27, September 2017

‘Divyang Sarathi’

  • The government has launched ‘Divyang Sarathi’—The accessible and comprehensive mobile application for easy dissemination of information to ‘Divyangjans’. According to the Census 2011, there are over 2.68 crore ‘Divyangjans’ in India which constitute more than 2.2% of the population.
  • This mobile application aims at providing all relevant information pertaining to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, including its various acts, rules, regulations and guidelines, schemes, information about the various outreach institutions, employment opportunities, and the disability market in an accessible format.

1.INS Tarasa

Source: PIB

INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft was recently commissioned into the Indian Navy.

Key facts:

  • INS Tarasa is the fourth and last of the follow-on Water Jet FAC’s built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The first two ships of the class i.e. IN ships Tarmugli and Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and the third ship INS Tillanchang was commissioned earlier this year.
  • The ship is an ideal platform for missions like coastal and off-shore surveillance, EEZ Patrol, law enforcement as well as non-military missions such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.
  • This is the second ship of the Indian Navy to be named INS Tarasa. The first INS Tarasa was in service of the Navy from 1999 to 2014. She was gifted to Seychelles Coast Guard as a symbol of India’s partnership with friendly maritime nation in IOR. The new INS Tarasa will be based at Mumbai under the operational control of Western Naval Command.
  • The ship is of proven design, has good endurance, low draught, high speed and manoeuvrability, thus making her most suited for her primary role of extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol.

2.International Solar Alliance

Source: PIB

Fiji, Niger and Tuvalu have deposited instrument of ratification of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in the recently held 5th meeting of International Steering Committee (ISC) of the ISA.

Till date 40 countries have signed and 11 countries have ratified the Framework Agreement of the ISA. With ratifications by 15 countries, the ISA will become a treaty based inter-governmental international organization.

International Solar Alliance (ISA):

  • The ISA is an Indian initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30 November 2015 at Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21.
  • Aim: It aims at addressing obstacles to deployment at scale of solar energy through better harmonization and aggregation of demand from solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
  • India has offered a contribution of Rs 175 crore for creating ISA corpus fund and for meeting the cost of ISA secretariat for initial five years.
  • International Steering Committee was establishment under the mandate of the Paris Declaration of ISA to provide the guidance and direction to establish the ISA.

3.India Ranked 40th On World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index

Source: The Hindu

India has been ranked as the 40th most competitive economy – slipping one place from last year’s ranking – on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index.


  • The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is prepared on the basis of country-level data covering 12 categories or pillars of competitiveness.
  • Institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation are the 12 pillars.

Performance of India:

  • India stabilises this year after its big leap forward of the previous two years. The score has improved across most pillars of competitiveness. These include infrastructure (66th rank), higher education and training (75) and technological readiness (107), reflecting recent public investments in these areas.
  • According to the report, India’s performance also improved in ICT (information and communications technologies) indicators, particularly Internet bandwidth per user, mobile phone and broadband subscriptions, and Internet access in schools.
  • However, the WEF said the private sector still considers corruption to be the most problematic factor for doing business in India. The second biggest bottleneck is ‘access to financing’, followed by ‘tax rates’, ‘inadequate supply of infrastructure’, ‘poor work ethics in national labour force’ and ‘inadequately educated work force’, among others.
  • Another big concern for India is the disconnect between its innovative strength (29) and its technological readiness (up 3 to 107): as long as this gap remains large, India will not be able to fully leverage its technological strengths across the wider economy.

Performance of various countries:

  • The list is topped by Switzerland. The US and Singapore are in the second and third places, respectively.
  • Other countries in the top 10 are the Netherlands (4th rank), Germany (5), Hong Kong SAR (6), Sweden (7), United Kingdom (8), Japan (9) and Finland (10).
  • Among the BRICS nations, China and Russia (38) are placed above India. South Africa and Brazil are placed at the 61st and 80th spots, respectively.
  • In South Asia, India has garnered the highest ranking, followed by Bhutan (85th), Sri Lanka (85th), Nepal (88), Bangladesh (99) and Pakistan (115).


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