Social Development Current Affairs

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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India ranks 60th in Inclusive Development Index

India ranked 60th among the 79 developing countries in 2017 Inclusive Development Index (IDI) released in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’.

The index is based on 12 performance indicators and countries are ranked on IDI scores based on a scale of 1-7. It has three pillars Growth and Development, Inclusion and Intergenerational Equity, and Sustainability in order to provide a more complete measure of economic development than GDP growth alone.

Key Highlights of 2017 IDI
  • Top 10 developing economies in 2017 IDI: Lithuania (1st), Azerbaijan (2nd), Hungary (3rd), Poland (4th), Romania (5th), Uruguay (6th), Latvia (7th), Panama (8th), Costa Rica (9th) and Chile (10th).
  • Top 10 advance economies in 2017 IDI: Norway (1st), Luxembourg (2nd), Switzerland (3th), Iceland (4th) and Denmark (5th), (6th), Netherlands (7th), Australia (8th), New Zealand (9th) and Austria (10th).
  • BRIC’s countries: Russia (13th), China (30th) and Brazil (30th).
  • India’s neighbours: India’s many of the neighbouring nations are ahead in the rankings. China (15th), Nepal (27th), Bangladesh (36th) and Pakistan (52nd).
  • India, with a score of only 3.38, ranks low among 79 developing economies, despite its growth in GDP per capita is among the top 10 and labour productivity growth has been strong.
  • India scores well in terms of access to finance for business development and real economy investment.
  • Reasons for India’s lower rank: India’s debt-to-GDP ratio is high, that raises some questions about the sustainability of government spending.
  • India’s labour force participation rate is low, informal economy is large and many workers are vulnerable to employment situations with little room for social mobility.
  • India needs more progressive tax system to raise capital for expenditures in infrastructure, health care, basic services and education,

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