- World Bank’s Human Capital Index 2018
- Singapore has emerged top among 157 countries in the inaugural World Bank Human Capital Index.
- North-central African nation Chad is ranked the lowest among the countries at 157, with four countries from the continent among the bottom five: South Sudan (156), Niger (155), Mali (154), and Liberia (153).
- The theme of the World Development Report is “The Changing Nature of Work”
- The government of India rejected the findings of the World Bank’s Human Capital Index which has placed the country at 115th position out of 157 countries.
Human Capital Index
- The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries.
- It claims to seek to measure the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18.
The HCI has three components
- Survival, as measured by under-5 mortality rates.
- Expected years of Quality-Adjusted School which combines information on the quantity and quality of education.
- Health environment using two proxies of (a) adult survival rates and (b) the rate of stunting for children under age 5.
The key observations regarding HCI for India in the Report are as under
- Human Capital Index: A child born in India today will be only 44 percent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.
- The HCI in India for females is marginally better than that for males.
- The probability of Survival to Age 5: 96 out of 100 children born in India survive to age 5.
- Expected Years of School: In India, a child who starts school at age 4 can expect to complete 10.2 years of school by her 18th birthday.
- Harmonized Test Scores: Students in India score 355 on a scale where 625 represents advanced attainment and 300 represents minimum attainment.
- Learning-adjusted Years of School: Factoring in what children actually learn, expected years of school is only 5.8 years.
- Gender Differences: In India, HCI for girls is marginally higher than for boys.
- Clear Sky 2018: Ukraine Launches Air Exercises With NATO Countries
- It is an air force exercises with the United States and other NATO countries.
- The “Clear Sky 2018” war games are being held in western Ukraine.
- The aim is to enhance regional capabilities to secure air sovereignty and promote peace and security through cooperation.
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries.
- NATO constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
- NATO Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium.
Source- The Hindu
- Cabinet approves India-Finland agreement on environmental cooperation
- The Union Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Finland on environmental cooperation.
- This memorandum will bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environmental protection
- It also helps in better conservation, and better management of climate change and wildlife protection/conservation in the country.
- The areas of cooperation under this Memorandum of Cooperation shall include:
(a) Air and water pollution prevention and purification
(b) Remediation of contaminated soils
(c) Waste management including hazardous wastes and waste-to-energy technologies
- It helps to enhance sustainable management of natural resources including forests, climate change, environmental and forest monitoring
- It also helps in improving the Integrated water management of oceanic/sea island
Source- Indian Express
- 21% of Indian children are under-weight: Global Hunger Index
- India has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in the Index.
- The report released by Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute.
Result in the Context of India
- At least one in five Indian children under the age of five are wasted means they have the extremely low weight for their height, reflecting acute under-nutrition.
- The only country with a higher prevalence of child wasting is the war-torn nation of South Sudan
- India’s ranking has dropped three places from last year.
- Four main indicators are used to calculate hunger levels in the report
- The first indicator is undernourishment, which is the share of the population which is undernourished and reflects insufficient caloric intake.
- The next three indicators use data for children under five.
- Child wasting (low weight for height),
- Reflecting acute under-nutrition
- Child stunting (low height for age)
- Reflecting on chronic under-nutrition
- Child mortality.
- Globally, the level of hunger still falls into the “serious” category, despite improvement over the last two decades.
- The Index projects that at the current rate of progress, 50 countries will fail to reach the “low” hunger category by 2030.
- This puts the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2, which aims to end hunger by 2030, in jeopardy.
Source- The Hindu
- Fourth Industrial Revolution, expansion of AI will lead to better healthcare
- Fourth Industrial Revolution and the expansion of Artificial Intelligence will lead to better health care, and reduce expenditure on health said by PM.
- India launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi.
- The WEF is setting up a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Maharashtra.
- The other centers are in San Francisco, USA, Japan, and China. Artificial intelligence, blockchain and drones are the first three projects of the center in India.
- WEF will work in collaboration with the NITI Aayog, business leaders, academia and start-ups in these projects.
- The fourth Industrial revolution is driven by digital technology and India is on track to adopt digital technology in every aspect of governance.
- This will help the country to leapfrog into the global supply chain.
- Recently launched Digi yatra by the Ministry of Civil Aviation as an example of India’s vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society.
- 32nd India – Indonesia coordinated patrol (CORPAT)
- 32nd edition of India – Indonesia coordinated patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) is beginning in Indonesia.
- This emphasizes India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain, consolidate interoperability.
- It also helps in strengthen existing bonds of friendship between the two countries.
- It will help to ensure the PM vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
Source- The Hindu
- Power Bat: Harnessing technology to enhance the fan experience
- Spektacom Technologies, the start-up by former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble, Microsoft Corp and broadcast partner Star India introduced the Power Bat.
- This bat (tools) will provide players, coaches, commentators, fans, and viewers a completely new and unique way to engage with cricket and improve their game.
- The Power Bat is powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
- Power Bat is a unique concept whereby a lightweight, Azure Sphere-powered sticker is stuck on the shoulder of the bat.
- As soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters (speed, twist, and quality of the shot) are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks.
- Power Bat first used in the TNPL and Star India used it in a recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the ground.
Source- Indian Express
- Amnesty scheme: Over 900 inmates released from jails
- Home Ministry announced the first phase of Amnesty scheme to release over 900 prisoners from jails across India under an amnesty scheme announced as part of the year-long celebration to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- In the second and third phase, prisoners will be released on April 6, 2019, and October 2, 2019.
- The states and UTs have been advised to hold a week-long special function at all prison premises based on the teachings of the Mahatma before the dates specified for the release of prisoners.
- The special remission scheme is not available to prisoners who have been convicted for an offense for which the sentence awarded is death.
- It is also not available to the death sentence which has been commuted to life imprisonment.
- Cases of convicts involved in heinous crimes.
- New Horizons mission: NASA
- NASA’s New Horizons probe is on course to fly by the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, which is at a distance of 6.6 billion kilometers from Earth.
- This event will set the record for the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.
About New Horizons Mission:
- This mission was launched on 19 January 2006 and has been traveling through space for the past nine years.
- Just over a year after launch, it passed Jupiter and used the giant world’s gravity to boost its velocity, as well as making scientific observations.
- The mission will complete what NASA calls the reconnaissance of the classical solar system, and it makes the U.S. the first nation to send a space probe to every planet from Mercury to Pluto.
- New Horizon’s core science mission is to map the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, to study Pluto’s atmosphere and to take temperature readings.
About Kuiper Belt
- The Kuiper belt sometimes called the Edgeworth–Kuiper belt is a region of the Solar System beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune from the Sun.
- It is similar to the asteroid belt, but it is far larger and massive than the asteroid.
Source- The Hindu