India Current Affairs

India ranks 43rd in 2017 Global Retirement Index

India was ranked last at 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI) published by French asset management company Natixis Global.

The index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors viz. the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being); access to quality health services (Health); access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances) and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life ).

The 43 countries include members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Key Highlights of 2017 GRI

Top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. India ranks 43rd and has the same score compared to 2016 GRI. India also ranks the lowest among the BRIC economies.

India’s rank in all sub-indices is also in the bottom five. India position in all sub-indices is Material Well-being (41st), Health (43rd), Finances (39th) and Quality of Life (43rd).

India has the lowest income per capita of all countries in the GRI. Additionally, its score for the income equality indicator has declined compared to 2016 GRI. It has the lowest scores for all indicators within the sub-index including in insured health expenditure compared to 2016 GRI.

India ranks first in old-age dependency, second in tax pressure and sixth in interest rates. Interms of governance indicator India ranks as the fifth worst among all countries in the GRI. It also has the tenth-lowest score for the bank non-performing loans indicator. India ranked last in the Quality of Life sub-index.

India’s environmental factors indicator has improved due to progress in CO2 emissions per GDP. But it still ranks in bottom for happiness, water and sanitation, and air quality as well as scores second-worst for biodiversity and habitat among all GRI countries.

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19th RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee Meeting held in Hyderabad

The 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meetings and other related meetings were held in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Besides, the 19th round of TNC, parallel meetings were also held by the three main Working Groups on Trade in goods, services and investment. Working Groups in other areas like electronic commerce, Intellectual Property, Legal and Institutional Issues etc. also had held their meetings.

Key takeaways of 19th round

All RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) agreed that RCEP agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation that are much needed in today’s uncertain world. India held that RCEP can offer a forward looking alternative in face of growing protectionism in world.

RPCs also expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in cooperative manner to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way and achieve a comprehensive, modern, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that balances and addresses sensitivities and aspirations of participating countries.

About Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

RCEP is a proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement (mega Free Trade Agreement) amongst the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) partners, viz. Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan and Korea.

RCEP negotiations were formally launched at 2012 ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement that includes several Asian and American nations but excludes China and India.

Till 2017, RCEP member states accounted for a population of 3.4 billion people with a total GDP (in terms of PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 39% of the world’s GDP (combined GDPs of China and India makes up more than half that amount).

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