Current Affairs – January 2018

Teen Murti Chowk renamed after Israeli city Haifa

The iconic Teen Murti Chowk in central New Delhi was renamed as Teen Murti-Haifa after Israeli City Haifa in solemn ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

The idea of renaming Teen Murti road and chowk after Haifa was proposed in New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) council meeting during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017. This year marks the centenary year of Battle for Haifa. The renaming of the iconic war memorial is aimed at being symbolic gesture of India’s friendship with Israel.

Teen Murti Chowk

Teen Murti Chowk was named to mark role of the three cavalry regiments. The three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade in British Indian Army. The brigade had carried out victorious assault on fortified city of Haifa also known as Battle for Haifa on September 23, 1918, during World War I.

There are various accounts of this heroic battle – all narrate valour with which lancers undertook assault on garrisoned city protected by joint force of Ottomans, Germany and Austria-Hungary. The liberation of Haifa cleared supply route for Allies (Britain, France and Italy) to city through sea. 44 Indian soldiers made ultimate sacrifice during liberation of the city in WW I.

Till date, 61 Cavalry celebrates September 23 as its Raising Day or “Haifa Day” to respect soldiers who lost their lives in battle and to mark end of 400 years of Turkish control over the city.


Delhi is richest state, Jain wealthiest community: NFHS-4 wealth index

According to wealth index released on basis of data from fourth round of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-4) Delhi is richest state and Jain wealthiest community in the country.

The NFHS-4 was conducted among more than 6 lakh households in 2015-16. It was largest sample size and was carried out just couple of years ago that provided useful source of information in analysing India’s socio-economic landscape.

Wealth index

The wealth index as part of NFHS-4 was prepared on basis of information of scores on ownership of consumer goods such as television and bicycles and household characteristics such as availability of clean drinking water.

This information was used to classify all households into wealth quintiles. Those in lowest quintile were poorest 20%, while those in top were richest 20% of lot. The report then used these quintile scores to classify population for states, caste and religious groups and rural-urban areas into each quintile.

Key Facts

State wise wealth Distribution: Delhi and Punjab are richest states with over 60% of their households in the top wealth quintile. They are followed by Goa with 54.5% households in top bracket. Bihar is poorest state half of its households in the bottom quintile. Rajasthan has most equitable wealth distribution with similar number of households in all quintiles.

Wealth distribution in religious groups: Jains are the most prosperous religious community in India with 70% of its population in the top quintile. Only 1.5% of Jain households fall in lowest two quintiles. Sikhs follow next, with 59.6% of their people in the top wealth quintile. Hindus and Muslims have similar and also most equitable wealth distribution across all quintiles.

Community wise wealth distribution: Upper castes in India have almost double families in top quintile as compared to any other caste. Scheduled tribes are the poorest with 45.9% of their people in lowest quintile.

Rural and Urban wealth: Poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon in India. 29% of rural India belongs to bottom quintile, while it is just 3.3% for urban India. 29% of the rural population has wealth levels equivalent to bottom 20% of the country’s population.

Concern: High levels of income and wealth inequality are matter of great concern in India. NFHS-4 statistics on disparity in wealth-holdings across various categories shows that there cannot be one size fits all policy if the government is serious about addressing this problem.