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India slips 10 points in global competitive rank, performs poor in social sector

By Our Representative
The powerful international body, World Economic Forum (WEF), has ranked India 68th among 141 countries, down 10 places in a year. WEF’s new report, “The Global Competitiveness Report 2019” said, “The drop is only partly the consequence of a relatively small decline in score (61.4 on a scale of 100, –0.7 points), but also, and more significantly, the progress made by several countries ranked close to India.”
The countries that particularly outperform India are Colombia, which scores 62.7 (+1.1 points) ranking 57th, Azerbaijan (62.7, +2.7) 58th, South Africa (62.4, +1.7), 60th, and Turkey (62.1, +0.5, 61st). “India trails China (28th, 73.9) by 40 places and 14 points”, the report says, adding, “Along with Brazil (71st, 60.9), it is among the low-performing BRICS .”
The report says, “India ranks beyond 100th on five pillars and features in the top 50 of just four pillars. However, it does rank high on macroeconomic stability (90, 43rd) and market size (93.7, 3rd); and its financial sector (69.5, 40th) is relatively deep and stable despite the high delinquency rate (10% of the loan portfolio, 106th), which contributes to weakening the soundness of its banking system (60.4, 89th).”
According to the report, “India performs well when it comes to innovation (50.9, 35th), well ahead of most emerging economies and on par with several advanced economies”, but in sharp contract, its ranking in Information of Communications Technology (ICT) adoption is 120th, (scoring 31.1 on a score of 100), and in electricity it is 103rd (score 86.6).
Further, in product market efficiency India ranks 101st (score 50.4), which the report says, “is undermined by a lack of trade openness (43.9, 131st). It adds, as for the labour market it “is characterized by a lack of worker rights’ protections, insufficiently developed active labour market policies and critically low participation of women, in which India ranks 128th.
As for the social sector, India’s performance is also found to be poor. Thus, in health conditions, reflecting “low healthy life expectancy, it ranks 109th (59.4 years), which the report says is “one of the shortest outside Africa and significantly below the South Asian average”.
Pointing out that in skill base, India ranks a poor 107th (score 50.5), the report says, “As innovation capacity grows in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil, they need to strengthen their skills and labour market to minimize the risks of negative social spillovers.”
“As the shadow of the Great Recession looms large, the global economy is predicted to be heading for a slowdown. Over the past decade, growth in advanced economies has been anaemic. Many emerging economies—including Argentina, India, Brazil, Russia and China—are experiencing some slowdown or stagnation”, the report says.

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