India ranked 60th most innovative country on the Global Innovation Index-2017
- India currently ranks 60th out of 127 countries on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017 as compared to 66th rank on GII 2016.
- In order to make India an innovation- driven economy, NITI Aayog, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) together launched a mega initiative “India Innovation Index” that will rank states on Innovations through country’s first online innovation index portal that will capture data on innovation from all Indian states on innovation and regularly update it in real time.
What has been done by govt?
- The Smart India Hackathon and Smart India Hardware Hackathon have been launched to improve the innovative abilities of the students in the Higher Education Institutions.
- The Government is also promoting research parks (RPs) and technology business incubators (TBIs) which would nurture and promote the innovative ideas till they become commercial ventures.
- The projects for promoting research and innovation like the IMPRINT and Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY) have brought focused attention of the scientific community on the need for promoting innovation.
- The Start Up India initiative of the Government has also put in place a mechanism for identifying and incubating the innovative ideas.
- The University Grants Commission (UGC) has been implementing the scheme of “ISHAN UDAY” special scholarship scheme for students of North-Eastern States since 2014 for providing financial assistance every year to 10,000 selected candidates for pursuing General Degree Course/Technical and Professional Courses including Medical and Para Medical Courses in Universities/Colleges/Institutions recognised by UGC under section 2(f) & 12(B) of the UGC Act, 1956.
- Ishan Uday is a special scholarship scheme by UGC, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India with a provision to grant 10,000 scholarships to students from the Northeast, whose parental income is below Rs 4.5 lakh per annum
The UGC scholarships are now disbursed to beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Public Financial Management System (PFMS) to ensure quick, hasslefree and timely payment of scholarship dues.
BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) signed a framework Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) in June 2015 to enable movement of passenger and cargo vehicles across borders among the four countries.
- Bhutan, being one of the signatories to the BBIN MVA, has not yet ratified the Agreement for its entry into force. Pending ratification, however, Bhutan has given its consent for the BBIN MVA to enter into force amongst the other 3 countries i.e. Bangladesh, India and Nepal, who have already ratified it. India has, therefore, approached Bangladesh and Nepal through diplomatic channels for evolving modalities to operationalize the MVA among Bangladesh, India and Nepal (BIN).
Global Hunger Index
- As per 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), India ranks 100 out 119 countries.
- The Global Hunger Index is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and national levels. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calculates GHI scores each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
To capture the multidimensional nature of hunger, GHI scores are based on four indicators as follows:
- Undernourishment: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
- Child wasting: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute under-nutrition);
- Child stunting: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic under-nutrition); and
- Child mortality: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
For tackling the problem of hunger in the country and to improve the position in GHI, Government has implemented following interventions:
- Provision of food grains at highly subsidized prices to the targeted population through State Governments/ UT Administrations under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in terms of Nation Food Security Act, 2013 and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS) such as Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, Annapurna Scheme etc.
- National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 provides for coverage of up to 70% of the rural and up to 50% of the urban population thus covering about two-third of the population, for receiving food grains at highly subsidized prices of Rs.3, 2 and 1 per Kg. for rice, wheat and coarse grain respectively under TPDS.The Act also has a special focus on nutritional support to women and children.
- Recently National Nutrition Mission has been approved under MWCD for addressing malnutrition status of the country in a comprehensive manner.
National Nutrition Strategy
With a renewed focus on Nutrition, the National Institution for Transforming India – NITI Ayog launched National Nutrition Strategy on the 5th of September 2017. As per the strategy document, the Integrated Child Development Services Mission would be expanded to form a National Nutrition Mission along the lines of National Health Mission under the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD).
- The Nutrition Strategy framework envisages a Kuposhan Mukt Bharat – linked to Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. The aim isensure that States create customized State/ District Action Plans to address local needs and challenges. This is especially relevant in view of enhanced resources available with the States, to prioritise focussed interventions with agreater role for panchayats and urban local bodies.
- The nutrition strategy envisages a framework wherein the four proximate determinants of nutrition – uptake of health services, food, drinking water & sanitation and income & livelihoods – work together to accelerate decline of under nutrition in India.
- The strategy enables states to make strategic choices, through decentralized planning and local innovation, with accountability for nutrition outcomes.
Objectives and targets:
- 3 point percentage / year reduction in underweight prevalence in children (0-3 years) by 2022 from NFHS-4 levels
- 1/3rd reduction in anaemia in children, adolescent & Women of Reproductive Age (WRA)