January 3

Singapore varsity ranks: Andhra Pradesh No. 1 in Ease of Doing Business, Maharashtra 2nd
Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Singapore's 2018 Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index ABC rankings for economies of 21 states of India, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively.
Ease of Doing Business index is based upon three parameters called ABC - Attractiveness to Investors, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness Policies.
Andhra Pradesh rose from the 5th rank in 2016 to the top spot in 2018.

January 4

The volume of cyber fraud at banks has doubled in a year : RBI Report
With the rise in digital transactions and their spread to the interiors of the country, cyber frauds at banks too are on the rise.
The volume of cyber fraud at banks has doubled in a year. In 2017-18, cyber frauds at banks saw a big spike over the previous year.
According to a report by the Reserve Bank of India, a total of 2,059 cases of cyber fraud were reported in 2017-18 amounting to Rs. 109.6 crore.
The number of cyber fraud cases in 2016-17 was 1,372 amounting to Rs. 42.3 crore.

January 5

ASI declared 6 monuments of national importance in 2018
The Ministry of Culture announced that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared 6 monuments as 'protected and of national importance' under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, in 2018.
These sites are:
125-year-old Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
The Group of Temples in Ranipur Jharail in Bolangir district of Odisha.
2 Mughal era monuments in Agra- Haveli of Agha Khan and Hathi Khana.
The Neemrana Baori in Alwar district of Rajasthan.
The Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.

Defence industries received Rs 1.21 crore FDI during 2014-18
India's defence sector received Rs 1.21 crore foreign direct investment during 2014-18, Parliament was informed.
The defence industries have attracted a meagre USD 10,000 (about Rs 7 lakh) FDI in 2017-18.

Andhra Pradesh emerges as the top in Singapore’s Asia Competitiveness Institute’s (ACI), Ease of Doing Business (EDB) index 2018.
Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place respectively.
The ACI’s EDB index is based upon three parameters called ABC -Attractiveness to Investors, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness Policies.
About Singapore:
Capital: Singapore city
Currency: Singapore dollar
President: HalimahYacob
Prime Minister: Lee HsienLoong

January 6

Parliamentary Panel Report on Western Ghats
The Parliamentary panel keeps track of assurances given by ministers, presented its latest report on Western Ghats on the floor of the Rajya Sabha.
The panel examined issues regarding the categorization of the Western Ghats as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) as per the recommendations of two committees led by Madhav Gadgil and K. Kasturirangan.
The Panel says:
The ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) which is stretched in about 56,000 square kilometres of the Western Ghats could not be earmarked as ‘no-go’ zones due to State governments’ ‘insensitivity’ though three draft notifications had been issued over four years for earmarking ESA.
The recent monsoon floods in Kerala and parts of Karnataka should serve as alarm bells for the administrations in the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which have failed to mark ESA in the Western Ghats.
The polluting activities and large-scale deforestation, mining, and construction are continuing unabated in the ESA, hurting the ecology of the Western Ghats.
The committee recommended that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change should constitute a Committee to address the issues and grievances of local people.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change:
Minister: Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Minister of State: Dr. Mahesh Sharma

January 7

Rising human trafficking takes on ‘horrific dimensions’: almost a third of victims are children
A new UN report published on Monday shows that human trafficking is on the rise and taking on ''horrific dimensions'', with sexual exploitation of victims the main driver.
Children now account for 30 per cent of those being trafficked, and far more girls are detected than boys.
About United Nation office on drugs and crime (UNODC):
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Executive Director: Yuri Fedotov
Founded: 1997

January 8

CSO Forecasts Indian Economy To Grow At 7.2% In 2018-19
Central Statistics Office (CSO) stated that the growth in GDP during 2018-19 is estimated at 7.2% as compared to the growth rate of 6.7% in 2017-18, mainly due to improvement in the performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
About the Central Statistics Office (CSO):
It is a governmental agency in India under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation responsible for co-ordination of statistical activities in India, and evolving and maintaining statistical standards.
It has a well-equipped Graphical Unit. The CSO is located in Delhi.

Per capita income grew 45% under NarendraModi regime, says CSO
The income earned by an average Indian doubled in 7 years, from Rs. 63,642 per year in 2011-12 to Rs 1.25 lakh in 2018-19 as per the first advance estimates of national income released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Per capita income (PCI) or average income measures the average income earned per person in a given area (city, region, country, etc.) in a specified year. It is calculated by dividing the area's total income by its total population.

January 9

India Ranks 79th, Japan Tops List Of Most Powerful Passports
Japan, for the second time in a row, has topped a global index for the world's most powerful passport in 2019, while India ranked at the 79th position.
According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords, Japan retained its top spot as the world's most travel-friendly passport due to the document's access to 190 countries, CNN reported.
China jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
About Japan:
Capital: Tokyo
Currency: Japanese yen
PM: Shinzo Abe

World Bank pegs India’s GDP growth at 7.3% in 2018-19
According to the World Bank, India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy in the world, according to the World Bank.
India’s GDP is expected to grow at 7.3% in the fiscal year 2018-19, and 7.5% in the following two years, the World Bank has forecast, attributing it to an upswing in consumption and investment.

January 10

Amazon Surpasses Microsoft As World's Most Valuable Company Inc. (AMZN) surpassed Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) as the world's most valuable public company based on market capitalization.
Microsoft had unseated Apple in early December 2018 to rank as the world's most valuable company.
However, all these tech giants now remain well below the $1 trillion milestone that Apple and Amazon hit in 2018 due to the late-2018 sell off on Wall Street.
Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL) is now in the third position with a market capitalization of $745.22 billion, while Apple (AAPL) stood in fourth place with a market capitalization of $701.99 billion.

India moves up a rank on The Economist's Democracy Index 2018.
The Economist’s Democracy Index has a positive outlook on global democracy, with significant improvement in women’s participation, people willing to engage in lawful demonstrations and voters getting more proactive than ever despite being disillusioned with democracy.
India is ranked at 41 – a notch above last year. It is still classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ according to the index.
India achieved a score of 7.23 on the index to maintain its position – the same it did last year.
This is the lowest ever score attributed to India in the index ever since its publication.

January 11

India Ranks 79th, Japan Tops List Of Most Powerful Passports: Report
According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords, India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
Japan retained its top spot as the world's most travel-friendly passport due to the document's access to 190 countries.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal ranked further low at 104, 102 and 94 respectively.
About Henley Passport Index:
Head: Christian Kalin

January 12

India ranked at 41st at the 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018, Norway topped the Index: Economist Intelligent Unit report
The Index was started in 2006.
The scores were divided based on 60 indicators on five categories of electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.
For the first time in three years, the global score for democracy remained stable.
Among the 167 nations, Norway topped the charts.
It was followed by: Iceland (2), Sweden (3), New Zealand (4) and Denmark (5) closing off the top 5 rankings.
India ranked 41st Position, falling in the ‘Flawed Democracy’ category.

January 13

India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 Report Released by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with PwC
The global consulting firm PwC and industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) held a new survey of manufacturers and released a report titled ''The India Manufacturing Barometer 2019''.
The report projected that India’s economy is expected to grow anywhere between 7.3 – 7.7%.
The report concluded that about 74% of manufacturers are hopeful of a faster growth rate in their respective sectors over the next 12 months while about 58% expect their sector to grow faster by at least 5% in the next 12 months.
The sample for the survey includes companies of the sectors like automobiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, food processing, leather, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

January 16

Garbage dumps leading to shift in food habits of wild animals.
A Research team including scientists from School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Asian Adventures and Nature Science Initiative stated that dumps are resulting in a shift in food habits of birds and wild animals.
An experiment on the study was conducted to monitor animal visits and food intake behaviour at two selected sites in the Nainital district in Uttarakhand.
Garbage dumping sites have both physical and toxicological implications on animal life.

January 17

ASER 2018 by NGO Pratham: One out of every 8 students in rural India can’t read simple texts
The report was made after the survey conducted by an autonomous unit of education-NGO Pratham.
The survey covered around 3.5 lakh households and 546,527 children between the ages of three and 16 across 596 rural districts.
Only a little more than half of all children enrolled in Class 5 can read a Class 2 level text.
The proportion of children not enrolled in school has fallen below 3% to 2.8% for the first time ever in India.
The number of schools with a serviceable girls’ toilet doubled between 2010 and 2018 with two-thirds of all girls’ schools in rural India having toilets.
Additionally, the number of students seeking admission in private schools in rural India has dropped which gives impetus to the government schools to flourish.

India moves up in 2019 global education rankings
The London-based, Times Higher Education (THE) released the Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 report which shows that India has improved its ranking and secured a higher position with 49 institutions making it to the list.
According to this year’s report 25 Indian institutions figure in the top 200 institutes, a rise from 17 last year.
The report stated that the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangaluru retains the highest spot for India (14th), followed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (27th). Last year India had 42 institutions in the overall list.

January 18

Bangalore most dynamic city, Hyderabad ranked second: JLL CMI
According to the 6th City Momentum Index, released by property consultant JLL, Bangalore has emerged as the world’s most dynamic city with a robust technology and innovation ecosystem in place.
The report is titled: ‘JLL City Momentum: The World’s Top 20 Most Dynamic Cities’.
Among other Indian cities, Hyderabad ranked second with Delhi at fourth, Pune at fifth, Chennai at seventh and Kolkata at fifteenth position featuring in top 20 cities.
19 of the top 20 cities ranked were from Asia Pacific region.
About JLL:
CEO & Country Head, JLL India: Mr. Ramesh Nair.

India ranked at 41st at the 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018, Norway topped the Index: Economist Intelligent Unit report:
On January 10, 2019, Norway topped in the 11th edition of EIU Democracy Index 2018 was released by the Economist Intelligent Unit compiling the state of democracies in 167 countries in the world.
India Ranked 41st in the Index. The Index was started in 2006.
About Economist Intelligent Unit:
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.

PSU banks to bring down govt equity to 52% says Fin Min
Public sector banks to bring down the government’s equity to at least 52% in the first phase.
Dilution of government stake will help banks to meet 25% public float norms of market regulator SEBI.
The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has already initiated step for Rs. 20,000 crore share sales through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP).
QIP, the government stake will be diluted from the existing 58.53%
The government had also merged 3 RRBs-Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank and Sutlej Gramin Bank - into a single RRB with effect from January 1, 2019.

January 19

GDP To Be A Tad Higher To 7.5% In FY20: India Ratings.
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), a Fitch Group Company, estimated India's GDP growth could touch 7.5% in the financial year 2019-20 as against 7.2% during current fiscal i.e. 2018-19.
India Ratings believes investments are slowly but steadily gaining traction with gross fixed capital formation growing 12.2% in FY19 and projected to clock 10.3% in FY20.

The Global Risks Report 2019 Released By World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum released the 14th edition of its annual Global Risk Report,2019.
The report’s findings are based on the annual Global Risks Perception Survey, in which nearly 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, private sector, academia, and civil society assess the risks facing the world.
The report was released ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
The agency's study of top 200 listed and unlisted non-financial asset-heavy corporates suggests that private sector capex is unlikely to revive before FY21.
It believes that due to the slowdown in private corporate and household capex, the GDP growth has failed to accelerate and sustain itself close to or in excess of 8%.

January 20

India likely to surpass UK in largest economy rankings of 2019: PwC Report.
India and France are likely to surpass the UK in the 2019 rankings of world's largest economies, according to the latest projections by British consultancy multinational PwC.
PwC's annual Global Economy Watch projects real GDP growth in 2019 of 7.6% for India 1.6% for the UK, and 1.7% for France.
According to the report, India and France are likely to surpass the UK in the world's largest economy rankings in 2019, knocking it from fifth to seventh place in the global table.

January 21

India likely to surpass UK in largest economy rankings of 2019: PwC Report
India and France are likely to surpass the UK in the world's largest economy rankings in 2019, knocking it from fifth to seventh place in the global table, the report said.
India's climb in the rankings is likely to be permanent, the report said.
India should return to a healthy growth rate of 7.6 per cent in 2019-20.
The global economy is expected to slow in 2019.
About France:
Capital: Paris
Currency: CFP Franc
President: Emmanuel Macron

January 22

India among the most trusted nations globally: 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report
India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media.
The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, which was released today, ahead of the World Economic Forum meet in Davos, noted that the Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52.
India was at the second place in the informed public category and third place in the general population category.
India was at the second place in the informed public category and third place in the general population category.

January 23

India ranks 80th on Global Talent Competitive Index 2019
Switzerland followed by Singapore, the US, Norway and Denmark were the top five on the list.
At 80th rank, India moves up one position on the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) 2019, according to a report released by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.
According to the report, India's biggest challenge is to improve its ability to attract and retain talent.

January 24

India's growth to accerate from 7.4% to 7.6% in FY20: United Nations' World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019.
With robust private consumption and 7.4 per cent GDP growth rate in the current fiscal, the Indian economy is expected to accelerate at a rate of 7.6 per cent in 2019-20, according to a report by the United Nations.
Economic growth continues to be underpinned by robust private consumption, a more expansionary fiscal stance and benefits from previous reforms, said the report titled United Nations' World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019.

Ten threats to Global Health in 2019: WHO
The World Health Organization released a list of top ten threats to global health in 2019 and considered vaccination to be the effective weapon to prevent the same.
List of Ten Threats:
Air pollution and climate change.
Non-communicable diseases.
Global influenza pandemic.
Fragile and vulnerable settings
Antimicrobial resistance.
Ebola and other high-threat pathogens.
Weak primary health care.
Vaccine hesitancy

About WHO:
Head Quarters: Geneva, Switzerland

January 26

JNPT becomes India's only port to be ranked among world's top 30
The JNPT also launched their App service to facilitate better tracking of consignment and ease the trade process for their EXIM partners
The government Tuesday said the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has become India's only port to get listed among the top 30 global container ports.
The JNPT, India's premiere container port got listed amongst the top 30 container ports globally, as per the latest Lloyds Report.3
About JNPT:
Jawaharlal Nehru Port also known as Nhava Sheva is the largest container port in India.
It is located in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.

India ranks 54th in ‘Bloomberg Innovation Index’ of 60 economies
For the first time ever, India has been ranked in Bloomberg’s 2019 list of most innovative courtiers in the world.
India grabbed the 54th spot among 60 countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index with a score of 47.93 out of 100.
South Korea has topped the Bloomberg Innovation Index for sixth time in a row with total score of 87.38.
Germany ranked second, Finland stood on the third spot.
About south Korea:
Capital: Seoul
Currency: South Korean won
Prime minister: Lee Nak-yeon

Health research money increased by Rs 135 crore in India says G-Finder.
G-Finder a project tracked on global investments into research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases by Indian Council of Medical Research was (ICMR) increased by Rs 147 crore.
India attained 4th position,US became the largest funder,on research and development, which is followed by UK.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) increased its funding for research and development for dengue and leptospirosis by Rs 6.5 crore and Rs. 9.1 crore respectively.
Over all the amount invested on research and development reached the height of USD 3.5 billion this year.

January 27

India 6th in GDPR readiness index: Cisco
Nearly 65% of Indian organizations are better prepared for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Making the country the sixth leading nation globally in the GDPR readiness index, global networking leader, according to CISCO.
The GDPR, which focused on increasing protection for EU residents' privacy and personal data, came into force in May 2018 and organizations globally have been working steadily towards getting ready for it.

January 28

India accounts more than half leprosy cases globally: WHO
World Health Organization (WHO) stated more than half of the leprosy cases globally were reported by India although there is a steady decline worldwide in the number of leprosy cases which is estimated to be around 2 Lakh.
Significant leprosy cases have been detected in South-east Asia region, Brazil,Sub-Saharan Africa and Pacific apart from India.
WHO said leprosy related ‘discrimination, stigma and prejudice’ were the most powerful barriers in ending the disease. It also stated that disease is 100% curable if detected early.
WHO’s Global Leprosy Strategy 2016-2020 aims at ending leprosy related discrimination, stigma and prejudice first as it plays a powerful role to achieve a leprosy free world.
About WHO:
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Established: 1948
Director General: TadrosAdhanom

January 29

India replaces Japan as second top steel producer: world steel
India has replaced Japan as world's second largest steel producing country, while China is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 per cent of production, according to World Steel Association.
China’s share increased from 50.3% in 2017 to 51.3% in 2018. India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT, up 4.9% from 101.5 MT in 2017.
About Japan:
Currency: Yen
Prime Minister: Shinzō Abe

January 30

Dubai Airport Retains its Position as World's Busiest in 2018: Report
Dubai International Airport (DXB) retained its position as the world's busiest airport for international customer numbers for the fifth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2018.
It overtook the crown of the world's busiest hub for international travel from London's Heathrow in 2014.
About Dubai:
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Currency: Dirham
Prime Minister: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

January 31

India improves its global corruption ranking in 2018: Study by Transparency International.
India rose by three points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world, while China ranked 87 and Pakistan 117 in 2018.
Transparency International has released the Global Corruption Index 2018. India rose by 3 points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world with a score of 41.
About Pakistan: President - Arif Alvi

Global Corruption Index: India improves ranking by three positions, US drops out of top 20 countries
According to the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by the Transparency International, India has moved up to 78th position in 2018. India was ranked 81st in 2017.
Interestingly, the United States has dropped out of top 20 countries for the first time since 2011.
Denmark topped the chart with a score of 88, which is followed by New Zealand with a Score of 87.Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are ranked bottom in the index.
About Transparency International: Director - Patricia Moreira