Ranks and Reports
· Bengaluru emerged as the top city on the government’s Ease of Living Index 2020 that was released by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in this Million+ category . In this group, Shimla was ranked the highest in Less than Million category of ease of living.
· The 11th edition of the QS World University Rankings was released on March 04, 2021. The QS World University Rankings 2021 ranks the top 1,000 universities from around the world, covering 80 different locations. There are 47 new entrants on the list. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States has retained its top position as the best university for the ninth year in a row. The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay has emerged as the best institution. It is placed at 172 positions. No institute in India is in the top 100.
· The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has released the final rankings of the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020. Indore has topped this list in Million plus population category, followed by Surat and Bhopal. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) emerged as the leader in Less than a million category, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.
· India’s status as a democracy and free society has been downgraded to “partly free” in the latest annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded NGO that studies political freedom around the world. The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 – Democracy under Siege”. India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020, though its scores on a scale of 100 had declined during this period from 77 to 71. In the latest report, India had a score of 67 out of 100.
· The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WRAP released the Food Waste Index Report 2021 and highlights that food wastes by different countries in 2019. As per the report, Over 931 million tonnes of food were wasted globally in 2019.In India, the household food waste estimate is 50 kg per capita per year, or 68,760,163 tonnes a year. The household food waste estimate in the US is 59 kg per capita per year, or 19,359,951 tonnes a year. China these estimates are 64 kg per capita per year or 91,646,213 tonnes a year.
· The Hurun India Wealth Report, 2020 was released on March 16, 2020. The report identifies a novel household category in India called the ‘New Middle Class’ which accounts for an average savings of Rs 20-lakh per annum. The report highlights that these households have a major allocation towards physical assets like primary residential property and automobiles. As per the report, the total number of such cumulative households in India stands at 633,000.
· New Delhi has been adjudged as the world’s most polluted capital city for the third straight year in the 2020 World Air Quality Report by Swiss organisation, IQAir. Globally, New Delhi is ranked as the 10th most polluted city in the world. The topmost polluted city in the world is Xinjiang in China. This is followed by nine Indian cities as the most polluted cities in the world, which are Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow and Bhiwari.
· India’s arms imports fell 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). The report on international arms transfers attributed the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes. Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46%. India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report.
· India has moved down 13 spots in the latest global home price index to finish last at 56th rank in the quarter ending December 2020. Against its 43rd rank a year ago, India saw a decline of 3.6% year-on-year (YoY) in home prices, leading to the drop in global position, showed Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index. India was the weakest-performing country during the fourth quarter of 2020, with a decline of 3.6% in home prices, followed by Morocco with a drop of 3.3%.
· India ranked 40 among 53 global economies on the latest annual edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index released. The US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC), the Index evaluates Intellectual Property rights in 53 global economies from patent and copyright policies to commercialisation of IP assets and ratification of international treaties.