India tops the charts when it comes to the largest number of volunteers anywhere in the world. Nearly 18.65 crore people in India support non-profit organizations (popularly known as non-government organizations or NGOs) by volunteering their time and effort. In stark contrast, China, with only 6.8 crore volunteers, was fourth on this list.
Compared with the previous findings relating to 2012, the number of Indians volunteering time has shot up by three percentage points as 29 million more people contributed their time in 2013. These findings were released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a global non-profit that compiles the World Giving Index annually.
India has climbed 24 places (from 93) in its overall ranking of 69 out of the 135 countries that participated in the World Giving Index 2014 survey. This index looks at three measures of giving during 2013: The number of people who have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger.
When it comes to the sheer number of participants in these acts of giving, India’s booming 100-crore population has shown that it has a large heart.
Nearly 40.9 crore Chinese went out of their way to help a stranger and China led the pack when it came to the number of people helping others. India, with 34.6 crore people doing so, was second.
via The Times of India.
According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of people online in India is forecast to touch 302 million or 30.2 crore by end of 2014, overtaking the US as the second-largest Internet market in the world.
The Internet user base in the country is further estimated to grow to 35.4 crore by June 2015.
China has the largest user base with more than 60 crore Internet users, while the US has an estimated 27. 9 crore users.
Of the 27.8 crore users, 17.7 crore are in urban India, higher by 29 per cent from 2013. This is expected to reach 19.0 crore by December 2014 and 21.6 crore by June 2015.
In rural India, the number of Internet users is expected to reach 11.2 crore by December 2014 and 13.8 crore by June 2015.
According to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index, by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization based in Sydney, Australia, the number of deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44 percent increase on the previous year.
The Index defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation”.
“Not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well,” the report said.
According to the report, the three main factors behind with terrorism were State sponsored violence, such as extra-judicial killings, “group grievances” and high levels of crime. Levels of school attendance, poverty rates, and most economic factors, however, had no association with terrorism.
Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe, with India having the greatest number of more than 14 million victims of slavery, ranging from prostitution to bonded labour.
Releasing its second annual index, Walk Free increased its estimate of the number of slaves to 35.8 million, saying this was due to better data collection and slavery being uncovered in areas where it had not been found previously.
The Walk Free Foundation, an Australian-based human rights group, estimated in its inaugural slavery index last year that 29.8 million people were born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, trapped in debt bondage or exploited for forced labour.
The index lists Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent..
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via Hindustan Times.
Last week, India and the US reached an understanding on working out a “permanent solution” to the issue of public stock-holding for food security purposes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The deal is seen as a breakthrough, ending the impasse that had stalled the implementation of a landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) hammered out at the WTO’s ministerial conference in Bali last December.
The “peace clause” that India and the US have signed allows countries such as India to continue to freely procure and stock grains for the public distribution system even if subsidies resulting from these breach limits under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). The original peace clause proposed at the Bali ministerial conference provided only a four-year reprieve, during which no country would be penalised for any excessive expenditures on food security programmes. The India-US agreement – which has to be endorsed by the WTO’s general council – replaces this temporary peace clause with an open-ended one until a “permanent solution” to the issue of farm subsidies linked to national food security is arrived at.
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via The Indian Express.
Aiming to leverage technology to provide cost-effective and innovative solutions, the government is planning to equip India Post to handle not only savings and insurance services, but also payments and data registration.
With the world’s largest postal network, India Post has about 1.55 lakh post offices spread across the country. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.21 sq km and a population of 7,175 people.
The government is planning to utilise the huge resources at the disposal of India Post to provide cost-effective and innovative solutions to the citizens like financial services using digital connectivity, a source said.
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via Business Standard News
The ₹113,000-crore ‘e-kranti’ project of the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative is the world’s most ambitious broadband project that seeks to provide digital access to all citizens, from the rural and elderly to the poor. The ‘Digital India’ blueprint revolves round ‘nine pillars’ — broadband highway, e-governance, electronics manufacturing leading to ‘zero import’, universal phone access, electronic delivery of services, jobs, rural internet, information for all and ‘early harvest’ programmes.
The aim is to move governance online, and for that to happen, bridging the so-called digital divide is essential. The government aims to expand its rural internet coverage to 250,000 villages by 2017, from the existing 130,000. In two years, 150,000 post offices will be transformed into multi-utility centres (providing a range of government services, banking for instance, and not just postal services). Some 250,000 government schools will get broadband and free WiFi and all schoolbooks will have e-versions.
The digital drive is also integral to the government’s plan to create 100 smart cities. Under the plan, all cities with a population of more than a million will get public WiFi hotspots. All government communication will move to a universal secure email client.