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In brief:

On January 7, 2020, the International Meteorological Organisation released its “State of Climate Report” for the year 2019. 2019 the warmest year since 1901.

About News:

  • According to the report, the climate change has claimed 1,659 lives in India in the year 2019.
  • It also stated that 2019 was the warmest year of India since 1901.
  • The extreme weather events that occurredin the country in the year 2019 were all linked to climate change.
  • It includes cyclones, floods, heat waves, cold waves, landslides, etc.
  • Of all the states, Bihar reported highest deaths (650) due to extreme weather events. Of these 300 died in floods and 350 died due to heat waves.
  • Following Bihar, other states such as Maharashtra, UP, Kerala, Rajasthan and Karnataka showed high numbers of deaths due to extreme weather events
  • New Delhi recorded the longest cold wave duration of 18 days since 1902.
  • Storms : There were 8 cyclonic storms that were formed in the Indian seas.
  • Of these, around 5 were formed in Arabian sea.
  • The report also stated that heavy rains claimed 850 lives.
  • Heat waves that was stronger in North Eastern and western parts claimed 350 lives.

About Cyclonic Storms Of 2019:

  1. Cyclonic Storm Pabuk. Origin- South China Sea on January 1, Named by- Laos, means – a ‘big fresh water fish’.
  2. Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani, Origin – West of Sumatra, Named by: Bangladesh, Means: ‘Snake’ or ‘hood of snake’.
  3. Very Severe CycIonic Storm Vayu, Origin :northwest of the Maldives, Named by: India, Means : wind.
  4. Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Hikaa, Origin : Arabian Sea, Named by :Maldives, Hit: Oman
  5. Super Cyclonic Storm Kyarr, Origin :Arabian Sea.
  6. Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Maha
  7. Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Bulbul
  8. Cyclonic Storm Pawan

MECOS-3, 2020: Global Marine Ecosystem Meet In Kochi

The Marine Ecosystems-Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS), the third international symposium is to be held in Kochi.

  • The symposium is conducted by the Marine Biological association of India between January 7, 2020 and January 10, 2020.
  • Participants : Scientists, Fisheries researchers, Marine biotechnologists and oceanographers from all over the world.
  • The symposium will act as a common platform for the experts to discuss on climate crisis, unusual warming of Arabian Sea, ocean acidification, etc.
  • It will discuss development of small-scale fisheries, green fishing technologies and eco-labelling.
  • The symposium will review concerns of marine ecosystem and will formulate new strategies for sustainable utilisation of marine wealth. (SDG-14)

More About SDG Goals:

  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) follow and expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which are due to expire at the end of 2015.
  • Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, associated 169 targets and 304 indicators.
  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Govt May Cut Spending To Curb Deficit

Government is likely to cut spending for the current fiscal year by as much as Rs 2 lakh crore as it faces one of the biggest tax shortfalls in recent years.

  • Economy is growing at its slowest pace in over six years because of lack of private investment, could be hurt further if the government cuts spending.
  • The government has spent about 65% of the total expenditure target of Rs 27.86 lakh crore till November but reduced the pace of spending seen in October and November. A 2 lakh crore-rupee reduction would be about a 7% cut in total spending planned for the year.
  • Lack of demand , weak corporate earnings growth & reduction of corporate tax in the economy led to reduction in tax collections, leads to reduced spending
  • The government is likely to announce additional borrowing of 300 billion to 500 billion rupees for the current year to match the revised fiscal deficit
  • Fiscal Deficit: Fiscal deficit is defined as excess of total budget expenditure over total budget receipts excluding borrowings during a fiscal year. In simple words, it is amount of borrowing the government has to resort to meet its expenses.

Operation Twist

Operation twist was on expected lines – RBI Governor

  • The simultaneous buy & sell of government bonds, known as Operation Twist, targets to bring down long-term interest rate while allowing short term rates to inch up.
  • It is a new type of monetary policy by RBI through open market operation. initiative of buying longer-term bonds and simultaneously selling some of the shorter-term bonds it already held in order to ease the economy by bringing down long-term interest rates.
  • The move was aimed at addressing liquidity & it helps in monetary transmission.
  • The central bank has so far carried out three rounds of simultaneous bond buy-and-sell via open market operations.
  • Earlier The US Federal Reserve (the Fed) implemented the Operation Twist program in late 2011 and 2012 to help stimulate the economy

NPS Not So Attractive

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) National Pension System (NPS) identified as less-preferred saving option.

  • 7,000 corporates are currently registered with PFRDA, but only 10 lakh of employees are covered under NPS. The coverage seems too low has to improve. Survey indicates the people’s mindset as the major impediment.
  • The PFRDA currently in the process of conducting pension awareness campaigns across the country has a mandate to add five lakh new NPS subscribers and 75 lakh Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers by March 2020.
  • Most of the subscribers in APY are from the unorganized sector including labourers, farmers, construction workers, and daily-wage workers.

About NPS

  • National Pension System (NPS) is a pension cum investment scheme launched by Government to provide old age security to Citizens of India.
  • It brings an attractive long term saving avenue to effectively plan your retirement through safe and regulated market-based return.
  • The Scheme is regulated by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).National Pension System Trust (NPST) established by PFRDA is the registered owner of all assets under NPS.
  • NPS is mandatory to all employees joining services of Central Government (except Armed Forces) and Central Autonomous Bodies on or after 1st January 2004.

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