National Current Affairs

India inks $120 million loan agreement with World Bank to fund improved water supply in Uttarakhand

India has signed $120 million loan agreement with multilateral lending agency World Bank to help increase access to improved water supply services in peri-urban areas in Uttarakhand. The agreement was signed between Government of India, Government of Uttarakhand and World Bank Board.

Key Facts

The loan amount will be used for Uttarakhand Water Supply Program for Peri-Urban Areas to help state to increase water supply coverage as well as ensure sustainable water supply service delivery in peri-urban areas.  The program will develop and implement service-oriented and efficient water supply policy for peri-urban areas, strengthen current monitoring and evaluation systems. It will also provide dedicated incentives for preparation and adoption of water supply ‘master-plans’ in peri-urban areas.


Population growth and urbanization has led to rise of significant peri-urban areas mostly in the plain regions of Uttarakhand. They are still classified as rural but are effectively urban in nature in terms of density of population, structure of economy and aspirations of the people.

It has resulted in actual disconnect between formal classification of these populated areas and their actual nature, including provision of water supply, along with unique governance, infrastructure, and service delivery challenges. From 2001 to 2011, the state’s urban population has grown by nearly 42%, which is substantially higher than national average of 32%. State has made significant strides in piloting and implementing various innovative approaches in water supply and sanitation services but in peri-urban areas have not been prime focus.


India ranked 81st on Global Index of Talent Competitiveness

India was ranked 81st among 118 countries in 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list.  India has improved its position from 92nd last year. The index measures ability of countries to compete for talent i.e. how countries grow, attract and retain talent. It is produced by global business school INSEAD in partnership with Adecco Group and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) of Singapore.

Key Facts

Top Countries: Switzerland is followed by Singapore and US. European countries dominate top ranks, with 15 out of the top 25 places. Developed, high-income countries are still the global talent champions while Zurich, Stockholm and Oslo take the top spots in the GTI cities’ ranking.

BRICS countries: India’s ranking was last among the five BRICS countries in 2017. China has moved up to 43rd now, Russia to 53rd, South Africa to 63rd and Brazil to 73rd position.

India faces serious risk of worsening brain drain. In terms of formal Education, India ranks 67th and in Lifelong Learning it ranks 37th. In terms of pool of Global Knowledge Skills (63rd) is solid compared with other emerging markets. India also has plenty of room for improvement is in minimising brain drain while achieving brain gain by luring back some of its talented diaspora members as iit ranks 98th in the Attract pillar and in retaining its own talent it ranks 99th.