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UN: India to become more Populous than China by 2024

According to the World population Prospectus: The Revision released by the United Nations, India with 1.3 billion inhabitants would surpass China’s population of 1.4 billion by 2024, to become the World’s populous country.

Salient Highlights

Despite the drop in universal fertility rates, the UN report expects the world’s total population to hit 9.8 billion by 2050. As per the report, the world’s population is at present 7.6 billion up from 7.4 billion last year. The increase in population was spurred by the relatively high levels of fertility in developing countries. With an addition of 82 million people every year, UN expects a continuation of the upward trend in population size. At this rate, the world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and surpass 11.2 billion in 2100.

As per the report, the concentration of global population growth in the poorest countries is presenting a challenge. The population growth is expected to come from the 47 least developed countries where the fertility rate is around 4.3 births per woman. At this rate, the population in these countries would reach 1.9 billion people in 2050. It presents a challenge as the world seeks to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which is aimed to end poverty and preserve the planet.

Further, the birth rates in African countries are expected to at least double by 2050, despite fertility rates falling from 5.1 births per woman up to 2005 to 4.7 births in the five years following. In contrast, birth rates in Europe are seeing an increase which has increased up to 1.6 births per woman, up from 1.4 births in 2000-2005.

As per the report, the overall reduction in fertility rates is expected to result in the ageing population, with the number of people above the age of 60 or over is likely to become more than double by 2050 and triple by 2100, from the current 962 million to 3.1 billion. Africa which has the youngest age distribution for any region is expected to experience a rapid ageing of its population.

According to the report, Nigeria which is currently at the seventh place is expected to become the third most populous country by 2050 replacing the US.

World population Prospectus: The Revision

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the twenty-fifth round of official United Nations population estimates prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. The findings are presented for each development group, income group, region, subregion and country or area for the period 1950-2100.

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South China Sea Dispute: China launches Research Project to Compile Data on Disputed Region

China has launched a research project aimed at compiling historical data obtained during earlier expeditions conducted by its teams to the disputed South China Sea since the late 1950s.

Salient Highlights

The research project is one among the 14 resource investigation programmes approved by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Under the project, Chinese researchers will collect and compile valuable data and materials which were obtained by China during its major ocean expeditions to the South China Sea and its affiliated islands and reefs. China expects that a comparative analysis and research done into the data will offer insight into the resources, environment and changes related to the South China Sea and its affiliated islands and reefs.

Around 193 scholars with specialisation in fields such as marine life, ecology, fishery and geology from China’s 10 domestic research institutions and universities will take part in the initiative. Retired expedition members would also be invited to assist in this programme to ensure the reliability and precision of the data.

South China Sea Dispute

China has been aggressively claiming the entire South China Sea as its own. The other countries that claim the various territories in the South China Sea are Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
The South China Sea is part of Pacific Ocean spreading an area of some 35 lakh square km with eight littoral countries/territories viz. China, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam. It is strategically located in the international shipping route that sees the passage of world’s half of the merchant ships. The sea is rich in energy reserves including petroleum, mineral and fishing resources. It is made of some 200 tiny islands, coral reefs, shoals, sandbanks etc. grouped into three archipelagos of Spratlys, Paracels and Pratas. The Macclesfield Bank and Scarborough Shoal are also part of South China Sea. Several countries have made competing territorial claims over the South China Sea. Such disputes have been regarded as Asia’s most potentially dangerous point of conflict.

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China unveils World’s First Train that runs on Virtual Tracks

China has unveiled world’s first train that runs on a virtual track making use of sensor technology instead of metal rails.

Salient Highlights

The new trains are non-polluting as they are battery powered.

The train is capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kmph and can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes.

The train which is only about 32 metres long can carry up to 307 passengers.

The new trains are fitted with sensors which are capable of detecting the dimensions of the road permitting it to follow the routes without the need for metal rails. So it can run without the presence of tracks. The new trains will make use of rubber wheels on a plastic core and can be automatically guided without rails. This new technology has been copyrighted by the Chinese rail corporation.

The train will be rolled out for public use in 2018. It will be launched in the Chinese city of Zhuzhou in a bid to help to deal with traffic in the area.

The new train is expected to have a lifespan of around 25 years.

The cost of the new train is only a fifth of the price of a traditional subway system.

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