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India ranks 122 in 2017 World Happiness Report

India ranked at 122 out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017 published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network on the eve of International Day of Happiness (20 March).

The rankings are based factors such as  inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, public trust (i.e. a lack of corruption in government and business), and social support. Together they are used to generate a happiness score of country on a scale from 1 to 10.This year it is fifth such report since the first was published in 2012.

Key Highlights of report
  • 10 Happiest Countries: Norway (1), Denmark (2), Iceland (3), Switzerland (4), Finland (5), Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (8), Australia (9) and Sweden (10).
  • 5 Saddest Countries: Rwanda (151), Syria (152), Tanzania (153), Burundi (154) and Central African Republic (155).
  • The entire top ten were wealthier developed nations. But the report mentioned that money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and those hit by conflict were ranked lower.
  • India was placed behind the majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations, apart from war-ravaged Afghanistan (141). In the previous edition of the report, India ranked 118.
  • Eight SAARC nations: Pakistan (80), Nepal (99), Bhutan (97), Bangladesh (110) and Sri Lanka (120). Maldives did not figure in the report.
  • BRICS Countries: Brazil (17), Russia (56), China (79), South Africa (116) and India (122).

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Magnus Carlsen wins 2016 Chess Championship title

Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway has won the 2016 World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time.

He retained the title after defeating Sergey Karjakin of Russia. Karjakin had tied against Carlsen in 12 regular rounds but was beaten in the final phase of four quickfire games.

About Magnus Carlsen

  • Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster. He is No. 1 ranked player in the world and reigning World Chess Champion in classical, rapid, and blitz.
  • He became Grandmaster in 2004, at the age of 13 years, 148 days, making him at that time the second youngest grandmaster in history, although he has since become the third youngest. His peak rating is 2882, the highest in history of the FIDE rankings.
  • On 1st January 2010, at the age of 19 years, 32 days, he was the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world No. 1.
  • In November 2013, he became World Champion by defeating Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship.
  • In 2013, he was named in the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.

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2016 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. He was selected for the prestigious award by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for his resolute efforts to bring the more than 50-year-long civil war of Colombia to an end.

He is second Colombian to win Nobel Prize after writer Gabriel Gracia Marquez who had won the literature Prize in 1982.

Santos is also second Latin American to receive Nobel Peace Prize after Guatemala’s Rigoberta Menchu had won it in 1992.

Peace Agreement

Manuel Santos had initiated the negotiations with the guerrilla (rebel) group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). These negotiations had culminated into a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas. However in October 2016, the peace deal was rejected by a narrow majority by the Colombians when it was put to referendum.

About Juan Manuel Santos

  • Born on 10 August 1951 in Bogota, capital city of Colombia.
  • He was elected Colombian President for first time in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.
  • Earlier he had served as defence minister from 2006 until 2009

Background

  • The civil war in Colombia is one of the longest civil wars in modern times and the sole remaining armed conflict in the South America.
  • The five decade long civil war has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.
  • It was started in the 1960s as a rural uprising for land rights by FARC as communist-inspired guerrilla movement.
  • The main aim of FARC was to reduce the gulf dividing rich and poor and land reform for equality in the Andean country.
  • The conflict has drawn in various leftist rebel groups, drug gangs and right-wing paramilitaries over the decades.
  • However in recent times, the FARC had shifted from their original ideology and were active in illegal drug trade, kidnapping and extortion activities.

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