Reports & Indices Current Affairs - 2019

This category comprises Current Affairs 2019-2020 related to various reports and indexes / indices by National and International Bodies and organizations such as World, Bank, World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog and various other educational and research organizations. We also place report highlights of various committees and commissions in this category.

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Manipur tops in Breastfeeding, Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices

Northeastern state of Manipur has topped rankings in Breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in India. The report card on Breastfeeding was released by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister. Union Heath Minister also appealed influential personality on social media to spread message of benefits of breastfeeding to masses.

Key Highlights of Report Card

Low Performing State in country: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar secured bottom positions in report card. Delhi, National capital of India is also among worst-performing States.

Breastfeeding report card has been developed by devising a composite score based on 3 indicators

  1. Early initiation of breastfeeding
  2. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months
  3. Complimentary feeding at 6-8 months of child’s age

Facts about Breastfeeding, Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices

As per Convention on the Rights of the Child, every infant and child has right to good nutrition.

World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 1st 6 months and breastfeeding with home-made food for minimum 2 years.

Undernutrition is associated with 45% of child deaths.

In 2016, 155 million children under 5 year of age were estimated to be stunted (too short for age), 52 million were estimated to be wasted (too thin for height), and 41 million were overweight (or obese), globally.

Nearly 40% of infants 0–6 months old are exclusively breastfed.

Globally, few children receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods.

In many countries less than a fourth (25%) of infants 6–23 months of age meet criteria of dietary diversity and feeding frequency that are appropriate for their age.

Benefits

Every year more than 820000 children’s lives could be saved among children under 5 years, if all children 0–23 months were optimally breastfed.

Breastfeeding improves IQ, school attendance and is also associated with higher income in adult life.

Breastfeeding not only saves child from being malnourished but also saves mother from breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

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Papua New Guinea has highest number of ‘living’ indigenous languages in world

Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, Country in Oceania has highest number of ‘living’ indigenous languages in world (840). Living languages stands for languages that are still being used and spoken by people. India stands fourth in list with 453 languages.

In 2016, United Nation’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) highlighted that 40% of estimated 6,700 languages spoken around world were in danger of disappearing.

Key Findings of Ethnologue

Ethnologue is a directory of languages which lists 7,111 living languages worldwide.

According to Ethnologue-

3,741 languages (over half total) which have fewer than 1,000 speakers.

Some language families are very diverse and have several languages under them, but are spoken by only a small percentage of population. For example, Trans-New Guinea family, which has 478 languages, accounts for just 0.05% of total language speakers.

Indo-European family has 445 languages including Spanish, English, German, Punjabi and Bengali and has highest percentage of speakers- 46.31%.

Most Indian languages are derivatives of languages that are spoken in other parts of Asia as well, for example- Sino-Tibetan languages are spoken across Northeast India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and other South East Asian countries. One of outliers to this trend is Andamanese language family, which is confined to India alone.

Greenberg’s Diversity Index

As per Ethnologue, ‘Greenberg’s diversity index’ is the probability that any two people of country selected at random would have different mother tongues.

Value ranges from: 0-1, where ‘0’ indicates no diversity i.e. everyone has same mother tongue and ‘1’ indicates total diversity i.e. no two people will have same mother tongue. Therefore higher diversity index would mean more languages spread across country.

Global Distribution of Languages

Most widely spoken languages worldwide: English, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic and Spanish are most widely spoken languages worldwide when only 1st-languages are considered. These 5 languages account for what is spoken by over 40% of people worldwide.

Number of Languages by Region– Asia (2303) and Africa (2140) account for highest number of indigenous languages (over 70% of total), Pacific (1322) and Americas (1058).

Widely English-speaking nations- United States (335 languages) and Australia (319) are among countries where highest number of languages are spoken this is because they have small and rapidly declining pockets of indigenous language speaking populations.

Languages in Decline

As per UNESCO’s ‘Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger‘-

Since 1950 228 languages have become extinct.

About 10% of languages are classified ‘vulnerable’, while another 10% are ‘critically endangered’.

In India, 5 languages have become extinct since 1950, while 42 are critically endangered.

Several languages are now “endangered” and in case of languages such as Tiniguan (Colombian origin), there is just a single native speaker left.

International Year of Indigenous Languages

The year 2019 is designated as United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages. It aims to promote native tongues in 5 key areas-

  1. Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation
  2. Integration of indigenous languages into standard setting
  3. Empowerment through capacity building.
  4. Creation of favourable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices with regards to indigenous languages
  5. Growth and development via elaboration of new knowledge

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