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Day#80 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

National Chambal Sanctuary; Elastocaloric effect; Common Reporting Standard (CRS); Asian Development Outlook 2019; ‘South Asia Economic Focus, Making (De) Centralization Work’ report;
By IASToppers
October 30, 2019

 

 

According to the ‘South Asia Economic Focus, Making (De) Centralization Work’ report, which country is the fastest growing economy in South Asia?

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Solution:

Bhutan is the fastest growing economy in South Asia. Bangladesh has become the second-fastest growing economy in South Asia Economic Focus, Making (De) Centralization Work’ report.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘South Asia Economic Focus, Making (De) Centralization Work’ report:

  • Recently, World Bank released South Asia Economic Focus, Making (De) Centralization Work report which is a twice-a-year regional economic update for south Asian region.

India related facts:

  • It estimated India’s economic growth in the current fiscal at 6 per cent.
  • In this report, India’s growth is expected to gradually recover to 6.9 per cent in fiscal year 2020 and to 7.2 per cent in the following year.
  • The growth forecast for India for the financial year 2019-20 was even lower than that of Nepal and Bangladesh which the estimates to grow at 6.5 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.
  • It remarks the weakness of Indian economic activity during the first half of 2019 is largely driven by external and cyclical factors and credit supply in the financial markets.

Global Facts:

  • Bangladesh has become the second-fastest growing economy in South Asia after Bhutan.
  • With a global downward trend, growth in South Asia is projected to slow to 5.9% in 2019.
  • Report indicates that the decentralisation in South Asia has yet to deliver on its promises and, if not properly managed, can degenerate into fragmentation.

 

 

Asian Development Outlook report is released by: A) World Bank B) Asian Development Bank C) BRICS Bank?

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Solution:

The Asian Development Outlook 2019 released by Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Enrich Your Learning:

Asian Development Outlook:

  • Asian Development Outlook is a flagship publication of Asian Development Bank.
  • The Asian Development Outlook analyses economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia. This includes forecasting the inflation and gross domestic product growth rates of countries throughout the region, including the People’s Republic of China and India.

India specific Highlights:

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered India’s growth by 40 basis points to 7.2 per cent in fiscal year 2019-20.
  • The growth rate in FY 2020-21 is likely to be 7.3 per cent.
  • Consumer price inflation is expected to rise to 4.3 per cent in FY 2019 and 4.6 per cent in FY2020 as food costs increase slightly and domestic demand strengthens.
  • Imports are expected to rise mainly due to stronger domestic demand while a growth slowdown in India’s key export destinations would dent export growth.
  • The current account deficit is expected to widen a bit to 2.4 per cent of GDP in FY2019 and 2.5 per cent of GDP in FY2019. The deficit is expected to be financed comfortably by capital flows, given that India has emerged as an attractive destination for foreign investment.
  • According to ADB, India will remain one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world this year given strong household spending and corporate fundamentals.

Global Highlights:

  • For the entire Asia, it forecasted that growth will soften to 5.7 per cent in 2019 and 5.6 per cent in 2020. Developing Asia’s growth in 2018 was 5.9 per cent.
  • Excluding the newly industrialized economies, developing Asia is forecast to expand 6.2 per cent in 2019 and a slightly slower 6.1 per cent in 2020. Still, it is lower than 6.4 per cent growth recorded in 2018.
  • According to the report, downside risks to growth include a higher-than-expected moderation in global demand and a potential escalation of trade tensions.
  • Lower-than-targeted tax revenues or a delay in strengthening bank and corporate balance sheets could also undermine economic expansion.
  • The East Asian economy slowed down by 0.2% to 6.0% during 2018, due to debilitated external trade and moderating investment in China however sustained by strong domestic consumption.

 

 

Which sanctuary is famous for the rare gangetic dolphin, magar (Crocodile) and Gharial (Aligator): A) Palpur Kuno Wildlife OR B) National Chambal Sanctuary?

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Solution:

National Chambal Sanctuary is a protected area in northern India for the protection of the Critically Endangered gharial, the red-crowned roof turtle and the Endangered Ganges river dolphin.

Enrich Your Learning:

National Chambal Sanctuary:

  • Originating in the Vindhayan ranges in M.P., the Chambal River snaking sanctuary way through the states of M.P. Rajasthan and U.P. before finally meeting the Yamuna in the Etawah district of U.P.
  • Chambal Sanctuary is a division of one large region jointly managed by the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • The National Chambal Sanctuary was established in 1979.

Key facts:

  • The last support for some of the country’s most endangerd wildlife like the Gharial, red-crowned roof, Otter is National Chambal Sanctuary.
  • The Chambal region also boasts of a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial bird.
  • It is well known for the endangered Gangetic Dolphin.
  • The Chambal Sanctuary has more than 316 species of migratory and resident birds.
  • It gives shelter to more than thousand Gharials and over three hundred Marsh Crocodiles, it is a home of 08 species of Turtles, Smooth coated Otters.
  • The wildlife animals of National Chambal sanctuary are Chinkara, Sambar, Blue Bull, wolf and wild boar.

 

 

Recently, Common Reporting Standard (CRS), regarding tax evasion, was recently seen in news. Elucidate the objective and mechanism of CRS.

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Solution:

The Common Reporting Standard is part of an international agreement to counter tax evasion by automatically sharing information between countries.

Enrich Your Learning:

Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

  • The Common Reporting Standard is part of an international agreement to counter tax evasion by automatically sharing information between countries.
  • This agreement is the standard for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI), was initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), G20 and European Union (EU) in 2014.

About CRS:

  • CRS calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis without having to request it.
  • It requires financial institutions to collect information about foreign tax residents who hold accounts.
  • Over 60 jurisdictions have committed to implementing the Standard.
  • It aims to reduce global tax evasion.
  • It is global reporting standard for such exchange of information, which takes care of aspects such as confidentiality rules and data safeguards.
  • Each jurisdiction will confirm that it has informed other jurisdiction about the modalities made available to persons making voluntary disclosure of their financial assets for smooth transition to system of automatic exchange of information.
  • India has also signed a multilateral agreement in 2015. Recently, India signed AEOI with Switzerland in tax matters on a reciprocal basis in November 2016.

 

 

What is elastocaloric effect?

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Solution:

The elastocaloric effect occurs when stress is applied or removed on an object and a phase transformation is induced. This results in heating/cooling of the material. This effect is called elastocaloric effect.

Enrich Your Learning:

Elastocaloric effect:

Why in news?

  • Researchers from multiple universities have found that the elastocaloric effect, if harnessed, may be able to do away with the need of fluid refrigerants used in fridges and air-conditioners.

What is elastocaloric effect?

  • The elastocaloric effect occurs when stress is applied or removed on an object and a phase transformation is induced. This results in heating/cooling of the material. This effect is called elastocaloric effect.
  • Elastocaloric Material includes Ceramics, Salts, Polymers etc.

Advantages of Elastocaloric Refrigeration:

  • More efficient than vapor-compression refrigeration
  • No gases or volatile liquids involved
  • Non-hazardous
  • Re-usable and recyclable parts and components

Need for discovery:

  • There are refrigerant fluids (such as Hydro-Fluorocarbon- HFCs) susceptible to leakages, and can contribute to global warming including deletion ozone layer.
  • For development of greener, higher-efficiency and low-cost cooling technology.
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