Essential Facts (Prelims): 1 December, 2018

Paris Agreement

  • This agreement agreed to in 2015 exhorts countries to take steps to avoid temperatures from rising beyond 2C of pre-industrial levels, and even 1.5 C as far as possible, by the end of the century.
  • The United States opted out of the deal last year but continues to be part of discussions as a complete withdrawal — as per terms of the UN convention — takes up to four years.

Forex reserves

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $ 24 billion to $ 400 billion this year.
  • The fall has been mainly due to capital outflows and the RBI move to stabilise the weakening rupee through dollar sales.
  • RBI held 586 tonne of gold of which 294 tonne are held overseas in safe custody with the Bank of England and the Bank for International Settlements, while the remaining gold is held domestically.
  • The share of gold in the total foreign exchange reserves is around 5 per cent.


  • The CPSE ETF comprise of shares of the 11 state-run companies including ONGC, Coal India, IOC, Oil India, Bharat Electronics, NTPSC, etc.
  • CPSE ETF was set up in 2014 and the government has so far sold stake in the basket through three tranches, thereby raising Rs 11,500 crore.
  • The government has mopped up over Rs 15,000 crore so far this fiscal through PSU disinvestment.
  • The budgeted target from PSU disinvestment is Rs 80,000 crore for the current fiscal.

Fiscal deficit

  • For the year 2018-19, fiscal deficit target is Rs 6.2 lakh crore or 3.3% of GDP

Blue Cross

  • India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra, was awarded the coveted Blue Cross — shooting’s highest honour — by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).