By: D.K Chaudhary
1. Election Commission Launches Its Online RTI Portal
i. The Election Commission has launched it’s online RTI Portal. The portal- rti.eci.nic.in will facilitate applicants seeking information under the Right to Information Act.
ii. The portal also facilitates the online reply to applications and also for making first appeal and reply thereto.
- The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.
- Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Arora are Election Commissioner of India.
- Om Prakash Rawat is present Chief Election Commissioner of India.
2. Centre Constitutes Group To Suggest Changes In SEZ Policy
i. The Centre has constituted a group of eminent persons headed by Bharat Forge’s Baba Kalyani to study the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) policy of the country and suggest measures to make it more relevant for exporters and compatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) norms.
ii. The SEZ Act was passed in 2005 giving tax incentives to investors, but investments in the zone were subsequently brought under the ambit of Minimum Alternate Tax and Dividend Distribution Tax leading to a dwindling in the flow of money into the SEZs.
3. India Records 22% Reduction In Maternal Mortality Ratio Since 2013
i. India has registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) recording a 22-percent reduction in such deaths since 2013. According to the Sample Registration System bulletin, the MMR has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016.
ii. According to Health Ministry, every day 30 more pregnant women are now being saved in India as compared to 2013.
4. IIT Bombay Displaces IIT Delhi As Best-Ranked Indian University
i. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) are in the top 200 in QS World University Rankings 2019. The number of Indian universities in the top 1,000 increased from 20 to 24.
ii. IIT-Bombay is now the top institute in the country rising 17 positions from 2018 to 162, displacing IIT-Delhi which has remained at 172. The Indian Institute of Science too has overtaken IIT-Delhi and is now ranked 170. The 15th edition of the QS World University Rankings, released by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds and considered one of the most authoritative and prestigious rankings in the world sees six of India’s eight top-ranked IITs/IISCs improving their rank, with two remaining stable year-on-year.
5. FDI Inflows To India Fall By $4 Billion Last Year: UN Report
i. Foreign Direct Investment to India decreased to 40 billion dollars last year from 44 billion dollars in 2016 while outflows from India, the main source of investment in South Asia, more than doubled, according to a new trade report by the UN.
ii. According to the World Investment Report, 2018 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) global foreign direct investment flows fell by 23 percent in 2017, to USD 1.43 trillion from USD 1.87 trillion in 2016.
- FDI is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.
- UNCTAD is the main United Nations body dealing with trade, investment, and development issues.
- Headquarters of UNCTAD is in Geneva, Switzerland.