Current Affairs – February, 2019

Latest Current Affairs February, 2019 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of February, 2019 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Inclusive Internet Index 2019

The Inclusive Internet Index 2019 was prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for Facebook. The ‘Inclusive Internet’ score was based on the scores of availability, affordability, relevance and readiness categories.

The 2019 Index evaluated 100 countries, representing 94 per cent of the world’s population and 96 per cent of global GDP.

Findings of the Inclusive Internet Index 2019 Report

  • Sweden has topped the rankings followed by Singapore and the US.
  • India has been ranked 47th.
  • Men have more Internet access than women globally but low and lower middle income countries narrowed the gender gap in 2018.
  • The UK, Namibia, Ireland, Austria, Chile and South Africa are the top performers of the year in terms of gender equality. All these countries had female digital skills training plans.
  • The report notes that Inclusion for women and those with disabilities have improved, with low income and lower-middle-income countries driving the progress.
  • The report notes that the affordability is declining relative to monthly income in many countries. This is disproportionately affecting women and people in low-income countries who are more reliant on mobile as their primary means of accessing the Internet.
  • The percentage of households connected to the Internet globally increased, on average from 53.1 per cent to 54.8 per cent, the rate of growth in Internet connections slowed to 2.9 per cent in 2019 from 7.7 per cent in 2018.
  • Fixed-line Internet access is too expensive or inaccessible in some countries, as a result, mobile services are critical in these regions.
  • The lower-middle-income countries made a significant 66 per cent improvement in 4G coverage and low-income countries witnessed a moderate 22 per cent improvement.
  • Web accessibility standards have also improved. The improvements were led by low and lower middle income countries.
  • There are about 3.8 billion people around the world without fast and reliable Internet access.
  • Even though the overall gap between those with access to the Internet and those without narrowed, the lowest income countries fell behind because they improved at a slower rate than other countries and much slower than last year.
  • Internet connections in low-income countries increased by marginal 0.8 per cent compared to 65.1 per cent last year.
  • More than half (52.2 per cent) of respondents said they are not confident about their online privacy.
  • Majority of respondents (74.4 per cent) think the Internet has been the most effective tool for finding jobs

The report highlights that there are demonstrable benefits from comprehensive female e-inclusion policies, digital skills programmes and targets for women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

ICAR and CSIR sign MoU for working together on Food and Agriculture

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed an MoU to collaborate in the area of food and agriculture.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

  • Both ICAR and CSIR will work together on mutually agreed areas of agri-foods, medicinal and aromatic plants, nutraceuticals, precision agriculture, big data analysis, use of artificial intelligence, genetic modifications in cotton, application of sensors in agriculture, post-harvest management and agricultural mechanisation.
  • The network of  Krishi Vigyan Kendras of ICAR would be utilised for technology demonstration and dissemination.
  • The MoU also proposes a joint working committee to deliberate and formulate the collaborative programmes and will meet four times a year.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation headquartered at New Delhi and works under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Earlier known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research is the apex body in India for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a contemporary R&D organization of the government of India and is known for its cutting edge R&D knowledgebase.

CSIR was established by the Government of India in September of 1942 as an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology. CSIR activities cover a wide spectrum of science and technology from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.

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