Socio-Economic Current Affairs

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India ranks 118th on UN’s World Happiness Index 2016

India ranked 118th out of 157 countries on the United Nations’ World Happiness Index (WHI) 2016.

It was revealed by the fourth World Happiness Report 2016 published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN.

Key Highlights of Report

  • Top 10 countries: Denmark (1st), Switzerland (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Norway (4th) and Finland (5th), Canada (6th), Netherlands (7th), New Zealand (8th), Australia (9th) and Sweden (10th).
  • 5 Least happiest countries: Rwanda (152nd), Benin (153rd), Afghanistan (154th), Togo (155th), Syria (156th) and Burundi (157th).
  • Among BRICS: Brazil (17th), Russia (56th), China (83rd), South Africa (116th) and India (118th).
  • India’s Neighbours: Nepal (78th), China (83rd), Bhutan (84th), Pakistan (104th), Bangladesh (110th), Sri Lanka (117th) and Afghanistan (154th).
  • For the first time, the report has given a special role to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries and regions.
  • Countries where there was less inequality were happier overall. Top five countries have strong social security systems

About World Happiness Report

  • The report aims at influencing government policy and is prepared based upon study undertaken by Gallup World Poll.
  • The World Happiness Index ranks nations based upon score of different variables on a scale running from 0 to 10. These variables include real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, corruption levels and social freedoms
  • India was ranked 111th in 2013 and 117th in 2015.


India Inc first to formally adopt UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

India Inc. became first in the world to formally adopt the United Nations’ (UN) agenda for the world’s sustainable development and 17 goals identified for its implementation.

It was formally adopted by the India Inc. at the 11th National Convention on Sustainable Development Goal (NCSDG) organized by the Global Compact Network in Mumbai.

Key facts

  • The convention was inaugurated by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • It was for the first time UN is involving private and public sector corporates across the globe to drive its development agenda.
  • With this India Inc. became the first in the world to adopt the SDGs and implement them at their companies.
  • Top 50 domestic corporate leaders from India such as the Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group, Reliance, Vedanta, Adani Group and public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and several MNCs had officially adopted the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG aims at broadening the horizon for growth and transformation under the theme of people, planet and prosperity.   These goals succeeded 8 MDGs which were adopted in 2000 for fifteen years till 2015.

It has 17 non-binding goals with 169 specific targets that comprise different socio-economic issues to be implemented from 2015 to 2030. These goals are

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Required Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life on Land
  • Peace Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for the Goals


ICICI Bank launches ‘Saral-Rural Housing Loan’ Scheme for weaker sections

India’s largest private sector lender Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank has launched ‘ICICI Bank Saral-Rural Housing Loan’ Scheme for weaker sections of society.

The scheme is new home loan proposition of the bank with special interest rate to cater people from rural areas including women borrowers as well as from weaker sections.

Key facts

  • Housing loan will be provided at the ICICI Bank Base Rate (known as I-Base) which is currently at 9.70%.
  • An eligible customer can avail of loan to purchase, construction or renovation of a home in the rural areas.
  • The loan will range from five to fifteen lakh rupees for a period of 3–20 years and the loan can be up to 90 per cent of the property value.
  • This scheme will be available be available in 189 cities across the country.

With the launch of this scheme, the private bank seeks to support the socio-economic development of a larger section of the society especially economically deprived sections. It also seeks to empower customers including women borrowers in the rural locations in order to realize the dream of owning a house.