Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Monetary Policy
- Ambitions Beyond Growth annual report by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
- Order of Zayed
- Facts for Prelims – Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition / EAT Lancet Commission
1 . Monetary Policy
Context : The monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the second consecutive time cut the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 6% on Thursday. It cited concerns over growth as it lowered the GDP forecast to 7.2% for the current financial year from 7.4% projected in the February policy.
Details of the decisions taken by Monetary Policy Committee
- The committee maintained the neutral policy stance, which means interest rates can move in either direction.
- With the inflation outlook remaining benign, the RBI will address the challenges to sustained growth of the economy while ensuring price stability on an enduring basis,” Governor Shaktikanta Das
- Lowered repo rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent, reverse repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25 per cent.
- The RBI lowered its inflation forecast to 2.9%-3% from 3.2%-3.4% for the first half of the current financial year and 3.5-3.8% in the second half, assuming a normal monsoon.
- Cut in GDP growth projection for 2019-20 to 7.2%, from 7.4% forecasted in February policy meet, because of declaration in domestic economic activity due to a slowdown in consumption, both public and private.
About Monetary Policy Committee
- Covered under Current Affairs Analysis
2 . Ambitions Beyond Growth annual report by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
Context : A new report by a regional arm of the United Nations says that an additional annual investment of $1.5 trillion — equivalent to a dollar per person per day — would allow countries in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Details of the Report
- The UN defines 17 SDGs as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These include targets such as “No poverty”, “Zero hunger”, “Good health and well-being”, “Quality education” and “Gender equality”.
- UNESCAP proposes an investment package, equivalent to 5% of the combined GDP of Asia-Pacific developing countries in 2018, that includes: $669 billion to support basic human rights and develop human capacities, $590 billion to achieve clean energy for all and live in harmony with nature, $196 billion for improved access to transport, information and communications technology (ICT), and water and sanitation.
- Closing this investment gap is within reach for many countries, but the gap is widest in countries which can least afford to narrow it
- North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation as well as strengthened multilateral financing mechanisms will be essential to accelerating the pace of sustainable development
- Innovative financial instruments such as green bonds and promoting new investor classes can help leverage the massive $51 trillion in assets managed by the private financial sector in the developing Asia-Pacific region
- The report says that significant savings could be achieved through greater emphasis on education quality and outcomes.
- The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region.
- Made up of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, with a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, the region is home to 4.1 billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population.
- This makes ESCAP the most comprehensive of the United Nations five regional commissions, and the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region with over 600 staff.
- It is established in 1947 with headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand
- India is a founding member of UNESCAP
3 . Order of Zayed
Context : UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has awarded Prime Minister Narendra Modi the country’s highest civilian award, ‘the Order of Zayed’
About the Award
- UAE has awarder order of Zayed to PM Modi for providing a boost to the comprehensive strategic ties between the two nations.
- Before Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf have been some of the recipients of this honour.
- Other Awards conferred to PM Modi : He was conferred with the Saudi Arabia’s Order of Abdulaziz al Saud award in April 2016, Afghanistan’s State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan award in June 2016, and with the Grand Collar of State of Palestine in February 2018. In addition to this, he was awarded the UN’s highest environmental award ‘Champions of the Earth’ in October 2018 for his pioneering work towards the International Solar Alliance.
4 . Facts for Prelims
EAT Lancet commission and GAIN
Context : “The way we are producing food today is causing increased emission of greenhouse gases, depleting fresh water supply, compromising land use, exhausting the nitrogen and phosphorous cycle, and endangering biodiversity,”
Details of the Report :
- The report, authored by 37 international experts, including two from India, has been put together by EAT, the science-based global platform for food system transformation, and the journal The Lancet
- The EAT-Lancet Commission’s report, for the first time proposes scientific targets for what constitutes a healthy diet derived from a sustainable food system.
- With 1.35 billion people, that is, 1 out of 6 people globally here in India, India would soon surpass China to become the most populated nation in the world, and that too on one-third of the landmass of China.
- Feeding people a healthy diet in a sustainable manner without compromising on our ecology and environment is going to be the most important challenge for India in the coming decades
- Taxes on unhealthy foods, subsidies for healthier food options, strong leadership in the public and private sectors and strong civil society movements, is the need of the hour
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
- The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition.
- Working with partners, GAIN aims at making healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable.
- GAIN’s purpose is to improve nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable.