Current Affairs India - 24 July 2014

1. India has been ranked at 135 out of 187 countries in 2013 as per the Human Development Index (HDI) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). India-s ranked was unchanged from 135th rank in previous year 2012. India-s HDI value for 2013 is 0.586 which falls in the medium human development category. Between 1980 and 2013, India-s HDI value increased from 0.369 to 0.586, as per the UNDP report. However, India-s 2013 HDI of 0.586 was below the average of 0.614 for countries in the medium human development group.

The report also said that none of the BRICS countries was in the high human development category and India remained at the bottom with lowest HDI value among them. Among the BRICS countries, Russia secured the highest rank at 57, followed by Brazil at 79, China at 91 and South Africa at 118, all are better than India-s rank. The HDI reflects long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human lives - a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. In 2013, the study covered 187 countries, the same as in 2012 and 2011.

At the same time, India has been ranked at 127th out of 152 countries on Gender Inequality Index based on reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity. India has a GII value of 0.563 in 2013. In India, 10.9% of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 26.6% of adult women have reached at least some secondary education compared to 50.4 per cent of their male counterparts.

2. The Union Cabinet has approved introduction of the Bill to increase FDI limit in insurance and to empower capital market regulator SEBI to act against illegal deposit and ponzi schemes. The Government will introduce both these Bills during the ongoing session of Parliament for final approval.

There will not be any rider in the Insurance Bill for foreign investor who can now invest up to 49% from the existing FDI investment limit of 26%. This will help the Insurance sector to attract nearly USD 7 billion of FDI in coming years.

The Cabinet has also approved the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill. This will replace the ordinance promulgated thrice. This will empower the Securities and Exchange Board of India to act against ponzi schemes and making mandatory registration for money pooling scheme above Rs. 100 crore.

3. Former Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Keshari Nath Tripathy was sworn in as the Govenor of West Bengal today. He was administered oath by the acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Mr. Asim Kumar Banerjee at a function in Raj Bhavan in Kolkata today.

4. A reality show based on classical music aired by Doordarshan will feature in the Limca Book of Records. The show 'Naad Bhed-The Mystery of Sound', the first ever reality show on classical music, has been selected by the Limca Book of Records and will be featured in its next edition under Television chapter: for being the First ever National- level Reality show on Classical Music, as per a statement issued by Doordarshan today.

Officials said that 'Naad Bhed' is a first of its kind national-level reality television show in the country and possibly the world, on classical music.