GK Snapshots on 16 October
World Sight Day 2021 – October 14
World Sight Day is annually observed across the globe on the 2nd Thursday of October to create awareness on the global issue of eye health. The day also aims to focus the attention of vision impairment including blindness.
World Sight Day is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
World Sight Day 2021 was observed on 14th October 2021.
• World Sight Day 2020 was observed on 8th October 2020.
• World Sight Day 2022 will be observed on 13th October 2022.
The theme of World Sight Day 2021 is “Love Your Eyes”.
i.According to the WHO’s first World Report on vision(2019), around 2.2 billion people across the globe have vision impairment or blindness, of which around 1 billion people have near or distance vision impairment, which could be prevented or yet to be addressed.
ii.Vision impairment has major and long-lasting effects on various aspects of life, including daily activities, community interaction, school and work opportunities, and the ability to access public service.
World Student’s Day 2021:October 15
World Students’ Day was observed on October 15 annually. The day marks the birth anniversary of India’s 11th President, Dr. A P J (Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen) Abdul Kalam, the one who gave uttermost importance to students and encouraged them at every event. This year it will be the 90th birth anniversary of the former president of India.
International Day of Rural Women 2021 – October 15
The United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Rural Women is annually observed across the world on October 15th to highlight the role of rural women and girls, including indigenous women, in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods, and overall well-being.
• The day also aims to eliminate gender stereotypes and discrimination against women and girls.
The theme of International Day of Rural Women 2021 is “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”, which highlights the role of rural women and girls in the food system of the world.
Global Handwashing Day 2021 – October 15
The Global Handwashing day is annually observed across the globe on October 15th to create awareness about the importance of washing hands regularly. The day also aims to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.
The theme of the Global Handwashing Day 2021 is “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together”.
State of the world’s hand hygiene:
i.The World Health Organisation(WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund(UNICEF) launched the report titled “State of the world’s hand hygiene: A global call to action to make hand hygiene a priority in policy and practice”
ii.This is a first of its kind report that consolidates various data sets to present the current status of hand hygiene, highlight lagging progress, and call governments and supporting agencies to action.
iii.This report presents a compelling case for investment in five key ‘accelerators’ as a pathway towards achieving hand hygiene for all – governance, financing, capacity development, data and information, and innovation.
i.In 2021, around 2.3 billion people across the globe cannot wash their hands with soap and water at home and one-third of the world’s health facilities lack hand hygiene resources at the point of care.
ii.In the past 5 years, around 500 million people have gained access to basic hand hygiene facilities.
NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform to Felicitate 75 Women Achievers
To commemorate the 75th year of Independence, NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) will felicitate 75 women achievers on 5th edition of the Women Transforming India Awards 2021-22 as part of the Amrit Mahotsav celebration.
• Women Transforming India Awards (WTI) 2021 will celebrate the contribution of women entrepreneurs towards ‘Sashakt aur Samarath Bharat’ – by building self-sufficient businesses and/or overcoming challenges via unique business solutions.
• WTI Awards are being launched in partnership with the UN, CISCO CSR, FICCI and Grant Thornton Bharat.
• 75 inspiring women entrepreneurs will selected and the selected winners will be felicitated on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2022, celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence – ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
• The application form is available on https://wep.gov.in/, and applications will be accepted till 31st December, 2021.
ICMR releases MUDRA Toolbox in 5 languages
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released the Multilingual Dementia Research and Assessment (MUDRA) Toolbox in five Indian languages – Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
• MUDRA Toolbox is a project led by the ICMR Neuro-Cognitive Tool Box (ICMR-NCTB) partnership to improve dementia and mild cognitive impairment research and therapeutic practices in India.
• This toolkit has several cognitive tests that can be used to examine many aspects of cognition, including executive functioning, memory, speech, and visuospatial functions.
• The initiative has started when India has over 5.29 million persons living with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSIDementia). By 2030, the number of dementia patients is predicted to reach 7.61 million.
GHI 2021: India Slips to 101st Rank out of 116 Countries; behind Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal
India ranked 101 out of 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 with a score of 27.5. India is behind its neighbours Pakistan (92), Bangladesh (76) and Nepal (76).
• The GHI 2021 report was prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation WeltHungerHilfe.
• India ranked 94 in 2020 out of 107 countries (with a score of 27.2) and in 2019 India ranked 102 out of 117 countries.
• In 2021, with a GHI score of 27.5, India’s level of hunger is described as ‘serious’.
India’s GHI Scores and Change Since 2000:
% Change since 2000
The level of hunger in India was described as ‘alarming’ with its GHI score decreasing from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.8 – 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.
Somalia (Extremely alarming)
Yemen (alarming )
Central African Republic (CAR) (alarming)
Based on the current GHI projections of the report, the world as a whole, 47 countries, in particular, will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.
• The 18 countries including China, Brazil and Kuwait scored less than 5 GHI scores in 2021 and they are collectively ranked 1–18.
Key Points of the Report:
i.The GHI score for the world fell 4.7 points, from 25.1 to 20.4, between 2006 and 2012, it has fallen just 2.5 points since 2012.
ii.As per the GHI data from 2016–2020, hunger is considered extremely alarming in one country (Somalia), alarming in 9 countries, and serious in 37 countries.
iii.657 million people (nearly 8 percent of the world population) are projected to be undernourished in 2030.
iv.Africa, South of the Sahara, and South Asia are the world regions where hunger levels are highest.
About Global Hunger Index (GHI):
i.The GHI is a tool designed to measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are calculated every year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
ii.4 indicators: Under GHI, ‘Hunger’ is defined through GHI score which is calculated based on the following 4 indicators
• Undernourishment: The share of the population whose caloric intake is insufficient.
• Child Wasting: The share of children under the age of 5 who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
• Child Stunting: The share of children under the age of 5 who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition and
• Child Mortality: The mortality rate of children under the age of five.
iii.GHI scores on a 0-100 point GHI Severity Scale, where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.
• GHI Severity Scale: GHI Severity Scale shows the severity of hunger from low to extremely alarming associated with the range of possible GHI scores.
IMF releases ‘Global Financial Stability Report 2021’ – analyses ‘Cryptoization’
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released the ‘Global Financial Stability Report-2021’, that discusses the adaptation of cryptocurrencies in emerging markets, the report mainly discusses ‘Cryptoization’. The IMF names the potential of macro-financial risks due to asset and currency substitution as ‘cryptoization’.
• Crypto-adaptation leads to serious challenges to the financial stability of a country.
• Returns from non-stable crypto assets are highly volatile.
• Bitcoin is the most dominant Crypto-currency, while its market share fell sharply in 2021 from 70% to less than 45%.
• Crypto-ecosystem is free of intermediary platforms & links borrowers and lenders without any credit-risk evaluation.
Challenges in Crypto-ecosystem:
• No reliable method for estimating flow of crypto assets across countries.
• Inefficient Payment systems & Unethical macroeconomic policies leading to Cryptoization.
• Risk of Investor protection for crypto-assets.
Note – India ranks 2nd in the ‘Global Crypto Adoption Index 2021’, which was topped by Vietnam India’s daily Crypto trading volume peaks between $300 -$500 million, with establishment of over 300 new blockchain companies in 2021 Steps for Better Adaptation:
• Framing effective legal and regulatory measures & establishment of central bank digital currencies.
• Adoption of Global standards & deeper regulations in complex areas.
India to increase Solar Capacity to 5630 GW to achieve Net Zero Emission by 2070
In October 2021, the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), an independent think tank, released the “Implications of a Net-zero Target for India’s Sectoral Energy Transitions and Climate Policy” report, which predicts India to increase the total installed Solar Power Capacity to 5630 Giga Watts (GW) by 2070, to achieve Net Zero emission.
• A total land of 4.6% (approx) of India’s land is required for Solar power generation in 2070.
Note – At present, India has 100 GW of installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity (40GW Solar) & targets to attain 450GW RE capacity by 2030
IMF Report: Global Debt Increased to $226 trillion in 2020; India’s Debt in 2021 Projected at 90.6%
As per the October 2021 Fiscal Monitor Report of International Monetary Fund (IMF) titled, ‘Fiscal Monitor: Strengthening the Credibility of Public Finances’, the global debt (issued by governments, nonfinancial corporations, and households) in 2020 was increased by $27 trillion (from 2019) to a new high of USD 226 trillion.
• India’s debt in 2021 was projected to rise at 90.6 percent.
• Global debt in 2020 was reported at 97.8 percent whereas the 2021 debt was projected to be 96.9 percent.
Key Points of the Report:
i.Advanced economies and China contributed to more than 90 percent of worldwide debt in 2020 whereas the remaining emerging economies and low-income developing countries contributed for around 7 percent.
ii.Global deficits are expected to decrease further by almost 3 percent in 2022 and return to their pre-pandemic levels by 2026.
iii.Global government debt is expected to decline in 2021 and 2022 by about 1 percentage point of GDP per year.
iv.The debt crisis might include more people in poverty in 2021, which is estimated to be around 65 to 75 million higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Note: The IMF notified the risk of a sharp decline in global equity prices and home values as the central banks might withdraw the support they have provided during COVID-19.
WHO’s DG Bestows “WHO Director-General’s Award” Posthumously on Henrietta Lacks in Geneva
The Director General (DG) of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus honoured the late, Henrietta Lacks with a ‘WHO Director-General’s award’, for recognizing her world-changing legacy, who died of cervical cancer, 70 years ago, on 4 October, 1951.
i.In honouring Henrietta Lacks, WHO acknowledges the importance of reckoning with past scientific injustices, and advancing racial equity in health and science.
ii.WHO gave recognition to Henrietta Lacks’ contribution by inviting her family members at the WHO office in Geneva, where Lawrence Lacks, son of Henrietta Lacks, was given recognition on behalf of his mother.
Navrang Saini gets additional charge as IBBI Chairperson
On October 13, 2021, the Central Government gave Navrang Saini, Whole Time Member, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), an additional charge as the Chairperson of IBBI.
• He has been appointed for a period of three months or till the joining of a new incumbent to the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier
• He will succeed S. Sahoo who retired on September 30, 2021 after a five-year tenure on.
RBI Approves Reappointment of Amitabh Chaudhry as MD & CEO of Axis Bank
The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has approved the reappointment of Amitabh Chaudhry as the Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive officer(CEO) of Axis Bank for a period of three years with effect from 1st January 2022 till December 31, 2024.
• In April 2021, The Board of Axis Bank approved the extension of Amitabh Chaudhry tenure as MD & CEO for a period of3 years subject to regulatory clearance.
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