The Union Minister for Textiles has launched Project SURE.
The SURE project is a commitment by India’s apparel industry to
set a sustainable pathway for the Indian fashion industry.
SURE stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ which means a
commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a
This framework would help the industry (a)reduce its carbon
emissions, (b)increase resource efficiency (c)tackle waste and water
management, and (d)create positive social impact to achieve long-term
According to UN,the global fashion industry is responsible for
about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions,20% of all wastewater and
consumes more energy than the international aviation and shipping industries
In March 2019,the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion was
launched at the UN Environment Assembly to improve collaboration among UN
agencies by analyzing their efforts in making fashion sustainable.
The 45th WorldSkills Competition is being held in Kazan,Russia.
The WorldSkills International Competition is a biennial event
and the biggest showcase of skills excellence in the world.It is conducted
by the WorldSkills International.
The objective of the competition is to demonstrate the
advantages of learning a vocational skill and encouraging ‘parity of
esteem’ between vocational and academic qualifications.
The WorldSkills International is a not for profit membership
association open to agencies or bodies which have a responsibility for
promoting vocational education and training in their respective countries/regions.
The organization is registered in Amsterdam,Netherlands.
Currently,it consists of 79 Member countries and regions,most
of which organise national skills competitions that help to prepare the
workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the
Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has been
leading India’s delegation at the event since 2011.
The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has decided to transfer a sum of
1.76 lakh crore rupees to the government.The surplus transfer was finalised
in keeping with the recommendations of a committee headed by former RBI
governor Bimal Jalan.
RBI had constituted a panel on Economic capital framework(ECF)
to address the issue of RBI reserves.The panel was headed by Bimal Jalan.
The panel has recommended a distinction between the two
components of the economic capital of RBI which are (a)Revaluation
reserves and (b) Realized reserves.
Revaluation reserves comprise of periodic marked-to-market
notional gains or losses in values of foreign currencies and gold, foreign
securities and rupee securities and a contingency fund.
Realized reserves is a form of a contingency fund for meeting
all risks or losses primarily built up from retained earnings.It is also
called the Contingent Risk Buffer(CBR).
The panel headed by Bimal Jalan has given a range of 5.5-6.5%
of RBI’s balance sheet for Contingent Risk Buffer.Hence,the RBI has
decided to set the CBR level at 5.5% of the balance sheet while
transferring the remaining excess reserves to the government.
The Central government has formed a panel headed by Sanjiv
Nandan Sahai,Special Power Secretary on power reforms.
The panel will recommend measures required to be made in the
Power Purchase Agreements(PPAs) and for increasing competitiveness in the
PPA is a contract between the one who generates electricity and
one which is looking to purchase it.
PPA defines all of the commercial terms for the sale of
electricity between the two parties such as (a)when the project will begin
commercial operation (b)schedule for delivery of electricity (c)penalties
for under delivery (d)payment terms and (e)termination.
The Power Sector has witnessed a huge growth in terms of
capacity addition during the last few years.But it is reeling under stress
as the mismatch in demand and supply has led to stressed power assets or
According to the 37th Standing Committee On Energy report,about
34 power plants in the country amount to about ₹1.40 lakh crore NPAs.
The debt has increased due to several factors such as
(a)capacity addition without tied-up PPAs with Distribution Companies (DISCOMs),
(b)coal supply issues (c)inability of DISCOMs to pay to generators
(d)regulatory issues among others.
The government has compulsorily retired 22 senior tax officials
under Rule 56 (j) of Fundamental Rules.
This decision has been taken in the backdrop of charges of corruption,
extortion and professional misconduct against them.
All Central government employees are governed by the
‘fundamental rules (FR)’ and the Central Civil Services (CCS) rules and
compulsory retirement is a provision in both of them.
Rule 56(j) of the Fundamental Rules allows the appropriate
authority to retire any government servant in public interest by giving
notice of three months.
A review is carried out on a quarterly basis,including
officials and employees facing serious allegations of corruption.If the
review committee finds the allegations to be true,it recommends compulsory
retirement and the order is then signed by the President.
According to FICCI report,India is projected to grow at 6.9%
for the year 2019-20.
They have also said that the RBI will continue its
accommodative stance with a further cut in the repo rate in the remaining
part of 2019-20.
The report has identified four key areas of improvement that
would help create more jobs which are (a)cost of doing business (b)
regulatory reform (c)labour reforms and (d) announcement of sector
specific special packages.
However,the report has expressed concerns on external front
with median current account deficit forecast pegged at 2.3% of GDP for
The report has listed various concerns on the external front
such as (a)overall decline in global growth forecasts (b)escalating trade
tensions (c)uncertainty around Brexit and (d)foggy outlook on
international crude oil prices.
The report has said that to achieve India’s potential growth
rate, government should (a)boost agriculture (b)strengthen micro, small
and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (c)enhance avenues for infrastructure
financing and (d)borrowing costs should be lowered to drive investments
and employment in the country.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI)
is the largest and oldest business organization in India.It is a non
government and nonprofit organization.It was established in 1927 on the
advice of Mahatma Gandhi by GD Birla and Purushottam Das Thakurdas.
The Reserve Bank of India’s(RBI) monetary policy committee
(MPC) has lowered the repo rate by 35 basis points to 5.4%.
Repo stands for ‘Repurchasing Option’.It refers to the rate at
which commercial banks borrow money from the RBI.
The Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) is a committee of the
Reserve Bank of India.The MPC is made up of six members with three nominated
by the Union government and three representing the RBI.
The MPC is mandated by law to ensure that retail inflation
stays within a band of two percentage points of the target inflation rate
of 4%.Since inflation has been well below the 4% mark,the MPC members have
voted for rate cut.
The rate cut was also needed as government finances are at
their limit and exports has also been lagging because of low global demand
and trade tensions.Hence,the rate cut is expected to boost consumption and
investment in the economy.
However,the MPC has cut the repo rate by 110 bps since
February,2019 but only about 40 bps have been transmitted to borrowers.The
poor monetary transmission by banks has consistently undermined the
effectiveness of the MPC’s decision.
Recently,a biologist has recreated a blue whale from the
skeletal remains of dead blue whales washed ashore on the Andhra Pradesh
The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet weighing as
much as 200 tons.They are also the loudest animals on Earth and are even
louder than a jet engine.
Blue whales are called baleen whales which means they have
fringed plates of fingernail-like material called baleen attached to their
Blue whales live in all the world’s oceans occasionally
swimming in small groups but usually alone or in pairs.They often spend
summers feeding in polar waters and undertake lengthy migrations towards
the Equator as winter arrives.
However,aggressive hunting in the 1900s by whalers seeking
whale oil drove them to the brink of extinction.They finally came under
protection with the 1966 International Whaling Commission but they’ve
managed only a minor recovery since then.
Blue whales are listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List.In
India,the blue whale comes under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972.
Indian Prime Minister has met US President on the sidelines of
the G-7 Summit in France.
During the meeting,the Indian PM said that India has planned to
increase imports including oil from the US and $4 billion worth of imports
were already in the pipeline.
India and the US has differences over trade imbalance between
the two countries.India’s exports to the U.S. in 2017-18 stood at $47.9
billion while imports were at $26.7 billion.The trade balance is in favour
Further,the Indian PM is also expected to hold talks with the
top CEOs of the energy companies in the US.The objective of the meeting
would be (a)to see how India can import more oil from the US and (b)how
India can invest in the energy sector in the US.
Although trade is an important part of the bilateral strategic
partnership, a dispute over market access and tariffs has escalated
between India and the US.
India has also imposed long pending retaliatory tariffs on 29
US products after US had withdrawn Generalized system of preferences(GSP)
for Indian exporters.
GSP is a preferential tariff system extended by developed
countries to developing countries.It is a preferential arrangement in the
sense that it allows concessional low/zero tariff imports from developing
Indian Prime Minister has met US President on the sidelines of
the G-7 Summit in France.
During the meeting,Indian PM has rejected any scope for a third
party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.He reiterated that
Kashmir is a bilateral issue.
This statement came after US President has offered to mediate
between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute despite India repeatedly
stating that it is a bilateral matter between the two nations.
The tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated ever
since India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to
withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two
However,India has categorically told the international
community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and has
also advised Pakistan to accept reality.
The Group of Seven(G7) summit was held in Biarritz,France.During
the summit,US President has said the US and China will be resuming trade
The US and China are negotiating a trade deal that would end
the trade war between both the countries that has been escalating since
Trade war is a situation where countries restrict each other’s
trade by imposing tariffs or quotas on imports.
The trade agreement under discussion will lead to(a)lower
tariffs for US goods (b)ease restrictions on US goods such as on
farms,automobile and chemical products (c)lower barriers that would allow
US companies to operate from China and (d)Reduce trade gap as China will
be buying more goods from US.
In return for Chinese concessions,US will also remove all the
trade sanctions which it had imposed on China since 2018.
According to Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor,India’s
foreign exchange reserves are borrowed reserves and not built out of
export surplus.This means that exchange rate dynamics in India is driven
by capital flows rather than current account balances.
Current account includes export and import of goods and
services while Capital account includes inflow and outflow of capital,
including foreign investment, gold and foreign exchange reserves.
He also added that RBI’s intervention in the foreign exchange
market is aimed at curbing sudden turbulences in the market and not backed
by economic fundamentals.
This statement came as the rupee has weakened to its lowest
level due to further escalation in US-China trade war as both sides have
increased tariffs further.
The deputy governor has also acknowledged that global economic
scenario is not very encouraging.He observed that growth in developed
countries remains sluggish and emerging economies such as China and India
appears to be facing challenges.
The deputy governor also said that every country favours
exports except when the terms of trade are deteriorating because it
contributes to domestic employment and growth.But there is a dislike for
imports because the country loses employment, growth and foreign exchange.
However,if all the trading countries impose retaliatory tariffs
in the interest of their respective countries,it becomes a negative-sum
game affecting global welfare and welfare of individual nations to a great