  • Further, the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Japan are the top five economies on the IP Index in 2021.

Source: NDTV

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Government Criticises “Oxfam Inequality index”

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What is the news?

The Oxfam’s Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index, 2020 ranked India at 129 overall out of 158 countries. However, the Minister of Labour and Employment has said that the index lacked clarity. Further, he also mentions that the report did not take into account various initiatives taken by the government.

About Oxfam inequality index or Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index

  • Released by: Oxfam International.
  • Parameters: The index ranks 158 countries. The Index measures the policies and actions in three areas directly related to reducing inequality. The three areas are:
    1. Public services(health, education and social protection)
    2. Taxation and
    3. Worker’s rights
Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index Findings Related to India:
  • Overall: India has been ranked 129 overall in the index out of 158 countries.
  • Ranking based on Parameters:
    • Public Services: India has ranked 141 in terms of its public services such as health, education and social protection.
    • Taxation: India has ranked 19th in the index, in terms of taxation.
    • Workers Rights: India has fared poorly in protecting labour rights and has slipped to rank 151.

Other Key Findings of Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index:

  • Topped by: Norway followed by Denmark and Germany has topped the index.
What were the objections raised by the Indian Government?
  • Firstly, the rank assigned to India and the methodology adopted is not clear. The index does not take into account the provisions of the four new labour codes which protects labour rights.
  • Secondly, India is not a signatory to two International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. But the principles of the conventions were available to Indian workers. The Index does not take account of this. The two conventions are,
    1. Freedom of association and protection of the right to organise convention(C87).
    2. The right to organise and collective bargaining(C98).

Source: The Hindu

Oxfam Report Findings – Rising inequality in India

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India participated in ‘World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021’

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What is the News?

Union Minister of Telecom has represented India at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021.

 About World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021(WSIS):
  • World Summit on the Information Society(WSIS) is one of the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.
  • The UN General Assembly approved the holding of WSIS in two phases. One in 2003 at Geneva and the other in 2005 at Tunis.
  • Aim: WSIS’s chief aim is to bridge the global digital divide separating rich countries from poor countries. The WSIS aims to achieve this by increasing internet accessibility in the developing world.
  • Organized by: The summit is co-organized by International Telecommunication Union(ITU), UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD.
About International Telecommunication Union(ITU):
  • International Telecommunication Union(ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
  • It was originally established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union. It is one of the oldest international organizations in operations.
  • Members: It is open to all Member States of the United Nations. There are currently 193 Member States of the ITU. This includes all the UN member states except the Republic of Palau.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Source: PIB

“India Telecom 2021” Event Inaugurated

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Military Direct releases “Ultimate military strength Index”.

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What is the News?

A Defence Website Military Direct has released a study titled “Ultimate military strength Index”.

About Ultimate military strength index:
  • Firstly, the Ultimate military strength index ranks the strongest military forces in the world.
  • Secondly, the index calculated this after taking into consideration various factors. The factors include budgets, average salaries, number of inactive and active military personnel. The index also includes total air, sea, land, and nuclear resources and the weight of equipment.

Key Findings of Ultimate military strength index related to India:

  • India has the fourth strongest military force in the world.
  • India is the world’s third-biggest military spender. According to the index, India spends almost a budget of USD 71 billion.
Other Key Findings of the Ultimate military strength index:
  • Firstly, China has the strongest military force in the world. Despite the enormous military budget, the USA gets a second position. This is followed by Russia, India, and France.
  • Secondly, The US is the world’s biggest military spender with a budget of USD 732 billion per year. This is followed by China(USD 261 billion) and India.
  • Thirdly, based on the number of air, sea, land resources the Ultimate military strength index predicted a winner in terms of hypothetical conflicts.
  • Finally, the report predicts China would win by sea, the USA would win by air, and Russia by land in this hypothetical conflict.

Source: The Hindu

Dire need of Police reforms

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

United Nations SDSN publishes “World Happiness Report 2021”

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What is the News?

World Happiness Report 2021 has been released. The report evaluated levels of happiness by accounting factors such as GDP, social support, personal freedom, and levels of corruption in each nation.

 About The World Happiness Report:
  • The World Happiness Report is an annual report published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network(SDSN).
  • The report ranks countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.
  • The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared.

Parameters: The survey used the Gallup World Poll. The poll asked people to vote on three indicators:

  • Firstly, Life Evaluations: Under this, people were asked to evaluate their current life using the image of a ladder. The best possible life for them is rated at 10 and the worst possible at 0.
  • Secondly, Positive Emotions: Under this, respondents were asked whether they smiled or laughed a lot the previous day. An affirmative response is coded as a 1 while a negative response is coded as 0.
  • And lastly, Negative Emotions: Under this, people were asked whether they have experienced negative emotions such as worry, sadness, and anger a lot on the same day.
Key Findings Related to India:
  • India has been ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the World Happiness Report 2021.
  • In 2020, India was ranked 144 out of 156 countries.

Other Key Findings of the World Happiness Report 2021:

  • Finland ranked as the happiest country in the world for the fourth consecutive year.
  • It was followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, and Norway.
  • Afghanistan(149) is the most unhappy country. Zimbabwe (148), Rwanda (147), Botswana (146), and Lesotho (145) followed it.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“World Air Quality Report, 2020” Released

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What is the News?

IQ Air, a Swiss air quality technology company released a report titled “World Air Quality Report, 2020”.

About World Air Quality Report:
  • World Air Quality is an annual report. The report is based on PM2.5 data from 106 countries based on data from ground-based monitoring stations. The report is handled by government agencies mostly.
Key Findings Related to India
  • India is home to 35 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities in World.
  • Delhi has been listed as the 10th most polluted city and the top polluted capital city in the world in 2020. However, Delhi’s air quality improved by approximately 15% from 2019 to 2020.
  • India ranked as the world’s 3rd most polluted country in 2020 after Bangladesh and Pakistan. However, India has improved its average annual PM2.5 (particulate matter) levels in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Further, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was particularly severe for stubble burning in India. Farm fires in Punjab have increased by 46.5% over 2019.
Other Key Global Findings:
  • The topmost polluted city in the world is Xinjiang in China. It is followed by Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In 2020, 84% of all monitored countries observed air quality improvements. However, of the 106 monitored countries, only 24 met the World Health Organization annual guidelines for PM 2.5.

Source: The Hindu

Pollution in India

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Highlights of the Quad Summit

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Synopsis: The maiden (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue)  Quad Summit witnessed declaration of a joint statement by four leaders along with a common article in the Washington post. It is a step which is expected to yield positive outcomes in the Asian Geopolitics and the Indo Pacific region.

Background:
  • The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 triggered cooperation among the navies and governments of the Quad Summit powers namely India,U.S,Australia and Japan.
  • The countries wanted to build a diplomatic alliance in 2006-08 but sidelined the idea as:
    • China opposed creation of such a group
    • Chinese Dominance at that time was not strong enough to unite QUAD members in comparison to the current scenario
  • However China’s behaviour has turned hostile since 2017. The nation’s constant adventures (including the 2020 Galwan Valley incident) induced QUAD members to concretise the vision of QUAD summit.
  • Thus the 1st virtual summit took place on 12th March 2021.
Highlights of the Summit:
  • A joint statement titled ‘The Spirit of the Quad Summit ’ was released along with a common article in the Washington post. The leaders have visualised Quad as a flexible group of like-minded partners dedicated towards advancement of a common vision which will ensure peace and prosperity.
  • The diverging views on the Indo Pacific are over. The aim is to ensure a free, open, inclusive and healthy Indo Pacifc.The region should be anchored by democratic values and unconstrained by coercion.
  • The security challenges from China especially in the east and south china seas has been recognised without expressly using the word China. The countries have agreed to adopt a smart blend of competition, cooperation and confrontation for containing Chinese actions.
  • The summit has focused on winning people’s hearts in the indo pacific region. In this regard a special initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines from the western Pacific to eastern Africa would be run.
  • Three working groups on vaccine partnership; climate change; and critical and emerging technologies (such as telecom and biotechnology) would be established.
  • Country leaders and foreign ministers have agreed to do periodic meetings in order to strengthen the habits of the Quad working together for a common vision.
  • Complete denuclearization of North Korea as per the United Nations Security Council resolutions will be carried on by members. A statement made in South Korea’s interest.
  • The Quad members agreed to restore democracy in Myanmar along with strengthening democratic resilience across the region.
Way Ahead:
  • The summit should get the four national establishments into serious policy coordination and action mode, creating new capacities.
  • The new synergy in vaccine development is a real highlight that should result in the production of one billion vaccine doses in India by 2022. 
    • In this regard, the U.S and Japan have volunteered for financial support, Australia performs well in logistics while manufacturing would be taken care of by India.
  • The call for democracy restoration can help ASEAN in carrying forward its diplomatic initiative to promote reconciliation in Myanmar.
  • Further Beijing has already shown its discontent against Quad. It has cautioned India from becoming a negative asset in SCO and BRICS groupings. 
    • Greater clarity is expected to emerge post the scheduled March 18 discussions between the top officials of the U.S. and China.
  • It is believed that some of Asian Capitals may express a cautious welcome to QUAD as they are suspicious about the vision and objectives of QUAD.

Source:  THE HINDU 

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

“SIPRI Report” – India Remains the 2nd Largest Arms Importer

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What is the news?

Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) released a report titled “Trends in International Arms Transfers Report”. It presents global trends in arms exports and imports.

What are the key findings of the SIPRI report?

SIPRI Report on India:

  1. Second Largest Arms Importer: India remains the second largest arms importer after Saudi Arabia.
  2. Decrease in Arms Imports: However, India’s arms imports have decreased by 33 % between 2011-15 and 2016-20.
    • Reason: The decrease in arms imports is mainly due to complex and lengthy procurement processes. Also, India is attempting to reduce its dependence on Russian arms by diversifying its network of arms suppliers.
  3. India’s Arms Imports: India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%), and Israel (13%).
    • The US was the 4th largest arms supplier to India. Its imports to India reduced by 46% between 2016-20.
  4. India’s Arms Exports: India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20. It makes the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms. Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius are the top recipients of Indian military hardware.
Other Global Findings of SIPRI report:
  • Firstly, the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2016–20 was 0.5% lower than in 2011–15 and 12% higher than in 2006–10.
  • Secondly, the five largest arms exporters in 2016–20 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and China.
  • Thirdly the five largest arms importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia, and China.
  • Lastly, the arms import by Pakistan between 2011–15 and 2016–20 decreased by 23%. China accounted for 61% of its imports in 2011–15 and for 74% in 2016–20.

Source: The Hindu

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India rated as an “electoral autocracy” by V-Dem Institute

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What is the News?

Sweden-based Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute released a report titled “Autocratisation Goes Viral”. The report has downgraded India from being an “electoral democracy” to an “electoral autocracy”.

Note: This report comes after US watchdog Freedom House has downgraded India’s status to “partly free” in its ‘Freedom in the World’ report.

 About the Autocratisation Goes Viral Report:
  • Released by: V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute. It is an independent research organization founded in 2014 by Swedish political scientist Staffan Lindberg.
  • Objective: The report summarizes the state of democracies of the world against the backdrop of developments, over the past decade.
  • Data: The report gathered its data using surveys from country experts and then analysed using a statistical model.
Key Findings Related to India:
  • India is rated as autocratic along with Pakistan. It is a poor rating than both its neighbors Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • India is also among 25 “autocratizing nations” along with Brazil, Turkey, and other countries.
Reasons for the downgrading of India:
  • Frequent use of defamation(Section 499) and Sedition(Section 124-A) to silence journalists and critics.
  • Use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA) to place constraints on civil society.
  • The passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 to grant citizenship based on religious lines.
  • Increased use of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act(FCRA) to restrict the entry, exit, and functioning of Civil Society Organisations(CSO).
  • In general, the report mentions National Security laws are getting misused in India.
Other key Global Findings:
  • The liberal democracies have reduced over the past decade from 41 countries to 32 countries.
  • The global decline during the past decade is increasing especially in the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

Source: The Hindu

 

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Panel Recommendations to improve “Air Quality in Kerala”

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What is the news?

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed a joint committee to study air pollution in Kerala. It made several recommendations to improve air quality in Kerala.

What are the key recommendations of the panel?

  1. Installation of vapor recovery systems at fuelling stations
  2. Retrofitting of diesel vehicles with particulate filters to improve air quality.
    • Reason: The petrol refueling stations are a major source of benzene emissions, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter 2.5. Hence, the installation of a vapor recovery system is an important step in improving air quality.
  3. Promoting battery-operated vehicles and banning old diesel vehicles in a phased manner.
  4. Greening of open areas and creation of green buffers along traffic corridors.
  5. Short Term Measures: The panel has also recommended several short term measures that include:
    • Strict actions against visibly polluting vehicles (to be initiated by the Motor Vehicles Department)
    • Introduction of Wet/Mechanised vacuum sweeping of roads,
    • Controlling dust pollution at construction sites
    • Ensuring transport of construction materials in covered vehicles.

About Benzene Pollution

  • Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor. It evaporates quickly when exposed to air.
  • Source: Benzene is formed from both natural processes and human activities. Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. It is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.
  • Uses: Benzene is a widely used industrial chemical. It is found in crude oil and is a major part of gasoline. It’s also used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.
  • Exposure to Benzene:
    • Industrial processes: Benzene occurs naturally in crude petroleum. Thus, human activities using petroleum, lead to exposure. These activities include processing petroleum products, coking of coal, and their use in industrial and consumer products.
    • Indoor residential air: In homes, benzene may be found in glues, adhesives, cleaning products, paint strippers, tobacco smoke, and gasoline. Levels are increased in homes close to petrol filling stations.
  • Side Effects: Human exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer and hematological effects.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

First “Quad Summit” Held Virtually

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What is the news?

The first-ever leadership Quad summit held virtually.

About the First Quad Summit:

  • Participation: Indian Prime Minister, US President, Australian PM, and Japanese PM participated virtually in the first Quad summit.

What were the key takeaways from the Summit?

 Free and Open Indo-Pacific:

  • The leaders have called for a free and open Indo-Pacific. They aim for an Indo-Pacific that is inclusive, healthy, backed by democratic values, and not by coercion.
  • The leaders have also pledged to promote a free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

Working Groups: The leaders have decided to create three working groups:

  • Vaccine Expert Working Group: It comprises top scientists and officials. They will design an implementation plan for the vaccine partnership.
  • Climate working group: The group will work to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement and strengthen climate actions globally for mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and climate finance.
  • Critical and emerging technology working group: It will facilitate cooperation on international standards and innovative future technologies and their safe and judicious use.

Quad summit Vaccine Initiative:

  • The Quad summit  leaders agreed on a Quad Vaccine initiative. It aims to send 1 billion coronavirus vaccines across Asia by the end of 2022.
  • Under this initiative, India will use its manufacturing capacity to make US vaccines.  Finances for that will come from the US International Development Finance Corporation and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
  • Australia will finance training and provide last-mile logistical support for the distribution of vaccines.

About Quad summit:

  • Quad summit is the strategic dialogue between four countries viz. India, United States, Japan, and Australia.
  • Origin:
    • The grouping traces its genesis to 2004, when the four countries came together to coordinate relief operations in the aftermath of the tsunami.
    • However, the idea of Quad summit was initiated in 2007 by the Japanese Prime Minister. But it was dropped with the withdrawal of Australia. It was later revived in the year 2017.
  • Objective: It is viewed as a group of four democracies. They have a shared objective to ensure and support a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
    • The foundation of Quad summit is also based on collective effort and shared commitment to counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, maritime security cooperation, development finance, and cybersecurity.

Source: The Hindu

 

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‘Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India’ – A report of NITI Aayog

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute(RMI) India jointly releases a new report titled ‘Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India’.

Purpose of the Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India report:
  • The report highlights the role of finance in India’s transition to electric vehicles(EVs). Further, the report also identifies solutions for capital and financing to aid in India’s EV transition.
What does the report say about Electric Vehicle Financing?

India’s Electric Vehicle ecosystem has so far focused on overcoming adoption hurdles. These hurdles are associated with technology cost, infrastructure availability, and consumer behaviour. However, financing is the next critical barrier that needs to be addressed to accelerate India’s electric mobility transition.

  • According to the report, the transition to Electric Vehicles(EVs) will require a capital investment of over 19 lakh crore rupees. This has to be spent on electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and batteries over the next decade.
  • Moreover, India’s Electric Vehicle financing industry is projected to be Rs 3.7 lakh Crore in 2030. It is about 80% of the current size of India’s retail vehicle finance industry.

Suggestions: The report has provided several solutions that financial institutions can adopt in catalysing Electric Vehicle financing.

  • Inclusion of EVs in Priority sector lending (PSL): Reserve Bank of India(RBI) can include EVs in PSL guidelines. This would incentivise banks to increase lending towards the sector.
  • Interest rate subvention: Government can provide interest rate subventions to make loans affordable. This has already been enacted in other sectors and at a state level. For example in Delhi.
  • Product guarantees and warranties: The manufacturers of EVs can provide guarantees and warranties on the performance of their products. This would improve their bankability.
  • Risk-sharing mechanism (government and multilateral-led): Partly or entirely covering the possible losses associated with Electric Vehicle financing can build trust in the sector.
  • Secondary market development: Government can help develop a secondary market for electric vehicles. This will improve the resale value of EVs and improve their bankability.
  • Digital lending: The loans for EVs can be provided digitally. This will help in overcoming the operational and logistical challenges of Electric Vehicle financing.
  • Open data repository for EVs: Financial Institutions(FIs) need access to data on EV specifications, actual charging costs, and operating expenditures. This will help institutions accurately assess risk, determine appropriate interest rates, and design effective leasing programmes.

Source: PIB

Transport Minister launches ‘Go Electric Campaign’

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Report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development

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What is the News?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development has submitted its report to the Lok Sabha.

What did the Parliamentary Panel say in its report?

Parliamentary report On Pensions to Senior Citizens, Widows and Disabled:

  • Increase in Pension Amount: The Central Government must increase the small amount of pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people under the National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP).

About National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP):

  • Nodal Ministry: It was launched in 1995. It is a welfare programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development. The programme is being implemented in rural areas as well as urban areas.
  • Aim: To provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions.
  • Current Schemes under NSAP: There are five different schemes being implemented as part of NSAP:
    • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme(IGNOAPS): Under this, senior citizens of the Below Poverty Line(BPL) households will get Rs 200 to Rs 500 a month.
    • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Under this, widows aged over 40 years in BPL households will get Rs 300 to Rs 500 a month.
    • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme(IGNDPS): Under this, Rs 300 a month will be provided for persons aged 18-79 years with severe or multiple disabilities in BPL households.
    • National Family Benefit Scheme(NFBS): Under this, Rs 20,000 are provided upon the death of a breadwinner aged 18-59 in BPL households.
    • Annapurna Scheme: Under the scheme, senior citizens not receiving any pension benefit will get 10 kg of food grains (wheat or rice) per month at free of cost.
  • Significance: The programme represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of Article 41 of DPSP. Article 41 directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of old age, unemployment, sickness and disablement etc.

Parliamentary report on MGNREGA:

  • Delay in Payment of MNREGA Wages: The panel has pointed out the Department of Rural Development(DoRD) for delays and disparities in the MGNREGA wages and unemployment allowances.
    • Example: During COVID-19, there was an increase in the demand for work under MGNREGA. However, there was an excessive delay in the release of 40% of the funds.
  • Weak Implementation by States: The panel has asked State Governments to ensure proper implementation of the unemployment allowance of MGNREGA. As it has found that unemployment allowance under MGNREGA the provision is not implemented in letter and spirit at the grass-root level
  • The disparity in MGNREGA Wages between States: Despite the Constitution provides for equal pay for equal work, there is a wide disparity in MGNREGA wages in different states

Click Here to Read about MGNREGA

 Source: The Hindu

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Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Environment Ministry

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What is the news?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forests and Climate Change chaired by a Rajya Sabha member has tabled its report. The report demands more grants to the Environment ministry.

What were the key highlights of the report?

On Budget allocation for Environment Ministry:

  • In Budget 2020-21, Government has reduced the revised budgetary estimates for the Environment Ministry by 35% due to adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in the non-release of funds for the proposed schemes.
  • Moreover, the budget estimates for the Environment Ministry are the lowest in the last three years. The ministry requires additional funds of Rs 900 crore to carry out its programs.

On Measures needed to Control Air Pollution:

  • Central Mechanism: The control of pollution projects is carried out by different agencies at the Centre and by state governments. Hence, a central mechanism should be set up to monitor all central and state agencies.
  • Capacity Building exercises should be undertaken at the municipal level to ensure proper implementation of the National Clean Air Programme(NCAP).
  • The government should allocate grants based on the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission. It recommended for the installations of air quality monitoring systems in smaller cities and towns.
  • Invest in Infrastructure: Government should invest in setting up infrastructure for pollution abatement measures. It includes installing superchargers for electric vehicles, establishing effective microorganism bio-digester units for waste treatment and biogas production in urban areas.

Other Key Findings and suggestions:

  • Man Animal Conflict: Ministry of Environment should take measures to minimise man-animal conflicts.
  • Low Expenditure on Conservation and Development: The committee has expressed concern over low expenditure on R&D in Conservation and Development. The ministry has spent 16.3%, 35.8%, and 23.5% of its allocated amount in the last three years.

Source: Indian Express

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“Index of Economic Freedom” 2021 released

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What is the News?

The Heritage Foundation releases The Index of Economic Freedom 2021.

Key Findings of  Index of Economic Freedom 2021
  • India ranked 121st in the index with a score of 56.5 points under the category of ‘mostly unfree’.
  • In Asia-Pacific, India ranked 26th among the 40 countries.

Other Key Findings

  • Singapore tops the index followed by New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and Ireland.
  • Hong Kong was left out of the 2021 index calculation for the first time. It is because of China’s increasing control over the city’s economic policies. Hong Kong topped the index for 25 out of 26 years except for 2020.
About Index of Economic Freedom
  • It is an annual index.  This index created in 1995 by think-tank The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Purpose: It measures the degree of economic freedom in countries across the world.
  • Coverage: The Index covered economic freedoms in 184 countries.

Parameters: The index measures 12 indicators grouped into four broad categories of economic freedom:

  • Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness)
  • Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health)
  • Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom)
  • Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).

Each of these twelve economic freedoms within these categories is graded on a scale of 0 to 100. Score 0 is the least economic freedom and score 100 is the highest economic freedom.

Source: Business Standard

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

WHO released “World Report on Hearing”

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What is the news?

The World Health Organization(WHO) releases its first-ever World Report on Hearing. This report released on World Hearing Day (observed on 3rd March).

About World Report on Hearing:
  • The report has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution adopted in 2017. The resolution aims to provide guidance for the Member States to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.
  • Purpose: The report presents data on hearing loss. It outlines available cost-effective solutions to prevent hearing loss.
Key Findings of World Report on Hearing:
  • Around 5% of the world population (430 million people) suffers from disabling hearing loss. Further, one-third of people above 65 years of age affected by hearing loss.
  • Nearly 2.5 billion people (1 in 4 people) will be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050. At least 700 million of these people will require access to ear and hearing care and other rehabilitation services unless governments start preventive actions.
Suggestions by World Report on Hearing

The World Report on Hearing mentions the acronym “H.E.A.R.I.N.G.”. Stands for:

  • Hearing screening and intervention
  • Ear disease prevention and management
  • Access to technologies
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Improved communication
  • Noise reduction and
  • Greater community engagement

The report suggested governments can provide access to quality ear and hearing care to everyone through this “H.E.A.R.I.N.G.” initiative.

India specific findings of World Report on Hearing:
  • Disabling hearing loss has affected 2.9% of the Indian population. Further, hearing loss will affect communication, education and work-related problems for them.
  • Over 27,000 children are born deaf every year in India. This is because hearing impairment or loss is often neglected or in most cases, the diagnosis is delayed.
  • According to a 2018 WHO report, 2% of India’s population, mainly children, suffer from the condition of Otitis Media.
    • Otitis media is an infection in the middle ear. It can occur as a result of a cold, sore throat, or respiratory infection.

Indian initiative towards improving ear and hearing care:

The Indian government is implementing a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness. The salient points about the programme are,

  • Nodal Ministry: It was launched in 2006 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Objectives: The program aims:
    • To prevent the avoidable hearing loss on account of disease or injury.
    • Early identification, diagnosis and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness.
    • To develop institutional capacity for ear care services by providing support for equipment and material and training personnel.
  • Funding: The programme is funded completely by the Government of India.
  • Target: The programme aims to target over 6% of India’s population with Disabling Hearing Loss.

Source: WHO

Judiciary news and updates

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UNEP releases “Food Waste Index Report 2021”

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What is the news?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) releases the Food Waste Index Report 2021.

About Food Waste Index Report, 2021:
  • Aim: The Report aims at supporting the goals of SDG 12.3. It does so by presenting the most comprehensive food waste data collection and analysis.
    • SDG Target 12.3: It aims to halve global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses, including post-harvest losses, along supply chains by 2030.
Key Findings of the report:
  1. Food Waste: An estimated 17% (931 million tonnes) of total global food production was wasted in 2019. Among them, 61% of the global waste came from households, 26% from food service and 13% from retail.
  2. Food Wastes across income groups: Household per capita food waste generation is broadly similar across country income groups. It suggests that action on food waste is equally relevant in high, upper‐middle and lower-middle-income countries.
  3. Hunger Across the World: In 2019, some 690 million people were impacted by hunger and three billion were unable to afford a healthy diet.
Impact of Food Waste:
  • Environment Impact: Around 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.
  • Economic Impact: Food loss and waste cause about $940 billion per year in economic losses.

Suggestions for Reducing Food Waste:

  • Include Food Waste in NDC’s: None of the Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) to the Paris Agreement mention food waste and only 11 countries mentions food loss. Hence, countries can raise climate ambition by including food systems in their NDCs.
About Food Systems Summit:
  • UN Secretary-General will convene the Food Systems Summit in 2021. It is part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
  • Purpose: The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs. Each of the actions relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems.

Source: Down To Earth

Download: UPSC Previous Year’s Question Papers ( PYQ ) Prelims & Mains

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“India Telecom 2021” Event Inaugurated

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What is the News?

Union Minister for Communications inaugurated India Telecom 2021 Event.

About India Telecom 2021:

  • Organised by: Telecom Equipment Export Promotion Council(TEPC) under Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) of the Department of Commerce.
  • The event has the support of the Department of Telecommunications & Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Purpose: It is an exclusive international business expo. It aims to provide opportunities to the Indian telecom stakeholders to meet qualified overseas buyers.
  • 40 Indian telecom companies and 200 foreign delegates from more than 45 countries are attending the event.

About TEPC:

  • Setup by: Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Communications
  • Aim: To promote and develop Export of Telecom Equipment and Services.
  • Functions: The council undertakes several activities aimed at exports promotion such as;
    • Commissioning of Studies to find potential markets
    • Recommending to the Government for making necessary changes in various policies and procedures for promotion of Exports and Services.
    • Holding of National/International Seminars
    • Facilitating the participation of exporters in various overseas exhibitions
    • Dissemination of trade-related data to its members.

Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme

  • Nodal Ministry: Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Objective: It is an Export Promotion Scheme. The scheme aims to act as a catalyst to promote India’s exports on a sustained basis.
  • Product and Country Focus Approach: The scheme is formulated on the basis of the product and country focus approach. It will evolve specific markets and specific products through market studies/surveys.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: Schemes and Programs, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Releases “Municipal Performance Index (MPI)”

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What is the news?

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs releases the rankings of the Municipal Performance Index(MPI) 2020.

About Municipal Performance Index(MPI), 2020:

  • It is a framework to assess and analyze the performance of Indian Municipalities. Performance is evaluated based on their defined set of functions.
  • It provides citizens with a better understanding of their local government administration.
  • The MPI has been undertaken for the first time in the country.

Note: Both Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index(MPI) released together. Both indexes provide a holistic view of the performance of cities across India.

Parameters: The index ranks municipalities based on five parameters which are:

  1. Services: It includes an assessment of all functions that citizens experience on a daily basis.
  2. Finance: It measures municipalities based on how they manage public funds and how their agency is accessing financial resources.
  3. Planning: It examines the level of preparation, implementation, and enforcement of urban planning.
  4. Technology: It measures the digital coverage of municipality services and the extent to which it empowers its citizens to access such services.
  5. Governance: It deals with aspects of municipal bodies and their governance mechanism.

Coverage:

  • The index examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC and the three Municipal Corporations).
  • Classification: It has classified municipalities based on their population:
    • Million+ (municipalities having over a million population) and
    • Less than Million Population.

Key Findings:

  • Million+ category: Indore has emerged as the highest-ranked municipality followed by Surat and Bhopal.
  • Less than Million category: New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.

Significance of the index:

  • MPI provides a detailed understanding of municipalities’ functionalities and the extent of their development and capabilities.
  • It also seeks to raise awareness among citizens and key stakeholders regarding their local government bodies and build greater transparency and accountability.

Source: Business Standard

 

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Ranking of Indian Universities in “QS World University Rankings 2021”

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What is the News?

The QS World University Rankings 2021 released.

About QS World University Rankings 2021

  • Released by: Global higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds releases annually.
  • Parameters: It calculates the performance of the universities based on the following four parameters:
    1. Academic reputation
    2. Employer reputation
    3. Research impact (citations per paper)
    4. Productivity of an institution’s research faculty
  • Subjects Covered: It covers a total of 51 disciplines grouped into five broad subject areas: 1) Arts & Humanities 2) Engineering and Technology 3) Life Sciences & Medicine 4) Natural Sciences and 5) Social Sciences & Management.

Key Findings Related to India:

  1. Twelve Indian universities and higher education institutions have achieved top-100 positions in their subject. In total, 25 Indian programs have achieved top-100 positions – two fewer than in 2020.
  2. The top-ranked Indian programme globally is the IIT Madras petroleum engineering program. It is followed by mineral and mining engineering at Bombay and Kharagpur IITs.
  3. Engineering and Technology: Only three institutions made it to the top 100 in this category — the Bombay, Delhi, and Madras IITs. In 2020, 5 institutions were ranked in the top 100.
  4. Social Sciences and management: the University of Delhi is the highest-ranked Indian institution in this category. But it fell 48 places at 208.
  5. Life Sciences and Medicine: All India Institute of Medical Sciences remained the only institution in the top 300 in this category.
  6. Natural Sciences: Indian Institute of Science(IISc) has entered into the top 100 in this category.
  7. Arts & Humanities: Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) anthropology program has been ranked 159th in this category.
  8. Private Institute: OP Jindal Global University is the only Indian private institution in the top 100 list. It entered into the top 100 law schools of the world with a rank of 76.

Source: The Hindu

 

[Answered]What is good governance? Discuss recent findings of Good Governance Index report in India. Suggest some measures to improve the governance in Indians states.

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“Ease of Living Index, 2020” released

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What is the news?

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs releases the rankings of the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020.

About Ease of Living Index,2020:

  • Developed by: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2018.
  • It is an assessment tool. By this tool, quality of life and the impact of various initiatives on urban development are assessed.

Parameters: The index evaluates cities based on the following parameters:

  • Quality of Life (35%): It looks at the indicators for decent urban life. These indicators include affordable housing, access to clean water, basic education, healthcare facilities, safety and security and recreation avenues.
  • Economic Ability (15%): It captures the economic well-being of citizens. It is done by evaluating the level of economic development and inequalities in a particular city.
  • Sustainability (20%): It evaluates the availability of green spaces, green buildings, level of energy consumption. Moreover, the quality of natural resources such as air, water, and the city’s ability to withstand natural disasters are also assessed.
  • Citizen Perception Survey (30%): It provides a perception of the city residents. Thus, it allows citizens to evaluate the level and quality of development in their respective cities.

Coverage: The index assessed 111 cities by bifurcating them into two categories:

  • Million+ populated cities (those with a population of more than a million) and
  • Less than A Million populated cities (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.

Key Findings:

  • Million+ category: Bengaluru has emerged as the top performer. It is followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.
  • Less than Million category: Shimla is at the top in this category. It is followed by Bhubaneswar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

Significance of the index:

  • The findings from the index can help guide evidence-based policymaking.
  • It also promotes healthy competition among cities. It encourages cities to learn from each other and advance their development trajectory.

Source: The Hindu

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LinkedIn released the “Opportunity Index 2021”

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What is the News?

LinkedIn has released the Opportunity Index,2021. The index focuses on the manner in which women perceive their employment opportunities. Further, the opportunity index also focuses on how the gender gap is slowing down the career progress for working women.

About the Opportunity Index 2021:

  • The LinkedIn Opportunity Index research was conducted by market research firm GfK.
  • The countries that were included in the index include Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
  • For India, the index highlighted the difference in understanding regarding the available opportunities for men and women.

Key Findings of the Opportunity Index:

  1. Impact of Pandemic on Women: 9 in 10 or 89% of women were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Promotions for Women: As many as 85% of women in India have missed out a promotion or other work offers because of their gender. This is significantly higher than the regional average of 60% in the Asia Pacific.
  3. Other Challenges faced by Indian women:
    • Fewer opportunities and lower pay structure than men
    • Lack of Time and family responsibilities.
    • Lack of guidance through networks.
    • Workplace discrimination because of household responsibilities
    • Companies ‘favourable bias’ towards men.

What needs to be done?

  • The government have to provide greater flexibility to women in order to increase female participation in the workforce.
  • Part-Time Flexible Schedules and Maternity leaves can improve women participation in the workforce.
  • There should be new opportunities for women to upskill and learn the labour market skills. It can help organisations attract, hire and retain more female talent.

Source: Business Today

 

“Global Climate Risk Index 2021” – India is 7th Worst Hit Nation

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PM inaugurated ‘Maritime India Summit 2021’

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What is the News?

The Prime Minister has inaugurated the Second edition of the”Maritime India Summit 2021′.

About the Maritime India Summit 2021:

  • Organised by: Maritime India Summit is being organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways. The FICCI will act as the Industry Partner in this summit.
  • Partner Country: Denmark is the partner country for the Maritime India Summit.
  • Objective: To visualise a roadmap for India’s maritime sector for the next decade. Further, the summit will aid India to become the forefront of the global maritime sector.
  • Significance: Eminent persons from several countries are attending the summit. There is also potential business opportunities and investments in the maritime domain due to the summit.

Initiatives launched at the Maritime India Summit:

  • E-Book of Maritime Vision Policy 2030: It aims to make the Indian maritime industry at par with the top global benchmarks in the next 10 years.
  • Sagar-Manthan: Mercantile Marine Domain Awareness Centre (MMDAC): It is an information system for enhancing maritime safety, search and rescue capabilities, security and marine environment protection.

Click Here to Read about Sagarmala Initiative

 Source: The Hindu

Important Reports and Index

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‘USTR report’ mentions India’s policies as trade restrictive

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What is the News?

U.S. Trade Representative(USTR) has released a report titled “2021 President’s Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report”.

What are the Key Highlights of the USTR report?

The USTR report highlighted a few important updates on trade between India and the US in 2020. They are,

USTR report on Trade Relations:

  • The US continued to engage with India in 2020. The US try to resolve market access issues affecting US exporters. However, India’s policies still remain trade-restrictive.
  • According to the USTR report, the Make in India Initiative has impacted the bilateral trade relationship. As the initiative put emphasis on import substitution, it affected US exports directly.

USTR report on bilateral trade deal:

  • In 2019, the United States had terminated India’s eligibility under the Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) programme.
    • GSP: It is a preferential tariff system provided by developed countries to developing countries. It allows concessional low/zero-tariff imports from developing countries.
  • After the suspension of GSP benefits, the US and India had resumed talks aimed at producing a trade deal. The talks towards better market access outcomes have continued throughout 2020.
  • However, issues remain unresolved leaving inconclusive negotiations.

USTR report on Digital Service Tax(DST)

  • Recently, the USTR Section 301 report has called India’s digital service tax unreasonable or discriminatory.
  • The report has said that the investigation is ongoing on the impact of this tax on US companies.

Source: The Hindu

[Answered]Critically examine the impact of tagging of India as a developed nation by United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Second edition of “Global Bio-India”-2021

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What is the News?

The 2nd edition of Global Bio-India is being organised on a digital platform.

About Global Bio India 2021:

  • Organized by: It is organised by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology along with BIRAC in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises(ABLE) and Invest India.
  • Purpose: To showcase the strength and opportunities of India’s biotechnology sector at national and global level.
  • Inaugural Edition: The first edition of Global Bio-India was held in 2019.
  • Theme for 2021: The theme is “Transforming lives” and the tagline is Biosciences to Bioeconomy”.

India’s Biotechnology Sector:

  • Biotechnology is an industry that focuses on novel drug development and clinical research aimed at treating diseases and medical conditions.
  • India is among the first countries to set up a department of biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1986.
  • India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world. It accounts for approximately 3% share in the global Biotechnology industry.
  • Valu of the Indian Biotechnology industry was at $62 bn in 2019. It will reach a $150 bn target by 2025.

About Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council(BIRAC)

  • It is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise set up by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT).
  • It is an industry-academia interface. Likewise, it aims to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.

Source: PIB

[Answered] Examine how Biotechnology sector can emerge as engine of economic growth and societal change?

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Science and Technology, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

World bank Released “Education Finance Watch(EFW) Report” 2021

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What is the News?

The World Bank and UNESCO released the Education Finance Watch Report (EFW), 2021.

About the Education Finance Watch Report:

  • The report is a collaborative effort between the World Bank and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.
  • It summarizes the available information on patterns and trends in education financing around the world.

Key Findings of the Education Finance Watch Report:

  • Global spending on education has increased continuously in absolute terms over the last 10 years. However, the pandemic may interrupt this upward trend.
  • Education Budgets: 2/3rd of low and middle-income countries reduced their education budgets since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In comparison, only a third of upper-middle and high-income countries have reduced their budgets.
  • Spending on Child’s Education: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, high-income countries were spending annually the equivalent of $8,501 for every child’s education. It was $48 in low-income countries. The pandemic has further widened this spending gap.
  • Access to education has improved in low and middle-income countries. However, the learning poverty rate (the proportion of 10-year-olds unable to read a short, age-appropriate text) was at around 53%. It was only 9% for high-income countries. This has increased further to 63% after COVID-19-related school closures.

Global Education Monitoring Report(GEM Report):

  • Published by: It is an annual report published by UNESCO. The report was formerly known as the Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
  • Mandate: The report aims to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education. It also targets education-related goals in the SDG agenda.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

State of Environment Report, 2021

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What is the News?

The Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) has released the State of Environment Report, 2021.

About the State of Environment Report, 2021:

  • It is an annual publication by the Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) along with Down To Earth.
  • It covers aspects such as forests, wildlife, agriculture, rural development, water and sanitation, and climate change. This publication is regarded as the most credible and complete annual survey of India’s environment.

Key Findings:

Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic:

  • Pandemic Generation: The country is all set to host a ‘pandemic generation’. 375 million children (from newborn to 14-year-olds) have a long-lasting impact ranging from being underweight, stunting, and increased child mortality.
  • Hidden Victims of Pandemic: The pandemic has its hidden victims. Out of the 500 million children forced out of school globally, India accounts for more than 50%.
  • Increase in Poverty: Covid-19 has also turned the world’s poor into poorer. 115 million additional people might get pushed into extreme poverty and most of them live in South Asia.

Industrial Pollution:

  • India’s air, water, and land have become more polluted between 2009 and 2018.
  • Tarapur in Maharashtra has emerged as the most polluted cluster.

On Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)

  • India ranks 117 among 192 nations in terms of sustainable development. It is behind all South Asian nations except Pakistan.
  • Five best performing states in achieving SDGs: Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana
  • Five worst-performing states in achieving SDGs: Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Uttar Pradesh.

On air pollution

  • In 2019, 1.67 million Indians died due to air pollution. Its economic cost was over the US $36,000 million, which is equivalent to 1.36 percent of India’s GDP.

On Water:

  • Since 2014-15, an average of 34% of MGNREGA funds has been spent on water-related works. It led to the creation of almost 11 million assets in half a million villages.

On biodiversity and forests

  • Environmental crime cases are increasing and the disposal of the cases is slow. In 2019, 34,671 crimes were registered and 49,877 cases are pending trial. To clear the backlog in a year, courts need to dispose of 137 cases a day.
  • Forestland diversion is continuing consistently. In 2019, over 11,000 hectares were diverted in 22 states. Eight coal projects were granted clearance in ‘No-Go’ areas. These projects diverted around 19,614 ha of forestland and evicted over 10,000 families.

Source: The Hindu

 

Oxfam Report Findings – Rising inequality in India

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Flaws in Corruption Perception Index

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Synopsis– Corruption Perception Index as a measure of corruption cannot be used as a base for policymaking.

Introduction-

  • Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index published annually by Transparency International [TI] since 1995.
  • The index ranks countries by their perceived levels of corruption as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
  • India’s ranking– 86th with an overall rating of 40.
  • Experts argue that there are shortcomings in CPI as it fails to highlight the key issues.

What are the major flaws in CPI?

  1. CPI lacks representativeness– TI uses only expert reviews and surveys of business owners. It does not use public polling.
      • The index has been under criticism for substantial bias from the powerful elite.
      • It ignores the perception of the poor.
  2. The index is not able to distinguish between a bribe and a customary act. For example– Global business persons may consider Diwali gifts as corruption at which are customary for locals.
  3. Not all countries are part of the index- It requires 3 surveys per country. As a result, it is not possible to have many countries in the CPI.
      • For example- In 2003, only 133 countries were ranked by the CPI.
      • Makes the ranking order irrelevant– A country’s rank can also change because new countries enter the index and other drops out.
  4. Changing methodology– Data cannot be compared from year to year as TI uses different methodologies and samples every year. This makes it difficult to evaluate the performance of the country.
  5. Perception rating depends on media coverage- Anti-corruption drive in a country has often translated into declines in that country’s CPI score in the following year.
    For example- In 2011, the year of the massive anti-corruption movement, India’s CPI rating declined. While Countries that suppress a free press may escape with this.

Conclusion-

CPI is a flawed instrument of corruption measurement, capable of only measuring ambiguous corruption proxies. CPI would be meaningful if used alongside other indices such as the Global Corruption Barometer, Press Freedom Index, and Rule of Law Index.

[Answered] “Collegium system is deeply flawed, and is in need of urgent remedy”. Comment.

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Transport Minister launches ‘Go Electric Campaign’

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What is the News?

The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways launches the “Go Electric” Campaign.

Go Electric Campaign:

  • It is a campaign of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to promote and spread awareness on electric mobility.
  • Objectives:
    • It will boost the confidence of electric vehicle manufacturers.
    • Furthermore, it will spread awareness about the benefits of e-mobility and EV Charging Infrastructure in India.
    • Lastly, the Go Electric Campaign will help in reducing the import dependence of our country in the coming years.
  • Implementation: BEE will provide technical support to the State Designated Agencies(SDAs) for its implementation on a state and national level.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE):

  • It is a statutory body. It was established in 2002 under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Power
  • Objective: It assists in developing policies and strategies for reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.

Click Here to Read about Electric Vehicles

Source: PIB

Read Also:-

Green tax on vehicles older than 15 years

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

What are findings of “India Energy Outlook 2021”?

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What is the News?

International Energy Agency(IEA) releases the India Energy Outlook 2021 Report.

About the India Energy Outlook 2021

  • This report aims to ensure reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for a growing population. It explores the opportunities and challenges ahead for India.
  • It examines the long-term impacts of the pandemic on India’s energy supply, demand, and investment using the latest available energy data. Furthermore, it also suggests pathways out of the crisis.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • Energy Consumer: Currently, India is the fourth-largest global energy consumer behind China, the United States, and the European Union (EU). By 2030, India may overtake the EU as the world’s 3rd biggest energy consumer.
  • Natural Gas Demand: India will become the fastest-growing market for Natural gas with demand more than tripling by 2040. Natural gas import dependency will also increase from 20% in 2010 to almost 50% in 2019. It will grow further to more than 60% in 2040.
  • More Oil import: India is currently the world’s second-biggest net oil importer after China. It currently imports about 76% of its crude oil needs. That reliance on overseas oil is expected to rise to 90% by 2030 and 92% by 2040.
  • Renewable Energy: India’s share in the growth in renewable energy is the second-largest in the world after China.
  • Coal Demand: Over 80% of India’s energy needs are met by three fuels: coal, oil, and solid biomass. Among them, coal currently dominates India’s electricity sector. It accounts for over 70% of overall generation with only about 4% produced through solar energy.
  • Global Emitter: India is currently the 3rd-largest global emitter of CO2, despite low per capita CO2 emissions. By 2040, India’s emissions of carbon dioxide could rise as much as 50%. That would make India the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, trailing only behind China.
  • Urban Population: By 2040, an estimated 270 million people are likely to be added to India’s urban population. However, even with such rapid urbanization, the share of India’s population living in urban areas in 2040 is still expected to be less than 50%.

Click Here to Read about IEA

 Source: IEA

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Data on participation of marginalised Communities in leading IITs

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What is the News?

The Hindu Newspaper has published the data obtained through the RTI queries. Data provides info. on the representation of marginalized communities such as OBCs, SCs, and STs in the leading IITs of the country.

About the data:

  • The RTI query data covers Ph.D. admissions made in the five-year period from 2015 to 2019. IITs covered are of Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, and Kharagpur.

Key Findings of the data:

  • Selection of SCs and STs in PHDs: Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe applicants are half as likely to get selected for a Ph.D. program at leading IITs in the country as aspirants from the General Category (GC) are.
  • Acceptance Rate: The acceptance rate refers to the number of students selected for every 100 students who applied. The acceptance rate stood at 4% for students from General Category. It falls to 2.7% for OBC students and further down to just 2.16% for SCs and 2.2% for STs.

Data given by Government in Parliament:

According to the Ministry of Education’s data submitted to Parliament last year:

The following data is based on the total admissions made by all IITs from 2015 to 2019:

  • Only 2.1% went to STs and 9.1% to SCs. The government’s reservation policy mandates the allocation of 7.5% seats for students from the STs and 15% from SCs.
  • Similarly, 23.2% of seats went to applicants from the OBCs against the 27% mandated by reservation.
  • The remaining 65.6% or roughly two-thirds of all the seats went to General Category(GC) applicants.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

“Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities” -World Bank report on road accidents in India

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What is the News?

The World Bank released a report titled “Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society”. It highlights the Socio-Economic impacts of road accidents in India.

About the Report:

  • Published by: World Bank in collaboration with SaveLIFE Foundation.
  • The report highlights the socio-economic impact of road accidents. It analyses the  Medical care access and post-accident financial distress of various categories of people.
  • The data was collected from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra — a State each from northern, southern, western, and eastern regions.

Key Findings:

Road accidents in India:

  • India tops the world in road crash deaths and injuries. It has 1% of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11% of all road crash deaths. It is witnessing 53 road crashes every hour and killing 1 person every 4 minutes.
  • India has seen around 4.5 lakh road accidents in the past year. It resulted in at least 1.5 lakh deaths over the past few years.
  • According to a 2018 World Health Organization report, India tops the world in road crash deaths, with more than 400 fatalities per day.

Socio-Economic Impact of Road accidents in India:

  • There are more fatalities from road crashes among poor families compared to rich families. The risk of a victim undergoing disability after a crash was also 2 times more likely among poor families.
  • The socio-economic burden of road crashes is disproportionately borne by poor households. Accidents result in a decline of 75% of total household income among low-income groups. Whereas, the decline among high-income groups is only 54%. It underlines poor access to insurance schemes among the less privileged.
  • Impact on Women: About 50% of women were severely affected by the decline in their household income after a crash. About 40% of women reported a change in their working patterns post-crash. While around 11% reported taking up extra work to deal with the financial crisis.
  • Urban-Rural Divide: The severe impact of the decline in income was highest among poor households in rural areas (56%) compared to those in urban areas (29.5%).
  • Insurance Coverage: There is an asymmetry in insurance coverage. About 1/4th  of respondents from high-income households (24%) said that they received compensation.  Whereas, among poorer respondents, only 14%  received compensation.

Recommendations:

  • There is a need to institutionalize post-crash emergency care and make health infrastructure and coverage more accessible and inclusive.
  • The central and state governments should provide a social security net for crash victims from low-income households through state support.
  • The Central government should create schemes to increase insurance coverage and penetration for low-income households.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

“Foundational Abilities” of children lost due to closure of schools

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What is the News?

Azim Premji University(APU) has released a study titled “loss of learning during COVID Pandemic”.

About the study:

  • Focus: The study looked at the impacts of the closure of schools during COVID, on the students. It especially focussed on the students from lower classes.
  • Coverage: The study was conducted on primary school children between Classes II and VI in the Government schools. It was done across five States, i.e. Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand.

Key Findings:

  • Children not only missed out on the curricular learning of regular schools but are also ‘forgetting’ what they had learned in previous years.
  • On average, 92% of students from Classes II to VI have lost at least one specific foundational ability in languages that they may have acquired in previous years. The corresponding figure for mathematics is 82%.

What are Foundational Abilities?

  • Foundational abilities are those that form the basis for further learning. Some examples of foundational abilities include reading a paragraph with comprehension, addition, and subtraction.
  • According to researchers, a grasp of foundational abilities forms the basis of a student’s further learning in all subjects.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“5G Technology” roll-out in India

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What is the News?

The Standing Committee on Information Technology has slammed the Department of Telecommunications(DoT) for the delay in the launch of 5G services.

Facts:

 What is 5G technology?

  • 5G or fifth generation is the latest upgrade so far in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. The 5G technology mainly works in 3 bands, (low, mid and highfrequency spectrum).
  • Benefits of 5G: 5G would provide
    1. Near Instantaneous connectivity —20 times faster than 4G.
    2. Reduced latency (faster response time)
    3. Energy saving
    4. Cost reduction
    5. Higher system capacity and
    6. mass device connectivity.

 Key observations made by the Committee on 5G:

  • Lack of preparedness: The sufficient preparatory work had not done for introducing 5G services in India. The report also mentioned the country will likely witness only partial deployment by 2021-end or early 2022.
  • Delay in deployment of 5G: The committee has raised concerns that the deployment of 5G services in the country may be further delayed, judging from previous experience:
    • 2G was deployed globally in 1991, it was deployed in India in 1995;
    • 3G was deployed globally in 1998 but deployed in India ten years later, i.e. in 2008.
    • 4G services were launched in India seven years after their global launching in 2008.
    • Hence, now when many countries are swiftly moving towards 5G technology, India is likely to witness delay in deployment.
  • Spectrum Issues: The Committee finds that inadequate availability of spectrum. The high spectrum prices in India may hinder the roll-out of 5G in India.
  • No Guidelines for 5G Trials: The telecom companies had submitted 5G trial applications in January 2020. But till date, guidelines for trials had not been made clear. Also, there was no set date for the commencement of 5G trials.

Read about the challenges in 5G technology roll-out

Source: The Hindu

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Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

PM to inaugurate “World Sustainable Development Summit 2021”

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What is the News?
The Prime Minister will inaugurate the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021.

About World Sustainable Development Summit(WSDS):

  • It is an annual event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) since 2001. The summit was earlier known as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
  • Purpose: The Summit brings together a wide number of participants in the fight against climate change. Participants include governments, business leaders, academicians, climate scientists, youth, and civil society.
  • Key Partners: The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the Ministry of Earth Sciences are key partners of the Summit.
  • Theme for 2021: “Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all”.

The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI)

  • It is a non-profit research institute. It was established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute and renamed to The Energy Resources Institute in 2003.
  • Purpose: It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development for India and the Global South.
  • Location: New Delhi.

Other Initiatives by TERI:

  • Lighting a Billion Lives(LaBL): It is an initiative of TERI to provide clean lighting access to the bottom of the pyramid communities.
  • Green Olympiad: It is conducted by TERI in association with MoEFCC. It is an international environment examination that is annually organized for middle and high-school students.
  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA): It was conceived by TERI and developed with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It is a national rating system for green buildings in India.

Source: PIB

Read also:- https://blog.forumias.com/niti-aayogs-megacity-plan-for-little-andaman/

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Registered Unrecognised Political Parties are not transparent : ADR report

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What is the News?
Association for Democratic Reforms(ADR) has released a report titled “Analysis of Donations received by Registered Unrecognised Political Parties”. The report underlines the lack of transparency among Registered Unrecognised Political Parties.

Facts:

What is Registered Unrecognised Political Parties?

If a party satisfies any one of below-mentioned criteria, then they are called Registered Unrecognised Political Parties. The conditions are

    • If the political party is newly registered
    • If the political parties not secured enough percentage of votes in Assembly or General Elections to become a State party
    • Political Parties that never contested in elections since they got registered with the Election Commission.

These parties don’t enjoy all the benefits extended to the recognised parties such as reserving a separate symbol for the party, subsidized land for party office etc.

Key Findings:

  • The number of registered unrecognised political parties has increased two-fold from 2010 to 2019. From 1,112 parties in 2010 to 2,301 in 2019.
  • State-wise: Of the total of 2,301 registered unrecognised parties, 653 parties or 28.38% belong to Uttar Pradesh. This is followed by Delhi (291 parties or 12.65%) and Tamil Nadu (184 parties or 8%).
  • The number of these parties has increased disproportionately during the year of Parliamentary elections between 2018 and 2019.
  • Donations: These parties received 90 crores from 12,998 donors in two financial years (2017-18 and 2018-19). Among that, 65.63 crores or 72.88% of the total declared donations belongs to Apna Desh Party of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Contributions Report: Only 78 or 3.39% of the total 2,301 registered unrecognised parties donation information is available in the public domain for 2018-19. For 2017-18, the reports are available for only 82 parties or 3.56% of the total registered unrecognised parties.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

EIU’s “Democracy Index” – India at 53rd position

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What is the News?

The Economist Intelligence Unit(EIU) has released the Democracy Index, 2020. In that, India dropped two places and currently at 53rd position.

Facts:

Democracy Index 2020:

  • It was started in 2006 by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The index provides a clear image of the status of democracy worldwide in 167 countries.
  • Categories: The index is based on five categories :
    • Civil liberties,
    • Electoral process and pluralism;
    • Functioning of government;
    • Political participation;
    • Political culture.
  • Classification: Each country will be provided with a score of 0 to 10. These scores are decided based on the 60 indicators within the five categories. Based on their scores, each country is then classified into any one of the four types of regime. Such as,
    • full democracy,
    • flawed democracy,
    • hybrid regime,
    • authoritarian regime.

Findings Related to India:

  • India has dropped two places and India’s score was 6.61. Currently, India was in 53rd position in 2020. This is due to,
    • A lapse in democratic processes among authorities.
    • Suppressive actions by the government on civil liberties.
  • India has been classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ along with countries such as the US, France, Belgium and Brazil.
  • However, India’s rank was higher than most of its neighbouring countries, such as Sri Lanka (68), Bangladesh (76), Bhutan (84) and Pakistan (105).

What is “Flawed Democracy” country?

These are the countries which hold free and fair elections and respect the basic civil liberties. But they have notable weaknesses with regards to democracy. Such as an underdeveloped political culture, problems in governance and low levels of political participation.

Other Findings:

  • Topped by: Norway has topped the index followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

“ICMR Serological Survey” -One in five Indians have been exposed to coronavirus,

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What is the News?

Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) has released the third round of the Serological Survey.

Facts:

  • Serological Survey: It is conducted to assess the prevalence of a disease in a population. It is done by detecting the presence of specific antibodies that are produced against the virus.
  • How was the survey conducted? The survey used an antibody test. The test was designed specifically to check for antibodies produced against the spike protein.
    • Spike Protein: Coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 get their name from the “corona” or crown shape, created by the protein “spikes” on their surface. These spike proteins bind with human proteins to initiate the process of infection.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly one in five Indians which is around 21.5% had been infected by the coronavirus until December 2020.
  • Urban Slums: The urban slums have reported the highest seroprevalence with 31.7% and was followed by urban non-slums(26.2%). The lowest was in rural areas at 19.1%.
  • Children: The seroprevalence among children aged 10-17 years was around 25.3%.
  • Health Care Workers: Nearly 26% of doctors and nurses and 25.4% of paramedical staff have coronavirus antibodies. It underlines their higher risk of being exposed to coronavirus infections than the general population.
  • Women vs Men: There were more women (22.7%) as compared to men (20.3%) who were found to have antibodies against the Covid-19 virus.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

“Global Climate Litigation Report 2020” released by UNEP

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What is the News?

The United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has released the Global Climate Litigation Report 2020.

About Global Climate Litigation Report 2020

  1. Published by: The report was published by the UNEP in cooperation with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
  2. Objective: The provides an overview of the current state of climate change litigation cases.

Key Findings of the report:

  1. Increase in Climate litigation cases: The climate-related cases have nearly doubled over the last three years. It has made the courtrooms increasingly relevant to address climate change across the world.
  2. These cases of pushing governments and corporations to implement climate commitments in their countries.
  3. Common climate litigation charges:
    1. Violations of “climate rights” that impact fundamental human rights including the right to life, health, food, and water.
    2. Government failure to enforce climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments.
    3. False and misleading Corporate messaging about climate change impacts.
  4. Climate litigation Petitioners: The background of plaintiffs is becoming increasingly diverse. Plaintiffs are from non-governmental organizations, political parties as well as senior citizens, migrants, and indigenous peoples.

Source: UN

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Economic Survey 2020-21: “Bare necessities index” introduced

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What is the News?

The Economic Survey 2020-21 has introduced the Bare Necessities Index(BNI).

Facts:

  1. Bare Necessities Index(BNI): This index is a means of assessing equity in economic development among states and regions in India. It uses the basic needs approach.
  2. Indicators: This index uses 26 indicators on five dimensions of basic necessities— water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities.
  3. Data Collection: The index has been created for all states based on data collected by the National Statistical Office(NSO) in 2012 and 2018.
  4. Range: The index classifies areas on three levels of access — high, medium, low — to bare necessities. The index has a range of 0 to 1 where 1 represents the best access to the basic necessities.

Key Findings:

  1. Richer vs Poorer States: The Poorer States have reduced the gap with rich States in providing access to the basics of daily life — housing, water, power, sanitation, cooking gas.
  2. Inter-State disparity in access to the basic necessities has declined in 2018, when compared to 2012.
  3. Performance of States: States such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat top the index.  While eastern Indian States of Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Tripura have occupied the lowest positions.
  4. States which showed significant improvement include Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
  5. Richer vs Poorer Households: The access to basic necessities has improved significantly for the poorest households when compared to the richest households.
  6. The gap between Rural and Urban India: There is still a gap between urban and rural India as well as among income groups in access to basic necessities.

Suggestions:

  • There should be effective targeting of the government schemes for the poorer population in both urban or rural areas.
  • There should be better Centre-State coordination with local governments as they are responsible for civic amenities in urban areas.
  • The BNI could also be constructed at the district level using large annual household survey data to show progress.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

“Corruption Perception Index 2020” – India’s Rank Slips to 86th

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What is the News?

Transparency International(TI) has released the Corruption Perception Index, 2020.

About Corruption Perception Index, 2020:

  1. Transparency International publishes this index annually, since 1995.
  2. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.  Corruption is measured based on expert assessments and surveys of business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Key Findings:

  1. India: India’s rank on this index, has slipped six places to 86th among 180 countries in 2020. However, the CPI score for India is constant at 40 this year as well as in 2019.
  2. Topped by: New Zealand and Denmark are ranked at the first position with scores of 88.
  3. Bottom in the index: Somalia and South Sudan were ranked lowest at 179th position with scores of 12.

Source: Indian Express

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Agreement for Financial Support to “STARS Project”

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What is the News?

Department of Economic Affairs(DEA) and World Bank signed an agreement for the financial support on the Strengthening Teaching-Learning And Results for States(STARS) project.  

STARS project:

  • The project would be implemented as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Aim: To improve the overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian school education system through interventions in selected states.
  • Coverage: The project covers 6 States: Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, and Odisha.
  • Implementation:
    • At National level, Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education(MOE) will be the main implementing agency.
    • At the State level, the project will be implemented through the integrated State Implementation Society(SIS) for Samagra Shiksha.
  • World Bank Funding: The World Bank’s support is primarily in the form of a results-based financing instrument called Program for Results(PforR). This will ensure major reforms at the State level through a set of disbursement-linked indicators(DLIs).
    • A State Incentive Grant(SIG) will also be used to encourage States to meet desired project outcomes.
  • Verification: An independent Verification agency(IVA) will verify each result before disbursement of funds.
  • Impact: The STARS project will be instrumental in the implementation of various recommendations of National Education Policy 2020 namely:
    • Strengthening Early Childhood Education and Foundational Learning
    • Improving Learning Assessment System
    • ICT-enabled approaches in education,
    • Teachers Development and Vocational education etc.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

India ranks 10th in Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index

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Why in News?
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the ‘Asia-Pacific Personalized Health Index’.

India has been ranked 10th out of 11 Asia Pacific countries in the index.

Facts:

Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index

  • The index measures the progress of Asia Pacific countries in adopting personalised healthcare. It includes enabling the right care to be tailored for the right person at the right time.
  • Countries covered: The index ranks 11 countries of Asia Pacific namely Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and New Zealand.
  • Indicators: It measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called ‘Vital Signs’. These include:
    • Health Information Indicator: It takes into account data, infrastructure, and technical expertise driving personalized healthcare.
    • Health Services Indicators: It takes into account planning, organization, and delivery of services with respect to personalized healthcare.
    • Personalized Technologies indicator: It takes into account the devices, applications, platforms, and reimbursement structures that will drive personalized healthcare based on the needs of stakeholders.
    • Policy Context indicator: It takes into account the polities, frameworks, partnerships, people, and drivers that will facilitate personalized healthcare.

Other Takeaways from the index:

  • Topped by: Singapore has topped the index followed by Taiwan (2nd), Japan (3rd), and Australia (4th).
  • Bottom in the index: Indonesia was ranked 11th in the index.

Source: Indian Express

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

India Justice Report 2020

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What is the News?
India Justice Report 2020 has been released by TATA Trusts.

India Justice Report 2020:

  1. Prepared by: The report has been prepared by Tata Trusts along with the Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, CHRI, DAKSH and, TISS-Prayas and, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
  2. Parameters: The report analyzed the performance of 18 large and mid-sized states and eight smaller states. It is based on four pillars of the justice delivery system: 1) judiciary, 2) police, 3) prisons  4) legal aid.
  3. It also analysed expenditure, vacancies, representation of women and members of SC, ST, and Other Backward Classes of these states.

Key Findings:

Overall Ranking of States:

  1. Maharashtra has retained the top spot on delivery of justice to people among large and mid-sized states followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, and Kerala.
  2. Among the small states( with a population of less than 1 crore), Tripura has topped the list followed by Sikkim.

Women’s Representation:

  • Women’s representation has marginally increased in the police, prisons and the judiciary. Women now accounts for
    • 10% of all police personnel up from 7% in 2017;
    • 13% prison staff (10% in 2016) and
    • 3% of judges (26.5% in 2017-18).

 Police

  1. Women: Bihar leads the list of 25 states for employing most women in its police force at 25.3%. However, women account for only 6.1% in the officer category in Bihar.
    1. Tamil Nadu has the highest percentage of women police officers (24.8%) followed by Mizoram (20.1%).
  2. Representation of Castes: Karnataka is the only state to meet its quotas for SC, ST and OBC in both officer cadre and constabulary.
  3. People Police Ratio: For every 1,00,000 people, there is just 156 police personnel.
  4. Vacancies: Vacancies among the police were 20%. There was a shortfall of police officers in all states except Sikkim. Telangana and West Bengal with vacancies of 40% each had the highest shortfall.

Judiciary

  • Judges ratio per citizen: India has one judge per 50,000 citizens as against the recommended number of one per 20,000.
  • Women: Only 29% of judges in High Courts across the country are women. Four states — Bihar, Uttarakhand, Tripura, and Meghalaya — have no woman judge in their high courts.
  • Vacancies: Except for Chandigarh, no single High Court in states or Union Territories had a full complement of judges. One in every three posts for High Court judges is vacant, and in the subordinate courts, one in every four.

Prisons:

  • Under trials: Two-thirds of all prisoners are undertrials, awaiting a conviction.
  • Vacancies: Over the last three years, the average vacancy levels across all prison staff remained at a little over 30%.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Polity and Nation, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

4th edition of “Future Investment Initiative” Forum

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Why in News?

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has addressed the 4th edition of the Future Investment Initiative(FII) Forum.

Facts:

  • Future Investment Initiative(FII): It is an annual investment forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Forum discusses trends in the world economy and investment environment.
  • Hosted by:  Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF). The first event was held in 2017.
  • Purpose of 4th FII: To find solutions on how business and government can expand access to healthcare, train healthcare workers, remove regulatory barriers and encourage investment in advanced health technologies.

Key Highlights from the address: Union Minister has highlighted the five big trends which are influencing global business, due to COVID-19:

  • The impact of Technology and Innovation
  • Importance of Infrastructure for Global Growth
  • Changes coming in human resource and future of work
  • Compassion for environment
  • Business-friendly governance with a focus on the whole of society and government approach.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

PM addressed “Climate Adaptation Summit 2021”

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What is the News?
The Prime Minister of India addressed the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 virtually.

About Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

  • Climate Adaptation Summit 2021: The summit is being hosted online by the Netherlands Government.
  • Aim: CAS is aimed to accelerate, innovate and scale up global efforts in adapting to the effects of climate change. It will make the world as a climate-resilient world.
  • Summit will keep up the momentum of the global efforts towards climate change adaptation till UNFCCC’s COP26 in Glasgow in 2021.

Commitments made by India

During the summit, the Indian Prime Minister mentioned the following aims of India towards adaptation:-

  • To increase the renewable energy capacity to 450 gigawatts by 2030.
  • Promoting LED lights and saving 38 million tons of carbon-dioxide emissions annually.
  • To restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
  • Providing clean cooking fuel to 80 million rural households.
  • Connecting 64 million households to a piped water supply.

 1000 Cities Act Now initiative

The Initiative has been launched at Climate Adaptation Summit 2021.

  • Aim: The initiative aims to at implementation of comprehensive climate resilience strategies and adaptation measures in 1,000 cities by 2030.
  • To achieve this, the program is promoting a comprehensive package of measures. It includes the implementation of nature-based solutions, urban water resilience solutions, and a transformative capacity building program.

Additional Facts:

  • Global Commission on Adaptation(GCA): It was launched in Hague in 2018 by the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon. But it was established by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and the leaders of 22 other convening countries
  • Mandate: To accelerate adaptation by elevating the political visibility of adaptation and focusing on concrete solutions.
  • The Commission’s mandate came to an end following its Year of Action in 2020 with its work showcased at the Climate Adaptation Summit,2021. The Global Center on Adaptation will be taking forward its work.

Source: PIB

Posted in Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Decriminalisation of offences under LLP Act

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Why in News?

The Company Law Committee has recommended decriminalizing 12 offences under the Limited Liability Partnership(LLP) Act. It has also said that LLPs should be allowed to issue non-convertible debentures(NCDs) to raise funds. It will help them in improving the ease of doing business for LLP firms.

Facts:

  • Limited Liability Partnership(LLP): It is an alternative corporate business form in which some or all partners (depending on the jurisdiction) have limited liabilities.
  • Under this, partners are not responsible or liable for another partner’s misconduct or negligence. This is an important difference from the traditional unlimited partnership in which each partner has joint liability.
  • Act: All limited liability partnership in India is governed under the limited liability partnership act of 2008. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs implements the Act.

Recommendations of the committee:

  • Decriminalising offences: The committee has recommended decriminalizing several offences related to timely filings, including annual reports and filings on changes in partnership status of the LLP, not related to fraud.
    • It is to be noted that none of these offences attracts imprisonment. Instead, these offences attract fines.
  • Penalties instead of Fines: Committee recommended the companies should be made to pay penalties instead of fines.
    • This is because fines are counted in the criminal charges. It results in a convicted person being disqualified or becoming ineligible for various posts.
  • Authority to impose Penalty: The Registrar of Companies should have the authority to levy penalties for any contravention of provisions of the LLP Act.
  • LLPs to issue NCDs: LLPs which are currently not allowed to issue debt securities should be allowed to issue non-convertible debentures (NCDs) to facilitate the raising of capital and financing operations. The move is likely to benefit startups and small firms in sectors which require heavy capital investment.

Additional Facts:

What are Non-convertible debentures(NCDs)?

  • Debentures are long-term financial instruments which acknowledge a debt obligation towards the issuer. Some debentures have a feature of convertibility into shares after a certain point of time at the discretion of the owner. The debentures which can’t be converted into shares or equities are called non-convertible debentures (or NCDs).
  • NCDs are used as tools to raise long-term funds by companies through a public issue.To compensate for this drawback of non-convertibility, lenders are usually given a higher rate of return compared to convertible debentures.
  • Besides, NCDs offer various other benefits to the owner such as high liquidity through stock market listing, tax exemptions at source and safety since they can be issued by companies which have a good credit rating.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Global Firepower Index 2021

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Why in News?

Global Firepower has published the Global Firepower Index (GFP) /Military Strength Ranking 2021.

Facts:

  • Global Firepower Index: It ranks each nation’s potential war-making capability across land, sea and air with conventional weapons.
  • Factors: The index is calculated using fifty individual factors such as geography, logistical capability, manpower, land forces, airpower, natural resources, naval forces and financials.

Key Takeaways:

  • The United States military was ranked the most powerful armed force in the world closely followed by Russia and China.
  • India was ranked fourth in the Index with 542 combat aircraft, 17 submarines, 4,730 tanks, and 37 attack helicopters.
  • Pakistan was ranked the tenth most powerful country in the Index. It has surpassed Israel, Indonesia, Iran, and Canada in terms of military power.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

Sunderbans is home to 428 species of birds, says ZSI

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Why in News?

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has released a study titled “Birds of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve”. The study documents the avifauna of the Sundarbans and also serves as a comprehensive photographic field guide with detailed distribution and locality data for all the species from the region.

Sunderbans:

  • Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh.

Indian Sunder bans:

  • Location: It is located in the southwestern part of the delta. It constitutes over 60% of India’s total mangrove forest area. It covers 4,200 sq. km and includes the Sunder ban Tiger Reserve — home to about 96 royal Bengal tigers.
  • Recognition: It is a World Heritage site and a Ramsar site (a wetland site designated to be of international importance).
  • Fauna in the region:
    • Indian Sunder bans is part of the largest mangrove forest in the world and is home to 428 species of birds.
    • Among these birds listed, some like the masked finfoot and the Buffy fish owl are recorded only from the Sundarbans.
    • The area is also home to nine out of 12 species of kingfishers found in the country as well as rare species such as the Goliath heron and the spoon-billed sandpiper.
  • Significance: India has over 1,300 species of birds and if 428 species of birds are from the Sunder bans, it means that one in every three birds in the country is found in the unique ecosystem.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Global Risk Report, 2021

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Why in News?

The World Economic Forum(WEF) has released the 16th edition of the Global Risk Report, 2021.

Report findings are based on the Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS). GRPS was undertaken by more than 650 members of leadership communities of WEF (World Economic Forum).

Aim: To highlight the risks and consequences of widening inequalities and increasing societal fragmentation,  due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021 and over the next decade.

 Key Takeaways: 

TOP RISK

  • Top Risk by Impact: The risk posed by infectious diseases has been ranked as no. 1 on the list of risks, while in 2020 was listed at 10th place. 
  • Impact of Covid-19: The immediate human and economic cost of COVID-19 is huge. It threatens to scale back years of progress on reducing global poverty and inequality. It will also damage social cohesion and global cooperation. 
  • Climate concerns: Despite the impact of COVID-19, climate-related matters make up the bulk of this year’s risk list. The report has described these threats as an existential threat to humanity.  
  • Widening digital gaps: Digitalization which was accelerated by the pandemic is widening the digital gap between individuals and across countries. Thereby it is aggravating existing inequalities, polarization, and regulatory uncertainties. 
  • Intensifying pressures on businesses: Businesses under increasing pressures from inward-looking national agendas, greater market concentration, and popular scrutiny and volatility. 

 Recommendations: According to the report, response to COVID-19 offers four governance opportunities to strengthen the overall resilience of countries, businesses, and the international community: 

    • Formulating analytical frameworks that take a holistic and systems-based view of risk impacts. 
    • Investing in high-profile risk champions to encourage national leadership and international cooperation. 
    • Improving risk communications and combating misinformation. 
    • Exploring new forms of public-private partnership on risk preparedness. 

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

SC appointed Central Empowered Committee(CEC) report on Sand mining in Rajasthan 

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Why in News? 

SC has appointed a Central Empowered Committee(CEC) to look into sand mining in Rajasthan. The panel has submitted its report. 

 Facts: 

  • Background: In February 2020, Central Empowered Committee(CEC) was appointed by SC. Its mandate was to look into illegal sand mining in Rajasthan and submit a report suggesting measures to deal with it. 

 What are the recommendations given by the committee? 

  • It has recommended imposing a fine of Rs 10 lakh per vehicle and Rs 5 lakh per cubic meter of sand seized. 
  • It has been said that no unregistered tractor shoulbe used as a commercial vehicle to transport sand from the mining site to the transit depot. 
  • It has also recommended   
    • Termination of all the khatedari leases located within 5 km from the riverbank, where violations are detected. 
    • The scrapping of the excess royalty collection contract system. 

 Addition Facts: 

  • Sand Mining: It is an activity referring to the process of the actual removal of sand from the foreshore including rivers, streams and lakes. 
  • Regulation of Sand Mining: 
    • Sand is a minor mineral, as defined under section 3 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act,1957 (MMDR Act).  
    • Section 15 of the MMDR Act empowers state governments to make rules for regulating the grant of mineral concessions in respect of minor minerals and for purposes connected therewith. 
    • Section 23C of the Act  empowers state governments to frame rules to prevent illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals and for purposes connected therewith. 
    • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 which inter-alia, addresses the issues relating to the regulation of sand mining. 

Article Source

Myths of IAS – How to Prepare IAS ?

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2nd edition of India Innovation Index-2020 

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Why in News? 

NITI Aayog along with the Institute for Competitiveness has released the second edition of the India Innovation Index-2020.  

 Facts: 

  • India Innovation Index: The first edition of the index was launched in October 2019.  
  • The Index is aimed at providing an effective tool to track the state of innovation at both the national and the state level.  
  • Objectives: The index intends to accomplish the following three functions: 
    • Rank all States and Union Territories based on their index score. 
    • Identify innovation related opportunities and challenges for the states. 
    • Assist in modifying governmental policies to foster innovation. 
  • Parameters: The index measures innovation inputs through ‘Enablers’ and innovation output as ‘Performance.’ 
    • Enablers: There are Five Enabler pillars that capture elements of the state economy. They act as inputs for the innovation environment. They are: Human Capital, Investment, Knowledge Workers, Business Environment, Safety and Legal Environment. 
    • Performance: The two Performance pillars that depict the performance are: Knowledge Output and Knowledge Diffusion. 
  • Ranking: The index has classified the States and Union Territories into three categories: Major States; NE and Hill States; and UT and CityStates. These regions are categorized based on the area, as spatial homogeneity across states makes for fair comparison for innovative capacity. 

 Key Findings of Innovation index: 

  • Level of Competitiveness: The index has found that the level of competitiveness among the States and Union Territories was high. This competitiveness is essential for improving on their enabling factors as well as innovation performance. 
  • Major States: Karnataka has continued to occupy the top position followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. 
  • UT and CityStates: Delhi has retained its first rank in this category followed by Chandigarh. 
  • North-Eastern/Hill States category: Himachal Pradesh has topped the index in this category followed by Uttarakhand. 

 Significance of the index:  

  • The index is a major step towards measuring innovation outcomes of states. It will facilitate optimal utilization of national and state mechanisms to realize the goal of an ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’. 
  • The index can help Central and State governments to benchmark regional performance concerning innovation. It suggests policy decisions required to improve on the strengths and overcome the weak areas of the states. 

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UNDESA Report on Migrants

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Why in News?  

International Migration report 2020 has been released by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).  

 Aim: To provide the estimates of the number of international migrants according to country, age and sex for all regions of the world. 

 Key findings for India: 

    • Indian diaspora is 18 million strong. It is the largest transnational population in the world.  
    • Destinations: The United Arab Emirates, the US and Saudi Arabia host the largest numbers of migrants from India. 
    • Reasons for migration: Migration from India is largely motivated by labor and family reasons. Forced displacement smaller, about 106 in the total. 
    • Growth in Migration: Between 2000 and 2020, India experienced the largest gain of nearly 10 million. 
    • Remittances in India: India is the main recipient of remittances worldwide. In 2019, it received USD 83 billion in remittances. The World Bank projects that in 2020, the amount will decline by around 9% to about USD 76 billion. 

 Other Key Takeaways from the report: 

    • Migrants: Currently, International Migrants represent about 3.6% of the world’s population. 
      • The US is the largest receiving country of international migrantsfollowed by Germany, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UK.  
    • Impact of Covid-19: Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed the growth in international migrants by around two million by mid-2020.  
    • Remittances: Volume of remittances sent to low-and middle-income countries is projected to reduce by 14% in 2021. 

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UNEP releases Adaptation Gap Report 2020 

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Why in News?  

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the Adaptation Gap Report 2020. 

Key Facts: 

  • Adaptation: It is one of the pillars of Paris accord. It involves increasing capacity and reduction of vulnerability of countries and communities to climate-related disasters. This capacity will be built by national efforts and funding mechanisms 
  • Aim of the reportThe report aims to indicate national and international efforts to advance adaptation. 

Findings of the Adaptation Gap report, 2020: 

  • Finance: Annual adaptation costs in developing countries is much higher at $70 billion, compared to current finance of around $30 billion annually for adaptation. This cost is estimated to at least quadruple by 2050. 
    • Cost of Adaptation includes costs like planning, preparing for, facilitating and implementing adaptation measures. 
    • The flow of funds to developing countries is increasing faster than the cost of adaptation. 
  • Rise in Temperature: The world is heading for at least a 3°C temperature rise this century. Even if countries are successful in limiting global warming to well below 2°C, or even 1.5°C, the poor countries will suffer. 
  • Impact of Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit the ability of countries to plan for, finance and implement adaptation actions. It will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable countries and population groups. 

Recommendations: 

  • Along with faster implementation, Countries need to step up the Public and private finance for adaptation 
  • Nature-based solutions – locally appropriate actions that address societal challenges, such as climate change, and provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems – must also become a priority. 
  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the impacts and costs associated with climate change. 
  • Pursue a Green Pandemic Recovery and increase the Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. 

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Read Also :ias current affairs

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PCRA launches ‘SAKSHAM’ campaign for green and clean energy awareness

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News: Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) has launched a month-long campaign “SAKSHAM”.

Facts:

  • SAKSHAM: It is a people-centric fuel conservation mega campaign that aims to highlight the adverse health and environmental impacts of increasing carbon footprints. The idea is to convince consumers to switch to cleaner fuels and bring in behavioral change to use fossil fuel intelligently.
  • Campaign: The campaign through various pan-India activities such as cyclothon, farmer workshops, seminars, painting competition, CNG vehicle driving contest will spread awareness among masses about the advantages of using clean fuels.
  • Seven Key Drivers: The campaign will also spread awareness about 7 key drivers that the Prime Minister mentioned saying that collectively these would help India move towards cleaner energy.
    • The key drivers include 1) moving towards a gas-based economy, 2) cleaner use of fossil fuels 3) greater reliance on domestic sources to drive biofuels 4) achieving renewable targets with the set deadlines 5) increased use of electric vehicles to decarbonize mobility 6)increased use of cleaner fuels like Hydrogen and 7) digital innovation across all energy systems.

Additional Facts:

  • PCRA: It is a registered society set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • Objective: As a non-profit organization, PCRA is a national government agency engaged in promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of the economy.
  • Functions: It helps the government in proposing policies and strategies for petroleum conservation aimed at reducing excessive dependence of the country on oil requirements.

Article source

 

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Union Minister inaugurates the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’

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News: Union Minister of Commerce has inaugurated the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’.

Facts:

    • Prarambh: Startup India International Summit: The summit has been organized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    • The summit is organized as a follow-up to the announcement made by the Indian Prime Minister at the 4th BIMSTEC Summit held in Nepal in 2018. During the occasion, India committed to host the BIMSTEC Startup Conclave.
    • The focus of the Summit: Enhancing multilateral cooperation and engagement with countries from around the globe to collectively develop and strengthen the startup ecosystems.
    • Significance: With participation from over 25 countries and more than 200 global speakers, the Summit is the largest Startup India International Summit organized by the Government of India since the launch of the Startup India Initiative.

Additional Facts:

    • Startup India Initiative: It was launched in 2016 with the objective of supporting entrepreneurs, building a robust startup ecosystem and transforming India into a country of job creators instead of job seekers.
    • Managed by: The programs under the initiative are managed by a dedicated Startup India Team which reports to the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT).
    • Key Pillars: The Key Pillars of Support for Startups under the Startup India Initiative are:
      • Simplification and Handholding: Easier compliance, easier exit process for failed startups, legal support, fast-tracking of patent applications and a website to reduce information asymmetry.
      • Funding & Incentives: Exemptions on Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax for eligible startups; a fund of funds to infuse more capital into the startup ecosystem and a credit guarantee scheme.
      • Incubation & Industry-Academia Partnerships: Creation of numerous incubators and innovation labs, events, competitions and grants.

Further Reading on BIMSTEC: http://bit.ly/3qpVuLJ

Article Source

 

 

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Henley Passport Index 2021

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News: Henley & Partners has released the Henley Passport Index 2021.

Facts:

    • Henley Passport Index(HPI): It is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.
    • When was it started? It was started in 2006 as Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index (HVRI) and was modified and renamed in January 2018.
    • Based on: The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA) which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information and research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.

Key Takeaways:

    • Topped by: Japan continues to hold the number one position on the index, with passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free.
    • India: India ranks 85th in the index with a visa-free score of 58.
    • Neighboring countries: Pakistan (rank 107) and Nepal (rank 104) continue to be in the ‘worst passports to hold’ category with Pakistan having a visa-free score of 32 countries and Nepal having a score of 38 destinations.
    • Worst Passports: Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be the countries with the worst passports to hold with a passport score of 29, 28 and 26 respectively.

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One Planet Summit has commenced virtually

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News: One Planet Summit has commenced virtually through video conference.

Facts:

    • One Planet Summit: It has been organised by France in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank.
    • Objective: The summit focuses on four major topics 1) protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promoting agro ecology 2) more sustainable way to grow food c) increasing funding to protect biodiversity and 4) identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals.
    • Theme: “Let’s act together for nature!”.

Key Takeaways from the summit:

    • At least 50 countries committed to protecting 30% of the planet, including land and sea, over the next decade to halt species extinction and address climate change issues. However, the officials of the US, Russia, India and Brazil were absent at the summit.
      • According to a 2019 U.N. report on biodiversity, human activities are putting nature in more trouble now than at any other time in human history with extinction looming for over 1 million species of plants and animals.
    • The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People which was launched in 2019 by Costa Rica, France and Britain to set a target of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 has been joined by 50 countries.
    • The summit also launched a program called PREZODE which is an international initiative to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases and pandemics, which is already mobilizing over 400 researchers and experts across the world.
    • The summit also focused on investment for Africa’s Great Green Wall project, which involves gigantic efforts to stop the Sahara Desert from spreading further south.

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Posted in Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

UK  Report classified India among ‘difficult four’ countries

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Synopsis: The report released by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (UK) recommends an arm’s length relationship with India due to rise of religious intolerance. 

Back ground 

  • Recently, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (UK) have proposed a blueprint titled “Global Britain, Global Broker”, for Britain’s future foreign policy after Brexit. 
  • As a matter of concern for India, the report has paid less attention to India’s role in the futuristic vision of a “Global Britain”. 
  • The report has classified India as one of the “difficult four” countries along with Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. India will be counted among the UK’s “rivals” or “awkward counterparts”. 

What was the reason given in the report for classifying India as one of the “difficult four” countries? 

The report highlights two major issues for that 

  • First, according to the report the rise of Hindu nationalism in India is weakening the rights of Muslims and other minority religious groups. 
  • This rise in intolerant majoritarianism is damaging the vision of a secular, democratic India envisioned by Nehru. 
  • Second, the report labels India as half-hearted supporter of liberal democracy and a country with mixed approaches to human rights abuses. 

Why the report’s criticism towards India is meaningless? 

Criticism of India over growing religious intolerance and the suppression of critique and dissent is not a surprise. Most of the diplomats from various countries have consented regarding this. For example, the Canada has voiced against the Kashmir internet shut down.  

But second criticism is particularly pointless. Despite being the world’s largest democracy, labelling India as a half-hearted supporter of liberal principles and institutions abroad is not correct, because, 

  • India for long been unwilling to step up on the global stage to the responsibilities of “committed democracies” due to uneven playing field in today’s international order. 
  • The 21st century Global order produces unevenly distributed rights, obligations, and burdens for post-colonial nations and the principle of equality and sovereignty of states still remains as a myth. 
  • Even today, the post-colonial states such as India, do not enjoy full political and economic independence on how they make decisions at home, nor in their efforts to shape the agendas of international institutions. 

Thus, 2nd criticism of India can be precisely summarised in the words of Former Indian foreign secretary and national security advisor Shivashankar Menon. He said, “Encouragement by western international partners for India to “behave responsibly” usually means doing what they would like us to do”. 

 What is the way forward for India? 

  • First, India need not look into the issue of UK distancing from India too seriously. No nation today can move forward without factoring in India. Even the report has highlighted this. 
  • Second, India’s high-profile international activity in the next 2 years as elected member of the UN Security Council and as host of the 2023 G20 Summit should be effectively used to leverage India’s positions of influence in the international sphere.  
  • Third, India needs to build on the critical and normative resources to inspire greater equality, legitimacy and inclusivity in the international sphere.  

 

 

 

 

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, Index | Reports | SummitsTagged , ,

WEF’s “Indian Cities in the Post-pandemic world” report mentions cities critical role in post-covid India

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News: World Economic Forum(WEF) has released a report titled “Indian Cities in the Post-Pandemic World”.

Facts:

  • About the report: The report has been produced in collaboration with IDFC Institute, Mumbai.
  • It compiles insights from leading global and Indian urban experts across seven thematic pillars— planning, housing, transport, environment, public health, gender and vulnerable populations.
  • Purpose: The report highlights the country’s most pressing urban challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic. It also provides insights for translating the lessons learned from the pandemic into an urban reform agenda.

Key Takeaways from the report:

  • Impact on Cities: Cities have borne the maximum brunt of the covid-19 outbreak, but they will also be key to India’s post-pandemic growth. They account for nearly 70% of the country’s GDP and an average of 25-30 people migrate to cities from rural areas every single minute.
  • Households: About 25 million households in India—35% of all urban households cannot afford housing at market prices.
  • Impact on Different Population Groups: The impact of the pandemic has been profoundly uneven on different population groups. Vulnerable populations, including low-income migrant workers have suffered the dual blows of lost income and weak social-protection.

Recommendations:

  • Greater decentralization and empowerment of local governments, which will allow for more proximate and responsive governance.
  • Collection of data to help cities in managing and directing emergency operations during a crisis.
  • Government have to create a new urban paradigm that enables cities to be healthier, more inclusive, and more resilient.
  • Ensure the infrastructure that has adequate functional capacity, aligned with current and future demands.
  • Prioritise action on environmental sustainability, air pollution and disaster management in urban rebuilding efforts.
  • Prioritising inclusivity by addressing the biases and impediments faced by women and vulnerable populations in accessing urban opportunities.

 

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, Index | Reports | SummitsTagged

National Youth Parliament Festival 2021

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News: Prime Minister of India has addressed the valedictory function of the second National Youth Parliament Festival, 2021.

Facts:

  • National Youth Parliament Festival: It is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India in collaboration with one of the State Governments.
    • But this year, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided not to have an anchor state and to go online and let each state bring their talent to the fore.
  • Purpose: It is organised to commemorate the birth anniversary of youth icon Swami Vivekananda.
  • Objective: To propagate the concept of national integration, spirit of communal harmony, brotherhood, courage and adventure amongst the youth by exhibiting their cultural prowess in a common platform.
  • Eligibility: Youth in the age bracket of 18-25 years are invited to participate in the festival.
  • Theme: The theme for the festival is “YUVAAH—Utsah Naye Bharat Ka”.

Article Source

Read Also :upsc current affairs

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Government released Management Effectiveness Evaluation Report for protected areas

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News: Union Environment Minister has released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Facts:

What is Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)?

  • Management Effectiveness Evaluation(MEE) tool is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.
  • It is defined as the assessment of how well National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are being managed—primarily, whether they are protecting their values and achieving the goals and objectives agreed upon.
  • Indicators: There are 30 ”Headline Indicators” developed under six elements of MEE framework suitable in Indian context for evaluation. The ratings are assigned in four categories, as Poor – upto 40%; Fair – 41 to 59%; Good – 60 to 74%; Very Good – 75% and above.
  • What was the need of this tool? At present, India has a network of 903 protected areas covering about five per cent of the total geographic area of the country. India also has 70% of the global tiger population, 70% of Asiatic lions and more than 60% of leopards global population. Hence, in order to assess the efficacy of protected areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.
  • Results:
    • The results of the present assessment are encouraging with an overall mean MEE score of 62.01% which is higher than the global mean of 56%.
    • Jaldapara national park (West Bengal), Raiganj wildlife sanctuary (West Bengal), Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (Himachal Pradesh), Tirthan wildlife sanctuary(Himachal Pradesh) and Great Himalayan national park (Himachal Pradesh) have been declared as top five national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
    • Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh was the worst performer in the survey.

Other Initiatives launched:

  • MEE of Marine Protected Areas: A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by Wildlife Institute of India(WII) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Indian Zoos(MEE-ZOO): It is a framework which proposes guidelines, criteria and indicators for evaluation of zoos of the country through Management Effectiveness Evaluation Process(MEE-ZOO) in a manner which is discrete, holistic and independent.
    • The assessment criteria and indicators look beyond the traditional concepts including issues of animal welfare, husbandry and sustainability of resources and finance.

Article Source

To read about Protected Areas(PA) Networks: https://blog.forumias.com/all-about-protected-area-networks/

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

National Energy Conservation awards 2020

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News:  Indian Railways has bagged 13 awards at the ‘National Energy Conservation awards 2020’.

Facts:

  • National Energy Conservation Awards: The awards are organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power.
  • Instituted in: The awards were given for the first time on 14th December, 1991 which is celebrated as National Energy Conservation Day throughout the country.
  • Objective: These Awards are given by eminent dignitaries of the Government of India to Industries, Buildings, Transport and Institutions sectors along with Energy Efficient Manufacturers to recognize innovation and achievements made by them in energy conservation.

Additional Facts:

  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE): It is a statutory body established in 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • Objective: To assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles within the overall framework of the Energy Conservation Act,2001 with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • Role of BEE: BEE coordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies and other organizations and recognizes, identifies and utilizes the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.

Article Source

Read Also :upsc current affairs

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

1,600 new tech start-ups and 12 unicorns in 2020: Nasscom’s Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem report

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News: National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has released the annual start-up report ‘Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem – On the March to Trillion Dollar Digital Economy’.

Facts:

Key Takeaways from the Report:

NASSCOM Report

Source: NASSCOM Report

  • India has added 1,600 new tech start-ups and a record 12 unicorns in 2020 (the highest ever added in a single year).
    • Unicorn: It is a term in the business world to indicate a startup company valued at over $1 billion.
  • The Tech start-up base continues to expand steadily at 8-10%. Sectors, which benefited from covid-19, such as edtech, agritech and gaming, are seeing a steady rise in first-time funding.
  • Remote working continues to see significant adoption amongst tech startups, with around 30-35 % offering remote roles and 15-20 % companies having committed to remote work culture.
  • In 2020, 14% of total investments were in deep-tech startups up from 11% in 2019.Furthermore, 87% of all deep-tech investments were in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) startups.
  • India will have at least 12 more unicorns in 2021 taking the total count to 50.

Core growth drivers for Startup’s in 2020

  • Digital acceleration, and shift from moving from offline to online
  • Vocal-for-Local provided market support for start-ups to thrive
  • Remote work enabled start-ups to reduce burn whilst accelerating growth of new start-up hubs.

Article Source

Read Also :upsc current affairs

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged , ,

World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects Report predicts contraction of Indian economy

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News: The World Bank has released the Global Economic Prospects report.

Facts:

  • Global Economic Prospects Report: It is a World Bank Group flagship report that examines global economic developments and prospects, with a special focus on emerging markets and developing economies. It is issued twice a year, in January and June.

Key Takeaways from the Report:

  • India: It is expected to grow at 5.4% in fiscal year 2021-22 and 5.2% in fiscal 2022-23 after an expected contraction of 9.6% in fiscal 2020-21.
    • Reason: India’s expected contraction in the is due to a sharp decline in household spending and private investment. There was severe income loss in the informal sector which accounts for 4/5ths of employment
  • Globally: Global economic output is projected to grow by 4% in 2021 assuming widespread roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine throughout the year. This projection is 5% below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Emerging Market and developing economies (EMDEs): They are expected to grow at an average of 4.6% in 2021-22 reflecting the above average rebound in China (forecast at 7.9% and 5.2%, this year and next).
  • Increase in Global Debt Levels: There has been a massive increase in global debt levels because of the pandemic with the South Asian region seeing the steepest increase. India’s government debt expected to increase by 17% of GDP while service output contracts over 9%.
  • South Asia slowdown led by India: The South Asian region’s economy is expected to contract by 6.7 % in 2020 due to the pandemic. This was led by India’s deep recession where the economy was already weakened by the stress in non-bank financial corporations.

Recommendations:

  • The key immediate policy priorities for countries should be limiting the spread of the virus, providing relief for vulnerable populations and overcoming vaccine-related challenges should be the key immediate policy priorities for countries.
  • Countries should also foster resilience by safeguarding health and education, prioritising investments in digital technologies and green infrastructure, improving governance, and enhancing debt transparency.

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2021

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News: Prime Minister will inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention to be held in virtual format on January 9 with Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi as the chief guest.

Facts:

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(PBD) Convention: It is the flagship event of the Ministry of External Affairs and provides an important platform to engage and connect with the overseas Indian.
  • Purpose: To recognize the overseas Indians who have contributed to the development of India.
  • Significance: It is celebrated every year on January 9th because Mahatma Gandhi had returned to India from South Africa on January 09,1915.
  • Theme: “Contributing to Atma Nirbhar Bharat”
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Samman(PBSA): It is conferred every year on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to select Indian diaspora members to recognize their achievements and honour their contributions to various fields, both in India and abroad.
  • Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(PBD): It will also be celebrated virtually on the theme “Bringing together Young Achievers from India and Indian Diaspora” and will be anchored by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
    • The Special Guest for the event is Ms.Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Community & Voluntary Sector of New Zealand.

Article Source

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | SummitsTagged

Government released Longitudinal Ageing Study in India(LASI)

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News: Union Health Ministry has released the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India(LASI).

Facts:

  • LASI: It is a full scale national survey of scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population ageing in India.
  • Study conducted by: National Programme for Health Care of Elderly, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has undertaken the study through International Institute for Population Sciences, (IIPS), Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, University of Southern California, USA, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and National Institute on Ageing
  • Objective: To provide a longitudinal database for designing policies and programmes for the older population in the broad domains of social, health and economic well-being.
  • Coverage: The study covered a panel sample of 72,250 individuals age 45 years and above, including 31, 464 people above 60 and 6,749 oldest-old persons aged 75 and above.

Key Takeaways from the study:

no pension

Source: TOI

  • In the 2011 census, the 60+ population accounted for 8.6% of India’s population, accounting for 103 million elderly people. Growing at around 3% annually, the number of elderly people will rise to 319 million in 2050.
  • About 75 million elderly persons in India or one in two people above 60 years of age suffer from some chronic disease.
  • About 40% have some form of disability and as high as 20% are suffering from mental health issues. Also, 27% of this population group has multi-morbidities which translates to roughly 35 million people.
  • About a third(32%) of elderly age 60 and above have hypertension, 5.2% were diagnosed with chronic heart disease and 2.7% with stroke. The self-reported prevalence of diabetes mellitus among older adults age 45-59 is 9% and among the elderly age 60 and above is 1%.
  • The prevalence of asthma, bronchitis, and COPD is higher among elderly age 60 and above (5.9%, 1.6% and 2.8% respectively) than in older adults aged 45-59 (3.1%, 0.7%, and 1.6% respectively).

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Economic Impact of Internet shutdown in Indian and world economy

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News: According to a report by the UK-based privacy and security research firm Top10VPN, India has suffered the longest internet shutdowns in 2020 globally.

Facts:

Key Takeaways from the report:

  • Globally, internet shutdowns cost the world economy $4 billion. However, this represents a 50% decrease in impact compared to $8.05 billion in 2019.
  • India has suffered the biggest economic impact in the world in 2020 due to Internet shutdowns adding up to 8,927 hours and $2.8 billion losses.
  • Among 21 countries that curbed internet access last year, the economic impact seen in India was more than double the combined cost for the next 20 countries in the list.
  • India continued to restrict Internet access more than any other country — over 75 times in 2020.The majority of these short blackouts were highly targeted, affecting groups of villages or individual city districts.
  • The report made a separate mention of the extended curbs on Internet use in Jammu and Kashmir. It has called it as the longest Internet shutdown in a democracy.

Article Source

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | SummitsTagged ,

Why lightning kills so many Indians?

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News: According to a report, Lightning strikes have caused 1,771 deaths between April 1,2019 and March 31,2020 in India.

Facts:

  • The report has been prepared by Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council(CROPC), a non-profit organisation that works with India Meteorological Department(IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology(IITM), India Meteorological Society(IMS) and World Vision India to disseminate early lightning forecasts.

Key Takeaways:

  • State Wise Deaths due to Lightning Strikes: Uttar Pradesh with 293 deaths, Madhya Pradesh 248, Bihar 221, Odisha 200 and Jharkhand 172 deaths together accounted for more than 60% of the numbers which are 33% of total fatalities from all natural disasters during the time period.
  • Highest Lightning Strikes State: Odisha had 11.20 lakh plus lightning strikes—the highest in the country—with 200 casualties. During Cyclone Fani, the state saw more than one lakh intense lightning strikes in 2019.
  • Deaths due to Lightning: The reason for death due to Lightning is because people are unaware and about 78% deaths took place due to people standing under isolated tall trees.About 22% of the people were struck in the open.
  • Why are lightning strikes increasing? The report mentions that the lightning is direct promulgation of climatic extremities like global warming, deforestation, depletion of water bodies, concretisations, rising pollution and aerosol levels have cumulatively pushed the environment to extremes.

Recommendations:

  • Lightning needs to be listed as a notified disaster by the Ministry of Home to get required attention in national policy directives and developmental programmes.
  • Implement a local lightning safety action plan like installing Lightning Protection Devices.
  • Need of Scientific and Community Centric approach: National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) has issued guidelines for preparations of Lightning action plans to states.But the large number of fatalities show the implementation also needs a more ‘scientific and focused community centric approach’ as well as convergence of various departments.
  • A National Lightning Resilience Programme is needed to identify the precise risk in terms of lightning frequency, current intensity, energy content, high temperature and other adverse impacts.
  • Early lightning warning to farmers, cattle grazers, children and people in open areas.

Additional Facts:

  • What is Lightning: Lightning is the process of occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud accompanied by a bright flash and sound and sometimes thunderstorms.
  • Types: Inter cloud or intra cloud(IC) lightning which are visible and are harmless. It is cloud to ground (CG) lightning which is harmful as the ‘high electric voltage and electric current’ leads to electrocution.
  • Technology: CROPC has a MOU with the India Met Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Science(MoES) to disseminate early lightning forecasts which uses satellite observations, inputs from ‘network of Doppler and other radars’, ‘lightning detection Sensors’ among others.
  • Origin of Lightning: Most Lightning strikes originate from Chotanagpur Plateau – the confluence of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand—and extended to Bangladesh to Patkai plateau of Meghalaya affecting other North eastern states.
Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2019-20

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News: Reserve Bank of India has released the Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2019-20.

Facts:

  • About the report: The report is a statutory publication in compliance with Section 36 (2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • Purpose: It presents the performance of the banking sector, including co-operative banks, and non-banking financial institutions during 2019-20 and 2020-21 so far.

Key Takeaways:

  • Decline in NPAs: Scheduled Commercial Banks(SCBs) gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio declined from 9.1% at end-March 2019 to 8.2% at end-March 2020 and further to 7.5% at end-September 2020.
  • Strengthened CRAR Ratio: Capital to risk weighted assets (CRAR) ratio of SCBs strengthened from 14.3% at end-March 2019 to 14.7% at end-March 2020 and further to 15.8% at end-September 2020 partly aided by recapitalisation of public sector banks and capital raising from the market by both public and private sector banks.
  • Policy Measures: The Reserve Bank also undertook an array of policy measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19; its regulatory ambit was reinforced by legislative amendments giving it greater powers over co-operative banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and housing finance companies (HFCs).
  • Decline in UCBs Balance Sheet: The balance sheet growth of Urban Co-operative Banks(UCBs) moderated in 2019-20 on lower deposit accretion and muted expansion in credit; while their asset quality deteriorated, increased provisioning resulted in net losses.
  • NBFCs: The consolidated balance sheet of NBFCs decelerated in 2019-20 due to near stagnant growth in loans and advances although some improvement became visible.
  • Frauds in Banks: The number of frauds reported by banks in April-September 2020 period declined to Rs 64,681 crore from Rs 1,13,374 crore reported in the same period of the previous year.

Article source

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RBI launches Digital payments index to track transactions

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News: Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has launched a composite Digital Payments Index(DPI).

Facts:

  • Objective: To capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country given the sharp pick-up in digital transactions seen in the recent past.
  • Parameters: The index comprises five broad parameters with varying weights to measure the penetration of digital payments.The five key parameters include:
    • Payment enablers (25%).
    • Payment infrastructure—demand-side factors (10%).
    • Payment infrastructure—supply-side factors (15%).
    • Payment performance (45%).
    • Consumer centricity (5%).
  • These factors include multiple sub-parameters that would help the regulator conduct its study into the digital payment ecosystem.
  • Duration of Releasing Index: The index shall be published on RBI’s website on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of 4 months.
  • Base Year: The index has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period.At a base of 100 for March 2018, the RBI has measured that the index rose to 153.47 and 207.84 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Article source

Read Also:-CURRENT AFFAIRS 2020-2021

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PM lays foundation stone of Light House projects (LHPs) across six states

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News: The Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone of Light House Projects (LHPs) at six sites across six states in the country.

Facts:

  • LightHouse Projects(LHPs): These are model housing projects with houses built with shortlisted alternate technology suitable to the geo-climatic and hazard conditions of the region.
  • The projects are being constructed under Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) at six sites across six states namely Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • About 1,000 houses at each location are to be constructed in a year, using six distinct technologies from a basket of 54 such technologies shortlisted under the GHTC-India.
  • Significance: These projects will demonstrate and deliver ready to live houses at an expedited pace within twelve months as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction and will be more economical, sustainable, of high quality and durability.
    Read Also:-CURRENT AFFAIRS 2020-2021

Other Initiatives launched:

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(PMAY-Urban) Scheme: Under this, 1.09 crore houses had been sanctioned against the demand of 1.12 crore houses, 40 lakh houses handed over to beneficiaries and 70 lakh more houses were under construction.
    • PMAY-Urban: It was launched in 2015 with the aim to provide housing for all in urban areas by year 2022.The Mission provides Central Assistance to the implementing agencies through States/Union Territories (UTs) and Central Nodal Agencies (CNAs) for providing houses to all eligible families/ beneficiaries.
  • ASHA-I: Five incubation centers set up under the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators-India(ASHA-I) were launched for identifying innovative materials, processes and technology for resource efficient, disaster resilient and sustainable construction.
  • NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing): It is a certificate course on innovative construction technologies.

Additional Facts:

  • GHTC-India: It was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAY-U).
  • Aim: To transform the ecosystem of the housing construction sector in India through lighthouse projects built using advanced proven technologies.
  • Components: The challenge has three components:
    • Conduct of Grand Expo-cum-Conference
    • Identifying Proven Demonstrable Technologies from across the globe and
    • Promoting Potential Technologies through the establishment of Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators- India (ASHA-I) for incubation and accelerator support.

Article source

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India bore maximum brunt of extreme weather events in 2020: Report

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Source: The New Indian Express

News: An International Report titled “Counting the cost 2020: A year of climate breakdown” has been released by Christian aid, a relief and humanitarian agency based in London.

Facts:

  • The report listed 15 most destructive climate disasters of 2020 that cumulatively had an expenditure tag of around $150 billion calculated only on insured losses.

Key Takeaways from the report:

measuring the impact

Source: New Indian Express

  • Cyclone Amphan which affected countries in the Bay of Bengal and caused maximum damage within coastal districts of West Bengal of India displaced 4.9 million people accounting for the biggest displacement due to an extreme weather event anywhere in the world in 2020.
  • Economic Impact: The economic impact of the Cyclone Amphan was fourth in global climate related disaster list following the United States and Caribbean hurricanes, China floods and the United States fires on the west coast.
  • Floods in India: The floods in India were the fifth most expensive extreme weather event in the world costing the country $10 billion.
    • More importantly, as many as 2,067 lives were lost during the June-October floods, the highest number of fatalities due to climate change-induced weather events this year.
Posted in Index | Reports | SummitsTagged

BPRD releases data on police Organisations

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Source: The Indian Express

News: Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has released data on police organisations.

Facts:

  • The data shows different aspects of policing in the country like woman police, police expenditure, constabulary ratio, transport facilities, communication facilities, representation of various castes and police training centres.

Key Takeaways:

  • Police Population Ratio: According to report, Population Per Police Person is 511.81, that is one policeman for every 511.81 persons and 3.9 policemen for each VIP. Bihar had the worst ratio with one policeman for 867.57 persons.
  • VIP Protection: As many as 66,043 policemen were deployed to protect 19,467 Ministers, Members of Parliament, judges, bureaucrats and other personalities in 2019 compared to 63,061 policemen for similar duty in 2018.
    • The highest number of persons who received police protection in 2019 were in West Bengal — 3,142 followed by Punjab (2,594), Bihar (2,347), Haryana (1,355) and Jharkhand (1,351).
  • The Backward Classes, Dalits and Tribals constitute almost 67% of India’s population but their representation in police forces in the country is only at 51%.
  • Scheduled Tribes form 8.6% of the population and have 12% representation in the police forces, placing them at a comparatively better position.
  • Dalits represent 14% of all positions in police forces across the country. According to Census 2011, Dalits make up 16.6% of India’s population.
  • Other Backward Classes(OBCs) fare the worst on the representation front as, despite their 41% share in the population, they constitute only 25% of the police forces.
  • Women continue to be represented poorly.It is reflected in the women population per woman police ratio which stands at 3,026 nationally
    • However, their situation has improved considerably over the past five years. Since 2014, when the actual strength of women in police forces stood at around 1.11 lakh, their representation has almost doubled to 2.15 lakh.

Additional Facts:

  • BPR&D: It was established in 1970 with the objective of modernisation of police forces. It functions under the aegis of Union Home Ministry
  • BPR&D replaced Police Research and Advisory Council formed in 1966.
  • Purpose: It is a nodal national police organisation to study, research and develop on subjects and issues related to policing.
  • In 2008, the Government further decided to create the National Police Mission (NPM) under the administrative control of BPR&D
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
Posted in Index | Reports | SummitsTagged

CO2 emissions from building sector highest in 2019: UNEP

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Source: DownToEarth

News: United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has released a report titled Global Status Report for Building and Construction,2020. 

Facts: 

  • The report has been prepared by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction(GlobalABC), the Secretariat of which is hosted by the UNEP. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • CO2 Emissions from the Building Sector: The building sector emitted more than a third of global energy-related carbon dioxide(CO2) in 2019. 
  • The CO2 emissions increased due to a high proportion of fossil fuels used for power generation, combined with higher activity levels in regions where electricity remains carbon-intensive. 
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Construction: The construction activities dropped by 20-30% in 2020 compared to 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 10% of overall jobs lost or at risk in the building construction sector. 

Recommendations: 

  • Buildings and construction sector needs to urgently implement a triple strategy of a) aggressively reducing energy demand in the built environment b) decarbonisation of the power sector and c) implement materials strategies that reduce lifecycle carbon emission 
  • Governments must prioritize low-carbon buildings in pandemic stimulus packages. It should launch programmes that can create jobs, boost economic activity and activate local value chains in the construction sector. 
  • Investors should reevaluate all real estate investment through an energy-efficiency and carbon reduction lens. 

Additional Facts: 

  • GlobalABC: It is the leading global platform for governments, private sector, civil society and intergovernmental organizations to increase action towards a zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector. GlobalABC was a key outcome of the 2015 UN climate conference. 
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Parliamentary Standing Committee recommendation on the management of COVID-19 situation

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News: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has submitted its report to the Rajya Sabha Chairman on the management of Covid-19 situation.

Facts:

Key Suggestions given by Panel:

Panel has given suggestion on the four aspects:

  1. The country’s preparedness
  2. Augmentation of health infrastructure
  3. Social impact
  4. Economic impact

The Panel's Suggestions

Source: The Hindu

On Country’s preparedness

  • Separate Wing: A separate wing may be formed in the National Disaster Management Authority that will specialize in handling /managing the Pandemics like COVID-19 in the future.
  • Center-state coordination mechanism: For providing quick response to such crisis, an effective functional institutional mechanism is needed for coordination between the Centre, states, and Union Territories.

On country’s Health Infrastructure

  • Public Health Act: A comprehensive Public Health Act preferably at the National Level with suitable legal provisions to keep checks and controls over private hospitals in times of a pandemic to
    • curb black marketing of medicines
    • check the malpractices like selling of hospital beds
    • denial of the cashless facility
    • variation in levying charges towards consumables such as PPE kits, gloves etc,
  • Strengthen Public Health care System: The public sector healthcare delivery system needs to be further strengthened in all the states/ UTs and a uniform healthcare system should be established across the country to deal with the pandemic on a sustained basis in the future.

On Social Impacts

  • National Database on migrant workers should be launched at the earliest as it will help in the identification of migrant workers and also in delivering ration and other benefits to them.
  • Inter-state operability of ration cards: It recommended that until the One Nation, One Ration Card is implemented in all states/UTs, inter-state operability of ration cards should be allowed.
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme: Central government should coordinate with local administration through state governments to ensure rations/ allowances are delivered on time.

On Economic Impacts

  • Awareness Campaigns: The Government should hold awareness campaigns on cheaper and effective repurposed medicines to prevent panic-buying of expensive drugs by the people.
  • Vaccine Authorization: Any vaccine against COVID-19 should be granted emergency use authorisation only after proper consideration and conducting its trials on a sufficient sample size.
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Human Freedom Index 2020

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Source: Click here

News: The Human Freedom Index 2020 has been jointly released by Fraser Institute in Canada and the Cato Institute in the United States.

Facts:

  • About the index: The index presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraints.
  • Parameters: It uses a 0 to 10 scale to measure personal freedom based on parameters such as rule of law, safety and security, identity and relationships, freedom of movement, economic freedom, ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions without government or crony interference.

Key Takeaways:

  • Topped by: New Zealand has topped the index followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong.
  • India: India has been placed at the 111th spot out of 162 countries.
  • Other countries: The index put China at 129 rank, Bangladesh at 139 and Pakistan at 140.Further, the three least-free countries in descending order are Venezuela, Sudan and Syria.
Posted in Index | Reports | Summits

India drops two ranks in Human Development Index 2020

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News: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has released the Human Development Index (HDI) 2020.

Facts:

● HDI  Human Development Index measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development:

○ A long and healthy life- measured by Life expectancy at birth

○ Access to knowledge: measured by Mean years of schooling and Expected years of schooling

○ A decent standard of living- measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (PPP US$).

What is PHDI ?

UNDP has introduced a new metric this year called Planetary Pressures-adjusted Human Development Index (PHDI).

PHDI reflects the impact caused by each country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint which measures the amount of fossil fuels, metals and other resources used to make the goods and services it consumes.

Key Takeaways of HDI Human Development Index 2020:

● Topped by: Norway has topped the index followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland.

● India in HDI 2020: India has dropped two ranks in the HDI index standing at 131 out of 189 countries. India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645— which put the country in the medium human development category

● BRICS: In the BRICS grouping, Russia was 52 in the human development index, Brazil 84, and China 85.

● Neighboring Countries HDI ranking: Bhutan (129), Bangladesh (133), Nepal (142), and Pakistan (154).

Other Takeaways from the index:

● Life expectancy of Indians at birth in 2019 was 69.7 years. This is worse than Bangladesh which has a life expectancy of 72.6 years. The life expectancy in Pakistan is 67.3 years.

● India’s gross national income per capita fell to $6,681 in 2019 from $6,829 in 2018 on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.

○ Purchasing power parity or PPP is a measurement of prices in different countries that uses the prices of specific goods to compare the absolute purchasing power of the countries’ currencies.

● Solar capacity in India has increased from 2.6 gigawatts in March 2014 to 30 gigawatts in July 2019 achieving its target of 20 gigawatts four years ahead of schedule.In 2019, India ranked fifth for installed solar capacity.

For further reference:  UNDP’s HDI and Other Indices

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

State of the Education Report for India: Vocational Education First

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News: UNESCO has released the 2020 State of the Education Report for India: Vocational Education First.

Facts:

● The second edition of the State of Education Report focuses on technical and vocational Education reports and training(TVET).

What is TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training)?

TVET refers to aspects of the Education Report process involving in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupants in various sectors of economic and social life

How to improve TVET in India?

The report outlines a set of ten recommendations that should be adopted to help achieve the stated vision for TVET in the country.

● Place learners and their aspirations at the centre of vocational education and training programs

● Create an appropriate ecosystem for teachers, trainers and assessors

● Focus on upskilling, re-skilling and lifelong learning

● Ensure inclusive access to TVET for women, differently abled and disadvantaged learners

● Massively expand the digitalization of vocational education and training

● Support local communities to generate livelihoods by engaging in the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage

● Align better with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

● Deploy innovative models of financing TVET

● Expand evidence-based research for better planning and monitoring

● Establish a robust coordinating mechanism for inter-ministerial cooperation.

Additional Facts:

● United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): It is a specialized agency of the United Nations(UN) based in Paris, France. India has been a member of the UNESCO since its inception in 1946.

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

12th GRIHA summit

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Source: Click here

News: The Vice President of India has virtually inaugurated the 12th GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Summit.

Facts:

  • GRIHA Summit: It is the annual flagship event organized by GRIHA Council in association with key stakeholders in the construction industry to discuss and deliberate on furtherance of Sustainable Habitat Development in India.
  • Theme: “Rejuvenating Resilient Habitats”

Additional Facts:

  • Building Fitness Indicator(BFI): It is a self-assessment online tool launched by GRIHA Council to assess safety and hygiene standards for workplaces in India.
  • Global Housing Technology Challenge India(GHTC-India): It was organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2019 with an aim to identify and mainstream best available and proven construction technologies that are sustainable, green and disaster-resilient to enable a paradigm shift in housing construction.
  • GRIHA: It is an independent, not-for-profit society jointly setup by The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
    • Purpose: It evaluates the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle, based on quantitative and qualitative criteria, thereby providing a definitive standard for green buildings and sustainable habitats.

 

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5th India Water Impact Summit(IWIS)

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Source: Click here

News: The 5th India Water Impact Summit(IWIS) has commenced in a virtual mode.

Facts:

  • Organized by: The summit has been organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies(cGanga).
  • Objective: To bring together various stakeholders to discuss, debate and develop model solutions to some of the biggest water related issues in the country.
  • Theme: “Arth Ganga: River Conservation Synchronised Development”

Additional Facts:

  • NMCG: It is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).It was established in the year 2011 as a registered society under Societies Registration Act,1860.
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Only 12.9% Indian women hold agricultural land: Index

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Source: Click here

News: Centre for Land Governance has released an index ranking states in terms of women holding land rights in percentage points.

Key Takeaways:

  • Land Holding by Women: Women constitute a third(32%) of India’s agricultural labour force and contribute 55-66% to farm production. However, they hold only 12.8% of the land in India.
  • Best States Providing Land Rights for women: Lakshadweep and Meghalaya are best at providing land rights to women; Punjab and West Bengal are the worst.
  • Region wise Land Holdings:In the southern states, 15.4% of women hold land and in the northeast, 14.1%.Despite such low figures, these states outperform the northern states (9.8%) and the eastern states(9.2%).
  • Importance of Land rights for women: Secure and impartial land rights for women are crucial for a country to achieve sustainable development goals such as ending poverty and achieving gender equality.
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Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development Report: UNCTAD

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Source: Click here

News: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) has released a report titled “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development: Transitioning to a New Normal”.

Facts:

  • Aim: The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development.

Key Takeaways.

  • The global economy would contract 4.3% this year due to the pandemic. This could send an additional 130 million people into extreme poverty.
  • The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 will be derailed unless immediate policy actions are taken especially in favour of the poorest.
  • Global poverty is also on the rise for the first time since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.In 1990, the global poverty rate was 35.9%.By 2018 it had been curtailed to 8.6% but has already inched up to 8.8% this year and will likely rise throughout 2021.

Recommendations:

  • Increase the international assistance which would include offering debt relief to many poorer nations so they have the fiscal space needed to address the pandemic’s economic impacts on their populations.
  • To reshape global production networks to be more green, inclusive, and sustainable while simultaneously resetting the multilateral system to support the most vulnerable and deliver on climate action.
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Fifth Edition of National Family Health Survey

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News: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released the fifth edition of the National Family Health Survey(NFHS).

Facts:
  • NFHS: It was conducted after a gap of three years.It contains detailed information on population, health, and nutrition for India and its states and Union Territories.
  • This is the Phase 1 of the survey conducted in 17 States and 5 Union Territories(UTs).Phase 2 of the survey will cover other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Key Highlights:

  • Increased malnutrition among children: Several States have reversed course and recorded worsening levels of child (under 5 years of age) malnutrition parameters such as child stunting; child wasting; share of children underweight and child mortality rate.
  • More Indians are obese and anaemic: The survey has reported an increased share of men and women who were overweight or obese and anaemic (condition in which a person lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body tissues).
  • Jump in Vaccination: The survey has found considerable improvement in vaccination coverage among children aged 12-23 months across all States/UTs.
  • Better household amenities The share of households having access to some basic amenities has increased in most of the states.
  • Urban-Rural gender gaps in Internet use: There is an urban-rural gap as well as gender divide with respect to the use of the Internet.On an average, less than 3 out of 10 women in rural India and 4 out of 10 women in urban India ever used the Internet.
  • Increase in bank accounts operated by women: The number of bank accounts that women not only hold but also operate themselves has increased dramatically over the past five years.
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Sustainable Mountain Development Summit

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Source: Click here

News: The 9th edition of Sustainable Mountain Development summit commenced in virtual mode on the occasion of International Mountain Day.

Facts:

  • Sustainable Mountain Development Summit(SMDS): The summit was organized by Indian Mountain Initiative(IMI)
  • Aim: To deliberate on issues such as migration, water security, climate resilience and innovative solutions for the farm sector and disaster risk reduction in the Indian Himalayas.
  • Theme: Emerging Pathways for Building a Resilient Post COVID-19 Mountain Economy, Adaptation, Innovation and Acceleration.

Additional Facts:

  • Integrated Mountain Initiative (former Indian Mountain Initiative): It is a civil society led network formed in 2011 with the objective of providing stakeholders from the states of the Indian Himalayan Region a platform to come together to discuss issues related to the development of the Himalayan region.
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Climate Ambition Summit 2020

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Source: UN News

News: The United Nations (UN), United Kingdom (UK) and France have co-hosted the Climate Ambition Summit 2020 in partnership with Chile and Italy to mark five years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

Facts:

  • The summit brings together leaders from across all levels of government, as well as the private sector and civil society, to present more ambitious and high-quality climate commitments, and measures to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Key Takeaways from the summit:

  • The United Kingdom has pledged to double its climate finance contribution to USD 15.5 billion over the next five years.
  • The European Investment Bank has announced a goal of 50% of investments going toward the climate and environment sectors by 2025. It also called for climate finance commitments to support the most vulnerable and ambitious adaptation plans and underlying policies.
  • China has committed to lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by over 65% from 2005 levels by 2030.

India’s achievements:

  • India has reduced emission intensity by 21% over 2005 levels.
  • Solar capacity has grown from 2.63 Gigawatts in 2014 to 36 Gigawatts in 2020.
  • Renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world.
  • It will reach 175 Gigawatts before 2022.
  • India has also set a new target of 450 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • On the world stage, India has pioneered two major initiatives: (1) The International Solar Alliance; (2) Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Initiatives launched:

  • Race To Zero: It is a global campaign launched by UNFCCC to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
  • Net Zero Asset Managers initiative: It is a leading group of global asset managers that commit to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C

Additional Facts:

  • Paris agreement: It was adopted at the UNFCCC COP21 held in Paris in 2015.It aims to keep global temperature rise in the 21st century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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WHO releases Global Health Estimates 2019

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Source: Click here

News: World Health Organization(WHO) has released the Global Health Estimates 2019.

Facts:

  • Global Health Estimates: The report provides a comprehensive and comparable assessment of mortality and loss of health due to diseases and injuries for all regions of the world.The new data of Global Health Estimates cover the period from 2000 to 2019.

Key Takeaways:

  • Top Ten Causes of Death: Ischaemic heart disease, Stroke, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Lower respiratory infections, Neonatal conditions, Trachea, bronchus and lung cancers, Alzheimer disease, Diarrhoeal diseases, Diabetes mellitus, Kidney diseases.
  • Noncommunicable diseases make up 7 of the world’s top 10 causes of death.This is an increase from 4 of the 10 leading causes in 2000.
  • Global decline in deaths from communicable diseases but still a major challenge in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Heart disease caused the most deaths and was responsible for 16% of total deaths.Since 2000, it has seen the largest increase in deaths rising by more than 2 million to nearly 9 million deaths in 2019.
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are now among the top 10 causes of death worldwide.Globally, 65% of deaths from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are women.
  • Deaths from diabetes increased by 70% globally between 2000 and 2019, with an 80% rise in deaths among males.
  • Life expectancy has increased by more than 6 years between 2000 and 2019 – from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2019.
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Emissions Gap Report 2020

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News: United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has released the Emissions Gap Report,2020.

Facts:
  • Emissions gap report: The report assesses the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
Key Takeaways:
  • Temperature Rise: World is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
  • Record GHG Emissions: In 2019, the total greenhouse gas emissions, including land-use change reached a new high of 59.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e).
  • Record carbon emission: Fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (from fossil fuels and carbonates) dominate total GHG emissions.
  • Forest fires increasing GHG emissions: Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown 1.4% per year since 2010 on average, with a more rapid increase of 2.6% in 2019 due to a large increase in forest fires.
  • G20 countries account for the bulk of emissions: Over the last decade, the four emitters (China, the United States of America, EU27+UK and India) have contributed to 55% of the total GHG emissions.
  • Did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the emission level? Due to the pandemic, carbon dioxide emissions are predicted to fall up to 7% in 2020.However, this dip only translates to a 0.01°C reduction of global warming by 2050.
  • Which sector reported the lowest dip in emission due to pandemic? Studies indicate that the biggest changes have occurred in transport, as COVID-19 restrictions were targeted to limit mobility, though reductions have also occurred in other sectors.
Recommendations:
  • Green Pandemic Recovery: Governments can invest in climate action as part of pandemic recovery and solidify emerging net-zero commitments with strengthened pledges so that they can bring emissions to levels broadly consistent with the 2°C goal.
  • Change in Consumption Behaviour: The report finds that stronger climate action must include changes in consumption behaviour by the private sector and individuals.Around two-thirds of global emissions are linked to private households when using consumption-based accounting.
  • Responsibility on Wealthy: The wealthy bear the greatest responsibility as the emissions of the richest 1% of the global population account for more than twice the combined share of the poorest 50%. This group will need to reduce its footprint by a factor of 30 to stay in line with the Paris Agreement targets.
  • Lower Carbon Consumption: Possible actions to support and enable lower carbon consumption include replacing domestic short haul flights with rail, incentives and infrastructure to enable cycling and car-sharing, improving the energy efficiency of housing and policies to reduce food waste.
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India’s 1st LGBT+ workplace equality index launched

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Source: Click here

News: India’s 1st LGBT+ workplace equality index has been launched.

Facts:

  • India Workplace Equality Index: It is the country’s first comprehensive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace.
  • Launched by: It was launched by non-profit Keshav Suri Foundation, partnered with Pride Circle, Stonewall UK and FICCI.
  • Parameters: The index measures nine areas: policies and benefits, employee lifecycle, employee network group, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work.
  • Winners: Twenty-one firms won under the gold category while 18 were placed under silver and 13 got bronze.
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