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.

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Government to launch Index on Ease of doing agri-business

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is planning to launch its own index to rank states on ‘ease of doing agri-business’. It will rank States on basis of reforms in sector as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.

States will be also rated on is their success in reducing the cost of farm inputs by distributing soil health cards and encouraging organic farming and micro-irrigation. Based on performance in this index, Government may reward high performing states (both in absolute and incremental terms) by linking them to allocation of flexi-funds available under various flagship schemes.

Index on Ease of doing agri-business

  • It will aim to incentivise states for various reform measures undertaken by them over years and see how efficient they have been in implementing government programmes.
  • It will broadly rank states on six major reform parameters related to the farming sector and have a total score of 100. These six parameters include
  1. Marketing reforms (weightage of 25).
  2. Reducing cost of inputs (20).
  3. Governance and land reforms (20).
  4. Risk mitigation (15).
  5. Increasing production and productivity (10).
  6. Investment in agriculture (10).
  • The six major identified parameters will be further divided into 2-odd sub-parameters which would be evaluated every year.
  • The rankings of states will be evaluated based on performance information furnished by the state governments to verify their accuracy.
  • Its parameters are process-oriented, thus it will also incorporate as and when reforms or initiatives are undertaken and same would be incorporated into index with appropriate weights.
  • It has wider ambit compared to NITI Aayog’s Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index, which ranks states based on their implementation of such reforms.

Why new index?

As agriculture is a State subject, the success of policies and reform initiatives proposed at the Centre is dependent on implementation by the States. Past experience has shown that some states are very progressive in implementing reforms and are taking up initiatives for welfare of farmers. On the other hand, there are many states that have lagged behind, resulting in huge inter-state income disparities. Therefore, to ensure that reforms agenda of government is implemented at desired pace by all states governments, there is need to develop competitive spirit among states through this index.

Pneumonia may kill over 17 lakh children in India by 2030: Study

According to global study released by UK-based NGO ‘Save the Children’, more than 17 lakh children in India are likely to die of pneumonia by 2030, despite the infection being easily curable. The study was released on occasion of World Pneumonia Day (observed on November 12).

Key Highlights of Study

  • Pneumonia is likely to kill over one crore children under five by 2030. Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are likely to bear highest burden of deaths.
  • More than 40 lakhs of these deaths, over a third, could be easily averted with concerted action to improve rates of vaccination, treatment and nutrition.
  • The forecasts were based on model developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, US called Lives Saved Tool (LiST).
  • The forecasts show that nearly 10,865,728 children will die by 2030 on current trends, with highest burden of deaths in Nigeria (1,730,000), India (1,710,000), Pakistan (706,000), and Democratic Republic of Congo (635,000).
  • Scaling up vaccination coverage to 90% of children under age of five could save 610,000 lives, providing cheap antibiotics could save 1.9 million and ensuring children have good nutrition could save 2.5 million lives.

Background

The year 2030 is target date for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes ambitious global pledge to ‘end preventable child deaths’ and achieve Universal Health Coverage. Pneumonia is biggest infectious killer for children globally, killing more than malaria, diarrhoea and measles combined. As many 880,000 children, mostly under age of two, died from the disease in 2016.

Pneumonia

  • It is form of acute respiratory infection that affects lungs. It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs.
  • Lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when healthy person breathes. ‎When an individual has pneumonia, alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
  • Causes: It is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children), ‎Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia), ‎Respiratory syncytial virus is most common viral cause of pneumonia.
  • Treatment: Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia. Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.