Important Data and Facts for Mains-September 2021

Facts and Figures for UPSC Mains

Important Data and Facts for Mains-September 2021



  • A total of 73.06 per cent of the total geographical area of Bihar is flood affected (mostly during the monsoon).
  • Cyclone Amphan was India’s heaviest monsoon rain in the last 25 years and the world’s seventh costliest. Super-cyclone “Cyclone Amphan” that hit India in 2020, cost more than USD13 billion even as the country was just recovering from “June-October Monsoon Flooding” that cost USD10 billion and around 1,600 lives.
  • In February 2020, a report from McKinsey India stated that by 2050, Mumbai will see a 25 per cent increase in the intensity of flash floods and a 0.5 metre rise in sea level, which will affect two to three million people living within 1-km from the coastline.


  • 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, indicating that “the gaps in childbearing between India’s religious groups are much smaller than they used to be.”
  • The average fertility rate in India today 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).
  • Between 1951 and 1961, the Muslim population expanded by 32.7%, 11 percentage points more than India’s overall rate of 21.6%. But this gap has narrowed. From 2001 to 2011, the difference in growth between Muslims (24.7%) and Indians overall (17.7%) was 7 percentage points.
  • India’s Christian population grew at the slowest pace of the three largest groups in the most recent census decade — gaining 15.7% between 2001 and 2011, a far lower growth rate than the one recorded in the decade following Partition (29.0%).
  • In percentage terms, between 1951 and 2011, Muslims grew by 4.4 percentage points to 14.2% of the population, while Hindus declined by 4.3 points to 79.8%. But all the six major religious groups — Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains — have grown in absolute numbers. The sole exception to this trend are Parsis, whose number halved between 1951 and 2011, from 110,000 to 60,000.
  • Interestingly, out of India’s total population of 1,200 million, about 8 million did not belong to any of the six major religious groups. Within this category, mostly comprising adivasi people, the largest grouping was of Sarnas (nearly 5 million adherents), followed by Gond (1 million) and Sari Dharma (5,10,000).


  • Climate change could push more than 200 million people to leave their homes in the next three decades and create migration hotspots unless urgent action is taken to reduce global emissions and bridge the development gap, a World Bank report has found.
  • Up to 216 million people moving within their own countries across the six regions analyzed. Those regions are Latin America; North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Eastern Europe and Central Asia; South Asia; and East Asia and the Pacific.
  • In the most climate-friendly scenario, with a low level of emissions and inclusive, sustainable development, the number of migrants could be as much as 80% lower but still result in the move of 44 million people.
  • North Africa, however, is predicted to have the largest proportion of climate migrants, with 19 million people moving, equivalent to roughly 9% of its total population, due mainly to increased water scarcity in the northeastern coast of Tunisia, the northwestern coast of Algeria, western and southern Morocco, and the central Atlas foothills.
  • In South Asia, Bangladesh is particularly affected by flooding and crop failures accounting for almost half of the predicted climate migrants, with 19.9 million people, including an increasing share of women, moving by 2050 under the pessimistic scenario.


  • The global population is growing at a rate of 1.1%, adding about 83 million human heads every year on the planet.


  • At just 12% across the apex court and High Courts, there were still too few women in the judiciary. The establishment of a truly just society would be possible only when the participation of women increases in all areas including the judiciary.
  • A 2018 study by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy noted that while representation of women in the lower judiciary is higher at 27%, they hit a glass ceiling in higher appointments — as district judges and subsequently at the high court level.


  • The productivity of Rajya Sabha during 2004-14 has been about 78 per cent, and has declined to about 65% since then.
  • In 2018, the Rajya Sabha recorded the lowest ever productivity of 35.75% due to disruptions.
  • The overall productivity of the two sessions held during 2021 has further dipped to 63.85%.
  • Since the Rajya Sabha came into being in 1952, only 10 members have been suspended for misconduct inside the House during the first 57 years while 18 were so suspended in the last 11 years, including 9 in the last one year.
  • During the last six years, over 60% of the valuable Question Hour time has been lost due to disruptions.
  • Rajya Sabha has not clocked 100 percent productivity even once in the past 12 years.
  • According to PRS Legislative Research data, the Monsoon Session was the third least productive Lok Sabha session in the last two decades, with productivity of just 21 per cent.
  • Rajya Sabha logged a productivity of 28 per cent, its eighth least productive Session since 1999.


  • The data released by the Justice G. Rohini Commission’s report on the sub-categorization of OBCs gives a good synoptic view to understand this.
    • Based on the last five years’ data on appointments in central government jobs and OBC admissions to central higher education institutions, the commission concluded that 97% of central OBC quota benefits go to just under 25% of its castes.
    • As many as 983 OBC communities 37% of the total have zero representation in both central government jobs and admissions to central universities.
    • Also, the report states that just 10% of the OBC communities have accrued 24.95% of jobs and admissions.



  • According to the Food Ministry, every second woman in the country is anaemic and every third child is stunted.
  • According to the NFHS-4 survey, around 38 per cent of the country’s children reported stunting in 2015-16. The NFHS-5 shows that under-nutrition has not declined in many states even in 2019-20.
  • Animal-sourced foods are still needed for countries like India. For instance, per capita consumption of meat is still below 10 kg in India as compared to 60 to 70 kg in the US and Europe.
  • A recent UNICEF report stated that nearly 12 lakh children could die in low-income countries in the next six months due to a decrease in routine health services and an increase in wasting. Nearly three lakh such children would be from India.
  • According to the latest data, 37.9 per cent of children under five are stunted, and 20.8 per cent are wasted — a form of malnutrition in which children are too thin for their height. This is much higher than in other developing countries where, on average, 25 per cent of children suffer from stunting and 8.9 per cent are wasted.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, 50 per cent of all mal- and under-nutrition can be traced to diarrhoea and intestinal worm infections, which are a direct result of poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • According to NFHS 4, approximately 9 per cent of children under five years of age in India experience diarrhoeal disease.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 10% of the population across the world falls ill due to consumption of contaminated food, while each year, 4.2 lakh people die by consuming contaminated food, and of these, 1.25 lakh are children aged below 5 years.
  • In the 20-year period from 2000 to 2019, the country recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths with an average of 58,000 deaths every year.
  • 33% of global rabies deaths are recorded in India.



  • The SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 4.21% (US$3.67 trillion) of the global economy, as of 2019.


  • BRICS is self-evident: it represents 42% of the world’s population, 30% of the land area, 24% of global GDP and 16% of international trade.


  • G20 is a major international grouping that brings together 19 of the world’s major economies and the European Union, with its members accounting for more than 80% of global GDP, 75% of trade and 60% of population.


  • In fact, the Ministry of External Affairs estimates that more than 55% of India’s trade passes through the South China Sea and Malacca Straits. 


  • India is Sri Lanka’s third-largest export destination, after the US and UK.
  • More than 60% of Sri Lanka’s exports enjoy the benefits of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in March 2000.
  • In 2020, India was Sri Lanka’s 2nd largest trading partner with the bilateral merchandise trade amounting to about USD $ 3.6 billion.
  • India is also one of the largest contributors to Foreign Direct Investment in Sri Lanka.


  • Two-way trade between them was valued at $24.4 billion in 2020.


  • Germany recently adopted laws on reducing greenhouse gases more quickly, achieving climate neutrality by 2045 and stopping the use of coal for electricity production by 2038.
  • Germany and India have succeeded in building up a cooperation portfolio worth almost 12 billion euros.


  • As indicated in the World Bank database on GDP for 2019, the low per capita GDP in India, at $2,104 (at $6,997 in PPP terms, ranked 125th globally) against the world average of $11,429 (at $17,678 in PPP terms) has direct links to low per capita family income.
  • India’s online retail market increased at a compound annual growth rate of 53% between 2013 and 2017, and is estimated to reach $150 billion by 2022.



  • In a country of 1.3 billion, the Indian Railways plays an integral role running the world’s fourth largest rail network in the world—across 64,000 route km, ferrying nearly 23 million passengers per day in over 13,000 passenger trains daily. With a workforce of nearly 1.3 million, it is also one of the largest employers in the world.
  • New multi-billion-dollar commitments to increase renewables and access to electricity and clean cooking technologies were announced at the critical UN energy summit aimed at boosting efforts to reduce the ranks of nearly 800 million people living in energy poverty without electricity access while setting the world on a trajectory towards net-zero-emissions by 2050.


  • Our software industry is an oasis of high productivity — 0.8 per cent of India’s workers generate 8 per cent of GDP.
  • India’s software services industry and tech startups are each estimated to be worth about $400 billion today. By 2025, we expect India’s startup universe value to grow to $1 trillion.
  • India now exports more software than Saudi Arabia does oil.


  • In a country of over a billion adults, there are less than 80 million salaried jobs. Where would the remaining 920 million go to find employment? More than half opt to not seek any work. The remaining are self-employed as farmers, daily wage labourers and entrepreneurs of all kinds.
  • In 2016-17, only 42.8 per cent of the working age population was employed. This fell to 41.7 per cent in 2017-18 and further to 40.2 per cent in 2018-19, and then to 39.5 per cent in 2019-20. In the year of the pandemic, it fell to 36.5 per cent. It did not recover from this low level in the first five months of 2021-22.
  • The count of the employed was 408.9 million in 2019-20. In August 2021, employment was much lower at 397.8 million. India still provides 9.2 million jobs less than it provided before the pandemic. It fell by nearly 2 million from 399.7 million in July 2021.
  • The report by Deloitte (Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index in 2016) reflects that the hourly wages in India have been $1.7; they are $38, $24, $20.7 and $3.3 for the United States, Japan, South Korea, and China, respectively.


  • In India, labour productivity in manufacturing is less than 10% of the advanced economies including Germany and South Korea, and is about 40% of China, as reflected in a World Bank publication of 2018, The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development.


  • There are 63.4 million MSMEs in India and 99 per cent of which are micro-enterprises with less than Rs 10 lakh in investment.


  1. According to an estimate of farmers’ income for 2015-16 by NABARD in 2016-17, the average monthly income of farmers for 2015-16 was Rs 8,931.
  2. Punjab with almost 99 per cent irrigation cover, will have a much more stable income than say Maharashtra with just 19 per cent irrigation cover.
  3. The Indian government has been encouraging agricultural exports to meet an ambitious target of $60bn by 2022.
  4. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries shows that the contribution of agricultural and processed food products in India’s total exports is 11%.


  • Arctic sea ice has declined at a rate of almost 13 per cent per decade in the last 30 years; the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by 95 per cent, according to another report by NASA.
  • A recent report, “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) reveals that India has warmed up 0.7° C during 1901-2018. 
    1. The 2010-2019 decade was the hottest with a mean temperature of 0.36° C higher than average.
    2. India has also suffered two of the 10 most expensive climate disasters in the last two years. 
    3. Within 2050, rainfall is expected to rise by 6% and temperature by 1.6° C.
  • To achieve the Paris Agreement’s NDC target, India needs to produce 25 million-30 million hectares of forest cover by 2030 — a third of current Indian forestation and trees.
  • India’s Deccan plateau has seen eight out of 17 severe droughts since 1876 in the 21st century (2000-2003; 2015-2018). 
  • India lost about 235 square kilometres to coastal erosion due to climate change induced sea-level rise, land erosion and natural disasters such as tropical cyclones between 1990-2016.
  • Only a third of sewage generated daily is treated in India, according to CPCB.
  • According to the latest report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the country’s sewage treatment plants (STPs) are able to treat a little more than a third of the sewage generated each day. 
  • In Delhi, for example, a Greenpeace study found the average concentration of PM2.5 in 2020 to be nearly 17 times higher than the recommended levels. 
  • According to Pune-based Dr Sundeep Salvi, a respiratory diseases expert who is part of the Global Burden of Disease study, over 95 per cent of India’s population already lived in areas where pollution levels were higher than WHO’s 2005 norms.
  • WHO said 80 per cent of the deaths now attributed to PM2.5 exposure could be avoided if countries are able to attain its new air quality standards. Even achieving the 2005 standards would result in avoiding 48 per cent of these deaths.
  • The world currently emits into the atmosphere, approximately 10 billion tonnes of carbon a year.
  • According to one statistic, only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 km still flow freely due to dams being built on them.
  • In India, urban freight cars account for 10% of freight transportation-related CO2 emissions, which are anticipated to increase by 114% by 2030.
  • More than 500 million people in India and more than 80 per cent of the populations of Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Iran are exposed to medium and high levels of poor air quality due to sand and dust storms, according to Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) report Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific.
  • A Greenpeace report published in early 2020 estimated that the global cost of air pollution from fossil fuels was around $2.9 trillion per year, or $8 billion per day, which was 3.3 per cent of the world’s GDP at the time. As per this report, India is estimated to bear a cost of $150 billion from air pollution caused by fossil fuels.
  • As of now, human activities have already caused global temperatures to rise by about 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels (1950-1900).


  • India is the world’s fourth largest energy consuming country (behind China, the United States and the European Union), according to the IEA’s forecast, and will overtake the European Union to become the world’s third energy consumer by the year 2030.
  • In 2018, 8.7 million people died prematurely as result of air pollution from fossil fuels.
  • TERI has estimated that demand for “green” hydrogen will go up from 6 million tonnes today to about 50 mt by 2050. 
  • India imports 85 per cent of its crude oil, 24 per cent of coal, and 54 per cent of gas requirements.
  • Currently, India consumes about 6 million metric tonnes of grey hydrogen per annum, which is about 8.5 per cent of the global hydrogen demand.
  • Coal-fired power accounts for more than 70% of India’s electricity generation. Electricity generation makes up three-fourths of India’s coal consumption.
  • India’s installed non-fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity today stands at more than 153 GW, which comes to more than 39% of the country’s total installed power generation capacity. India has a further 63 GW under installation and 29 GW under bid and this comes to 245 GW overall.
  • India achieved universal access to electricity by electrifying more than 18,000 villages in under 1,000 days and more than 28 million households in just 18 months in what was the largest expansion of access in such a short time anywhere in the world.


  • According to a report by Central Pollution Control Board of India, for the year 2018-2019, 3.3 million metric tonnes of plastic waste are generated by Indians.
  • Another alarming statistic is that of all the plastic waste produced in the world, 79% enters the environment.
  • Only 9% of all plastic waste is recycled.




  • India has climbed 2 spots and has been ranked 46th by the World Intellectual Property Organization in the Global Innovation Index 2021 rankings.

Key Findings of Global Innovation Index 2021

India’s Position in Global Innovation Index 2021

  • India has been on a rising trajectory, over the past several years in the Global Innovation Index (GII), from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 46 in 2021.
  • India takes the second place in the lower middle-income group. It has also been portrayed as successful in developing sophisticated services that are technologically dynamic and can be traded internationally.
  • It continues to lead the world in the ICT services exports indicator and holds top ranks in other indicators, such as domestic industry diversification (12th) and graduates in science and engineering (12th).
  • India, Kenya, the Republic of Moldova and Vietnam are still record holders for being innovation achievers for 11 consecutive years, according to the report.
  • India’s innovation performance is above average for the upper middle-income group in five of the seven innovation pillars.
  • However, it scores below average in the pillars of infrastructure and creative outputs.
  • India’s performance in the area of science and technology (S&T) is also encouraging.
  • The top 100 S&T clusters are hosted by 26 economies, of which six – Brazil, China, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and the Russian Federation – are middle-income economies.

Steps taken for such improvement

  • Availability of immense knowledge capital and a promising start-up ecosystem.
  • Policy led innovation has been key to India’s success as an innovation hub
  • During the pandemic also it was innovation which had helped in maintaining a vibrant atmosphere in the sector
  • Development of electric vehicles, biotechnology, nano technology and green energy projects, are some of the examples of innovation in India.
  • Graduates in science and engineering disciplines and global corporate research and development investors are India’s strengths

Global Scenario

  • Switzerland, Sweden, the US and the UK have retained their top four ranks in the index while China is ranked 12th.

About GII

  • The GII report is published by WIPO in partnership with the Portulans Institute, with support of corporate network partners, such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, Brazilian National Confederation of Industry, Ecopetrol Group (Colombia), and the Turkish Exporters Assembly.
  • WIPO’s criteria to measure innovation cover institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, credit, investment, linkages, creation, absorption and diffusion of knowledge and creative outputs. 



  • In an effort to galvanize States to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 3rd State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety.

Key Findings

  • In the Large State Category, Gujarat was the top-ranking state, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • In the Small State Category, Goa stood first followed by Meghalaya and Manipur.
  • In the Union Territories Category, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and New Delhi secured top ranks.

About the Index

  • The states and UTs were ranked on the basis of five parameters – Human Resources and Institutional Data having 20% of the weightage, Compliance with 30% weightage, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance being given 20% weightage, Training and Capacity Building having 10% weightage and Consumer Empowerment being given 20% weightage

Key Facts

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 10% of the population across the world falls ill due to consumption of contaminated food, while each year, 4.2 lakh people die by consuming contaminated food, and of these, 1.25 lakh are children aged below 5 years.



  • Recently, the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) has published a report on Plant Discoveries 2020.

Key Findings of Plant Discoveries 2020

  • In its recent report, BSI has added 267 new taxa/ species to the country’s flora. 
  • The 267 new discoveries include 119 angiosperms; 3 pteridophytes; 5 bryophytes, 44 lichens; 57 fungi, 21 algae and 18 microbes.
  • In 2020, 202 new plant species were discovered across the country and 65 new records were added.
  • Among the new discoveries this year, nine new species of balsams (Impatiens) one species of wild banana (Musa pradhanii) were discovered from Darjeeling, one species each of wild jamun (Sygygium anamalaianum) from Coimbatore and fern species (Selaginella odishana) were recorded from Kandhamal in Odisha. 
  • There are 14 new macro and 31 new micro fungi species recorded from various parts of India.
  • This year one new monogeneric family Hanguanaceae has been recorded for the first time from India.
  • As per BSI, during the last decade a total number of 3,245 taxa of plants from different plant groups have been discovered from India. 
  • Most discoveries have been made from seed plants, with 1,199 (37%) taxa, followed by fungi 894 (27%).
  • 22% of the discoveries were made from the Western Ghats followed by Western Himalayas (15%), Eastern Himalayas (14%) and Northeast Ranges (12%). 
  • The West coast contributed 10% while the East Coast contributed (9%) in total discoveries; Eastern Ghats and South Deccan contributed 4% of each while Central Highland and North Deccan added 3% each.
  • India being a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is committed to work towards the prime objective of Global Strategy of Plant Conservation and the newly discovered species may offer potential source of wild edible plants, traditional drugs, cosmetics and wild relative of crop plants.
  • This year one new monogeneric family Hanguanaceae has been recorded for the first time from India

Back to Basics

About Botanical Survey of India (BSI) 

  1. It is the apex research organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC) 
  2. It carries out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.
  3. It was established in 1890 
  4. It has nine regional circles
  5. Headquarter in Kolkata, West Bengal.

For Other Months Important Data & Facts : Click Here

IAS Abhiyan is now on Telegram: