EIU Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

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).

Democracy Index 2019 : Key Facts

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the Democracy Index which ranks 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories.

The categories considered for the index are electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.

The index classifies each country either as a full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian.

Highlights of the Democracy Index

The important findings of the democracy index are:

  • Only 4.5% of the world’s people live in a full democracy.
  • The overall global score remained stable in 2018 for the first time in three years.
  • 42 countries experienced a decline in their index score compared with 89 in 2017 and 48 countries have improved their score.
  • The Index notes that threats to democracy around the world have become increasingly obvious. The Arab spring fizzled, China’s leader is poised to rule for life, Populists with autocratic tendencies have won elections in the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico. Democratic institutions have been subverted in Hungary, Turkey and Poland.
  • The subversion of the democratic institutions have become so glaring that strongmen in different countries often copy each other’s tactics, sound bites and voters have become scapegoats.
  • Political participation is the most improved category in the index.

Rankings of the Countries

The countries rankings are highlighted below:

  • Australia and New Zealand are the only “full democracies” in the entire Asia-Pacific region
  • Eight countries Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Timor-Leste, Ethiopia, North Korea, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka which have the word “democratic in full titles were not fully democratic.
  • India was at the 41st place with a score of 7.23/10 and was placed in the flawed democracies category.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, which is a British multinational media company headquartered in London. It provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports, and industry reports. It publishes a number of reports each year focussing on current issues affecting specific countries, regions and industries.