India ranks 103 in the Global Human Capital Index; the lowest ranks among BRICS nations

India has been placed in the low rung of 103th position on World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Human Capital Index and it is also the lowest among other BRICS nations (Russia at 16th place, China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th. India falls behind even Sri Lanka (70) and Nepal (98) and stays slightly ahead of Bangladesh (111) and Pakistan (125). Though last year, it was in 105th place.     

According to the Economic Times, “India is held back by a number of factors, including low educational attainment (primary education attainment among 25 -54 year olds is 110th for example) and low deployment of its human capital, meaning the skills available are not getting put to good use… India faces a number of challenges but looks to be moving in the right direction,

The Geneva based WEF’s report assesses 130 countries on how they are developing their human capital on four parameters – capacity, deployment, development and know-how and five different age groups – 0-14 years; 15-24 years; 25-54 years; 55-64 years; and 65 years and over. The scale of assessment ranges from 0 (worst) to 100 (best).

This year Norway has topped the list followed by Finland and Switzerland in the second and third position respectively. Last year Finland had secured the top position.

News Source: Economic Times, Business Standard

Image Source: Financial Express

BRICS brings relief to Indo-Sino crisis

Asian geopolitics has been at the forefront in recent times with China and India being the major players in the space of negotiations. The two countries were a highlight of the recently held 9th BRICS Summit at Chinese coastal city of Xiamen between September 3 and 5.

The talks at Xiamen looked difficult due to the hostility that Beijing and New Delhi had shown in the backdrop of the Doklam standoff. However, August 26 marked a landmark date for the Asian giants as it put an official end to the two and a half months long standoff in Bhutan between the two countries. 70 days of the Indo-China crisis ended a week before the BRICS summit when the Asian powers decided to join hands in diplomatic talks to end the crisis. Negotiations yielded results when India withdrew its troops from the Doklam region of Bhutan and China and ceased its road building activities in the border.

Given the importance of the BRICS’ card for China, it was not surprising that Beijing pulled back its activities ahead of the summit. China has always been an active member of BRICS. Shanghai’s primary role in the New Development Bank could be one of the major reasons for explaining the steps taken by Beijing for participating in international dialogue. Additionally, overt international support for India from the USA, UK and Japan meant a common message for Beijing.

As far as the Indian narrative is concerned, she withdrew her forces after the Chinese side stopped the construction at the valley in Bhutan. However, if the activities resume, India has option to do the same. New Delhi took the decision after Beijing initiated negotiations to settle the dispute.  International support for India also paved the way for talks and negotiations and a stronghold in the global arena.

In the backdrop of the political crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping have agreed to bring in the spirit of the “Astana consensus” to which they had agreed upon earlier in June this year at the Kazakhstan capital. Upholding similar spirits at Xiamen, both countries have agreed to work towards consensus building in agreeing to prevent differences from turning into disputes.

 

Sources: Indian Express, Livemint

 

BRICS declaration names Pakistan-based terrorist groups, for the first time

Being the first time in history, terrorist organisations based in Pakistan; Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed among many others were named in a declaration at the BRICS summit on 4 September, 2017. Xiamen, China is where the ninth BRICS summit is being held. The BRICS nations also asserted that those who indulge in committing, organising and supporting acts of terrorism should be held accountable.

Secretary (East) in the external affairs ministry, Preeti Saran told reporters that for the very first time specific terrorist groups have been listed in the BRICS declaration. The 43-page ‘Xiamen Declaration’ raises issues circling terrorism for at least 17 times. The declaration also lays emphasis on the fact that bringing about an end to the violence in Afghanistan is the need of the hour.

Expressing grave security concerns in the regions over the violence caused by Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al Qaeda, its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizb ut-Tahrir, the declaration reassures and aims towards terminating terrorism in all forms.

Only last year at the 8th BRICS Summit held in Goa, China reportedly opposed to include names of Pakistan-based terrorist organisations. Also, a few days ago a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had deemed India’s issues with counter-terrorism in Pakistan as an inappropriate topic to discuss at the Summit.

According to officials Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was joined by all leaders in his willingness to fight terrorism.

 

Sources: NDTV, Indian Express

China might put “technical hold” on UN ban of Jaish Chief Azhar for UN Ban

 Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang hinted  that China might once again block India’s entry for listing Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the upcoming United Nations’ review meeting of 1267 Committee, according to a report by The Hindustan Times.
Chuang made the statement after the conclusion of 2 day long meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers in Beijing, wherein he said, “At present, some members have disagreement over the listing matter. And China stands ready to remain in coordination and communication with the relevant parties on this issue,” according to The Hindustan Times.
At the BRICS meeting, which was attended by Foreign Minister of State V.K. Singh from the Indian side, rising global terrorism and the means to tackle it remained the focus of discussion.
Beijing, in the past, has defended its move to block the entry of the chief as a global terrorist, saying that the “conditions” have not been met to reach a decision.
China has blocked the ban of Masood Azhar three times in the past, the latest application being moved by India in December last year. The proposal has been supported by many countries including United States, United Kingdom and France.
Sources: Hindustan Times, The Statesman
 

BRICS Film Festival begins in Delhi

In the run up to the BRICS summit to be held in Goa next month, the first BRICS film festival begins this weekend in New Delhi. The festival opens at Siri Fort multiplex in the city from September 2-6. Four films from each of the nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

During a visit to Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conceived the idea according to a report in India Today. The films that will be screened from India are Veeram, Bahubali:The Beginning and Bajirao Mastani, and Thithi.

Bollywood star Rishi Kapoor will be the special guest at the opening ceremony, while Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh will grace the festival.

According to a report in The Indian Express, this is a step to improve relations among the BRICS nations – with an emphasis on the younger generations. The opening film will be Veeram, while the closing film will be a Chinese movie called Skiptrace, starring Jackie Chan.

The festival will honor persons in the industry, and the films will be judged in various categories by a panel of judges which will include one renowned filmmaker from each member country. The awards will include a BRICS Gold medal and a certificate of excellence.

Sources: India TodayThe Indian Express

India is ready to achieve double digit growth rate: K V Kamath

Distinguished banker and president of BRICS new development bank K V Kamath As to development of the Indian economy on Saturdaysaid that, India will eventually attain double digit growth despite the bottlenecks like deadlock on GST.

“I am wearing a different hat. I will talk wearing that hat. India is one of outlier in what is happening around the world. In economic context we are stable. We have both the deficits under control,” he said, commenting on the economic survey which predicted 7 to 7.5 percent growth this year.

According to him, India has a conductive climate with very low commodity and oil prices. These are the necessary elements required for fast growth. He also said that, government has set things in motion. Reaching double digit growth rate won’t happen overnight. Government will take time to take root.

When asked about the bottlenecks like GST reforms, he answered saying, India made progress despite having severe bottlenecks than the GST.

“To me it harkens to the year 2000. We were in much more challenging situation in 2000 than today. So to me we are there and ready to get next level,” he said.

when asked about his point of view over political reasons behind these deadlocks he said, growth will continue to under any context. growth transformation will not stop under any circumstances as it happening till now.

he was also asked about the reforms that he would suggest to the government to which he said that, government should specifically look at public sector banking system. according to him , it is necessary to bring vibrancy in this field.

 

Sources: MoneyControlDNA.

On healthcare,India performs worst among BRICS countries: Lancet Report

According to the 2015 Lancet report  on health care facilities in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries, India has been ranked as one of the worst performers on health.

The researchers have claimed that India has completely failed in providing its citizens with basic protection against financial risk associated with health cost.

Despite the government making an effort to introduce various new health care policies, India remains as the worst performer in health care sector among the BRICS nations in terms of mortality rate, life expectancy, sex ratio, infant mortality rate etc.

According to the researchers in India, the top killer diseases among children are diarrhoea, pneumonia, preterm birth complication, birth asphyxia and neo natal sepsis and they account for 68 per cent of all deaths among the children under the age of 5.

According to Academician and researcher DR. Vikram Patel and DR.K Srinath Reddy, “A large proportion of the population is impoverished because of high out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures and suffers the adverse consequences of poor quality of care.”

In order to deal with the existing health care problems in our country, the need of the hour is to bring in an affordable health care system, especially for the poor citizens.

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/lancet-report-on-healthcare-india-worst-among-brics-countries/

As per the 2015 Lancet report,India is the poorest performer on health among the BRICS nations Image source: www.dailymail.co.uk
As per the 2015 Lancet report,India is the poorest performer on health among the BRICS nations
Image source: www.dailymail.co.uk