Economy Current Affairs

India ranks 110th on Sustainable Development index

India has been ranked a low 110th out of 149 countries on Sustainable Development index (SDI).

The SDI assesses countries where they stand with regard to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also their progress and ensuring accountability.

Key Facts

  • Top 10 Countries: Sweden (1st), Denmark (2nd), Norway (3rd), Finland (4th), Switzerland (5th), Germany (6th), Austria (7th), Netherlands (8th), Iceland (9th) and United Kingdom (10th).
  • Bottom 5 Countries: Chad (145th), Niger (146th), Congo (147th), Liberia (148th) and Central African Republic (149th).
  • India’s neighbours: Pakistan (115th), Myanmar (117th), Bangladesh (118th) and Afghanistan (139th).
  • BIRCS: Russia (47th), China (76th) and India (110th).
  • The countries closest to fulfilling the SDGs are not the biggest economies but comparably small, developed countries.
  • Poor and developing countries score lowest on the SDG Index as they have little resources at their disposal.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries struggle to meet the goals on climate change, inequality, sustainable consumption and ecosystems.
  • Developing countries face major difficulties in providing basic social services and infrastructure access to their populations.
  • For Latin America and the Caribbean countries face challenge of high levels of inequality among the most pressing issues.
  • East and South Asia outperform many other developing regions but unmet challenges mostly persist in health and education.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa which is the world’s poorest region faces major challenges across almost all SDGs, with extreme poverty, hunger and health as major areas.

About Sustainable Development index (SDI)

  • The SDI seeks to help countries identify gaps that must be closed in order to achieve SDGS by 2030 and to identify priorities for early action.
  • The new index was launched by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
  • Methodology: SDI ranks countries based on their performance across the 17 global SDGs. The index helps countries to identify priorities for early actions.

About Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDGs are 17 global non-binding goals featuring 169 targets to be implemented from 2015 to 2030. These goals and targets are a set of ambitious objectives across the three dimensions of sustainable development viz. economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, underpinned by good governance.

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7 Indian companies on 2016 Fortune 500 list

Seven Indian companies have made it to the latest Fortune 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations in terms of revenue.

Fortune 500 list is an annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest companies, compiled and published by the American business magazine Fortune and published globally by Time Inc.

In it companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal year which has ended on or before March 31, 2015. Revenue figures of companies mainly include their consolidated subsidiaries, reported revenues from the discontinued operations and excluding excise taxes.

Key Facts

  • 7 Indian companies are: Indian Oil Corporation (161st), Reliance Industries (215th), Tata Motors (226th), State Bank of India (232nd), Bharat Petroleum (358th), Hindustan Petroleum (367th) and Rajesh Exports (423rd).
  • Global top 10 companies: Walmart (1st), State Grid (2nd), China National Petroleum (3rd), Sinopec Group (4th), Royal Dutch Shell (5th), Exxon Mobil (6th), Volkswagen (7th), Toyota Motor (8th), Apple (9th) and BP (10th).
  • The world’s 500 largest companies generated collectively generated 27.6 trillion dollars in revenues and 1.5 trillion dollars in profits in 2015.
  • Together, 2016 Fortune Global 500 companies employ 67 million people worldwide and are represented by 33 countries.

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India, Japan ink Social Security Agreement

India and Japan have signed a Social Security Agreement (SSA) and will come into force on 1 October 2016.

The SSA will benefit Indian and Japanese professionals and skilled workers working in each other’s country and will also boost bilateral business linkages.

Key Facts

  • The SSA will help avoid double social security contributions i.e. Indian worker on a short-term contract in Japan will be exempt from making a social security contribution there vice versa.
  • This exemption will be provided to Indian worker, only if he is covered under the social security system of India and continues to pay his contribution during period of overseas contract.
  • Benefits: It will help for easy remittance of benefits in case of relocation. It will favourably impact the competitive position and profitability of Indian and Japanese companies with foreign operations in either country by reducing their cost of doing business abroad.

So far, India has so far signed similar comprehensive social security agreements with 15 countries. They are Canada, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Hungary, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria, and Australia.

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