1. World Bank increases India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.9% for 2022-23
The World Bank has forecasted 6.9% growth rate for the Indian economy in 2022-23, saying the economy was showing higher resilience to global shocks. In October, it had cut India's GDP growth forecast to 6.5 percent from 7.5 percent earlier.
In its India Development Update released on 6 December 2022, the World Bank said the revision was due to higher resilience of the Indian economy to global shocks and better-than-expected second quarter numbers.
India's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 8.7 percent in the previous 2021-22 financial year.
In the second quarter of 2022-23 (July-September) fiscal year it grew by 6.3%.
The Reserve Bank of India expects the Indian economy to grow by 7 % in 2022-23.
2. India to become 8th largest advertising market in 2023; GroupM
India is expected to overtake Brazil become the eighth-largest advertising market in 2023, according to GroupM’s global end-of-year forecast.
In 'This Year, Next Year 2022' report, GroupM has ranked India as the ninth-largest advertising market globally.
It says India's total advertising revenue in 2022 has grown by 15.8% to touch $14.9 billion, led by growth in pure-play digital advertising. In 2023, it is expected to grow by 16.8%
According to the report, the retail media in India is estimated at $551 million in 2022 and is expected to nearly double by 2027. TV advertising, representing 36% of the advertising market share, is expected to grow 10.8% this year and continue growing double digits, driven by strong growth in both traditional and connected TV.
Top Advertising market in the world
The United States is the largest advertising market in the world followed by (2) China, (3) Japan, (4) the United Kingdom, (5) Germany, (6) France, (7) Canada, (8) Brazil and (9th) India.
3. HAL and BEL in the top 100 defence companies list of SIPRI
Two Indian government owned defence companies Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) have been included by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute((SIPRI) in its list of 100 top defence companies in the world 2021. In a report released by SIPRI on 5 December 2022 HAL was ranked 42nd with $3.3 billion in arms sales and HAL was ranked at 63rd Rank with $1.8 billion sales in 2021.
HAL is the manufacturer of fighter aircrafts like LCA Tejas, Su-30MKI, helicopters like LCH Prachand etc, and trainer aircrafts for the Indian Air Force. BEL manufactures advanced electronics equipment for the armed forces.
Last year apart from HAL and BEL, Indian Ordnance Factories were included in the top 100 defence companies.
Highlights of SIPRI report
In 2021, the total arms sales of the world’s Top 100 totalled $592 billion in 2021, marking an increase of 1.9 per cent in their arms sales compared with 2020.
The United States has 40 companies in the top 100 defence companies in the world.
The top 5 companies are all American.
China has 8 companies in the top 100 companies.
Country-wise, in the 2021 list,
- US companies topped with a share of 51 per cent of the total arms sales, followed by Chinese companies with 18 per cent,
- UK firms with 6.8 per cent, and
- French companies with 4.9 per cent share.
Russian companies garnered only 3 per cent of the global share.
India is the world’s second-biggest importer of weapons after Saudi Arabia and is also the world’s third-biggest spender on defence after the US and China.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. It is funded mainly by the Swedish Government.
It was set up in 1966
Headquarters: Solana, Sweden
4. Air Pollution second largest cause of death & disability in Bangladesh: World Bank
According to a World Bank report released on 4 December, 2022, air pollution is the second largest cause of death and disability in Bangladesh and costs about 3.9 to 4.00 percent of the country’s GDP.
According to report air pollution caused the death of between 78,000 to 88,000 thousand people in Bangladesh in 2019.
Bangladesh was ranked as the most polluted country in the world, and Dhaka as the second most polluted city each year between 2018 and 2021.
The report found that major construction sites and traffic in Dhaka have the highest levels of pollution.
In these places, particulate matter (PM2.5), which is considered the most dangerous to health, exceeds WHO air quality guidelines (AQG) by an average of 150 percent, which is equivalent to smoking about 1.7 cigarettes per day.
The second highest concentration of PM2.5 levels is found near brick kilns in Greater Dhaka, which is 136 percent above the WHO AQG – equivalent to smoking 1.6 cigarettes per day.
In Bangladesh, Dhaka is the most polluted division while Sylhet is the least polluted.
The western regions (Khulna and Rajshahi) are more polluted than the eastern ones (Sylhet and Chattogram).
Exposure to high levels of air pollution increases the risk of difficulties in breathing, cough, respiratory tract infections, depression, and other health conditions.
The World Bank report said children under five, the elderly and people with diabetes, heart or respiratory disease are most vulnerable.
5. India the first country in the world to receive $100 billion in remittances: World Bank
According to the World Bank report “Migration and Development Brief’, India is set to receive $100 billion as remittance in 2022 an increase of 12% as compared to 2021. .In 2021 India had received $89.4 billion in remittances. India is the first country in the world to receive $100 billion in remittances from migrant workers abroad.
What are remittances?
Remittance means transfers of funds. Remittances are of two types, Inward and outbound. If a person sends money to India from abroad then it is inward remittance. If a person from India sends money to a person abroad it is called outward remittance. The World Bank reports talks about inward remittances.
Thus here remittance means money that has been transferred to Indians by non-resident Indians (NRIs) employed outside the country to family, friends or relatives residing in India.
Reason for Increase in remittances to India
According to the World Bank one of the main reasons for the increase in flow of remittance to India was the wage hike and a strong labour market in the United States of America.
Highly-skilled Indian migrants living in wealthy nations such as the US, UK, and Singapore were sending more money home
Highlights of the World Bank report on Remittance to India.
- According to the World Bank there has been a significant change in the pattern of remittances and in the direction of Indian migrants' destinations.
- Earlier the migration was dominated by low skill migrants to 5 GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar). They got low wages and hence they were able to send only smaller amounts to their relatives back home.
- Now highly skilled India’s are migrating to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand where they earn high wages.
- Quoting the RBI report the World Bank says that “between 2016–17 and 2020–21, the share of remittances from the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore increased from 26 percent to over 36 percent.
- In the same time period the share from the 5 GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar) dropped from 54 to 28 percent.
- With a share of 23 percent of total remittances, the United States surpassed the United Arab Emirates as the top source country in 2020–21.
- About 20 percent of India’s emigrants are in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Other key points of the World Bank Report
India was the largest recipient of remittance in the world followed by Mexico (2nd position), China (3rd), Egypt (4th) and the Philippines (5th).
Remittances to low and middle-income countries have grown by 5% in 2022 to around $626 billion.
Barring India and Nepal. Other south Asian countries saw a decline of more than 10% in their remittances from 2021, due to the end of government incentives introduced during the pandemic.
Other Important World Bank reports
- World Development Report
- Global Economic Prospect
- Business Enabling Environment (It will replace the Ease of Doing Business report). It will be launched in April 2024.
President of World Bank: David Malpass
6. Greener cooling pathway can create a $1.6 trillion investment opportunity in India: World Bank
Recently. a report titled "Climate Investment Opportunities in India's Cooling Sector" was released by the World Bank. The report states that an investment opportunity of $1.6 trillion could open up in India by 2040.
Highlight of the report
India also has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly and create nearly 3.7 million jobs.
The report states that India is experiencing higher temperatures every year. India is likely to see a drastic reduction in the expected carbon-dioxide (CO2) levels over the next two decades.
The report states that by 2030, more than 160-200 million people across the country could be exposed to deadly heat waves annually if alternative and innovative energy-efficient technologies are not adopted.
The report states that around 34 million people in India will face job losses due to loss of productivity related to heat stress.
The World Bank has said that by 2037 the demand for cooling is expected to exceed the current level by eight times.
The current food loss due to heat during transportation of food items is close to $13 billion annually.
Thus, there is a need to shift towards a more energy-efficient route that can lead to a substantial reduction in the expected CO2 levels.
Recognizing this challenge, the World Bank said India is already implementing new strategies to help people adapt to rising temperatures.
Suggestions by the report
The report proposes a roadmap to support India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) 2019, through new investments in three major sectors like Building construction, Cold chains and Refrigerants.
The report recommends large-scale adoption of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), India's affordable housing program for the poor.
It has also been proposed to create a policy for cooling that can consume 20-30% less electricity than efficient conventional cooling solutions.
The report recommends improving the gap in the cold chain distribution network to avoid wastage of food and medicines.
7. India witnesses significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR)
As per a report released by the Registrar General of India on 30 November India has witnessed a significant decline in the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 in 2018-20 on per lakh live births.
As per the report MMR has improved further by a spectacular six points and now stands at 97 per lakh live births.
The MMR is defined as the number of maternal deaths during a given time period per one lakh live births.
India has thus met the National Health Policy target of an MMR of less than 100 per lakh live births and is on course to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of an MMR of less than 70 per lakh live births by 2030.
Three highest MMR State
Assam has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR) at 195, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 173 and Uttar Pradesh at 167 (per lakh live births).
States with lowest MMR
Kerala has the lowest MMR of 19 per lakh live births, followed by Maharashtra 33 and Telangana 43.
States which have achieved Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target
Kerala (MMR 19), followed by Maharashtra (33), Telangana (43), Andhra Pradesh (45), Tamil Nadu (54), Jharkhand (56), Gujarat (57) and Karnataka (69).
8. NITI Aayog releases study report on ‘Carbon Capture to achieve net zero emission target by 2070
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has released a report titled ‘Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage Policy Framework and its Deployment Mechanism in India’ on 29 November 2022.
The report explores the importance of Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage as an emission reduction strategy to meet the Net Zero target of India by 2070. The report outlines broad level policy interventions needed across various sectors for its application.
India’s has committed through its updated nationally determined contributions (NDC) to achieve 50% of its total installed capacity from non-fossil-based energy sources, 45% reduction in emission intensity by 2030 and taking steps towards achieving Net Zero by 2070,
It means India has to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. However the recent study suggests that India’s reliance on fossil fuel especially coal for power generation is likely to increase rather than reduce.
According to the Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery, the Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) can enable the production of clean products while still utilizing our rich endowments of coal.
Possible benefits of the CCUS
The report indicates that CCUS can provide a wide variety of opportunities to convert the captured CO2 to different value-added products like green urea, food and beverage form application, building materials (concrete and aggregates), chemicals (methanol and ethanol), polymers (including bio-plastics).
CCUS projects will also lead to a significant employment generation. It estimates that about 750 Million tonnes per annum of carbon capture by 2050 can create employment opportunities of about 8-10 million on full time equivalent (FTE) basis in a phased manner
Carbon Capture and Storage and Utilisation
Carbon Capture and Storage is the process of capturing the carbon dioxide which is released due to industrial activities/power generation using fossil fuels, before it is released in the atmosphere.
- The captured carbon- dioxide can be used to make commercially marketable products. This is called Capture Storage and Utilisation (CCSU). Normally it is used in enhanced oil extraction where carbon dioxide is injected in oil fields to increase their extraction efficiency.
- The first large-scale CCSU project began operating at Sleipnerin Norway in 1996.
Other Initiatives of the government in the field of CCSU
The Government of India is setting up two National Centres of Excellence in Carbon Capture and Utilisation for long-term research, design development, collaborative and capacity-building hubs for state-of-the-art research and application-oriented initiatives in the field of Carbon capture.
The two centres are:
- National Centre of Excellence in Carbon Capture and Utilisation (NCoE-CCU) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay,
- ational Centre in Carbon Capture and Utilisation (NCCCU) at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru .
9. IIT Delhi in top 50 of Times Higher Education Employability Rankings
The Global Employability University Rankings and Survey (GEURS) ranks the top 250 universities in the world for producing employable graduates according to employers.
This ranking has been released by Times Higher Education (THE).
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi is the only Indian educational institution in the top 50 in the ranking.
Among Indian institutions, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru is at the second spot (58), followed by IIT-Bombay at 72.
The latest THE Rankings have five Indian institutions in top 200.
Times Higher Education is a British magazine exclusively reporting on news and issues relating to higher education.
Top 5 Universities
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - USA
California Institute of Technology - USA
Harvard University - USA
University of Cambridge - UK
Stanford University -USA
10. Modi tops list of world's most popular leaders with 77% approval rating: Survey
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again topped the list of the world’s most popular leaders with an approval rating of 77 per cent, according to a survey by US based consulting firm Morning Consult Political Intelligence.
The Indian PM is followed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at 69 per cent and Australian PM Anthony Albanese at 56 per cent, on the second and third spots, respectively.
In the approval rating, US President Joe Biden is placed at 9th position followed by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak among the 22 world leaders.
The latest approval ratings are based on data collected from 16th to 22nd of this month.
It is based on a seven-day moving average of adult residents in each country.
In the earlier ratings as well, PM Modi was at the top of the rankings.
According to Morning Consult, the ratings are based on over 20,000 global interviews conducted online daily.