- India moves up to 137th rank on 2018 Global Peace Index
- India has moved up four places to the 137th rank among 163 countries on the 2018 Global Peace Index.
- India has improved by four positions in the overall ranking from 141st to 137th.
- It is due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by increased law enforcement, according to a report.
- The report is published by the Sydney-based Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
- Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.
- Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years.
- India was also among the countries with the biggest decreases in the number of deaths, along with Sri Lanka, Chad, Colombia, and Uganda.
Source- Indian Express
- RBI to set up public credit registry to curb bad loans
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it would set up a public credit registry—an information repository that collates all loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers.
- A credit repository will help banks distinguish between a bad and a good borrower and accordingly offer attractive interest rates to good borrowers and higher interest rates to bad borrowers.
- The move is based on the recommendations of a committee it set up last year, headed by M. Deosthalee.
- The committee has also recommended that registry should also capture data such as external commercial borrowings, market borrowings, and all contingent liabilities to provide a holistic picture of the borrower’s indebtedness.
- The public credit repository will address information asymmetry, improve access to credit and strengthen the credit culture among consumers.
- It can also go a long way in addressing the bad loans problem facing the banking system, as corporate borrowers will be unable to lend from multiple banks without disclosing their existing debt.
- Setting up the public credit registry will also help improve India’s rankings in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
- Scheme to provide fortified rice to be rolled out in 115 most backward districts
- The government will provide fortified rice (enriched with essential vitamins and minerals) to all the poor under National Food Security Act (NFSA) across the country.
- To begin with, the scheme is likely to cover the 115 ‘aspirational’ districts across the country.
- Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the proposal is being prepared with the support of Niti Aayog under the National Nutrition Mission.
- The government has taken up the task of improving socio-economic and health conditions in the 115 most backwards or aspirational districts.
- Providing fortified rice is being seen as a move in that direction considering that majority of these districts are primarily rice consuming ones.
Fortification of rice
- Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food.
- It is done to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.
- Rice can be fortified by adding a micronutrient powder to the rice that adheres to the grains or spraying of the surface of ordinary rice grains in several layers with a vitamin and mineral mix to form a protective coating.
- These micronutrients are such as iron, folic acid and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and zinc.
- Rice can also be extruded and shaped into partially precooked grain-like structures resembling rice grains, which can then be blended with natural polished rice.
Source- WHO + Times of India
- IBSA summits
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended meetings of BRICS and IBSA in South Africa.
- During the visit, Swaraj participated in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers’ meeting on June 4 which is expected to lay the foundation for the annual summit of the grouping in Johannesburg next month.
- She also chaired a meeting of Foreign Ministers of IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), another bloc working to deepen coordination among the three countries on major global issues.
IBSA Trust Fund agreement
- India, Brazil and South Africa signed the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that seeks to fight poverty in developing countries.
- The agreement was signed at the 8th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting in Durban on 21st October 2017.
- Each country contributes USD 1 million annually to this fund which is managed by the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.
Source- Hindustan Times
- India to take part in 2nd quadrilateral meet on ASEAN sidelines
- The meeting will take place in Singapore on the sidelines of the Senior Officials’ meeting (SOM) on ASEAN.
- The ASEAN SOM is the opening event for a string of meetings within the ASEAN, ASEAN Plus 3, East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum that are taking place from June 5-7.
- Established in 1967 in Bangkok via Bangkok Declaration.
- Currently, there are 10-member states and 2 observer states are part of it.
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members and Asian states.
- Its headquarter is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- India is not a member of it.
- The 10-member states of ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
- The ASEAN Way- the doctrine that the member countries will largely business when it comes to internal matters of member countries.
- ASEAN Plus Three: Was created to improve existing ties with China, Japan and South Korea.
- ASEAN Plus Six: includes China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and India.
East Asia Summit
- The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a forum held annually by leaders of, initially, 16 countries in the East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian regions.
- Membership expanded to 18 countries including the United States and Russia at the Sixth EAS in 2011.
- EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings.
Source- Indian Express