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Important facts & Figures

Important facts & Figures


  • Terrestrial water storage (TWS) dropped at a rate of 1 cm per year in 20 years (2002-2021) according to new report 2021 State of Climate Services recently released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  • Five of the 21 river basins in India are ‘absolute water scarce’ (per capita water availability below 500 cubic metres) according to the Falkenmark Water Stress Indicator.
  • Arid areas in north western India spread over parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab, covering nearly 12% of the total geographical area of the country and are home to more than 80 million people. With an annual rainfall in the range of less than 100 to 400 mm, these areas face acute shortage of water throughout the year.
  • The UN World Water development Report 2020 emphasises that water is the ‘climate connector’ that allows for greater collaboration and coordination across the majority of targets for climate change (Paris Agreement), sustainable development (2030 Agenda and its SDGs) and disaster risk reduction (Sendai Framework).


  • India has the world’s fifth-largest coal reserves.
  • Coal production also releases methane (CH4), a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
  • It accounts for 35 per cent of CH4 emitted by all fossil fuel-related sources, says IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), the first part of which was published in August 2021.
    • The countries occupying the majority of the world’s remaining coal pipeline are China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh — predominately Asian countries.
    • China alone contributed 50 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions from coal in 2019 and runs over half of the world’s operating fleet.
    • Coal still accounts for 34 per cent of the world’s power production in 2020. 


  • Out of its 21.9% population living under the poverty line, nearly 275 million people including local tribals depend on the forest for subsistence.
  • Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region, which lies between the Sahara Desert and the humid savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, according to a new report by non-profit ‘Save the Children’.
  • An analysis by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic puts at least 10 million more girls at risk of being forced into marriage.
  • Odisha reported the highest number of human trafficking cases for forced labour in the country, according to the National Crime Record’s Bureau 2020 data.


  • Around 1.26 billion people across 30 countries are suffering from both extreme ecological risk and low levels of resilience, according to Ecological Threat Report (ETR) 2021 released by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
  • Around 16% of deaths in children occur due to pneumonia in India.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (ABHIM), announced recently, links these elements. It will support infrastructure development of 17,788 rural health and wellness centres (HWCs) in seven high-focus States and three north-eastern States.
  • India’s child mortality rate has been lower compared to Sub-Saharan African countries despite it having higher levels of stunting. This implies that though India was not able to ensure better nutritional security for all children under five years, it was able to save many lives due to the availability of and access to better health facilities.
  • Child stunting in India declined from 54.2% in 1998–2002 to 34.7% in 2016-2020, whereas child wasting remains around 17% throughout the two decades of the 21st century.
  • Only one in 10 people who need palliative care are receiving it, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). By 2060, the need for palliative care is expected to nearly double. Each year, it is estimated over 56.8 million people, including 25.7 million in the last year of life, need palliative care. Around 78% of those people live in low and middle-income countries. 
  • According to the “Assessment report of District Hospitals” by NITI Aayog, a district hospital in India has 24 beds per 1 lakh population, on an average.
  • As per study, Bihar is having the lowest average of number of six beds per 1 lakh population.
  • Puducherry is having the highest number of 222 beds per one lakh population.
  • The annual loss in human capital arising from mental health conditions in children aged 0-19 is $387.2 billion, according to a new UNICEF report report The State of the World’s Children 2021 – In My Mind: Promoting, Protecting and Caring for Children’s Mental Health.
  • Close to 40% of school students in India are in private schools. The majority of individuals are enrolled in ‘low-cost’ schools serving people with incomes below the poverty threshold or those with low incomes, which have been significantly affected by the crisis.
  • Over 60% of government and private school principals in India stated that their schools suffered from dropouts and face financial challenges, according to a recent survey (Global School Leaders and Alokit, report forthcoming).
  • The School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (SCHOOL) survey covering 15 States and Union Territories, conducted in August 2021, revealed that over 25% of children who had previously been enrolled in private schools had switched to government schools.
  • The SCHOOL survey showed that 42% of students in grades 3-5 in villages and urban bastis could only read a few letters. Only 55% of students in grades 6-8 could fluently read a simple conversational sentence.


  • Only 47% urban households have individual water connections. Urban areas produce 62,000 million litres of sewage every day. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the installed capacity to treat this sewage is only 37% and just 30% is actually treated.
  • According to a World Bank report (2021), road accidents globally injure more than 3000 persons every day.
  • India tops the world in road crash deaths (WHO, 2018), with more than 400 fatalities per day.
  • According to MoRTH, Road accidents in India kill almost 5 lakh people annually. India has 1% of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11% of all road accident deaths.


  • India is currently witnessing exponential growth in imports from the ASEAN region, while our exports have been impeded by non-reciprocity in FTA concessions, non-tariff barriers, import restrictions, quotas and export taxes from ASEAN countries. Such a review will enable alignment with contemporary trade practices, procedures and regulatory harmonisation.
  • India’s bilateral trade with ASEAN could rise to $200 billion, from $80 billion, with a collective effort.
  • ASEAN-India trade had declined 14% in 2020 to $65.6 billion, but India remained one of ASEAN’s largest trading partners, as well as FDI investors with fresh investments of $2.1 billion in 2020.
  • On average, India provides development assistance of $6.48 billion and receives assistance of $6.09 billion annually from key partners as Official Development Assistance (ODA).
  • China shares its 22,457-km land boundary with 14 countries including India, the third-longest after the borders with Mongolia and Russia.
  • The only other country with which China has disputed land borders is Bhutan (477 km).


  • India now has the highest ratio of unlisted to listed companies with a $1 billion valuation.
  • Estimates suggest India’s startup ecosystem valuation will explode from $315 billion today to $1 trillion by 2025.
  • A recent Deloitte report has forecasted that India could gain U.S.$11 trillion in economic value over the next 50 years by limiting rising global temperatures and realising its potential to ‘export decarbonization’.
  • India’s nuclear power generation capacity of 6,780 MW may increase to 22,480 MW by 2031, contributing to the country’s efforts to turn to green energy.
  • India needs approximately U.S.$500 billion of investments in wind and solar infrastructure, grid expansion, and storage to reach the 450 GW capacity target by 2030. 
  • Coal-fired thermal power plant (TPP) generation contributed 71% of the 1,382 billion units (BU) of electricity generated by utilities in India during FY 2020-21 though they accounted for only 55% of the total installed generation capacity of 382 GW (as of March 2021). 
  • While variable renewable energy (VRE) sources (primarily, wind and solar) account for 24.7% of the total installed generation capacity, as of March 2021, they contributed 10.7% of the electricity generated by utilities during FY 2020-21.
  • According to the WTO, from 2015 to 2019, India initiated 233 anti-dumping investigations, which is a sharp increase from 82 initiations between 2011 and 2014 (June).
  • The anti-dumping initiations by India from 1995 (when the WTO was established) till 2020 stand at 1,071. This is higher than the anti-dumping initiations by the US (817), the EU (533), and China (292), despite India’s share in the global merchandise exports being far less than these countries.
  • India, the world’s second largest coal importer with the world’s fourth largest reserves, must also compete for supplies with China.
  • India is second only to China (34-35 mt) in terms of consumption of edible oil.
  • A 2017 UNCTAD report on inclusive growth and e-commerce deems China’s e-commerce-driven growth as inclusive. That means China has successfully empowered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to compete with large companies on the same stage, with no geographic boundaries.
  • Recently, government raised foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in telecom sector through the
    automatic route to 100% from 49% earlier.
  • As many as 37666 (24.6%) of the 1.53 lakh people who died by suicide in 2020 were daily-wage earners according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report.
  • According to CSO, only about 17% of India’s workers are regular wage earners and less than 23% of Indian households have a regular wage earner.
  • According to the data available with the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the total number of employed people in the Indian economy as of May-August 2021 was 394 million — 11 million below the level set in May-August 2019.
  • As per estimates compiled by the Institute of Conflict Management, the government of India (GOI) has about 364 government servants for every 1,00,000 residents, with 45 per cent in the railways alone.
  • An estimated 55.80 million MSMEs employ close to 130 million people; of this, 14 per cent are women-led enterprises and 59.5 per cent are rural.
  • Women made up 24 per cent of the workforce before the pandemic, yet accounted for 28 per cent of all job losses as the pandemic took hold.
  • India has the lowest female labour force participation in South Asia at 20.3 per cent and current outcomes of skilling for them are highly inadequate. Out of every 100 women enrolled in skilling programmes, only about 10 stay in post-skilling jobs for 3 months or more.
  1. Representation of women stood at 40 per cent or more in 6 of the 16 constituted bodies under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, equivalent to that reported in 2020, according to a recent report by UNFCC published August 2021
  2. On average, women occupied 33 per cent of all constituted body positions in 2021, as was the case in 2020.
  3. Similarly, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2015 data showed that only 12 per cent of 881 national environmental ministries across 193 countries were led by women. In 2020, the figure was 15 per cent, according to IUCN new data. 


  • The number of agricultural labourers who died by suicide in 2020 was 18% higher than the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report.
  • Overall, 10,677 people engaged in the farm sector died by suicide in 2020, slightly higher than the 10,281 who died in 2019. They made up 7% of all suicides in the country.
  • The worst among States continues to be Maharashtra, with 4,006 suicides in the farm sector, including a 15% increase in farm worker suicides. Other States with a poor record include Karnataka (2016), Andhra Pradesh (889) and Madhya Pradesh (735). Karnataka saw a dismal 43% increase in the number of farm worker suicides in 2020.
  • As per the latestSituation Assessment Survey (SAS) of agricultural households conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO), an average Indian farmer earned Rs 10,218 per month in 2018-19 (July-June).
  • A farming household in Meghalaya received the highest income (Rs 29,348) across states, followed by Punjab (Rs 26,701), Haryana (Rs 22,841), Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 19,225), and Jammu and Kashmir (Rs 18,918). On the other hand, the states with the lowest income levels were West Bengal (Rs 6,762), Odisha (Rs 5,112), and Jharkhand (Rs 4,895).
  • Agriculture contributes about 16.5% to India’s GDP and employs 42.3% of the workforce (2019-20).
  • India produces sufficient food, feed and fibre to sustain about 18% of the world’s population (as of 2020). 
  • 11 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) out of 17 are directly related to the food system.
  • The National Statistical Office’s Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households (SAAH) report for 2018-19 pegs the country’s “agricultural households” at 93.09 million.
  • Today, the 10 states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Karnataka produce more than 90% of pulses.


  • Approximately 200 million Indians are involved in livestock farming, including around 100 million dairy farmers. Roughly 80% bovines in the country are low on productivity and are reared by small and marginal farmers.


  • India’s per GB internet data costs are just 3 per cent of those in the US.


  • India is responsible for no more than 4.37% cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial era, even though it is home to more than a sixth of humanity.
  • India’s per capita emissions are less than half the world average, less than one-eighth of the U.S.’s, and have shown no dramatic increase like China’s post 2000.
  • The agriculture sector, the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions for India after energy.
  • The 2016 Adaptation Gap Report of the UN Environment Programme had noted that the annual costs of adaptation in developing countries could range from $140 to $300 billion annually by 2030 and rise to $500 billion by 2050. 
  • According to the Global Carbon Atlas, India ranks third in total greenhouse gas emissions by emitting annually around 2.6 billion tonnes (Bt) CO2eq, preceded by China (10 Bt CO2eq) and the United States (5.4 Bt CO2eq), and followed by Russia (1.7Bt) and Japan (1.2 Bt).
  • Recently, the report ‘Sixth status of the Corals of the World’ by Global Coral Reef Monitoring
    Network (GCRMN) stated that 14% of Coral reefs are lost since 2010
  • According to the United Nations Environment Programme, healthy corals are projected to contribute additional economic benefits totaling $34.6 billion and $36.7 billion in the Mesoamerica Reef and the Coral Triangle, respectively, from 2017 to 2030.
  • India ranked seventh on the list of countries most affected due to extreme weather events, incurring losses of $69 billion (in PPP) in 2019 (Germanwatch, 2021).
  • The fact that 22 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India is a major cause of concern.
  • Delhi is the world’s most polluted capital as per the World Air Quality Report, 2020.
  • India’s per capita emissions is just 1.8 tonnes, significantly lower than the world average of 4.4 tonnes per capita.
  • Sector-wise global emissions show that electricity and heat production and agriculture, forestry and other land use make up 50 per cent of the emissions.
  • Agricultural soils are the largest single source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in the national inventory.
  • Nitrous oxide emissions from use of nitrogen-fertiliser increased by approximately 358 per cent during 1980-81 to 2014-15, growing at a statistically significant rate of 5,100 tonnes per year. 
  • According to the 2020 report on the State of the World’s Forests, it is stated that approximately 420 million hectares of forest have been lost due to deforestation, conversion, and land degradation since 1990.
  • Nearly 178 million hectares have decreased globally due to deforestation (1990-2020).
  • India lost 4.69 MHA of its forests for various land uses between 1951 to 1995.
  • Over the past 20 years, World Heritage sites lost 3.5 million hectares of forest (an area larger than Belgium) and forests in 10 World Heritage sites emitted more carbon than they absorbed.
  • UNESCO World Heritage forests, which cover 69 million hectares, or roughly twice the size of Germany, hold 13 billion tonnes of carbon (Gt C) in vegetation and soils.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa had losses of over $520 million in direct economic damages annually as a result of climate change since the beginning of this century, according to the International Monetary Fund estimates.
  • An average of 70 per cent of the population under 18 in G20 countries felt that climate change is a global emergency, compared to 65 per cent of adults, the report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) showed.
  • At least five out of the top 10 countries most affected by climate disasters in 2019 were LDCs, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.


  • By 2021, Bhutan and Suriname are the only two countries that have achieved net zero — meaning, they sequester more carbon in their forests than they emit.
  • Uruguay has set an ambitious net zero target for 2030 and the rest of the countries have said that they will get there by 2050. China has set a target of 2060.
  • In fact, 21 per cent of the world’s 2,000 largest public companies have also announced net zero targets as of March 2021.


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that approximately 24 per cent of all global deaths, which amounts to roughly 13.7 million deaths per year, are connected to the environment due to risks like air pollution and chemical exposure.
  • South Asia suffers the most among all regions of the world in terms of loss of human capital due to air pollution, according to the latest The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021report published by the World Bank.


  • According to UNEP Report
  • Plastic pollution in aquatic systems may triple by 2040.
  • Out of the seven billion tonnes of plastic waste generated thus far, people have recycled an estimated 10 per cent, incinerated 14 per cent, and disposed of the remaining 76 per cent in landfills, dumps, and the natural environment as litter.
  • The estimated annual loss in the value of plastic packaging waste during sorting and processing alone is $80-120 billion.


  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2019 report, a total of 104 CAPF personnel had lost their lives in various accidents and 36 died by suicide.

Read Also: Cholera disease-Pre Facts

some important facts and figures for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) in a concise format:

  1. World Population: Approximately 7.9 billion as of 2021.
  2. Global Poverty: About 9.2% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty.
  3. Climate Change: Global temperature has risen by around 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  4. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): There are 17 SDGs aimed at addressing global challenges by 2030.
  5. COVID-19 Pandemic: The virus responsible is SARS-CoV-2; vaccines like Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc., developed.
  6. Gender Equality: Gender pay gap is about 16% globally; many countries are striving for women’s empowerment.
  7. Environmental Issues: Deforestation, pollution, and loss of biodiversity are significant challenges.
  8. Economic Indicators: GDP growth, inflation rate, fiscal deficit, and current account balance are key economic metrics.
  9. Indian Economy: Major sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, and services; recent emphasis on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).
  10. Indian Polity: Constitution has 448 Articles, 12 Schedules, and 25 Parts; President, Prime Minister, and Parliament are key pillars.

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