GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

World Happiness Report 2018.

Background

  • Indians are unhappier than most of their South Asian neighbours including the citizens of Pakistan, according to the World Happiness Report 2018. Ranking at 133rd position, India witnessed a drop of 11 places from last year’s 122nd rank. India has been consistently falling in the happiness index since 2014. In the same report released in 2015, India was ranked 117 out of 158 nations.
  • But Indians can rejoice about the fact that Pakistanis along with Afghans have been ranked among the least accepting people in the world.
  • On the other hand, terror-ravaged Pakistan is ranked at 75 compared to its 2017 ranking of 80. Nepal, which is described as the ‘poorest-of-poor’ among poor nations also fared better in the ‘joy’ report than India. Nepal was ranked at 101 – down by 2 positions from 2017 report.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Apart from Pakistan and Nepal, the other SAARC nations that ranked higher than India were Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 115 while Sri Lanka was ranked 116. This year’s main focus apart from usual rankings was on migration within and between countries.
  • Scandinavian nations came out as the happiest nations in the world. Finland topped the list this year while Norway, which was ranked at the highest in the global happiness index dropped to the second position.
  • The top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years. Overall, four different countries have held the top spot in the four most recent reports – Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland. On the other hand, Burundi came bottom in the report which ranked 156 countries.
  • The World Happiness Report 2018, ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. The 2017 report ranked 155 countries. However, Maldives did not figure in both the last two reports.
  • The Report is measured by certain variables that have been found to support well-being: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceptions of corruption and dystopia.
  • There are many reasons for Pakistan to have been ranked above India when one looks more closely at the parameters used to measure a country’s happiness. For one, despite being a much larger economy than Pakistan, India’s per capita income is just marginally more than its bitter rival.
  • Among the other South Asian nations, the different parameters in which India stood higher than Pakistan were dystopia, healthy life expectancy and freedom to make life choices.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Maharashtra Cabinet Decides To Ban Plastic.

Background

  • The Maharashtra government has taken the decision to ban the use of plastic in two phases, a notification for which will be issued soon. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on 15th March, 2018 night. The government cited environmental and public health concerns for taking the significant step which would be strictly enforced in a time-bound manner.
  • Earlier, State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had said the ban would be enforced on March 18. A senior cabinet minister said that the government has taken the decision to get rid of use of plastic in two phases. A short-term and a long-term policy have been drafted to tackle the plastic menace.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • All the small and medium-scale industries and big industries which are involved in plastic businesses would be provided an adequate time frame to switch over to alternative modes of businesses. Various business models have been recommended by the government along with employment to the people engaged in the plastic industries.
  • The state environment department has conveyed that the ban would be for all polythene bags, specified type of plastic sheets, flags, flexes and banners, plastic and thermocol items such as plates, cups, glasses, forks, bowls and spoons.
  • The supply of milk in plastic bags will have to be replaced with environmental friendly containers or bottles. Gradually, all types of food supply which is packaged in plastic will have to be replaced with environment friendly containers and boxes. Cloth bags, bio-degradable containers, bottles, plates, cups and others items would be promoted to help plastic industry to explore alternative business.
  • The decision will be enforced across rural and urban Maharashtra. All municipal corporations, municipal councils, district collectors and chief executive officers of the zilla parishads have been sensitised to ensure its implementation in their respective regions.
  • The government also intends to provide some incentives to those who strictly adhere to the ban decision. There is also a proposal to slap a penalty such as non-renewing of licences for shops and industries which violate the decision.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

IAF’s Largest Transport Aircraft C-17 Globemaster Makes Historic Landing In Arunachal.

Background

  • The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) largest transport aircraft – C-17 Globemaster -made a historic landing at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) near the Chinese border on 13th March, 2018. The landing of the aircraft is seen as part of the IAF’s move to strengthen its overall operations in the strategically important border state.
  • The landing ground is only 30 km from China. After the trial landing, the mammoth C-17 carried out an operational mission, airlifting 18 tonnes of load into the airfield.
  • It is a US-manufactured aircraft named after two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s.

 

Background

  • The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) largest transport aircraft – C-17 Globemaster -made a historic landing at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) near the Chinese border on 13th March, 2018. The landing of the aircraft is seen as part of the IAF’s move to strengthen its overall operations in the strategically important border state.
  • The landing ground is only 30 km from China. After the trial landing, the mammoth C-17 carried out an operational mission, airlifting 18 tonnes of load into the airfield.
  • It is a US-manufactured aircraft named after two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s.

Sources- The Indian Express.