Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 18th October 2019


India trails in Global Hunger Index

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

India trails in Global Hunger Index

Context

  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019 has ranked India a lowly 102 among the 117 countries it has mapped.
  • In 2018, India was pegged at 103 but last year 119 countries were mapped. So while the rank is one better this year, in reality, India is not better off in comparison to the other countries. 
  • On the whole, the 2019 GHI report has found that the number of hungry people has risen from 785 million in 2015 to 822 million. 

About the Global Hunger Index

  • The GHI has been brought out almost every year by Welthungerhilfe (lately in partnership with Concern Worldwide) since 2000; this year’s report is the 14th one. 
  • The reason for mapping hunger is to ensure that the world achieves “Zero Hunger by 2030” — one of the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the United Nations. 
  • It is for this reason that GHI scores are not calculated for certain high-income countries.
  • While in common parlance hunger is understood in terms of food deprivation, in a formal sense it is calculated by mapping the level of calorie intake. 

About India’s score

  • Among the BRICS grouping, India is ranked the worst, with China at 25 and a score of just 6.5. 
  • Within South Asia, too, India is behind every other country. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan (in that order) are all ahead of India.
  • With an overall score of 30.3, India finds itself sandwiched between Niger (score 30.2, rank 101) and Sierra Leone (score 30.4, rank 103). 
  • The pace of India’s improvement has been relatively slow comparatively with other countries in the index.
  • Even though India has improved its score, many others have done more and that explains why despite achieving relatively fast economic growth since 2000, India has not been able to make commensurate strides in reducing hunger.

Reasons behind

  • The percentage of children under the age of 5 years suffering from wasting has gone up from 16.5 in 2010 to 20.8 now. 
  • Wasting is indicative of acute undernutrition and India is the worst among all countries on this parameter.
  • Its child stunting rate, 37.9 percent, is also categorized as very high in terms of its public health significance.
  • In India, just 9.6 percent of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet. 

About the Index

  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
  • GHI is released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington in association with Concern Worldwide of Ireland and Welthungerhilfe (German non-profit organization).
  • The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.
  • GHI is calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
  • It scores on a 100-point GHI Severity Scale, where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the chronic undernutrition. 
  • Values less than 10 reflect low hunger, values from 20 to 34.9 indicate serious hunger; values from 35 to 49.9 are alarming, and values of 50 or more are extremely alarming. 

About the Indicators

  • Undernourishment: the share of the population that is undernourished (caloric intake is insufficient);
  • Child Wasting: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
  • Child Stunting: The share of children under the age of five who are stunted (low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and
  • Child Mortality: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

Source: The Hindu.


TB cases see decrease in India

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

TB cases see decrease in India

Context

  • The tuberculosis incidence rate in India has decreased by almost 50,000 patients over the past one year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)-2019 edition of the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report.
  • The report notes that in 2017, India had 27.4 lakh TB patients which came down to 26.9 lakh in 2018.

Background

  • Incidence per 1,00,000 population has decreased from 204 in 2017 to 199 in 2018.
  • The number of patients being tested for rifampicin resistance has increased from 32% in 2017 to 46% in 2018.
  • And the treatment success rate has increased to 81% for new and relapse cases (drug-sensitive) in 2017, which was 69% in 2016.
  • The report provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in the response at global, regional and country levels for India.

Highlights

  • TB remains the top infectious killer in the world claiming over 4,000 lives a day.
  • This report presents progress towards targets set at the first-ever United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on TB in 2018 as well as the targets of the WHO End TB Strategy and Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Meanwhile, the India TB-Report 2019 notes that India is closest ever to covering all TB cases through the online notification system (NIKSHAY).
  • With the aim of universal access to free diagnostics and treatment services, state-of-the-art diagnostic tests and quality assured drugs have been extended to all patients seeking TB care.

Source: The Hindu.


FATF may keep Pakistan on grey list

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.

 FATF may keep Pak. on grey list

Context

  • Pakistan could escape being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but the international watchdog on terror finance is likely to issue strong warnings to it and keeping the country on the grey list.
  • ATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) discussed Pakistan’s actions for countering terror financing and anti-money laundering (CFT/AML). 

Background

  • Diplomatic sources stressed that no decision on Pakistan’s listing had been taken as yet, and would only decide whether to continue keeping Pakistan on the grey list or downgrade it to the blacklist.
  • China, Turkey, and Malaysia were ranged against blacklisting Pakistan.
  • The latest mutual evaluation report by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on CFT and AML released on October 14 assigned a national risk-rating of ‘medium’ to Pakistan.
  • The report said that since February 2018, Pakistan had taken positive actions against these organizations “but UNSCR 1267 is not being fully implemented
  • Pakistan faced significant risks of terrorist financing both from legitimate and illegitimate sources as well as weak, or no, regulation/supervision of certain sectors. 

About FATF

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.
  • It is a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Source: The Hindu. 


For FMCG, rural growth worst in 7 years

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy.

Context

  • For the first time in seven years, rural growth has fallen below that of urban for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, whose sales are often looked upon as a barometer of overall economic growth and consumption due to the range and reach of products across price points.
  • Rural market grew at 5% in the quarter ended September 30, lower than the urban market’s growth rate of 8%.
  • For the rural market, this is a sharp fall considering it grew at 20% in the corresponding quarter last year.

Background

  • Rural India contributes about 36% to the overall FMCG sales and has historically been growing around 300 to 500 basis points faster than urban.
  • This has been on account of increasing affordability, availability and conversion of the commodity to branding resulting in higher demand. However, in recent periods, rural growth is slowing down at a much faster rate compared to urban.
  • Rural growth took a hit primarily due to high rural inflation, lowest annual wage hike since 2009 and floods in as many as 13 states leading to crop loss and thereby farm income. 

About FMCG

  • FMCG is a classic case of low margin and high volume business. 
  • It is one of the fastest developing sectors in the Indian economy.
  • It is the fourth largest sector in the Indian economy.
  • Food products lead the segment with 43 percent of the overall market whereas personal care (22 percent) and fabric care (12 percent) comes next in terms of market share.
  • Changing lifestyles, growing awareness and increased incomes for middle-class families have been the key factors for the growth of this industry. 

Reasons behind

  • The growth of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) can mainly be attributed to the increase in the purchasing power of the Indian population and its sizeable youth population.
  • There has been an increase in disposable incomes both in the urban cities as well as in rural India.
  • Rural areas are expected to be the major driver for the FMCG industry as rural areas saw a growth of 16 percent against 12 percent rise in urban areas.
  • Companies are working towards creating specific products specially targeted for the rural market. 
  • Rural demand is set to rise with rising incomes and greater awareness of brands.
  • The growth of eCommerce too is greatly contributing to its growth. 

Challenges

  • India’s FMCG market is highly fragmented which is a contrast to that in U.S where it is dominated by a few big players.
  • Therefore, launching and growing market share around a product poses tremendous challenges.
  • Initially, a huge amount of money is invested in promotion and advertising and image building. 
  • This is very important for a market like in India where there are many players for the same product.
  • Also, the Indian population wants a better return value for their investment. 
  • So the game really lies in setting up a price point.
  • Setting up logistics and distribution chains also possesses difficult challenges that are being tackled by constructing and increasing the existing network of railways and roadways and other modes of transportation for easy transportation for goods throughout the country.

Source: The Hindu. 


Britain clinches Brexit deal with EU

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.

Image result for Britain Clinches Brexit deal with EU

Context

  • Britain secured a Brexit deal with the European Union more than three years after Britons voted to leave the bloc, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson must still win a knife-edge vote in Parliament to get the agreement approved.

Backdoor conundrum

  • The conundrum was how to prevent the frontier from becoming a backdoor into the EU’s single market without erecting checkpoints that could undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of conflict in the province.
  • The agreement will keep Northern Ireland in the U.K. customs area, but tariffs will apply to goods crossing from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland if they are headed to Ireland and into the bloc’s single market.
  • The agreement scraps the “backstop”, a mechanism envisaged earlier to prevent a hard border being introduced on the island of Ireland, and would have bound Britain to some EU rules.

Source: The Hindu.

 

Map of the Day–Great Britain 

Image result for great britain map

Quote for the Day


“A great man is different from an eminent one is that he is ready to be the servant of the society” – Dr B R Ambedkar

Mains Answer Writing


1.What are the factors that impede India’s growth as a manufacturing hub? Suggest measures to overcome those challenges. (250 words).
2.Should India join Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership mooted by ASEAN. Critically analyze. (250 words).
3.In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (250 words).

 

Test your Knowledge


1.Consider the following statements 
1.The GHI has been brought out almost every year by Welthungerhilfe (lately in partnership with Concern Worldwide) since 2000.
2.Among the BRICS grouping, Bangladesh is ranked the worst.
3.GHI scores on a 100-point GHI Severity Scale, where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the chronic undernutrition. 

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above


2. Consider the following statements:

1.Child Wasting is the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition).
2.Child Stunting is the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition).
3.Child Mortality is the mortality rate of children under the age of five (a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 


3. Consider the following statements:

1.The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989.
2.It is an initiative of the G20.
3.The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 


4.Consider the following statements:

1.FMCG is a classic case of low margin and high volume business. 
2.It is the fourth largest sector in the Indian economy.
3.Urban areas are expected to be the major driver for the FMCG industry as urban areas saw a growth of 16 percent against 12 percent rise in rural areas.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 


5.Which of the following does not border Ireland?

a.Atlantic Ocean
b.Celtic Sea
c.North Sea
d.Irish Sea
 

Answers

  1. C 2.A 3.C 4.A 5.C