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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Global Competitiveness Index -2019

10th October 2019

Why in news?

India has moved down 10 places to rank 68th on the annual global competitiveness index, largely due to improvements witnessed by several other economies.

Important Facts related to the Index:

 Singapore, meanwhile, has replaced the US as the world’s most competitive economy..

  • India, which was ranked 58th in the annual Global Competitiveness Index, compiled by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), is among the worst-performing BRICS nations along with Brazil (ranked even lower than India at 71 this year). Lower than India at 71 this year).
  • India ranks high in terms of macroeconomic stability and market size, while its financial sector is relatively deep and stable despite the high delinquency rate, which contributes to weakening the soundness of its banking system.
  • India is also ranked high — at 15th place — in terms of corporate governance, while it is ranked second globally for shareholder governance.
  • In terms of the market size, India is ranked third, while it has got the same rank for renewable energy regulation. Besides, India also punches above its development status when it comes to innovation, which is well ahead of most emerging economies and on par with several advanced economies.

In the overall ranking, India is followed by some of its neighbours including Sri Lanka at 84th place, Bangladesh at 105th, Nepal at 108th and Pakistan at 110th place.

Needs considerable improvement:

Except for the four aforementioned indicators, India has performed poorly across all the remaining ones.

ü  For instance, among the 141 countries that have been surveyed, India ranks 120th in ICT adoption, 110th in health, 107th in skills, 103rd in labour market and 101st in product market.

These make up the bulk of the chronic issues with the Indian economy.

ü  Health conditions remain poor, as reflected in low healthy life expectancy (59.4 years, 109th), which is one of the shortest outside Africa and significantly below the South Asian average.

Product market efficiency (101st) is undermined by a lack of trade openness (131st) and the labour market is characterized by a lack of worker rights’ protections, insufficiently developed active labour market policies and critically low participation of women (ratio of female workers to male workers of 128th).

While not as poor, but India seems to be hovering in the mid-way mark for the remaining indicators. It ranks 59th in institutions, 69th in business dynamism and 70th in infrastructure.

 

Nobel Prize -2019 in Chemistry

Why in news?

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be awarded to John D. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

Important Facts:

  • Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised our lives and are used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles. Through their work, this year’s Chemistry Laureates have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society.
  • In the early 1970s, Dr. Whittingham, awarded this year’s Chemistry Prize, used lithium’s enormous drive to release its outer electron when he developed the first functional lithium battery. Dr. Good enough doubled the lithium battery’s potential, creating the right conditions for a vastly more powerful and useful battery.
  • Yoshino succeeded in eliminating pure lithium from the battery, instead basing it wholly on lithium ions, which are safer than pure lithium. This made the battery workable in practice.
  • The result was a lightweight, hardwearing battery that could be charged hundreds of times before its performance deteriorated. The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are not based upon chemical reactions that break down the electrodes, but upon lithium ions flowing back and forth between the anode and cathode.

About the Nobel Prize:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Prize in Physics, and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel;

 

 

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