Essential Facts (Prelims): 14 March, 2019


Global Environmental Outlook

Category: Environment

  • India could save at least $3 trillion in healthcare costs if it implemented policy initiatives consistent with ensuring that the globe didn’t heat up beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century, says the sixth edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO).
  • Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) is prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • India’s stated commitment is to lower emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% compared to 2005 levels by 2030; increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40% by 2030, and create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.
  • The Paris Agreement aims to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

TIR Convention

Category: International

  • The first shipment under the United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port.
  • The consignments arrived at port of Nhava Sheva, Mumbai.
  • TIR convention will help in fast and easy movement of goods across multiple countries under a common customs document and guarantee.
  • India had joined the TIR Convention (the United Nations Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets) in 2017.
  • The convention allows goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments.
  • Customs officials verify the carnet and check the seals, with no need for physical checking of the contents, enabling shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.
  • Reciprocal recognition of customs controls is at the heart of the Convention. This enables a facilitative and non-intrusive environment for multi-modal transport of goods through several countries.
  • TIR will play a pivotal role in improving ease of doing business and pave the way for smoother and safer transport of goods across international borders and will help boost trade between India, Central Asia, Europe and Russia
  • It will act as a strong catalyst for moving goods using the multi-modal transportation route like Chabahar and International North-South Transport (INSTC) Corridor.

Forex swaps

Category: Economy

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to inject rupee liquidity into the system through long-term foreign exchange buy/sell swap — a first-of-its-kind instrument used for liquidity management.
  • The RBI would conduct dollar-rupee buy/sell swap auction of $5 billion for a three-year tenor on March 26.
  • The move is seen to lower the dependence on open market operations which have been a significant amount of the overall borrowing.
  • The move would boost RBI’s foreign exchange reserves which is around $402 billion.

Air pollution-Diabetes

Category: Environment

  • Long-term exposure to harmful smog particles increases the risk of diabetes, a new study in China has shown, providing evidence for a link between the country’s air pollution and the disease.
  • China is facing the largest diabetes problem in the world with around 11% of its population suffering from the metabolic illness.

Mercer’s index

Category : International

  • The Austrian capital Vienna has topped Mercer’s index of most liveable cities for the 10th year in a row.
  • Baghdad was ranked last.