1) NITI Aayog’s Annual Health Index 2020-21: Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana emerged as the top performers among the ‘larger states’ in the NITI Aayog’s annual ‘health index’ for the Covid year of 2020-21.
- Larger States: Among the 19 ‘larger states’, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have occupied first, second and third place respectively, in terms of overall performance. Bihar (19th), Uttar Pradesh (18th) and Madhya Pradesh (17th) are at the bottom of the list.
- Smaller States: Among the eight smaller states, Tripura has recorded the best overall performance, followed by Sikkim and Goa; Arunachal Pradesh (6th), Nagaland (7th) and Manipur (8th) are at the bottom.
- Union Territories(UT): And among the eight UTs, Lakshadweep has been ranked as the top performer in terms of overall performance, while Delhi ranked at the bottom.
- Based on Incremental Performance: Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Odisha emerged as the top three performers in 2020-21, as compared to their performance in 2019-20.
- About: In 2017, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the World Bank initiated an annual Health Index for tracking Overall Performance and Incremental Performance across all states and Union Territories (UTs).
- Objective: The objective of the Annual Health Index is to track and rank progress on health outcomes and health systems performance, develop healthy competition and encourage cross learning among states and UTs.
- Parameters: The health index assesses states and UTs on two parameters – incremental performance (year-on-year progress) and overall performance.
2) National Population Register: For Census 2021, the Government has made the National Population Register (NPR) mandatory, allowing citizens to self-enumerate, for individuals who wish to fill out the census form themselves instead of relying on government enumerators.
- Self-enumeration refers to the completion of census survey questionnaires by the respondents themselves. Self-enumeration will be provided to only those households that have updated NPR online.
- During self-enumeration, Aadhaar or mobile number will be mandatorily collected.
- The upcoming Census will be the first digital one, allowing respondents to complete the questionnaire from their homes.
- The set of questions for the Houselisting and Housing Schedule phase has been finalized, while the questions for the Population Enumeration phase are yet to be notified.
- The comparison between the 2011 Census and the next one reveals new inquiries on travel time and metro rail usage for commuting.
- The question on disabilities includes additional categories like acid attack, intellectual disability, chronic neurological disease, and blood disorder.
- The next Census will also gather information on whether individuals living in rented houses own residential property elsewhere or do not own any.
- Clarifications are provided on the availability of drinking water within specific distances from the premises.
3) Child Wasting in India: Recently, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), WHO (World Health Organization), World Bank Group have released a report titled- “Levels and trends in child malnutrition: Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME)”, stating that in 2020, 18.7 % of Indian children were affected by Wasting caused by poor nutrient intake.
- Wasting: Half of all children with wasting in the world live in India. In 2022, an estimated 45 million children under five (6.8 %) were affected by wasting globally, of which 13.6 million were suffering from severe wasting. More than three quarters of all children with severe wasting live in Asia and another 22 % live in Africa.
- Stunting: India had a stunting rate of 31.7 % in 2022, down from 41.6 % in 2012, a decade ago. Some 148.1 million of children under age five worldwide, were affected by stunting in 2022. Nearly all children affected lived in Asia (52 % of the global share) and Africa.
- Overweight: There are 37 million children under five who are overweight globally, an increase of nearly four million since 2000. India had an overweight percentage of 2.8 % in 2022, compared to 2.2 % in 2012.
- Progress: There is insufficient progress to reach the 2025 World Health Assembly (WHA) global nutrition targets and UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal target 2.2.