CURRENT AFFAIRS (03-09-2022 TO 09-09-2022)

NEW NAVAL ENSIGN

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled the Indian Navy’s new Ensign (Flag) at the commissioning of INS Vikrant in Kochi.

OLD ENSIGN V/S NEW ENSIGN

ABOUT THE ENSIGN

  • The new Ensign has the national flag on the upper canton (top left corner), and a blue octagon encompassing the National Emblem sitting atop an anchor. The anchor, depicting steadfastness, has been superimposed on a shield inscribed with the Navy’s motto, Sam No Varunah, (Oh Varuna, be auspicious to us). in Devanagari.
  • The octagonal shape represents the eight directions, symbolizing the Navy’s multi-directional reach and operational capability.
  • The new Naval Ensign bears the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whose navy gave his enemies sleepless nights. The octagon, with a golden double border, has been inspired by the Raja Mudra — seal — of the Maratha emperor Shivaji, which was adopted when he was only 16 years old.

SPECIAL MATERNITY LEAVE

The Centre has decided to grant a 60-day special maternity leave for women Central government employees in case of stillbirth or death of an infant within a few days of birth, an order by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

ABOUT THE MATERNITY LEAVE?

The DOPT said it had received several queries seeking clarification on grant of leave in case of death of a child soon after birth.

Keeping in view the potential emotional trauma caused due to stillbirth or death of a child soon after birth, which has a far-reaching impact on the mother’s life, it has now been decided to grant a special maternity leave of 60 days to a female Central government servant.

The condition for death of a child soon after birth may be defined as up to 28 days after birth. A baby born with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks of gestation may be defined as stillbirth.

The special maternity leave shall be given only to a woman Central government servant with less than two surviving children.

MATERNITY BENEFIT LAW IN INDIA

INDIA-UAE

The 14th India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was co-chaired by EAM Jaishankar and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

The two countries agreed to intensify economic cooperation in a range of areas while reiterating commitment to achieving the goal of $100 billion of bilateral trade in the next five years.

POLITICAL RELATIONS WITH UAE

  • India and the UAE established diplomatic relations in 1972. Since then, their relationship has grown manifold.
  • In January 2017, India and UAE signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement.
  • The strong bilateral relations have received impetus from time-to-time with exchange of high-level visits from both sides.
    • In February 2019, UAE invited India as the “Guest of Honour” to address the Inaugural Plenary 46th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
    • PM Modi paid his third visit to the UAE in August 2019. He was awarded the highest civilian award of UAE called ‘Order of Zayed’.
    • Crown Prince of UAE visited India for the second time in January 2017 as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations.
  • The foundation stone laying ceremony for the first traditional Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi was held in April 2019.
  • In February 2022, PM Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a Virtual Summit.
    • Both the leaders issued a Joint Vision Statement – “Advancing the India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership : New Frontiers, New Milestone”.

ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH UAE

  • The UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade in FY20 valued at $59 billion.

  • The UAE is also India’s second-largest export destination after the US (approximately $29 billion in FY20).
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between UAE & India in 2022.
    • CEPA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.
    • India will benefit from preferential market access provided by the UAE for 99% of Indian exports to the UAE in value terms.
    • India will also be offering preferential access to the UAE on over 90% of its exports, including lines of export interest to the UAE.
  • Investment
    • The UAE is the eighth-largest investor in India, having invested $11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021.
    • Investment by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated to be over $85 billion.
  • Remittances:
    • The annual remittances made by the large Indian community in UAE (estimated to be around 3.3 million) amount to US$ 17.56 billion for year 2018.
  • Energy Cooperation:
    • In 2017, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) signed an MoU to establish a strategic crude oil reserve in the city of Mangalore (Karnataka).
    • ADNOC is also involved in exploring the possibility of storing its crude oil at ISPRL’s underground oil storage facility at Padur in Karnataka.
    • A consortium led by ONGC including Indian Oil and Bharat Petro Resources, has been awarded a 10 per cent stake in the Lower Zakum Concession.

INDIA’S CYBER INFRASTRUCTURE

In India, with the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) there has been a steady spike in cases of cybercrime in the last five years.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), from 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2016, there were 50,035 cases registered in 2020.

However, despite this alarming trend, the capacity of the enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrime remains limited.

STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT

  • National cyber coordination centre (NCCC) to scan internet traffic coming into the country and provide real time situational awareness and alert various security agencies.
    (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cyber_Coordination_Centre)
  • A new Cyber and Information Security (CIS) Division has been created to tackle internet crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography and online stalking. Under this, Indian cyber- crime coordination centre (I4C) and Cyber Warrior Police force has also been established.
    (https://www.mha.gov.in/division_of_mha/cyber-and-information-security-cis-division/Details-about-Indian-Cybercrime-Coordination-Centre-I4C-Scheme)
  • Formation of Defence Cyber Agency in the realm of military cyber security under the Ministry of Defence.
  • Formation of three cyber-forensic laboratories in Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata in association with a software industry group by NASSCOM.
  • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to battle cyber security threats in strategic areas such as air control, nuclear and space. It will function under the National Technical Research Organisation, a technical intelligence gathering agency controlled directly by the National Security Adviser in PMO.
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) to enhance the security of India’s Communications and Information Infrastructure through proactive action and effective collaboration. CERT-in is also operating Cyber Swachhta Kendra, a Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre.
    • CERT-fin has also been launched exclusively for the financial sector.
  • National Informatics Center (NIC) – The National Informatics Centre is an attached office under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in the Indian government. The NIC provides infrastructure to help support the delivery of government IT services and the delivery of some of the initiatives of Digital India.
    • Government inaugurated the new body National Information Centre-Computer Emergency Response Team (NIC-CERT) to prevent and predict cyber-attacks on government utilities.

Legislative measures:

1: Information Technology Act, 2000 (amended in 2008):

  • To provide a legal framework for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange, for data access for cybersecurity etc.

2: Salient Features of the Act:

  • Digital signature has been replaced with electronic signature to make it a more technology neutral act.
  • It elaborates on offenses, penalties, and breaches.
  • It outlines the Justice Dispensation Systems for cyber-crimes.

3: Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019:

  • Personal Data: In simple words personal data is that data from which an individual can be identified like name, address etc. This personal data can include sensitive personal information like gender, financial, health etc. which can be misused easily.
  • In India justice B.N Srikrishna committee provided a framework of personal data.
  • Global personal data protection laws: European Union law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this right allows an individual to remove consent for data collection and disclosure.
    The proposed law: (Source PRS India)
    https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-personal-data-protection-bill-2019

CHALLENGES

  • The ever evolving and dynamic technology poses one of the biggest challenges.
  • Lack of trained police personnels.
  • Shortage of technical staff.
  • Lack of Forensic Laboratories.
  • Extra Territorial jurisdiction.

DARK SPACE RESERVE

In a unique and first-of-its-kind initiative, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has undertaken to set up India’s first-ever Night Sky Sanctuary in Ladakh. It will be completed within the next three months.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The proposed Dark Sky Reserve will be located at Hanle in Ladakh as a part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary. It will boost Astro tourism in India and will be one of the world’s highest-located sites for optical, infrared, and gamma-ray telescopes.

A tripartite MoU was signed recently among the UT administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council LAHDC Leh and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, IIA, for launching the Dark Space Reserve.

SHUMANG LEELA

The 50th All Manipur Shumang Leela Festival 2021-2022 kicked off at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen at Palace Compound in Imphal.

WHAT IS SHUMANG LEELA?

  • Shumang Leela is a traditional form of theatre in Manipur and the roles of female artists are all played by male actors and male characters are played by female artists in case of female theatre groups.
  • In 2017, Sougrakpam Hemanta was conferred with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in recognition of his contribution in Shumang Leela. With this, he became the first person to receive the award for this art form.
  • Shumang Leela Groups of the early stage attempted to preserve and promote humanism, tolerance, confidence, devotion, truth and justice through their performances.
  • The present day Shumang Leela have been trying to focus on the issues of moral values, unity and integrity. It has also been trying to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and friendship among various communities in the State.

USA-TAIWAN

The U.S. State Department has approved a potential $1.1 billion sale of military equipment to Taiwan, including 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, the Pentagon said, amid heightened tensions with China.

The package was announced in the wake of China’s aggressive military drills around Taiwan following a visit to the island last month by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking U.S. official to travel to Taipei in years.

The order reflects continued U.S. support for Taiwan as Taipei faces pressure from China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory.

THE BITTER HISTORY OF CHINA & TAIWAN

1940s: The Communist Army (later established People’s Republic of China or PRC) and the Republican army (Later established Republic of China or RoC or Taiwan) started consolidating power in China to end the ongoing civil war there.

The Communist army was able to consolidate more power and was more spread out as compared to Republican army.

1949: PRC was established by Mao Tse Tung & RoC(established by Sun Yat Sen) was shifted to Barmosa island. (RoC was the representative of China in the UN till 1972.)

India became the first non communist country to recognise PRC.

ROAD ACCIDENTS IN INDIA

Former Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry was killed in a road accident on the National Highway in Maharashtra’s Palghar district. The tragedy has once again spotlighted the high numbers of fatalities that Indian roads witness every year.

  • According to data collected by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there are around 5 lakh deaths on India’s roads every year, of which one third are accounted for by National Highways.
  • According to the data, in the past five years, while road accidents dipped from 4,45,730 in 2017 to 4,03,116 in 2021, deaths in these accidents increased from 1,50,093 to 1,55,622 in the same period.
  • A similar trend is seen on the National Highways. While the number of accidents on National Highways in 2017 stood at 1,30,942, as many as 50,859 people died in them.
  • In 2021, while the number of National Highway accidents dipped to 1,22,204, the number of deaths increased to 53,615.
  • According to the data, barring the pandemic year of 2020, which saw long periods of lockdowns, the data on accidents and deaths have been consistently hovering around 4.4 lakh and 1.5 lakh respectively through the period between 2017 and 2021.

REASONS:

  • Violation of rules by the citizens.
    • Overloading
    • Unwarranted extensions from the vehicles
    • Drink & Drive
    • Overspeeding
  • Design Flaws in road construction.
  • Vehicles not able to pass the safety tests oftenly.
  • Lack of awareness wrt Road Safety among the citizens especially the rural population.

INFLATABLE AERODYNAMIC DECELERATOR (IAD)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully demonstrated a new technology with Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) which it said is a game changer with multiple applications for future missions.

An IAD, designed and developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), was successfully test flown in a ‘Rohini’ sounding rocket from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS).

ABOUT IAD

  • Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator or IAD is a technique used for an atmospheric entry payload.
  • An inflatable envelope and an inflatant (anything that inflates the envelope, like air or helium) make up the inflatable aerodynamic decelerator.
  • While entering the atmosphere, it inflates like a balloon and decelerates the lander.
  • The inflatant is designed to fill the inflatable envelope to a condition such that it surrounds the payload meant to enter the atmosphere of a planet or satellite and causes aerodynamic forces to slow it down.

APPLICATION OF IAD

The IAD has huge potential in variety of space applications like –

  • Recovery of spent stages of rocket,
  • For landing payloads on to Mars or Venus and
  • In making space habitat for human space flight missions.

INDIA-AUSTRALIA

The fifth round of Track 1.5 Australia-India Leadership Dialogue was held on 6th September, 2022 in New Delhi, bringing together 50 of the best and brightest leaders from Australia and India including Ministers, business leaders and academics for an invitation-only forum.

The leaders at the dialogue will reflect on the past, but recommend more concrete steps to foster the relationship and ways to create a more habitable and sustainable planet.

Addressing Australia-India bilateral relations in the wider context of the Indo-Pacific region, the Dialogue provides a forum for consensus-building that paves the way to agreements on formal outcomes.

ABOUT INDIA-AUSTRALIA LEADERSHIP DIALOGUE

  • It is the premier forum for informal diplomacy between Australia and India.
  • It is structured as a multistakeholder cross-sectoral roundtable that involves 50 delegates including business leaders, cabinet ministers and government officials, who are joined by thought leaders in academia, media, and civil society to address shared challenges in the Australia-India relationship and explore areas for cooperation.
  • It provides an opportunity to:
    • deepen mutual understanding between Australian and Indian leaders,
    • enhance the framework for regional security,
    • promote business and commercial opportunities, and
    • advance people-to-people links in a manner that underwrites economic and cultural prosperity for Australian and Indian citizens.

SIGNIFICANCE OF INDIA AUSTRALIA TIES

  • Australia wants to find alternative markets to China and diversify supply chains for its critical minerals.
  • Australia also contains reserves of about 21 out of the 49 minerals identified in India’s critical minerals strategy. It is well placed to serve India’s national interests required for India’s carbon reduction.
  • Both have a strategic interest in ensuring a balance in the Indo-Pacific and in ensuring that the region is not dominated by any one hegemonic power.
  • Indians are today the largest source of skilled migrants in Australia and the economic relationship, already robust, could potentially be transformed if the promise of the new Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) is realised.

What is Economic Cooperation And Trade Agreement (INDAUS ECTA)?

India and Australia signed a historic interim Economic Cooperation And Trade Agreement (INDAUS ECTA) in 2022 which will provide zero-duty access to 96% of India’s exports to Australia and about 85% of Australia’s exports zero-duty access to the Indian market.

Australia is India’s eighth largest trading partner and India is Australia’s fifth-largest.

PM SHRI

On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a new initiative – the development and upgradation of 14 thousand 500 schools across the country under the Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI) Yojana.

These PM-SHRI schools will become model schools which will encapsulate the full spirit of National Education Policy.

The schools will be equipped with modern infrastructure, including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, and sports facility.

It will be a Centrally-sponsored scheme.

FEATURES OF PM SHRI

  • Upgradation & development of more than 14,500 schools across the country by strengthening the selected existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central Government/State/UT Government/local bodies.
  • The schools will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and act as exemplar schools and also offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
  • Pedagogy adopted in these schools will be more experiential, holistic, integrated, play/toy-based (particularly, in the foundational years) inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centered, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable.
  • Focus will be on achieving proficiency in learning outcomes of every child in every grade.
  • Assessment at all levels will be based on conceptual understanding and application of knowledge to real life situations and will be competency-based.
  • These schools shall also be developed as green schools with water conservation, waste recycling, energy-efficient infrastructure and integration of organic lifestyle in curriculum.
  • The aim of these schools will not only be qualitative teaching, learning and cognitive development, but also creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st century skills.

INDIA BANGLADESH

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held bilateral talks in New Delhi to review and further strengthen the all-encompassing India-Bangladesh partnership.

WHAT KIND OF ISSUES WERE DISCUSSED?

Issues related to connectivity, energy, water resources, trade and investment, border management and security, development partnership and regional and multilateral matters were on the agenda.

WERE ANY MoUs SIGNED?

Seven MoUs, including on water resources, railways, science and technology, space technology were exchanged following the talks. This includes an MoU between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Television on cooperation in the field of broadcasting.

WERE ANY AGREEMENTS SIGNED?

Prime Minister Modi announced that an important agreement on water sharing from the Kushiyara River has been signed. This will benefit Southern Assam in India and Sylhet region in Bangladesh. Kushiyara is a branch of the Barak River, when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma.

WAS THERE ANY DISCUSSION ON CEPA?

The two sides also decided to start negotiations on a Bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The CEPA is likely to focus on trade in goods, services, and investment, with key objective being the reduction of the trade gap between the two countries.

WHERE DOES THE TRADE STAND BETWEEN INDIA AND BANGLADESH PRESENTLY?

Despite Covid-19 related disruptions, bilateral trade grew at an unprecedented rate of almost 44% from $10.78 billion in 2020-21 to $18.13 billion in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, Bangladesh has emerged as the largest trade partner for India in South Asia and the fourth largest destination for Indian exports worldwide.

Exports to Bangladesh grew more than 66 per cent from $9.69 billion in FY 2020-21 to $16.15 billion in FY 2021-22.

India is Bangladesh’s second biggest trade partner, and its largest export market in Asia.

GANGA TECHNICAL COMMITTEE

India and Bangladesh welcomed the establishment of a joint technical committee to study the use of Ganga waters in Bangladesh, a joint statement issued on the third day of the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

ABOUT THE GANGA TECHNICAL COMMITTEE

  • The Ganga technical committee is one of the several initiatives, including several major connectivity and energy initiatives, that the two sides have announced.
  • The leaders welcomed the formation of a joint technical committee to conduct a study for optimum utilisation of water received by Bangladesh under the provisions of the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, 1996.

WHAT IS GANGA WATER SHARING AGREEMENT?

The Ganga Water Sharing Treaty is a 30-year agreement which is expected to be reviewed or renewed in 2026.

According to this agreement, the water of river Ganga has to be shared in the ratio of 50:50 by both the countries.

Challenges:

  • Teesta River Dispute: Despite the remarkable progress, the unresolved Teesta water sharing issue looms large.

Teesta river: Teesta river originates in Sikkim from Charamu lake. (Kangse Glacier) Teesta flows into Bangladesh from WB and joins Brahmaputra river there.

The Dispute: WB government started construction of a Barrage (Gazaldoba Barrage) in 1961. Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan) opposed it since the water available after the construction of Barrage would reduce for the Rangpur region of Bangladesh. (The rice bowl of Bangladesh).

In 1983, an Ad Hoc agreement was signed which allocated:

39% water to India;

36% water to Bangladesh; & 25% was left unallocated.

Bangladesh wanted equal sharing.

In 1984, The Joint River Commission decided that the share should increase, hence India- 42.5%; Bangladesh- 37.5%; Unallocated- 20%.

In 2011, an agreement was finalised for 50% each sharing. But it was opposed by TMC’s Mamta Banerjee. Hence the agreement was stalled.

  • Illegal Migration: The problem of Bangladeshi civilians being killed at the border has dented relations. The year 2020 saw the highest number of border shootings by the Border Security Force.
    These shootings occur as many Bangladeshi people try to illegally migrate into India.
  • China Factor: Despite its ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’, India has been losing its influence in the region to China.

Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives, once considered traditional Indian allies, are increasingly tilting towards China due to the Asian giant’s massive trade, infrastructural and defence investments in these countries.

China, in lieu of its cheque-book diplomacy, is well-entrenched in South Asia, including Bangladesh, with which it enjoys significant economic and defence relations.

ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called for fighting to be halted in a security zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

ABOUT ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

This Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world.

It was built by the Soviet Union on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper River.

In March 2022, Russian forces, after invading Ukraine, seized this nuclear plant. Since then, the plant is operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.

ABOUT IAEA

  • The IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
  • It is widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family.
  • The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
  • It was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology.

Headquarter – Vienna, Austria

KARTAVYA PATH

Delhi’s iconic Rajpath – stretching from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate – is all set to be

renamed Kartavya Path (Path of Duty), with Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the

revamped Central Vista Avenue on Thursday September 8.

WHAT IS THE CENTRAL VISTA PROJECT?

The avenue is part of the larger Central Vista project, where a new triangular Parliament Building, along with the Central Secretariat and several other Government offices are being rebuilt.

Called Kingsway during British rule, it was built as a ceremonial boulevard by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, the architects of New Delhi, in around 1920.

Running from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, the avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees.

WHEN DID THE PROJECT START?

The construction work for the Central Vista Redevelopment Project started in February 2021, with the new Parliament building and redevelopment of central vista avenue as its first phase.

CLIMATE REPARATION

Facing the worst flooding disaster in its history, Pakistan has begun demanding reparations, or compensation, from the rich countries that are mainly responsible for causing climate change.

ABOUT CLIMATE REPARATION

  • The demand for compensation for loss and damage from climate disasters is an extension of the universally acknowledged “Polluter Pays” principle that makes the polluter liable for paying not just for the cost of remedial action, but also for compensating the victims of environmental damage caused by their actions.
  • In the climate change framework, the burden of responsibility falls on those rich countries that have contributed most of the greenhouse gas emissions since 1850, generally considered to be the beginning of the industrial age.
  • Historical responsibility is important because carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and it is the cumulative accumulation of this carbon dioxide that causes global warming. A country like India, currently the third largest emitter, accounts for only 3% of historical emissions. China, which is the world’s biggest emitter for over 15 years now, has contributed about 11% to total emissions since 1850.

The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damages, set up in 2013, was the first formal acknowledgment of the need to compensate developing countries struck by climate disasters.

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX

India ranks 132 out of 191 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) 2021, after registering a decline in its score over two consecutive years for the first time in three decades.

ABOUT INDIA’S SCORE

India’s HDI score of 0.633 places it in the medium human development category, lower than its value of 0.645 in 2018, indicating a reversal in progress.

Like global trends, in India’s case, the drop in HDI from 0.645 in 2018 to 0.633 in 2021 can be attributed to falling life expectancy at birth — 70.7 years to 67.2 years.

India’s expected years of schooling stand at 11.9 years, and the mean years of schooling are at 6.7 years. The GNI per capita level is $6,590.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated gender inequality, which increased 6.7% globally.