Expected Most Important Topics for UPSC - 2018 (Part - 2) (Download PDF)


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Trade & Development report 2017 - Trade & Development report 2017 was recently released by United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The report pegs India’s rate at 6.7 % in 2017, down from 7 % in 2016.

  • In its recent report titled Beyond austerity towards a global new deal, it states that India, China unlikely to be growth poles for global economy.

World Economic Situation and Prospectus 2017 Report

  • The report is a jointly published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  • It is the flagship report on the state of global economy.

  • It states that, India is set to see the growth accelerating to 7.2 % in 2018 - 19 and 7.4 % in 2019 - 20, up from 6.7 % in 2017 - 18.

World Investment Report, 2017

  • It has been published annually since 1991 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  • It covers the latest trends in foreign direct investment around the World.

  • According to 2017 report, India ranked 10th in terms of FDI inflows in 2016, with $44 billion coming in, as in 2015.

Global Education Monitoring Report

  • It is prepared by UNESCO.

  • Previously it known as the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, which highlighted the failure to achieve the six Education for All (EFA) goals agreed upon at the World Education Forum at Dakar (2000) by 2015.

  • GEM report was launched in 2016 following the adoption of 2030 Agenda for SDG to monitor progress towards the education targets in the new SDG framework.

  • India ranks 105th out of 128 countries.

UNICEF Report - Neonatal Deaths

  • The released UNICEF report states that over 6,00,000 children died within the first month of their birth in 2016.

  • The country’s neonatal mortality rate at 25.4 deaths per 1,000 live births makes it 12thworst among 52 ―lower middle - income countries that pose risk for newborns.

  • The causes for the death are preventable and treatable as 80 % of these fatalities happen for no serious reason.

  • India is currently not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal target for neonatal mortality of 12 by 2030.

World Migration Report 2018

  • International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency has recently published ―World Migration Report 2018 during IOM council, held at Geneva.

  • This report is the ninth in IOM’s World Migration Report (WMR) series and the first since IOM became the UN Migration Agency.

  • OM is an inter-governmental organization, established in 1951.

  • It works in the field of migration with governmental, intergovernmental and non - governmental partners.

  • The organisation has 166 member countries (including India) and 8 observer state.


  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is an UN specialized agency, through its Market Based Measure implements Carbon Offsetting and Reporting Scheme for International Aviation, popularly called CORSIA.

  • CORSIA is a market based measure for international aviation to measure carbon emissions.

  • Recently, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed hope that India will join the Carbon Offsetting and Reporting Scheme for International Aviation, popularly called CORSIA.

Glob al Enabling trade Report

  • It is published by WEF and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation.

  • It features the Enabling Trade Index, which evaluates economies based on their capacity to facilitate the flow of goods over borders and to their destination.

  • The Index measures the factors, policies and services that facilitate the trade in goods across borders and to destination.

  • India ranks 102nd out of 136 countries.

Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report

  • It is prepared by WEF.

  • Index ranked on their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy.

  • It highlights key trends in the energy transition moving towards more sustainable, affordable and secure energy systems around the world, as well as the challenges countries continue to face, individually and as cohorts.

  • Top 3 Countries are Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

  • India has marginally improved its position to 87th out of 127 countries, but ranks among the worst for pollution.

Global Innovation Index

  • The index is released by Cornell University US, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and INSEAD (a France based International Business School).

  • It ranks 130 world economies according to their innovation capabilities using more than 80 indicators from patent filings to education spending.

  • India currently ranks 60th out of 130 countries on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017 as compared to 66th rank in 2016 and 81st rank in 2015.

  • China is the first middle - income country that entered the top 25 ranking.

Intellectual Property Index

  • The index is published by US Chamber of Commerce.

  • The index evaluates the intellectual property environment in 50 world economies and grades countries on patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, enforcement, and international treaties.

  • The US tops this year (2018) list, followed by United Kingdom and Sweden.

  • India ranked at 44th out of 50 countries in 2018, sixth edition of the index.

  • India’s rank jumped from 43rd of 45 economies a year ago both in relative and absolute terms.

Gender Inequality Index

  • It is computed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

  • It uses three dimensions:

    • Reproductive Health

    • Empowerment

    • Labor Market Participation

  • India ranked 131 out of 18 8 countries in 2016.

Global Gender Gap Index

  • It is published by World Economic Forum.

  • It measures progress towards parity between men and women in

    • Economy

    • Education

    • Health

    • Political representation

  • The index lies between 0 and 1, with 1 denoting complete parity and 0, complete inequality.

  • In its recent (2017) report, India has been ranked 108 out of 144 countries in the recent report.

  • The country rankings allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups.

Global Slavery Index

  • It is published by the Australia - based human rights group Walk Free Foundation.

  • It includes data on three key variables:

    • Prevalence of modern slavery in each country

    • Vulnerability

    • Government responses to modern slavery

  • India has been ranked 4th out of 167 countries.

  • The top three countries were North Korea, Uzbekistan and Cambodia.

  • In 2016, it was deemed to have some 18.3 million people trapped in slavery.

  • Now about 1.4 % of the population working under coercive conditions.

Social Progress Index

  • It is released by the Social Progress Imperative, a non - profit US organization.

  • It measures the development of the country based on the social and environmental measures provided by the country to its citizens.

  • The list is topped by Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, while India is at 93rd position.

  • India also scored poorly on incidences of those under 18 who experienced sexual violence.

  • India’s performance on health - related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Index is the worst among BRICS nations.

Global Terrorism Index

  • The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is a report published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a think tank based in Sydney, Australia.

  • Two third of the countries experienced a terrorist attack in 2016.

  • India is one among the ten most impacted countries by terrorism.

  • It ranked 8 out of 163 countries.

  • Five countries account for three quarters of all deaths from terrorism: Iraq (topped the list), Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan

Corruption Perception Index

  • It is published by Transparency International, an international non - governmental organization based in Berlin.

  • India’s rank on the Corruption Perception Index fell two notches to 81 in 2017 from 79 in 2016.

  • New Zealand was the least corrupt and Somalia was the most.

  • The 2017 index revealed — despite attempts to combat corruption, most countries were moving too slowly with their effort.

  • It also highlighted that India is a worst regional offender of press freedom in Asia Pacific, according to Corruption Perception Index.

Press freedom Index

  • It is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters without Borders (RWB).

  • Norway is at the apex and North Korea at the bottom of the 180 - strong lists of nations.

  • India ranks 136 out of 180 countries moving down from the 133rd position in 2016.

  • The report blames the rise of Hindu nationalism for the drop in ranking.

  • Neighbouring countries:

    • China - 176

    • Pakistan - 139

    • Bangladesh - 146

    • Sri Lanka - 141

    • Afghanistan - 120

    • Nepal - 100

    • Bhutan – 8

Widening Gaps - India Inequality Report, 2018

  • It is released by Oxfam India.

  • The report has revealed the extent of inequality in the country.

  • It has been pointed out that while inequality was stagnant in the 1980s, it started to increase since 1991, and continues to surge at present.

  • It highlighted that the wealth of the India’s Billionaires (totally 101 in 2017) was 10 % of GDP in 2013 and has subsequently rose rapidly to about 15 % currently.

  • Also, a large share of wealth of the richest lot has been attributed to crony capitalism rather than to innovation or the fair rules of the market.

Global Retirement Security Ranking 2017

  • Recently, the fifth annual Global Retirement Index ranking from Natixis Global Asset Management was released.

  • The ranking creates an overall retirement security score for each country from 18 performance indicators that address finances, health care, material well - being, and quality of life.

  • Norway has topped the ranking, followed by Switzerland and Iceland.

  • India ranked 43rd place with no change from the previous year rank.

  • USA and Austria saw the biggest annual declines in the year.

Passport Index

  • The index ranks passports worldwide based on the cross - border access a holder has.

  • It was developed by Canada based global consultancy Arton Capital.

  • In its new ranking, Singapore has the world’s most powerful passport which allows travel to 159 countries either without a visa or visa on arrival.

  • It is the first time that an Asian country has occupied the first place in the index.

  • Germany listed in second place with its citizens able to visit 158 countries.

  • India has improved its ranking to 75th position from 78th last year.

World Wealth Report

  • It is released by New World Wealth, global wealth intelligence and Market Research Company.

  • It ranked the wealthiest countries in the world as of June 2016 in terms of total individual wealth held.

  • According to a report, U. S is the wealthiest in the world in terms of total individual wealth held ( $48,900 billion).

  • China stood second and Japan third, with total individual wealth of $17,400 billion and USD 15,100 billion respectively.

  • India is the seventh wealthiest country in the world with a total individual wealth of $5,600 billion.

  • Mumbai 12th wealthiest City in the world.

  • The list of 15 wealthiest cities was topped by New York with a total wealth of $3 trillion.

Global Democracy Index

  • The index is compiled by the UK based Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU).

  • The index ranks on the basis of five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

  • India has slipped to 42nd place on an annual Global Democracy Index.

  • India has moved down from 32nd place last year and remains classified among ― flawed democracies.

SIPRI Report

  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

  • It recently released report stated that India was the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2013 – 17.

  • U. S. became the second largest arms exporter to India next to Russia.

  • Russia accounted for 62 % of India’s arms imports between 2013 and 2017.

  • India’s arms import accounted for 12 % of the global total.

Annual Survey of India’s City - Systems (ASICS) 2017

  • The survey was carried out by the NGO Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.

  • It broadly looks at urban planning and design, capacity and resources of Urban Local Bodies, the degree of empowerment of the civic body, and processes for transparency and citizen participation.

  • The survey uses 150 parameters to judge 23 cities, which has placed Pune at the top and Bangalore at the bottom of the rankings.

  • Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation or Smart City program, Surat, Ahmedabad and Pune shored up revenues and implemented better auditing.

India VIX

  • India Volatility Index (VIX) is released by National Stock Exchange (NSE).

  • It measures the degree of volatility or fluctuation that active traders expect in the Nifty 50 over the next 30 days.

  • It is a good indicator of whether participants in stocks are feeling fearful or satisfied about the near future.

  • The NIFTY 50 index is NSE’s benchmark stock market index for Indian equity market.

  • NIFTY is owned and managed by India Index Services and Products (IISL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NSE.

Public Affairs Index

  • Two South Indian States - Kerala and Tamil Nadu - secured first and second rankings for the second year in a row in public affairs index (PAI) in governance in States.

  • The report was based on a wide range of themes such as essential infrastructure, support to human development, social protection, women and children, crime, law and order, delivery of justice, environment, transparency and economic freedom.

  • Punjab is the best performer among all States in the category of essential infrastructure.

  • In human development, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Punjab are top of the table.

  • Kerala, Assam and Madhya Pradesh secured top three ranks in implementation of social protection policies.

Healthcare access and quality ranking

  • The latest Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study was published in the medical journal. The Lancet with the rankings for healthcare access and quality (HAQ).

  • The Global Burden of Dis eases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study is done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

  • In the case of neonatal mortality, India scored 14/100.

  • Access to tuberculosis treatment in India was scored 26/100.

  • It is lower than Pakistan (29), Congo (30) and Djibouti (29).

  • For diabetes, chronic kidney diseases, and congenital heart diseases, India scored 38,20, and 45, respectively.

Multidimensional Poverty Status

  • A survey conducted by Oxford finds that the country’s 217 million children, nearly 50 % endure multidimensional poverty.

  • About 31 % of the world’s ―multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

  • In terms of the number of such multidimensionally poor children as a proportion of the total population, India stood 37th among 103 countries.

  • A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one - third of ten indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

Global E - waste Monitor 2017 - report

  • The Global E - waste Monitor report is a joint effort of the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations University (UNU) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

  • According to the report, the highest per capita e - waste generators (at 17.3 kg per inhabitant) were Australia, New Zealand and the other the nations of Oceania, with only 6 % formally collected and recycled.

  • Europe (including Russia) is the second largest generator of e - waste per inhabitant with an average of 16.6 kg per inhabitant.

  • Asia generates only about one third of America’s e - waste per capita.

Environmental Performance Index, 2018

  • EPI is a biennial report by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum.

  • The report ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators.

  • Switzerland leads the world in sustainability, followed by France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden in the recent EPI.

  • India ranks 177 among 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index 2018.

  • India is among the bottom 5 countries on the index, at 177th place.

India - World’s Most Disaster - Prone Country

  • According to the data published by UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and Norwegian refugee council, India tops the list of Disaster - Prone Countries with highest displacement of people.

  • India is followed by China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, and the USA.

  • In India, on an average annual displacement of 2.3 million is taken place due to calamities such as floods, cyclone or earthquakes.

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 - 2030 is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005 - 2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.

Climate Change Performance Index

  • The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is an annual publication by German watch and Climate Action Network Europe.

  • It evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU, which are together responsible for more than 90 % of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.

  • Sweden ranks fourth in this year’s CCPI, following the empty top three.

  • India is ranked 14th in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018.

  • China, with its high emissions and growing energy use over the past five years, still ranks 41.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

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