IMPORTANT FACTS / DATA & FIGURES

ART AND CULTURE

  • More than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues, according to the Language Census.
  • There are 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people in India.

GEOGRAPHY

  • India’s current water requirement is estimated to be around 1100 billion cubic meters per year. It is projected to touch 1447 BCM by 2050.
  • India produces as many as 95 minerals, which includes 4 fuel, 10 metallic, 23 non-metallic, 3 atomic and 55 minor minerals (including building stones and other materials).
  • Country’s mining sector forms an important segment of the economy contributing around 2.6 percent of our national GDP. In the year 2018-19, the Gross Value Addition by mining and quarrying sector was Rupees 4 lakh and 10 thousand crores. It also provides direct and indirect employment to over 10 million people.
  • India ranks third globally after China and the United States of America, with 5334 large dams in operation.

URBANIZATION

  • Urbanization is taking place rapidly. From just 62 million people in 1951, our cities had over 377 million people in 2011, as per our last census. The share of the urban population went up from 17.3% in 1951 to 31.2% in 2011. Today, we understand that it has risen even further – to 34 % according to the UN – and predictions are that it will exceed 35 % by the next Census year 2021.
  • Today, urban India contributes about 65% of India’s GDP, which is estimated to increase to 70% by 2030– an unprecedented expansion that will change the economic, social and environmental landscape of India.
  • Between 152-216 million (17.4% of urban households) people in India live in dense informal housing, or slums.

MIGRATION

  • The Economic Survey of India 2016-17 places the estimation of interstate migration at 60 million and inter-district migration at 80 million.

SOCIAL ISSUES

  • According to the 2011 census, there are 0.77 million homeless people in India. There are 18 million street children in India and more staggering is the number of slum dwellers — 78 million. There are 90 million people in India who make less than a dollar in a day.
  • It has been estimated that around 70% of surface water in India is unfit for consumption. (World Economic Forum/Word Bank reports)
  • Nearly all slum residents, even in best-off slums, find employment in the informal sector.
  • At least 2.5 million girl children — over and above a previously estimated 12 million — may be forced into marriages in 2020, according to the report by international non-profit Save the Children. It estimated that 130 million more people could be left without enough food by the end of 2020 — resulting in 10 million more children suffering from acute malnutrition.
  • Global Slavery Index reported that there were 8 million people in modern slavery in India.

DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND, POPULATION AND ASSOCIATED ISSUES

  • By 2022, the median age in India will be 28 years
  • India has a tremendous demographic dividend that is waiting to be realized. In an ageing world, India has one of the youngest populations. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28, compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan.
  • According to the World Urbanisation Prospects, the urban population in the year 2025 will rise to 42.5 percent (566 million).
  • India can take the lead over many other nations because about 65 per cent of its population is below 35 years and 50 per cent is below 25 years.
  • The UN’s ‘World Urbanization Report’ shows that the proportion of urban population in India to total population is rising at an accelerating pace: from 17 per cent in 1950, it rose in sixty years’ time to 30.9 per cent in 2010 and is expected to reach 50.3 per cent by 2046.
  • A study by the United Nations shows that India will add another 415 million people to its urban centres by 2050.
  • By 2030, the number of school-going children in the age group of 4 – 17 years is estimated to be 300 million. 140 million young people in the in the age group of 18-23 years are all set to be enrolled in colleges and universities by 2030.
  • Through Aadhaar, the Government has provided digital identity to 122.9 crore residents of the country with 99% coverage of the adult population as on 30th November 2018.
  • India has one of the youngest populations in the world and the window of demographic dividend opportunity is available for five decades from 2005-06 to 2055-56, longer than any other country in the world.

MIGRATION AND ASSOCIATED ISSUES

  • About 30% of the migrants are youth aged 15-29 years and another 15 million are children. Women migrants are less represented in regular jobs and more likely to be self-employed than non-migrant women. Domestic work has emerged as an important occupation for migrant women and girls.
  • According to a UNESCO study, Surat at 58% has the highest percentage of migrant labour population in India, while the percentage of migrant population is 43% for Mumbai and Delhi.
  • According to World Bank economist, Supriyo De, “The number of internal migrants in India was 450 million as per the most recent 2011 Census. This is an increase of 45% over the 309 million recorded in 2001. This far exceeds the population growth rate of 18% across 2001-2011. Internal migrants as percentage of population increased from 30% in 2001 to 37% in 2011.”  The figure 450 million is more than double the population of Bangladesh, it is under half the population of Europe and more than that of the U.S.

EDUCATION

  • There is also a need to step up our investment in education from the current 6 percent of GDP to 6 percent of GDP, as recommended by the NITI Aayog.
  • When the national average of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education stood at 26.3 percent in 2018-19, Tamil Nadu topped in the nation with 46.9 percent gross enrollment ratio.
  • India has the world’s largest population in the age bracket of 5-24 years, of about 500 million, and this presents a great opportunity for our education sector to grow.
  • Although our Literacy rate has risen significantly, from 17% at the end of 1950 to 76% currently, India still has the largest illiterate population in the world, with its literacy rate remaining below the world average of 86%.
  • Though India is home to premier institutions like IISc., IIT, IIM, only 56 institutions were featured in the 500 universities that made it to the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020’. However, not a single Indian university features in the top 300 list.
  • With 990 universities and around 51,649 higher education institutions having a faculty strength of around 14 lakh, Universities and HEI’s in India have a great opportunity to mould the future of the nation.
  • Nearly 70 lakh teachers are teaching 20 crore children in 15 lakh elementary schools across the country. The literacy rate has been steadily improving from a mere 18 percent in 1947 to nearly 80 percent at present.
  • According to World Bank estimates, India’s higher education system is the world’s third largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States.
  • The National Knowledge Commission report states that currently the Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education in India is 27% whereas for USA and China, it is 85.8 and 43.4 % respectively.
  • India has about 50% less teachers per thousand students.

 

HEALTH

  • According to the Economic Survey 2020, India’s public financing for health is at 1.6 per cent of the GDP. While the Centre is committed to raising this figure to 2.5 per cent by 2025, as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017, it is estimated that the States, too, need to ramp up healthcare spending to at least 8 per cent of their budgets.
  • As per WHO Report on STH published in 2012, in India there were an estimated 64% children in the age group (1-14 years) at risk of STH. Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH), also known as parasitic intestinal worm infection.
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) accounts for 7,00,000 deaths every year the world over and by 2050, if the world does not take any action, 10 million lives will be at risk annually from this phenomenon, and 90% of them in Asia and Africa.
  • At least 50 of the 640 districts studied have high prevalence of diabetes — greater than one in 10 — among women aged 35-49 years. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have districts with the highest prevalence.
  • According to theWorld Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, the prevalence of hearing impairment (HI) in India is around 3% (63 million people suffering from significant auditory loss).
  • It is estimated 10,000 to 12,000 children are born with thalassemia every year in India.
  • As per the WHO, since 1980, the cases of wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99.9 per cent as a result of vaccination efforts made around the world.
  • Data also shows that there has been an increase in childhood wasting in the last 10 years (NFHS-3 and 4) from 19.8% to 21%. Rising Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) remain critical concerns. Besides under-nutrition, there is also the problem of over nutrition or obesity. At least 20.7% of Indian women and 18.6% of men are obese and overweight (NFHS-4). Hunger and obesity are the double burden of malnutrition.
  • In India, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding is only 55% (NFHS–4) and only 41% are able to start breastfeeding within an hour of giving birth to a newborn. Breastfeeding needs to continue up to 2 years.
  • Even today, close to 80 per cent of the medical equipment used in our country, including in government hospitals, is imported. Though there is some manufacturing capacity in non-electronic medical equipment, over 90 per cent of medical electronic products are imported.
  • According to the World Health Organization, an average of Rs. 6500 per person was lost in India due to lack of cleanliness and hygiene.
  • According to the UN, around 2.2 billion people currently do not have access to safely managed drinking water, and 4.2 billion, or 55% of the world’s population, are without safely managed sanitation.
  • According to a UN report, women spend over 200 million hours every day to fetch water from distant places. Sharing the burden with their mothers, globally children spend 200 million hours each day for collecting water.
  • Around 1,300 children are dying each day because of diarrhea.
  • In India, around 46 lakhs people suffer from blindness and most of them are in the 50+ age group.  As per the recently conducted National Blindness survey (2015-19), the prevalence of blindness has been reduced to 0.36% as compared to reported 1% in the 2006-07 National survey. Data suggests that the main cause of blindness is cataract which is responsible for about 66% of the total cases of blindness. Corneal blindness is the second leading cause of blindness at 7.4% or about 3.3 lakhs cases.
  • The rise in Non-communicable Diseases, primarily cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes are responsible for 71% of deaths worldwide, causing 15 million deaths in the prime of people’s lives – between the ages of 30 and 70 years – creating a global health epidemic that calls for immediate action.
  • India is home to nearly 40% of world’s heart failure
  • It is sad that nearly two lakh children are born every year in India with heart defects. Majority of these are born in poor families and 80 % die without receiving any kind of medical treatment.
  • With successive governments according high priority to health and the wellbeing of the people, the average life expectancy has increased to 69 years and India’s disease burden due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases has dropped from 61 % to 33 % between 1990 and 2016.
  • The National Health Profile 2018 says that there is just one allopathic government doctor available for around 11,082 people across the country, a figure more than 10 times of the WHO recommended figure of 1:1000.
  • India has 0.8 per thousand doctor-to-patient ratios (UK: 2.8, Australia: 5, China: 4). In India, doctors spend just 2 minutes per patient, whereas in the US it is close to 20 minutes.
  • According to the World Food Programme (WFP) 132 million more people could become malnourished as a consequence of the pandemic.
  • The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18revealed that over 40 million children are chronically malnourished, and more than half of Indian women aged 15-49 years are anaemic.

 

 

POVERTY AND HUNGER

  • Globally, at least 1 in 3 children under 5 is undernourished or overweight and at least 1 in 2 children suffer from hidden hunger.
  • As per the Global Nutrition Report 2020, India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025.
  • Malnutrition in India accounts for 68% of total under-five deaths and 17% of the total disability- adjusted life years.
  • India is home to about 30% of the world’s stunted children and nearly 50 per cent of severely wasted children under the age of five.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 194.4 million people in India (about 14.5% of the total population) are undernourished.
  • With 250 million people, Africa is the second-most undernourished continent after Asia (381 million). Undernourishment in Africa is further projected to increase by up to 40 million people in 2020 because of COVID-19. If recent trends persist, Africa will overtake Asia to become the region with the highest number of undernourished people by 2030.
  • The world is projected to have 150 million ‘new extreme poor people’ in 2021, as a result of COVID-19 according to Oxfam study.
  • According to the most recent WFP estimates, majority of people suffering acute food insecurity in 2019 were in countries affected by conflict (77 million), climate change (34 million) and economic crises (24 million people). These included people in the Sub-Saharan countries.

HUMAN RESOURCE

  • India has the third largest scientific human resource pool in the world.

 

CONSTITUTION, POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

  • Data indicates that between 1947 and 2019, more than 35,000 police personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty. 
  • The National Crime Records Bureau records 853 custodial deaths between 2010 to 2018 — 70 of them in 2018 alone. At 1,636, the National Human Rights Commission puts the death figure much higher.
  • At 158, India’s police to population ratio (police staff per 1,00,000 citizens) is one of the worst in the world.
  • According to the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), as per the latest data of 2015, globally, women as news reporters were most present on radio at 41% and least in print news at 35%. (TV and Internet constituted the remaining 24%). The report said that the global share of women reporters dropped on radio and television by four percentage points in both mediums between 2010 and 2015. The report pointed out that between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of women media professionals rose from 17% in (Newspaper, Television, Radio) to 24%, which is a 7% rise. Men still dominate the industry with 76%.
  • The latest National Crime Records Bureau data show that Uttar Pradesh registered the highest number of crimes against women in 2019, accounting for 14.7% of India’s total.
  • Apparently, there are nearly 60,000 cases pending in the Supreme Court and nearly 44 lakh cases in the High Courts. 
  • In the first General Elections held in 1952, 10.59 crore voters accounting for 61.14% of the eligible voters exercised their franchise. In the last General Elections held in 2019, 73.64 core voters accounting for 67.09% of the eligible voters went to the voting booths in the highest ever voter turnout so far.
  • According to a report, of the 533 candidates elected to the 17th Lok Sabha and whose declared assets were examined, 475 accounting for 88% of the total are ‘crorepatis’. This paradox of poor India with rich parliamentarians is raising concerns about growing role of money power in politics.
  • During the last year’s general elections, the Election Commission has seized Rs.839 cr in cash, drugs and narcotics worth Rs.1300 cr, liquor worth Rs.249 cr, gold and silver with a value of Rs.986 cr and other freebies and items meant for distribution to voters worth Rs.58 cr. Despite the best efforts of the Election Commission, we all know that these seizures worth a total of Rs.3,500 cr were only a tip of the iceberg. Where does all this money come from? It was all unaccounted black money.
  • The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation is covering about 3.49 Crores of family units of workers and providing matchless cash benefits and reasonable medical care to its 13.56 crore beneficiaries.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

INDIA AND BRICS

  • India lags behind its BRICS peers on the health and quality index (HAQ index). As per the National Health Profile 2018, India’s public health spending is less than 1 per cent of the country’s GDP, which is lower than some of its neighbours, countries such as Bhutan (2.5 per cent), Sri Lanka (1.6 per cent) and Nepal (1.1 per cent).

INDIA AND BANGLADESH

  • India is a committed development partner of Bangladesh and we have extended cumulative Lines of Credit of over US$ 8 billion to Bangladesh in the last 7 years for various infrastructure projects. This is the largest amount of credit India has ever committed to any single country.
  • Bangladesh’s economy has been clocking rapid GDP growth rates since 2004. However, this pace did not alter the relative positions of the two economies between 2004 and 2016 because India grew even faster than Bangladesh. But since 2017 onwards, India’s growth rate has decelerated sharply while Bangladesh’s has become even faster.
  • Secondly, over the same 15-year period, India’s population grew faster (around 21%) than Bangladesh’s population (just under 18%). Bangladesh’s per capita GDP was merely half of India’s in 2007 — but this was just before the global financial crisis. It was roughly 70% of India’s in 2014 and this gap closed rapidly in the last few years.
  • Lastly, the most immediate factor was the relative impact of Covid-19 on the two economies in 2020. While India’s GDP is set to reduce by 10%, Bangladesh’s is expected to grow by almost 4%. In other words, while India is one of the worst affected economies, Bangladesh is one of the bright spots.

INDIA AND AFRICA

  • India’s support to Africa as well as our Lines of Credit and Buyers Credit Scheme have been driven by your requirements and your priorities. Currently nearly 181 projects in 41 African countries of USD 11 billion are being implemented with our Lines of Credit. These projects cover a wide range from large power projects, iconic buildings, IT parks, water treatment plants, rural drinking water, etc.
  • India has provided for a Line of Credit to Comoros of USD 41.6 million for setting up of 18 MW power plant in Moroni. 
  • Following the success of our Pan African e-Network initiative, we now look forward to the implementation of the e-vidyabharti and e-arogyabharti. Under it, we are offering free tele-education to 15000 students and free tele-medicine courses to 1000 doctors and paramedics in various African countries.
  • India will also work with Africa to improve agriculture as Africa has 60% of the world’s arable land, but produces just 10% of the global output.
  • bilateral trade stood at USD 62.66 billion in 2017 – 2018, and cumulative investments in Africa amounting to US$54 billion, making India the fourth-largest investor in Africa. 

INDIA AND MEXICO

  • Mexico iscurrently India’s largest trading partner in Latin America.
  • In 2018-19, it accounted for almost a quarter of India’s trade with the region. India is currently Mexico’s ninth-most important global trading partner.

CENTRAL ASIA

  • The countries of Central Asia are endowed with significant hydrocarbon and mineral resources.
  • Kazakhstan is the largest producer of uranium and has huge gas and oil reserves as well.
  • Uzbekistan is also rich is gas, and is an important regional producer of gold along with Kyrgyzstan.
  • Tajikistan has vast hydropower potential besides oil, deposits, and Turkmenistan has the fourth largest gas reserves of the world.

G20 GROUP

  • Among the Group of 20 (G-20) countries, which are some of the biggest GHG emitters, only India and the UK rank among high performers. In fact, eight of the G-20 countries rank among low performers.

INDIAN DIASPORA

  • The Indian diaspora — now estimated at nearly 7,00,000— is the fastest growing in Australia and has become an unexpected positive factor in bilateral relations.
  • Four thousand Indian troops served in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) from January 2000 to January 2001. The Indian contingent of UNAMSIL accounted for 25% of the total strength and were the best-equipped among contributing nations. (UN Mission)

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

  • In India, women’s position is no better under normal conditions. Women spend 577 per cent more time per day than men for domestic work, according to the data provided by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The government initiatives are not very proactive.
  • The Central government’s gender budget as a share of the total budget has declined from 4.72 per cent in 2019-20 to 4.71 per cent in 2020-21.
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana, National Rural Livelihoods Mission has facilitated the creation of 66 lakh Self Help Groups in the country covering over seven crore rural women.
  • According to World Health Organization data, around 70% of the world’s health workers are women, 79% of nurses are women.
  • Over 90% of the contribution to the rural dairy economy comes from women. But the overall contribution of women to the national GDP is much less at around 25%.
  • Findings of another study, “Inside the News: Challenges and Aspirations of Women Journalists in Asia and the Pacific”, launched by UNESCO, and the UN Women and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) suggested that the presence of women in media has more than doubled in two decades but they constitute only 28.6 percent of the media workforce in Asia and the Pacific and men outnumber women in 4:1 ratio in India. It pointed out that “on average across Asia and the Pacific, women make up 28.6 percent of the media workforce. The proportions are lower in decision-making roles in media organizations where women make up 17.9 percent of executive roles, 19.5 percent of senior editorial and 22.6 percent of mid-level editorial positions.”
  • The International Monitory Fund (IMF) recently estimated that raising women’s labour force participation to that of men can boost GDP by as much as 27 per cent in India. If 50% of skilled women could join the work force, India can scale its growth by 1.5 percentage points to 9 % a year.
  • Women’s age of marriage was increased from fifteen years to eighteen years in 1978, by
    amending the erstwhile Sharda Act of 1929.
  • The National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) (NFHS-4) suggests that 30% women in India in the age group of 15-49 have experienced physical violence.
  • As per the UN Women, globally in 2019-20, 243 million women and girls (aged 15-49) across the world have been subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner. Less than 40% of women who experience violence seeking help of any sort or reporting the crime. Less than 10% of those women seeking help go to the police.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • India’s economy is already the third largest in the world in PPP terms, even if way behind that of the U.S. and China.
  • The wide range of quality in medical services in India reflects the wide range of income and wealth in India. It is estimated that the wealth of the top 1% in India is four times the combined wealth of the bottom 70%. (In-Equality)
  • India has now reached5th position in the world in the last few years in solar power and is advancing fast.
  • Solar energy is already contributing around 2.8% of global electricity, and if trends were to continue, by 2030, solar will become most important source of energy for electricity production in large part of the world.
  • Natural gas comprises about 6.2% of India’s primary energy mix, far behind the global average of 24%.
  • According to the World Investment Report 2020 by the UNCTADIndia was the 9thlargest recipient of FDI in 2019.
  • The informal or the unorganised sector now accounts for nearly half of India’s GDP and 80 to 90 per cent of the labour force (including non-plantation agriculture).
  • Economic Survey 2019-20: As per the October 2019 report of World Bank, India remained the top remittance recipient country in 2018 followed by China.
  • It is indeed noteworthy that India’s retail credit market is the fourth largest in the emerging countries. 
  • Despite having the world’s fourth largest coal reserves, India imported 235 million tonnes (mt) of coal last year. The South Asian nation depends on Coal India for more than 80 per cent of its domestic production.
  • India is the largest ship-breaking player in the world, recycling around 70 lakh gross tonnage every year, followed closely by Bangladesh.
  • Rapid industrialization would require a workforce of around 250 million by 2030.
  • According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), FDI equity inflows in India in 2018-19 stood at US$ 44.37 billion, indicating that government’s effort to improve ease of doing business and relaxation in FDI norms is yielding results. As per a report of UBS, annual FDI inflows in the country are expected to rise to US$ 75 billion over the next five years.
  • A recent report by a renewable energy consultancy stated that India’s solar and wind generation is expected to touch 135 Giga Watts (GW) by the end of 2024, up from the 77 GW in 2019.
  • With an average of 27 kms of national highways and 134 kms of roads being built every day, our villages are better connected and this will improve their overall economic activities. Air connectivity has also witnessed significant increase with an addition of 40 airports. India has emerged as the world’s third largest aviation market.
  • By the year 2025, road traffic deaths in India are expected to cross 250,000 annually.
  • Share of manufacturing in total employment has remained fairly low at about 12 percent. This is in sharp contrast, not just with the developed countries, but even with Asian peers such as China and South Korea where it is higher at around 16 percent to 19 percent.
  • The insurance penetration (ratio of total premium to GDP (gross domestic product)) and density (ratio of total premium to population) stood at 3.69% and US$ 73, respectively for FY18 (fiscal year 2017-18), which is low in comparison with global levels.
  • According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)logistics in India is expected to be a USD 215 billion industry in 2020.It is projected to expand through 2032 at a rate that is roughly 1.2 times the growth rate of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and generate USD 360 billion in value added.
  • As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India’s public debt ratio is projected to jump by 17 percentage points to almost 90%because of an increase in public spending due to Covid-19.

 

 

EMPLOYMENT / LABOUR FORCE

  • As per Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2018-19, the average monthly earnings of the self-employed men and women are in the range of Rs 9,100-9,600 and Rs 3,800-4,400, respectively.
  • Every $1 billion increase in textile exports adds 1.5 lakh jobs in India.
  • India’s female labour force participation (FLFP), at 24% (2017-18), is among the lowest in South Asia.
  • According to a report, less than 5% of our total workforce has undergone formal skill training compared to 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in the USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea.
  • As per the National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, 104.62 Million fresh entrants to the work force are required to be skilled by 2022.
  • There has been a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.11% in domestic tourist visits to all States/UTs from 1991 to 2018. It is heartening to know that a total of 1.4 billion tourists travelled across the world generating US$1.7 trillion in worldwide exports in 2018, marking a sustained growth in international tourism for the ninth consecutive year.
  • India is now the 7th largest tourism economy in the world and is among the top 3 destinations in the world for medical tourism. In 2018, 27.39 million tourists visited India and over 6 lakh medical tourists visit India every year.
  • It is estimated that about 250 million young people will join India’s workforce over the next decade.
  • The World Economic Forum estimates that 35 percent of core skills will change causing more than a million people to seek different types of employment.
  • According to the World Bank, more than two billion working-age adults are not equipped with the most essential literacy skills required by employers. Among young adults under the age of 25, the number is about 420 million worldwide.
  • According to the various estimates, by 2022 there are going to be about 5 crore jobs in Retail Business sector, 42 crore in Health and Wellness, and more than 20 lakhs in Telecom sector. According to a study conducted last year, in Analytics and Data Science disciplines alone 45% new jobs are estimated to be available. About 65 lakh additional jobs will be created in the next 7 years in software sector, according to the recently approved Centre’s National Policy for Software Products.
  • Bihar accounts for 10.7 per cent of the child workers in India aged 5-14 years, according to the 2011 Census. There are 4.5 lakh children in the 5-14 years age group who are categorised as ‘main workers’. They work for six months or more in a year. Another 6.3 lakh children are categorised as ‘marginal workers’, who work for less than six months in a year. Bihar has the highest proportion of child population (46 per cent) among all states of India according to 2011 Census.

 

AGRICULTURE / FARMING

  • 75 per cent of the world’s plant genetic diversity has been lost since the 1900s.
  • According to the FAO, about 75 per cent of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and five animal species.
  • India is among the largest producers of pesticides in the world. Total pesticide consumption is the highest in Maharashtra, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Per hectare consumption of pesticides is the highest in Punjab.
  • India, with just 2.4 per cent of the world’s land area, is the second-largest producer of fruits with an annual production of 98 million tonnes, accounting for about 10.9 per cent of the world production. India also produces 187 million tons of vegetables annually, accounting for 8.6 per cent of world production. The area under cultivation under fruits and vegetables has increased by about 11 per cent between 2013-14 and 2017-18.
  • Apart from urea, India also imports significant quantities of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), the country’s second most-consumed fertiliser, from China.
  • The all India average of leased-in areas in tenant holdings, as per NSSO Report (2013), is 10.2%.
  • As per Economic Survey 2019-20: India is the second largest agro-based economy in the world.
  • In India, about 69% of the total geographical area is under drylands that include arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid stretches.
  • American farmer gets support of $7,253 a year and a EU farmer gets $1,068, an Indian farmer gets just $49.
  • According to a 2019 NASSCOM report, India has more than 450 agri-tech start-ups growing at a rate of 25% annually.
  • India has about 7 lakh hectares under organic cultivation. With merely 0.4 percent of total agricultural land under organic cultivation. India holds a unique position among 172 countries practicing organic agriculture. Amongst the regions with the largest areas of organically managed agricultural land, India ranked 9th.
  • According to the Agriculture Census, the total number of operational holdings in India is 138.35 million with an average size of 1.15 hectares. Of the total holdings, 85 percent are in marginal and small farm categories of less than 2 hectares. These small farms, though operating only on 44 percent of land under cultivation, are the main providers of food and nutritional security to the nation. 
  • Globally, different pulses are cultivated in 83.3 million hectares in 171 countries with the production of 81.8 million tonnes. India is the world’s largest producer, accounting for 34% of area and 24% of production. Myanmar is the second largest producer, followed by Canada, China, Nigeria, Brazil, and Australia. India is the largest producer, consumer, processor and also the importer. About 90% of the global pigeon pea, 75% of chickpea and 37% of lentil area falls in India. The major pulses producing states are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The global production of pulses doubled from 40.8 million tonnes in 1961, to 81.8 million tonnes in 2016. The increase in yield was about 55.8% compared to cereals where the yield tripled during the same period. The low increase in yield of pulses compared to cereals shows that there is significant potential to improve the productivity in pulses. 
  • Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6.00 million cotton farmers. India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world. India produces about 6.00 Million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton. India produces about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world. Cotton occupies a mere 3% of the world’s agricultural area -and yet it meets 27% of the world’s textile needs. Although about 80 per cent of the world’s production comes from Brazil, China, IndiaPakistan, the United States and Uzbekistan.
  • Agriculture and livestock account for 18% of gross national emissions.
  • A study by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) pointed out that India has the potential to cut 18% of its annual greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and livestock sector.

 

FOOD PROCESSING

  • Fish constituted about 10 % of total exports from India and almost 20% of agriculture exports in 2017-18.  With export earnings of US $ 7 Billion, India is the 4th largest exporter of fish in the world.  The sector also provides employment opportunities to more than 14.5 million people, residing in remote villages of the Indian coast. Contribution of fisheries to the GDP is about 1% and about 5.37 % to the Agricultural GDP. The Global Per Capita Food Fish consumption is estimated at 20.7 kg/per annum.  Out of this 11.4 Kg (55%) is contributed by Aquaculture and rest by capture fishery.  Our country harbors about 2,200 species of fish, which accounts for about 11% of all the fish species reported globally.  Further, about 1.2 million hectares of potential brackish water area suitable for aquaculture and 5.4 Million hectares of area are available for Freshwater aquaculture in the country.  
  • India utilizes only about 40 percent of the available 2.36 million hectares of ponds and tanks for freshwater aquaculture and about 15 percent of a total potential brackish water resource of 1.2 million hectares.
  • Overall, the dairy, poultry and aqua industries contribute 4.4% to the nation’s
  • The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) estimates that livestock is the principle source of income to nearly 23% of agricultural households in the country with very small land holdings of less than 0.01 hectares.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • India spends only 0.7 per cent of its GDP in R&D, one of the lowest in the world, while South Korea spends 4.2 per cent.
  • India has moved from 81st position in 2015 to 52nd rank in the Global Innovation Index in 2019.
  • Hyderabad is one of the first cities in India to witness the growth of the IT/ITeS sector and contributes more than 11% to the country’s IT exports.
  • Statistics reveal that there were only 216 researchers per million in 2015. India’s investment in research is 0.62 per cent of its GDP. 
  • The new Annual Employability Survey 2019 report by Aspiring Minds reveals that 80% of Indian engineers are unsuited for any job in the knowledge economy and only 2.5% of them possess tech skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that industry requires.
  • Current estimates say that less than 40% of our engineering graduates opt for internships.
  • Cyber Security-In the Year 2016, there were a total of 758 million online attacks worldwide, which amounts to around 2 million in a single day.
  • More than half of the Twitter followers of many public figures around the world were found to be fake.
  • Thirty-two per cent of genetic variations in Indian genome sequencesare unique as compared to global genomes, research by Indian scientists has suggested.
  • The volume of solid waste is projected to rise from the present 62 million tonnes to about 150 million tonnes by 2030.
  • There has been a 600% increase in ransomware variants since 2016.
  • Worldwide Women account for 30% of all researchers.
  • According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 per cent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5 per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 per cent).
  • According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation(WIPO), India stands at the 7th position on number of patents filed.
  • According to TRAI’s report, only 30.35% Bihar’s population has internet connectivity, much below India’s population connectivity of 55%.

BIODIVERSITY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Even as it prepares to host a global conference on rising desertification, India faces a growing crisis of land Nearly 30% of its land area, as much as the area of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra put together, has been degraded through deforestation, over-cultivation, soil erosion and depletion of wetlands. This land loss is not only whittling away India’s gross domestic product by 2.5% every year and affecting its crop yield but also exacerbating climate change events in the country which, in turn, are causing even greater degradation.
  • As many as 200,000 premature deaths can be avoided in three decades — from 2020 to 2050 — if India accelerates its efforts to decarbonise the power sector or adopts a ‘Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)-Plus’ scenario. The top five states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar and West Bengal — alone account for more than 50 per cent of the total deaths projected in different years under all three scenarios (all-cause mortality).
  • Among the targets India had committed to achieve by 2030 included installation of 40 per cent non-fossil fuel-based power generation capacity, and reduction of emission intensity of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 33-35 per cent with respect to 2005 levels.
  • According to a report by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the biodiversity has been mismanaged so badly that 60% of the lost resources can never be recouped.
  • Chhattisgarh has two national parks, three tiger reserves, eight sanctuaries, and one biosphere reserve covering 11,310.977 sq km, which is 8.36% of the state’s total geographical area and 18.92 % of the state’s total forest area of 59,772 sq km.
  • As many as 15 per cent deaths across the world due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can be linked to long-term exposure to air pollution. The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in East Asia attributable to air pollution was the highest in East Asia at 27 per cent; it was followed by 19 per cent in Europe and 17 per cent in North America.
  • Only about half of state pollution control boards (SPCB) / pollution control committees (PCC) across India shared their continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) data — that monitors air and water pollution in real time — in public domain. CEMS is a set of equipment that monitors and sends emission data to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as well as to respective SPCBs every 15 minutes. 
  • The September of 2020 was the hottest September since 1880, according to scientists at the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.
  • Cities account for two-thirds of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions. With urbanization expected to reach 67% globally by 2050, cities will be the centers of economic growth and likely to contribute 80% of global GDP. 
  • Ultrafine particles suspended in the air constitute more than 50% of the total particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) size around the year in Delhi, and are associated with higher cytotoxicity in human lung cells, a new study from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi shows.
  • India has pledged to restore 5 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. But this is just 1.5% of the country’s geographical area, 28.5 percentage points less than the total land left degraded.
  • Over 600 million people risk the impact of climate change in India.
  • Oceans cover 72 per cent of the surface of our blue planet and provide humankind with food, minerals, energy, fresh water and oxygen.
  • According to a report by the International Energy Agency, India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in 2018. This accounts for 7% of global GHG emissions.
  • According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the global food system – including pre- and post-production activities – accounts for 37% of total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture, deforestation and other land-use activities specifically account for 23% of emissions from human activities. People currently use one-fourth of land’s production potential for food, feed, fibre, timber and energy, directly affecting more than 70% of the global ice-free land surface. About 23% of emissions from human activities come from the overuse of chemical fertilisers, soil erosion, deforestation and change in land use.
  • India has lost 1.6 million hectares of forest cover over 18 years to 2018, about four times the geographical area of Goa.
  • Degradation of India’s forests is depriving the country of 1.4% of its GDP annually, according to a study by The Energy and Resource Institute, a Delhi-based non-profit.
  • Upto 60% of land in India is under cultivation contributing 14% to its GDP.
  • A recent study by TRAFFIC India on the seizure and mortality of ‘common leopards’ (Panthera pardus fusca) revealed that of the total of 747 leopard deaths between 2015-2019 in India, 596 were linked to illegal wildlife trade and activities related to poaching.
  • India’s wetlands cover around 152,600 sq km, nearly 5% of the country’s geographic area and nearly twice the size of Assam. 
  • With 600 million people facing extreme to high water stress, which is about half of the country’s population, India is the 17th most water-stressed country in the world, tailing the countries which receive almost half the annual rainfall as India.
  • Over 30% of food is wasted or lost globally, which contributes to 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. 
  • India’s draft National Forest Policy 2018 explicitly declares 33% of the country must be forest area for eco-security.
  • According to the World Green Building Council, buildings and construction account for 39% of energy related CO2 emissions in the world. 
  • India with over 7.61 Billion Sq.ft of green building footprint is amongst the top 5 countries in the world. This is truly laudable and an important milestone in India’s mission to build a greener and healthier India.
  • The World Economic Forum finds that the cost of environmental degradation in India is estimated to be INR 3.75 trillion ($80 billion) a year.
  • At least 10 per cent of India’s recorded wild flora and some of its wild fauna are on the list of threatened species.
  • The results of the tiger census released recently, which estimated that the number of tigers in India has increased from 1411 in 2006 to 2,976 in 2018.
  • The National Forest Policy aims to our tree cover from 23% to 33%.
  • Our forest cover stands at 21% against global standard of 33.3%. India has lost over 1.6 million hectare of tree cover between 2001 and 2018, according to a new study released by the World Resources Institute (WRI).
  • According to Economic Survey 2019-20, our forest cover was 24.56% of the total geographical area of the
  • A new report by Greenpeace India shows the country is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide in the world, with more than 15% of all the anthropogenic sulphur dioxide hotspots detected by the NASA OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite. Almost all of these emissions in India are because of coal-burning.
  • According to WHO, toxic air is now the biggest environmental risk of early death, responsible for one in nine of all fatalities.
  • Seagrass beds are facing decline all over the world at the rate of 2-5% annually. Even though seagrasses occupy only 0.1 per cent of the ocean floor; they sequester up to 11 per cent of the organic carbon buried in the ocean. Seagrasses absorb 83 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere annually.
  • There are about 100 elephant corridors in India of which almost 70% are used regularly. 75% of the corridors are in the southern, central and north-eastern forests. There are an estimated 6,500 elephants in just the Brahmagiri-Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats ranges. About 36.4% of the elephant corridors in northwestern India, 32% in central India, 35.7% in northern West Bengal and 13% of the elephant corridors in northeastern India have a railway line passing through Almost two-thirds of the corridorshave a National or State Highway passing through them, fragmenting habitats and hindering elephant movement further.
  • India will have a monumental load of over two crore old vehicles nearing the end of their lives by 2025. 

SECURITY

Military Expenditure

  • India has for the first time emerged among the top three nations in the world in terms of military expenditure, though the US spends more than 10 times and China almost four times its defence budget.
  • India’s expenditure has grown by 259% over the 30-year period, 1990–2019, and by 37% over the decade 2010–19. However, its military burden fell from 2.7% (if defence pensions are taken into account) of GDP in 2010 to 2.4% in 2019.
  • Pakistan’s military expenditure, in turn, rose by 70% over the decade 2010–19, to reach $10.3 billion. Its military burden increased from 3.4% GDP in 2010 to 4% in 2019.
  • China’s military expenditure reached $261 billion in 2019, a 5.1% increase compared with 2018. Between 2010 and 2019, China’s military burden remained almost unchanged, at 1.9% of its GDP.

MAJOR REPORTS & INDICES

STATE OF GLOBAL AIR 2020

Context

  • Recently, State of Global Air 2020 was released by the Health Effects Institute (HEI).
  • HEI is an independent, nonprofit research institute funded jointly by the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency and others.

Key Findings

  • It highlights that air pollution is the largest risk factor for death among all health risks
  • It is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of air pollution’s global impact on new-borns.
  • India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal are among the top ten countries with the highest PM2.5 (particulate matter) exposures in 2019. 
  • All these countries also experienced increases in outdoor PM2.5 levels between 2010 and 2019.
  • India is also among the top ten countries with highest Ozone (O3) exposure in 2019. 
  • Among the 20 most populous countries, India recorded the highest increase (17%) in O3 concentrations in the past ten years.
  • Long-term exposure to outdoor and household (indoor) air pollution contributed to over 1.67 million annual deaths from stroke, heart attack, diabetes, lung cancer, chronic lung diseases, and neonatal diseases, in India in 2019.

Key Facts

  • High PM contributed to the deaths of more than 1, 16, 000 Indian infants who did not survive their first month. 
  • More than half of these deaths were associated with outdoor PM2.5 and others were linked to the use of solid fuels such as charcoal, wood, and animal dung for cooking.

WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2020

Context

  • In the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook estimation, in 2020, growth of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) will witness a contraction of over 10%. This more than doubles the level of contraction — from 4.5% — that the IMF had projected for India just a few months ago.
  • But more than the sharp contraction, what has caught everyone’s attention is that in 2020, the per capita income of an average Bangladeshi citizen would be more than the per capita income of an average Indian citizen.

Key Findings

  • Typically, countries are compared on the basis of GDP growth rate, or on absolute GDP. For the most part since Independence, on both these counts, India’s economy has been better than Bangladesh’s. 
  • India’s economy has mostly been over 10 times the size of Bangladesh, and grown faster every year.

India and Bangladesh

However, per capita income also involves another variable — the overall population — and is arrived at by dividing the total GDP by the total population. As a result, there are three reasons why India’s per capita income has fallen below Bangladesh this year.

  1. The first thing to note is that Bangladesh’s economy has been clocking rapid GDP growth rates since 2004.
  2. Secondly, over the same 15-year period, India’s population grew faster (around 21%) than Bangladesh’s population (just under 18%).
  3. Lastly, the most immediate factor was the relative impact of Covid-19 on the two economies in 2020. While India’s GDP is set to reduce by 10%, Bangladesh’s is expected to grow by almost 4%. In other words, while India is one of the worst affected economies, Bangladesh is one of the bright spots.
  4. Has this ever happened earlier?
  5. In 1991, when India was undergoing a severe crisis and grew by just above 1%, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP surged ahead of India’s. Since then, India again took the lead.
  6. Is India expected to regain the lead again?
  7. The IMF’s projections show that India is likely to grow faster next year and, in all likelihood, again surge ahead. But, given Bangladesh’s lower population growth and faster economic growth, India and Bangladesh are likely to be neck and neck for the foreseeable future in terms of per capita income.

How has Bangladesh managed to grow so fast and so robustly?

  • Higher female participation in the labour force. A key driver of growth was the garment industry where women workers gave Bangladesh the edge to corner the global export markets from which China retreated.
  • It also helps that the structure of Bangladesh’s economy is such that its GDP is led by the industrial sector, followed by the services sector. Both these sectors create a lot of jobs and are more remunerative than agriculture. India, on the other hand, has struggled to boost its industrial sector and has far too many people still dependent on agriculture.
  • Beyond the economics, a big reason for Bangladesh’s progressively faster growth rate is that, especially over the past two decades, it improved on several social and political metrics such as health, sanitation, financial inclusion, and women’s political representation.
  • For instance, despite a lower proportion of its population having access to basic sanitation, the mortality rate attributed to unsafe water and sanitation in Bangladesh is much lower than in India.
  • On financial inclusion, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex database, while a smaller proportion of its population has bank accounts, the proportion of dormant bank accounts is quite small when compared to India.
  • Bangladesh is also far ahead of India in the latest gender parity rankings. This measures differences in the political and economic opportunities as well as the educational attainment and health of men and women. Out of 154 countries mapped for it, Bangladesh is in the top 50 while India languishes at 112.
  • The same trend holds for the Global Hunger Index. The GHI goes beyond treating hunger in terms of calorie intake. It looks at four factors: Undernourishment (which reflects inadequate food availability), Child Wasting (which reflects acute undernutrition), Child Stunting (which reflects chronic undernutrition) and Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment).

What challenges does Bangladesh face?

  • Its level of poverty is still much higher than India’s.
  • it still trails India in basic education parameters and that is what explains its lower rank in the Human Development Index.
  • The bigger threat to its prospects emerges from its everyday politics. The leading political parties are routinely engaged in violent oppression of each other.
  • Its everyday public life is riddled with corruption. In the 2019 edition of Transparency International’s rankings, Bangladesh ranks a low 146 out of 198 countries (India is at 80th rank; a lower rank is worse off).

Conclusion

  • These developments have the ability not just to arrest Bangladesh’s progressive social reforms that have empowered women but also to derail its economic miracle.

GLOBAL WEALTH REPORT 2020

Context

  • The average wealth of Indian adults rose marginally by $120 (about Rs 8,800) to $17,420 (Rs 12.77 lakh) at end-June 2020, as against $17,300 as of December 2019, showing some growth despite the Covid pandemic and lockdowns, Credit Suisse said in a report.

Key Findings:

  • With 4,593 ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the country as of end-2019, India came in fourth after the US, China and Germany.
  • India had approximately 912,000 millionaires, accounting for 2 per cent of 51.9 million millionaires globally as at end 2019.
  • The country had 9,07,000 adults in the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders, which is a 1.8 per cent share.
  • Household wealth in India is dominated by property and other real assets, although financial assets have grown over time, now forming 22 per cent of gross assets.
  • In 2019, non-financial assets rose by 12.5 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent growth in financial assets.
  • Annual growth of wealth per adult averaged 9.7 per cent over 2000-2019 using current exchange rates, and 12.1 per cent with constant exchange rates.

Asia Specific

  • In Asia Pacific, there were 45,920 ultra-high-net-worth adults with net worth exceeding $50 million as at end 2019.
  • Asia Pacific is the highest contributor of household wealth.
  • Total household wealth was $167,271 billion in June 2020, 42 per cent of the global total of $400,180 billion.

POVERTY IS ECOLOGICAL

Context

  • Every year, October 17 was observed the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year we observe the 27th anniversary at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has undone years of gains in reducing poverty across the world. This year’s theme: ‘Acting Together to Achieve Social and Environmental Justice for All’.

Key Details

  • More than 90 per cent countries have reported a dip in per capita income — blame the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the ensuing economic disruptions. 
  • More than 115 million new poor have been added to the world, and their spread is universal, from the rich Europe to the already poor Asia; and from rural to urban areas.
  • Every tenth people was extremely poor — living on less than $In 2019, according to the World Bank estimate, one out of every 10 people was an extreme poor, or lived with income less than US$ 1.90/day known as the global extreme poverty line.
  • More to it, two out of every three people survived with US$10/day; this being the threshold line from where an escape from poverty seems to be feasible, even though there is no surety of it. The 27-year-old might be belonging to this relatively better off population but now slipping back to the extreme poverty level.
  • Besides, poverty has been universal. In Europe, many countries had above 10 per cent poverty while the United States of America had a 15 per cent poverty rate making it the poorest country among the rich ones.

The ecology of poverty

  • A few countries – like India and Nigeria as two prime examples – host the world’s largest number of poor and this have been the case for decades.
  • So, ecological degradation has an impact on level of income, thus, on poverty level. That is why the income poverty should be termed as the ecological poverty. Various estimates say the natural capital accounts for 9 per cent of wealth globally, but it accounts for 47 per cent of the wealth in low-income countries. This shows the dependence of people on natural resources in developing and poor countries.
  • A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) study shows that more than a billion people are forest-dependent, and most of them survive below the poverty line. Or one in every seven people is a forest dependent person in the world. Most of them are in Africa and Asia.

POVERTY AND SHARED PROSPERITY 2018: PIECING TOGETHER THE POVERTY PUZZLE

  • According to the World Bank’s report titled Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018: Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle’, poverty reduction rate has slowed down.
  • During 1990-2015 extreme poverty reduced by an annual 1 per cent, but during 2013-15 reduction slowed down below one per cent for these two years.
  • Now sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia host over 85 per cent of the poor in the world.
  • This is a major shift. In 1990, half of the world’s poor lived in East Asia and the Pacific. Further, 26 of the world’s 27 poorest countries were in sub-Saharan Africa. This region had just a quarter of the world’s poor in 2002. But by 2015, it has now more poor than the rest of the world combined.
  • At the global level, just five countries—India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo—account for half of the extreme poor in the world. This is at a time when half of the countries in the world have less than 3 per cent poverty level.

The current geography of the poor has two situational realities.

  • One is that the poor reside mostly in rural areas. Going by the Bank’s report, three-fourths of the total poor live in rural areas.
  • Secondly, these places have a highly degraded ecology. Most of the poor depend on natural resources like land, forests and livestock for survival.

Forests, Trees and the Eradication of Poverty: Potential and Limitations

  • According to the just released Forests, Trees and the Eradication of Poverty: Potential and Limitationsby the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, forestry contributes at least $ 539 billion directly to the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • If one accounts for its direct, indirect and induced effects, the monetary turnover is $ 1.2 trillion, or almost equal to Australia’s GDP.

UN Population division data

  • In 1950, the output of final goods and services were worth $9 trillion (in 2011 prices).
  • It increased by 14-fold in just 70 years to $120 trillion (in 2011 prices) in 2020. Annual income of an average citizen has increased from $3,500 to $17,000 in 1950-2020.
  • Even people have gained in average life expectancy: from 49 years in 1950 to 73 years in 2019.
  • The population of extreme poor (as share to total population) has come down from 60 per cent in 1970 to less than 10 per cent in 2018.

Then who is this “one in every 10 people” who is a poor now?

  • Invariably, he/she is a person who resides in resource-rich areas and must be dependent on nature for survival, like a forest dweller or a farmer depending on land and rain for survival.  

Study by UNEP

  • Globally produced capital per head doubled and human capital per head increased by about 13 per cent, but the value of the stock of natural capital per head declined by nearly 40 per cent in 1992-2014.

World Bank Estimates

  • The World Bank estimates that “climate change will drive 68 million to 135 million into poverty by 2030”.
  • There are indications of poverty rising in these degraded regions. Level of extreme poverty increased in Sub-Saharan Africa: from 416 million in 2015 to 431 million in 2017.

India Specific Data

  • In India, the poorest regions are invariably the forested areas of the country in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. These areas in India feature constantly in the poverty map
  • Some 275 million people in India depend on forest for subsistence. In the country’s poorest regions, forests provide up to 30 per cent of their total income. This is more than agriculture and other sources of income.

HUMAN COST OF DISASTERS 2000-2019

Context

  • The report titled ‘Human Cost of the Disasters’, was recently released by the UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Key Findings

  • The world faced 7348 disaster events between 2000-2019 which is 75 per cent more than that of the disaster events recorded between 1980 and 1999.
  • The disasters recorded between 2000-2019 claimed 1.23 million lives and caused 2.97 trillion USD economic losses to the global economy.
  • Compared with the 3,656 climate related disasters between 1980 and 1999, the previous 20 years recorded 6,681 climate related disasters which affected 3.9 billion people and caused 510,837 deaths, which is a significant increase.
  • Extreme events such as floods, storms, heatwaves droughts and wildfires accounted for almost 91 per cent of all the natural disasters recorded in the last 20 years.
  • The 2000-2019 period recorded 1.23 million disasters deaths which is slightly higher than that of 1980-1999 (1.19 million).
  • At the regional level, with 2,068 disaster events in the last 20 years, Asian countries suffered the highest number of disasters events, followed by the Americas and Africa. 

India Specific

  • With a total 321 disasters reported in the last 20 years, India was at the third place.
  • The report says that India and China together account for 2.8 billion disaster affected people between 2000 and 2019 which is 70 per cent of the globally affected people.
  • In India alone, 1,083 million people were affected by the disasters.
  • India is the 2nd most affected country by floods after China.

Disaster Type and Economic Loss

  • As far as disaster type is concerned, floods were the most common type of disaster as it accounted for 44 per cent of all events, followed by storms (28 per cent) and earthquakes (9 per cent).
  • In the economic context, total loss due to the natural disasters between 2000 to 2019 were 2.97 trillion USD, out of which 47 per cent or 1.39 trillion USD were from storms, 22 per cent from flood and 21 per cent from earthquake.

POVERTY AND SHARED PROSPERITY REPORT: WORLD BANK

Context

  • The World Bank’s biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report: Reversals of Fortunewas released. For the first time in two decades, global poverty rate would go up due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Key Findings

  • Global extreme poverty rate is projected to rise by around 1.3 percentage points, to 9.2 per cent in 2020. If the pandemic would not have been there, the poverty rate was expected to drop to 7.9 per cent in 2020.
  • This is nearly twice the number of ‘new extreme poor’ estimated by the World Bank in April 2020. Six months ago, 40-60 million people were estimated to become extremely poor in 2020.
  • When 52 million people were lifted out of poverty between 2015 and 2017, the rate of reduction slowed to less than half a percentage point per year between 2015 and 2017.
  • Global poverty had declined at the rate of around 1 percentage point per year between 1990 and 2015.
  • In two-and-a-half decades (1990-2015), the extreme poverty rate declined by 26 percentage It dropped to 10 per cent from nearly 36 per cent.
  • While less than a tenth of the world’s population lives on less than $1.90 a day, close to a quarter lives below the $3.20 line and more than 40 per cent — almost 3.3 billion people — live below the $5.50 line
  • During 2012-2017, the growth was inclusive and the incomes of the poorest 40 per cent of the population grew. In fact, the average global shared prosperity (growth in the incomes of the bottom 40 per cent) was 2.3 per cent during the period.

India Specific

  • India, along with Nigeria, is considered to have the largest number of the poor in the world.
  • India tops the global list in terms of absolute number of poor, going by the last national survey of 2012-13. 
  • The country accounted for 139 million of the total 689 million people living in poverty in 2017.
  • It is, thus, imperative that if the world has to meet its United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) I to eradicate poverty by 2030, India has to achieve this goal first.
  • India was to release its latest household consumer expenditure survey data by the National Statistical Office (NSO, 75th round) for 2017-18 last year.

Cause of Concern

  • The latest data on poverty in India is from a survey done in 2011-12, or almost a decade-old. This was based on a household consumption expenditure survey (68th round) done by the NSO.
  • The absence of poverty data in India means there is no objective and updated estimation of global poverty level, or the progress in its reduction.
  • By not having latest poverty data, India joins the ranks of countries termed as ‘conflict-affected’ and ‘fragile’ in World Bank terminologies.
  • With just 10 years left to achieve the SDG I, it is an immediate crisis for the world. Without India’s latest data, there can’t be an objective global estimate of poverty. 

Way Forward

  • It is, thus, imperative that if the world has to meet its United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) I to eradicate poverty by 2030, India has to achieve this goal first.

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT

Context

  • Recently, a study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that, top biodiversity hotspots of the world lost 148 million hectares (mha) of land to agriculture and urbanisation between 1992 and 2015.

Key Findings

  • Most of the land lost — nearly 40 per cent, or 54 mha — was in the form of forests.
  • The three largest losses in forest area occurred in the biodiversity hotspots of Sundaland (Indonesia), Indo-Burma (mainland southeast Asia) and Mesoamerica.
  • The three hotspots accounted for forest losses of 11 mha, 6 mha, and 5 mha
  • This corresponds to a relative loss of 13 per cent, six per cent and seven per cent, respectively, of the forest area originally present in 1992.
  • Not even protected areas inside the hotspots were spared from deforestation.
  • The formally protected areas lost an equivalent of five per cent of their forest cover during the 24 years the researchers looked
  • About 4.5 mha of forests were lost between 2000 and 2015.
  • The only saving grace was that protected areas within hotspots generally lost less forest cover than the land outside protected areas, especially during the last five years of the study (2010-2015).
  • Around 1 mha of land was lost during this period.
  • Some hotspots did gain forest cover including the mountains of Central Asia, the Irano-Anatolian area and the Atlantic forest in North America. The gains were due to reforestation of agricultural land.   

WORLD’S WOMEN: TRENDS AND STATISTICS

Context

  • Recently, World’s Women: Trends and Statistics report has been published by UN.

Key Details

  • Gender equality across the world remains a far-fetched goal and no country has achieved it so far.
  • the status of women has improved with regard to education, early marriage, childbearing and maternal mortality, the progress has stagnated in other areas.
  • The report provided a reality-check on the global status of women 25 years since the world adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
  • It presented the global state of gender equality in six critical areas: Population and families; health; education; economic empowerment and asset ownership; power and decision-making; and violence against women and the girl child as well as the impact of COVID-19.

Key Findings

  • The gender gap in labour market has remained as it was since 1995: The gap of 27 percentage points has barely changed since the
  • Only 47 per cent women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to around 74 per cent men.
  • The regional analysis in the report showed that the gender gap in labour force participation was the largest in Southern Asia (54 percentage points), followed by Northern Africa (47 percentage points) and Western Asia (47 percentage points), where women’s labour participation rates were below 30 per cent.
  • The largest gender gap in labour force participation was observed in the prime working age (25-54). This gap has remained unaddressed since 1995 and was at 32 percentage points as of 2020, according to the report. It was 31 percentage points in 1995.
  • In India, the ratio of female-to-male labour force participation rate was 29.80 in 2019 as against the desired ratio of 50 per cent
  • In Southern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia, women’s participation in the labour market was particularly low — below 30 per cent. There were significant gender differences of around 50 percentage points in participation.

Working for free

  • On an average day, women globally spent about three times (4.2 hours) as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men (1.7 hours).
  • Women in developed and developing countries spent more time on unpaid domestic and care work.
  • The inequality was the lowest in developed countries — the women there spent twice as much time (four hours) on domestic work as men (two hours).
  • The inequality was the highest in Northern Africa and Western Asia, with women spending at least seven times (four hours) as much as men (54 minutes) on these activities.
  • A country-wise analysis presented in the report showed that in Pakistan, women spent 11 times (five hours) more time on domestic work than men (30 minutes).

Family responsibilities, unpaid work

  • Family responsibilities and unequal distribution of unpaid domestic and care work were among primary reasons for women not joining the labour force.
  • On an average, 82 per cent women of prime working age living alone were in the labour market, compared to 64 per cent women living with a partner and 48 per cent living with a partner and children.
  • They were also on the front lines in the battle against the pandemic, and made up over 70 per cent of workers in the health sector and faced higher infection risks than men.

GLOBAL BURDEN OF DISEASES, INJURIES, AND RISK FACTORS STUDY (GBD) 2019

Context

  • Recently, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 has been released by The Lancet.

Key Findings

  • Disability caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD) and injuries have emerged as the largest contributor to the global disease burden.
  • Disability accounted for 21 per cent of the total disease burden in 1990. This has gone up to 34 per cent in 2019, or over 40 per cent in 20 years, according to the latest GBD report.
  • Disability caused by NCDs and injuries account for over 50 per cent of all health losses measured in DALYs terms in 11 countries — including Singapore, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Qatar.
  • In 1990, NCDs accounted for 33 per cent or one-third of the total disease burden. This has increased to nearly 66 per cent or two-third of overall disease burden in 2019.  
  • While deaths due to infectious diseases have fallen substantially across LMICs, NCD deaths are on the rise,” the GBD report said. For instance, the report cited that the number of deaths due to diabetes in Uzbekistan had risen by 600 per cent.

CRIMES RELATED TO ENVIRONMENT: NCRB

Context

  • At least 34,671 crimes related to environment were recorded in 2019, according to a recent report titled Crimes in India 2019released by the National Crime Records Bureau. 

Key Findings

  • This was a little less than 2018’s 35,196 environment-related crime cases.
  • For one, offences under Air / Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act and Environmental (Protection) Act increased by over 841 per cent and 466 per cent between 2018 and 2019.  
  • Cases registered for violating Noise Pollution Act and the National Green Tribunal Act increased by nearly 14 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.
  • At least 16 states registered an increase in environmental crimes between 2018 and 2019, according to the NCRB data. Between 2017 and 2018, 12 states had reported an increase in such offences.
  • Rajasthan reported the maximum number of environment crimes, followed by Uttar Pradesh in 2019. Environmental crimes increased by over 10 and 11 per cent respectively in these two states.
  • The offences increased by over 262 per cent in Chhattisgarh. Three North Eastern states — Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh — too registered a rise in such crimes.
  • Cases registered under The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), were the highest and followed by Noise Pollution Act.
  • Court pendency on environmental crimes in 2018 was 7 per cent.
  • At present, around 86 cases are being disposed on a single day. But the courts need to dispose of 137 cases a day to clear the backlog of over 49,800 cases in a year.
  • The number of cases pending police investigation increased by over 14 per cent between 2018 and 2019.
  • About 89-99 per cent court cases remain unresolved under five of the seven acts related to forests, wildlife, environment protection and pollution. Most of them were cases under National Green Tribunal Act.
Environment Acts  Offences in 2018 Offences in 2019 Percentage change
The Forest Act & The Forest Conservation Act 2768 2112 -23.70
The Wildlife Protection Act 782 618 -20.97
The Environmental (Protection) Act 86 487 466.28
The Air & The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 17 160 841.18
The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 23517 22667 -3.61
Noise Pollution Acts 7947 8537 7.42
The National Green Tribunal Act 79 90 13.92
Environment & Pollution– Related Acts 35196 34671 -1.49

Source: NCRB data

GLOBAL TUBERCULOSIS REPORT, 2020

Context

  • Recently, Global Tuberculosis Report, 2020 was released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Key Findings

India Specific

  • India registered a decline in the notification of tuberculosis (TB) cases by about 85% after the imposition of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown.
  • In other words, for every 100 cases being registered in India till January 2020, only 40 cases were registered by April due to a decline in access to TB services in the country.
  • India, incidentally, has the highest TB burden across the globe, which accounts for 26 per cent of the total global cases.

Global Impact

  • There could be between 200,000 and 400,000 excess TB deaths globally in 2020.
  • An increase of 200,000 would take the world back to 2015 levels and an increase of 400,000 to 2012 levels.
  • India, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa account of 44 per cent of global TB cases. These countries would bear the maxium brunt of COVID-19- induced TB problems.

Why decline?

  • The report cited many plausible reasons for this decline. Reallocation of TB resources — the staff and digonsitic kits — was one.
  • Many countries reported the use of GeneXpert machines for COVID-19 testing instead of diagnostic testing for TB (43 countries including 13 high TB burden countries, including India)
  • Reassignment of staff in national TB programmes to COVID-19 related duties and reallocation of budgets (52 countries including 14 high TB burden countries, including India).

Economy contraction and TB 

  • Due to the pandemic, the global gross domestic product will contract by 5.2 per cent in 2020, with many countries reporting a much steeper decline, according to World Bank estimates.
  • Negative impacts on employment opportunities threaten the livelihoods of many millions of people and those most at risk of developing TB are among the most vulnerable.
  • The world as a whole, is nowhere close to meeting the targets of the 2020 milestones of the ‘End TB Strategy’. As against an aim of reducing TB cases by 20 per cent from 2015-2019, the actual reduction has been just nine per cent.
  • As for TB deaths, the aim was to reduce them by 35 per cent from 2015-2019. But they could be reduced only by 14 per cent
  • Eight countries continue to be home to two-thirds of the global total. India is followed by Indonesia (8.5 per cent), China (8.4 per cent), the Philippines (6 per cent), Pakistan (5.7 per cent), Nigeria (4.4 per cent), Bangladesh (3.6 per cent) and South Africa (3.6 per cent).
  • Drug-resistant TB continues to be a public health threat. Three countries that had the largest burden of these cases include India (27 per cent), China (14 per cent) and Russia (14 per cent).

SULFUR DIOXIDE EMISSIONS

Context

  • India’s sulfur dioxide emissions dropped in 2019, the first decline in four years for the world’s largest spewer of the pollutant responsible for human health risks and acid rain as per the report analysis by Greenpeace India and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

Key Findings

  • Emissions from India dropped 6% last year as the country consumed less coal, mirroring a similar decline in global emissions of the toxic gas.
  • All three of the world’s top emitters — India, Russia and China — saw reductions in sulfur dioxide.
  • India accounted for 21% of global SO2, mostly from coal-fired power plants that lack pollution-curbing equipment, the report said.
  • In contrast, China, the world’s biggest coal burner, saw SO2 emissions plummet 5% last year and 87% since 2011.
  • Greenpeace India has also released an analysis of NASA data which shows that India has more than 15% of all anthropogenic SO2 hotspots in the world as detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.

STATUS OF POLICING IN INDIA REPORT 2019

  • It points out that 70 police stations across 20 states do not have wireless facilities and 214 police stations do not have a telephone.
  • More than 40 per cent of police stations in the country cannot avail the help of forensic technology.
  • According to the report, the police force work with just 3/4th of its required capacity.
  • It also found a decline in the total strength of women in the police from 11.4% in 2007 to 10.2% in 2016.
  • The data indicates that between 1947 and 2019, more than 35,000 police personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty.
  • A study conducted by Lokniti-CSDS on the status of policing in India in 2019, reported that only 6.4 per cent of police constables had received training in the last five years and this number has constantly decreased over the years.