India rises to 2nd spot on global business optimism index
- India improved its ranking by one spot in a global index of business optimism, with policy reforms and Goods and Services tax (GST) expected to become a reality soon, says a survey.
- According to the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report, India was ranked secondon the optimism index during the third quarter (July-September 2016).
- Indonesia took the top spot, with the Philippines coming in third.
- India was ranked third during the April-June period after being on top for two consecutive quarters.
- “The improvement in the optimism ranking in the recent past clearly reflects that the reform agenda of the government and its efforts on improving the climate for doing business are having an impact.
- High business optimism was also complimented by the rise of employment expectations. India regained its top position on this parameter, from second position in the April-June period, while profitability expectations also moved up.
- “…all the programs and initiatives of the government as well as its focus on building relationships with all major economic powers has made India a bright spot in the global economy, the recent push for GST augurs well and should give a further boost to business optimism.
- While India continues to be amongst the top five countries citing regulations and red tape as a constraint on growth, for the first time in the year, the country’s ranking on this parameter has dropped from second to fourth.
- As per the survey, 59 per cent of the respondents have quoted this as an impediment in the growth prospects compared to 64 per cent in the previous quarter.
- The report is prepared on the basis of a quarterly conducted global business survey of 2,500 businesses across 36 economies.
- Meanwhile, in terms of revenue expectations, India slipped to third position from top in the previous quarter.
- In spite of the downturn, India is much ahead of China where only 30 per cent respondents expect an increase in revenue, whereas in India, 85 per cent respondents have voted in favour of increasing revenue.
- The survey further noted that 68 per cent of respondents have voted for an upsurge in selling prices. On this parameter too, China lags India with only 10 per cent of respondents expecting an upsurge in selling prices. The global average is 19 per cent.
- Globally, business optimism stands at net 33 per cent, rising 1 percentage point from the previous quarter but falling 11 percentage points over the year.
“Political events such as Brexit and the US presidential election understandably rattle the global economy and test the resilience and elasticity of businesses worldwide.
India ranks 133rd in 2016 Global Youth Development Index
- India has been ranked 133rd out of 183 countries in the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI) compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
- The Global Youth Development Index report measures countries’ prospects for young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres.
- Top 10 countries in 2016 YDI: Germany (1), Denmark (2), Australia (3), Switzerland (4), UK
(5), Netherlands (6), Austria (7), Luxembourg (8), Portugal (9) and Japan (10)
- India’s neighbours: Sri Lanka (31), Bhutan (69) and Nepal (77).
- India related facts: India accounts for nearly 20% of the global youth population, with nearly 345 million young people between the ages of 15 and 30 living in the country. India is currently experiencing the most significant “youth bulge” – with nearly 27% of its total population made up of young people.
- India’s overall rank in 2016 YDU is relatively low, but it has registered an 11% improvement in scores over last five years (from 2010 and 2015).
The report highlights need for greater investment to reap so-called demographic dividend. Youth development levels in India lag particularly in the domains of education, health and employment.
A.P., Telangana top in ease of doing business
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the World Bank Group, has released results of the Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms 2015-16.
- The Assessment studies the extent to which states have implemented DIPP’s 340-point Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) for States/UTs 2015-16, covering the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
- The BRAP includes recommendations for reforms on 58 regulatory processes, policies, practices or procedures spread across 10 reform areas spanning the lifecycle of a typical business.
The 340 reform areas are broadly under categories including construction permit, environmental and labour registration, obtaining electricity connection, online tax-return filing, inspection reform, access to information and transparency, single window, land availability and commercial dispute resolution. The exercise is aimed at promoting competition among states with a view to improve business climate to attract domestic as well as foreign investments.
- Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have jointly topped the 2016 all-India State/Union Territory-wise ease of doing business rankings, while last year’s topper Gujarat slipped to the third spot.
- This year, four of the seven States with the lowest income levels in India have found a place in the top 10, while all the seven such States had an implementation rate of over 75%.
- These low-income States included Chhattisgarh (fourth rank), Madhya Pradesh (fifth), Jharkhand (seventh) and Rajasthan (eighth).
Among other major states, Odisha occupied 11th slot, followed by Punjab, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
India ranks 138 in 2016 ICT Development Index
- India has been ranked 138th in the 2016 ICT Development Index out of a total of 175 countries. In 2015, India ranked 135th position.
- The index was released as part of the annual measuring the Information Society Report for 2016 of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
What is ICT Development Index (IDI)?
- The ICT Development Index (IDI) rankings compare the state of ICT development across countries. It is published annually by the UN ITU.
- The IDI is based on 11 ICT indicators, grouped in three sub-indices: access, use and skills. It is standard tool that governments, operators, researchers, development agencies and others can use to measure the digital divide and compare ICT performance within and across countries.
Key Highlights of 2016 IDI
Top 5 Countries: South Korea (1st), Iceland (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Switzerland (4th) and United Kingdom (5th).
Bottom 5 Countries: Niger (175), Chad (174), Guinea-Bissau (173), South Sudan (172) and Burundi (171).
Region wise Facts: European and countries in Americas region have made significant progress in ICT development.
In the Asia Pacific region, India is ranked at 26 out of the 34 countries. 9 countries in region remained least concerned. Africa was named as the worst performing region.
India related facts: India’s score has improved from 2.50 (in 2015) to 2.69. In terms of subindices access, India ranks 139 in 2016 as against 140 in 2015; use sub index, India has moved up to 142 in 2016 from 143 in 2015; skills sub index, India ranked 122. Broadband access in India has become cheaper compared to the year 2015, but the data caps are among the most highest and restrictive in the world.
India ranks 20th on 2017 Climate Change Performance Index
- India has been ranked 20th in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2017, which underlined that countries like India are making “great efforts” in the fields of renewables and energy efficiency.
- With the historic Paris Agreement having recently entered into force, the latest CCPI confirms a boost for renewable energy and positive developments in energy efficiency.
- The publication was issued by German watch and Climate Action Network Europe.
- While these encouraging trends are happening on a global scale, the necessary energy revolution is still happening too slowly, it said.
- “Morocco (rank 8), this years host of COP22 continued its upward trend in the CCPI 2017. With massive investments in renewable energy and ambitious mid- and long-term targets, Morocco is a frontrunner in Africa.
- “Positive trends are seen as well among emerging economies of the G20 like India (rank 20), Argentina (rank 36) and Brazil (40) which all improved their ranking in the CCPI 2017,” it said.
- It said that some developing countries like Morocco, India and South Africa are starting to catch up and are already making great efforts in the fields of renewables and energy efficiency.
- In terms of climate policy, it said that India, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway and Germany managed to hold their positions.
- “All countries are now expected to put forward national emissions reduction plans, and the G20 countries have to take a leading role in doing so by 2018.
- “Although, India belongs to the ten largest CO2 emitting countries, per capita emissions are still relatively low, resulting in a good performance in this category,” it said.
- National experts value that the Indian government runs one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programmes in the world, which leads to a good policy performance for the country, it said.
- Canada (55), Australia (57) and Japan (60) are in the bottom group (rated “very poor”) of the index while Japan once again dropped two places as national experts criticize their government for a very poor climate policy.
About the Index:
- The Climate Change Performance Index is an instrument designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics and aims to put political and social pressure on those countries which have, up until now, failed to take ambitious action on climate protection.
- On the basis of standardised criteria, the index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that together are responsible for about 90 per cent of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
- “Due to the falling costs of renewable energy and efficiency technologies, national governments have no more excuses not to enshrine the Paris Agreement into national law.
- “Besides the vast development of renewable energy, we see positive signals that fossil fuels increasingly are put on the defence.
So far, falling oil prices did not cause an increase in demand for the energy source while a growing number of countries are starting to turn their backs on coal.
India Achieves 4th rank in Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index
- India was ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index. The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of India is 25088 MW.
- The Index was topped by China, followed by USA and Germany. The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of China is 145362 MW.
- The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of the USA is 74471 MW and that of Germany is 44947 MW.
- The ranking were released on 19 December 2016 in the Global Wind Report: Annual Market update, which was launched by the Global Wind Energy Council(GWEC).
India and its wind power capacity
- In 2015-2016, India installed 31472 solar pumps, which is higher than the total number of pumps installed during last 24 years. As of 31 October 2016, 92305 solar pumps have been installed in the country.
- During 2016-2017, 51 MW installations of biomass power plants were achieved against a target of 400 MW.
During 2016-17, against a target of 1.00 lakh biogas plants, 0.26 lakh biogas plant installations have been achieved, making a cumulative achievement to 4.94 million biogas plants as of 31 October 2016.
India Social Development Report 2016
- With the objective of bridging the gap between the mainstream social rights activists and disability rights groups, the Council for Social Development released its India Social Development Report 2016, with the theme ‘Disability Rights Perspectives’.
- The report has focussed on the theme with the ultimate objective of persuading more and more people to dismantle boundaries between mainstream social rights activism and disability rights groups.
Highlights of the report:
- About 45% of all persons with disabilities (PWD) in India are illiterate. While 38% of all male PWDs were illiterate, the illiteracy rate was 55% for female PWDs.
- Each category of disability, a greater proportion of women in that category are illiterate than men, with 76% of women with multiple disabilities being illiterate.
- It estimated that of the 75 million children of primary school age who are out of school, “one-third is children with disabilities.”
- The number of PWDs in India at 26.8 million, or 2.2% of the population, noting that this might be an underestimate.
- The World Bank had put the number at 4-8% of the population.
- Men formed 56% of the PWDs, and 70% of the disabled population was rural.
- Movement disability accounted for the largest number of PWDs, followed by hearing disability and visual impairment.
- The report noted that the high incidence of polio in India may be responsible for the high proportion of movement disability.
- While movement disability accounted for 20% of all disabled children, of the 2 million children in the agegroup of 0 to 6 who were disabled, it was down to 9%. This difference could be due to the effectiveness of the polio immunisation program, the report said.
- 64% of the PWDs in India were non-workers. Of the rest, the majority were only able to find employment as casual labourer or agricultural labourer.
- Among the States, Tamil Nadu had the least terrible record in providing employment for the PWDs, with 59% of the PWDs being non-workers.
- At the national level, only 2% of the PWDs were enrolled in any vocational course, with the highest rate of enrolment being in Kerala, where 5% were enrolled in vocational courses.
Lack of social services and transport were the top obstacles to the PWDs accessing health care facilities.
India ranks 7th in 2016 Global Terrorism Index
- India ranked seventhin the list of countries most affected by terrorism in 2015, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016 released by the Institute for Economics & Peace, a Sydney-based think-tank.
- The GTI score for a country is based on weightage assigned to the total number of terrorism-related incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage sustained in the year in question. The index also takes into consideration attacks that took place in the four previous years.
- The country most affected by terrorism last year was Iraq, with 2,415 terrorist incidents, causing 6,960 deaths and 11,900 injuries, followed by Afghanistan, which suffered 1,715 terrorist incidents, which caused 5,312 deaths and 6,249 injuries. Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen were ranked behind these countries, in that order. The situation in Somalia, Egypt and Libya was worse than that in India, with Libya figuring on the 10th place in the ranking
- “This suggests that groups are seeking to remind governments of their presence without provoking significant military reactions,” the report said.“Terrorism in India is characterised by communist, Islamists and separatist groups. Communist terrorist groups are by far the most frequent perpetrators and the main cause of terrorism deaths in India. Two Maoist communist groups claimed responsibility for 176 deaths in 2015, which constitutes 61 percent of all deaths.”
- India experienced 7 percent of all terrorist attacks around the world, the fourth highest after Iraq (20 percent), Afghanistan (14 percent) and Pakistan (8 percent). India, in 2015, had fewer terror attacks (797) than only Iraq (2,415), Afghanistan (1,715) and Pakistan (1,008). India suffered twice as many attacks as Syria (384), according to IANS.
Some other highlights from the report:
• Economic loss from terrorism has been $635 billion over 16 years.
• OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries saw 650 percent rise in terror-related deaths.
• ISIS overtook its African affiliate Boko Haram as the world’s deadliest terrorist group in 2015.
Assessment of Sustainable Development Goals
- The study titled “Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015” published recently in medical journal “The Lancet” placed India at 143rd position. The paper stated that statistical methods were applied to systematically compiled data to estimate the performance of 33 health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators for 188 countries from 1990 to 2015.
- Though the SDG 3 of “health and wellbeing of all at all ages” is in sync with the vision of proposed National Health Policy and National Health Mission (NHM), a National Task Force on SDG 3 has been set up by the Ministry not only to deliberate on policy and strategy but also provide technical support and guidance on SDGs to the States.
Certain key health indicators of India in comparison to some developing countries including Bhutan and Sri Lanka from the publication ‘THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2016’ brought out by UNICEF, are annexed. The reasons for low performance include issues pertaining to adequacy of access and quality of healthcare, affordability, regional disparities, other socio cultural determinants of health etc.
Pardon, the gender wage gap is showing
Global Wage Report 2016-17 was recently released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Highlights of the report:
Performance of India:
- India has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity — men earning more than women in similar jobs — with the gap exceeding 30%.
- In India, women formed 60% of the lowest paid wage labour, but only 15% of the highest wage-earners. This means not only are women poorly represented in the top bracket of wage-earners, the gender pay gap at the bottom is also very wide in India.
- In India, the top one per cent earned 33 times what the bottom 10% did. The top 10% also earned 43% of all wages. Since 2006, average wages rose by 60% in India, while they more than doubled in China.
- Singapore has the lowest wage disparity, at 3%. Among major economies, only South Korea fared worse than India, with a gap of 37%.
- The share of women among wage earners was among the lowest in South Asia. Compared to a global average of 40%, and an Asia-Pacific average of 38%, in South Asia (whose dominant economy is India), only 20% of wage earners were women.
- The gender pay gap is smallest (8%) in the group of countries where the collective bargaining rate is at least 80%, and widest in countries with weak collective bargaining and no or very low minimum wages.
Reasons for the wage gap:
- The report noted that typically, women’s educational choices produced occupational segregation. For instance, since the majority of those who studied nursing were women, “this profession is over-represented among women”.
At the same time, care work is undervalued because it may be seen as a natural female attribute rather than a skill to be acquired. Thus, a higher representation of women in sectors where their work is undervalued results in a gender pay gap.