Socio-Economic Current Affairs

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Moderate English proficiency in India: Survey

As per the English Proficiency Index (EPI) which ranked 54 countries on the basis of the average language ability of adults, India stood at 14th position. Scandinavian countries topped the rankings and Libya performed worst.

As per the report:

  • Women scored 53.90 as against men’s 52.14.
  • Women in the Middle East and North Africa scored more than 5 points above men.
  • Malaysia and Singapore have the highest proficiency in Asia.
  • Among the BRIC countries, Brazil is ranked only 46th, China at 36th, Russia at 29th and India at 14th.
  • Countries with low and very low proficiency have uniformly low levels of exports per capita.
  • Countries with low English proficiency also demonstrate unusually low levels of international collaboration in research.

What is EF English Proficiency Index?

The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) is a report which attempts to rank countries by the average level of English skills amongst adults.

It is the product of EF Education First, a global language training company, and draws its conclusions from data collected via online English tests available for free over the internet.



IMR decreased to 44 Per 1000 Live Births during 2011

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) declined by 3 points from 47 to 44 infant deaths per 1000 live births during 2011. As per Sample Registration System (SRS) released by the Registrar General of India (RGI):

  • IMR for rural areas has decreased by 3 points from 51 to 48 infant deaths per 1000 live births
  • IMR in Urban registered at 29 from the previous 31/1000
  • Goa and Manipur have the lowest IMR of 11 infant deaths
  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest IMR of 59/1000
  • Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Meghalaya have IMRs more than the national average of 44

What is SRS (Sample Registration System)?
Sample Registration System (SRS) is a large-scale demographic survey to generate reliable annual estimates of birth rate, death rate and other fertility & mortality indicators at the national and sub-national levels. The field investigation consists of continuous enumeration of births and deaths in selected sample units by Anganwadi workers and teachers. SRS also holds an independent survey every 6 months. The data gathered by these two independent functionaries are compared. The unmatched events are re-verified in the field and an unduplicated count of births and deaths is thus obtained. As per latest census frame, the SRS sample is replaced every 10 years.
Currently, SRS is functional in 7,597 sample units (4,433 rural and 3,164 urban) spread across all States and Union territories and covers about 1.5 million households and 7.35 million population.


Rs 4,000 crore plan to fight Japanese Encephalitis

The Union Cabinet of India sanctioned a Rs 4038-crore comprehensive multi-pronged plan for prevention and control of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the country.

States where this plan will be implemented:

  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Bihar
  • Assam

The plan will be implemented within five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17.

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

  • Japanese Encephalitis is a viral disease spread by the mosquito carrying the virus.
  • The disease is mainly prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Far East.

What are the reservoirs and vectors of this virus?

  • Domestic pigs and wild birds (herons) are reservoirs of the virus.
  • Amongst the most important vectors of this disease are the mosquitoes Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Culex vishnui.