This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this series, we are covering important current affairs for UPSC Prelims 2022. This post covers all the current affairs linked to important indexes in news from September, October 2021 and April 2022 months.
List of Contents
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National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
About National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
Released by: Ministry of Education
Launched by: The National Institutional Ranking Framework(NIRF) was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Education.
Objective: To rank higher educational institutions in the country based on objective criteria to promote competitive excellence.
Parameters: The institutions were assessed and ranked based on five parameters:
- Teaching, Learning and Resources (TLR)
- Research and Professional Practice (RP)
- Graduation Outcomes (GO)
- Outreach and Inclusivity (OI)
- Peer Perception.
Categories: The institutions were ranked across 11 categories as listed out – overall national ranking, universities, engineering, college, medical, management, pharmacy, law, architecture, dental and research.
Rankings in 2021
Overall Ranking: IIT-Madras, IISc-Bangalore, and IIT-Bombay have emerged as the country’s top three higher education institutions
University and Research Institution: Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru tops the University as well as Research Institution category
Colleges: Miranda College retains 1st position amongst colleges for the fifth consecutive year.
Engineering: IIT-Madras remained number one.
Management: Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad was ranked one.
Medical: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi occupies the top slot in Medical for the fourth consecutive year.
Pharmacy: Jamia Hamdard tops the list in Pharmacy subject for the third consecutive.
Architecture: IIT Roorkee takes the top slot for the first time in the Architecture subject.
Law: National Law School of India University, Bangalore retains its first position in Law for the fourth consecutive year.
Dental: Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal secured 1st position.
Global Innovation Index
Published by: 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.
Key findings of the Global Innovation Index 2021
Key findings related to India
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
Switzerland has topped the index. It was followed by Sweden, the US and the UK.
Amongst Asian economies, South Korea jumped to the fifth position, up from 10 last year. China was in the 12th position.
State Food Safety Index
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.
About 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.
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.
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.
QS Graduate Employability Rankings
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%).
Key takeaways of the rankings
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.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has topped the rankings. It was followed by Stanford University and the University of California.
Henley Passport Index
Released by: Henley & Partners
About 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).
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.
Climate vulnerability assessment or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI)
Released by: Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)
Significance: It is first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI). The index has analyzed 640 districts in India and found that 463 of these are vulnerable to extreme floods, droughts and cyclones etc.
Key findings of the Climate Vulnerability Index
There are 183 hotspot districts that are highly vulnerable to more than one extreme climate event. Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India.
North-eastern states are more vulnerable to floods
South and Central Indian states are most vulnerable to extreme droughts.
59% and 41% of the total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively, are highly vulnerable to extreme cyclone
“Unsustainable landscape and infrastructure changes’’ are the prime reasons for vulnerability to climate risks
States are most and least vulnerable to Climate Change
The CVI has ranked 20 states out of which Assam and Andhra Pradesh are the most vulnerable to extreme weather events, and Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal are the least vulnerable.
Kerala and West Bengal have performed well because they have stepped up their climate action plans and preparedness to handle an extreme weather events.
Recommendations of the Index
Develop a high-resolution Climate Risk Atlas (CRA) to map critical vulnerabilities at the district level.
Establish a centralised climate-risk commission to coordinate the environmental de-risking mission.
Undertake climate-sensitivity-led landscape restoration focused on rehabilitating, restoring, and reintegrating natural ecosystems as part of the developmental process.
State Energy and Climate Index (SECI)
Released by: NITI Aayog
Objectives: The objectives of the index are:
– Ranking the States based on their efforts towards improving energy access, energy consumption, energy efficiency, and safeguarding the environment;
– Helping drive the agenda of the affordable, accessible, efficient and clean energy transition at the State level;
– Encouraging healthy competition among the states on different dimensions of energy and climate.
Parameters: The index ranks states and union territories on six parameters — 1) discoms performance, 2) access affordability and reliability of energy, 3) clean energy initiatives, 4) energy efficiency, 5) environmental sustainability and 6) new initiatives.
Categorization: The states have been categorized based on size and geographical differences as larger states, smaller states, and UTs.
Key findings of the index
Larger States: Gujarat has topped the index among larger states. Gujarat was followed by Kerala and Punjab.
– States like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand were placed at the bottom.
Smaller States: Goa has topped the index, followed by Tripura and Manipur.
UTs: Chandigarh, Delhi, Daman & Diu/Dadra & Nagar Haveli are the top performers.
Significance of the index
The index can be used by the states and UTs to benchmark their performance against their peers, analyze the potential challenges to develop better policy mechanisms and efficiently manage their energy resources.
India’s Performance in Global Energy Indices