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India’s GDP Growth Forecast for 2017 Revised Downward by UN

In the report titled, World Economic Situation and Prospects, the UN has projected a 7.3% growth for India in 2017. Earlier in the report’s January edition, UN had forecasted a growth of 7.7% for the year. The revised report also has predicted an impressive 7.9% GDP growth for the year 2018 which is an increase from its January estimate of 7.6%.

Salient Highlights

According to the report, despite India’s growth being revised downward, India remains one of the fastest growing developing economy which is ahead of China. China is projected to grow at 6.5% in 2017 and 2018.
The report has observed that despite temporary disruptions caused by the demonetization policy, economic conditions underpinned by sound fiscal and monetary policies remain robust. However, the report has warned that the stressed balance sheets of the Indian banks is likely to have an adverse impact on investment rebound in the country.

World gross product is likely to expand by 2.7% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018. This is an improvement over 2.3% growth experienced in 2016.

The report expects a recovery in world industrial production and global trade backed by rising import demand from East Asia.

The report expects firmer growth in developed economies and economies in transition, especially in East and South Asia which is likely to remain as the world’s most dynamic regions supported by robust domestic demand and supportive macroeconomic policies.

As a way forward, the report calls for renewed global commitments to deepen international policy coordination in key areas such as aligning the multilateral trading system with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; enlarging official development aid; supporting climate finance and clean technology transfer; and addressing the challenges posed by large movements of refugees and migrants etc. 

World Economic Situation and Prospects

World Economic Situation and Prospects is UN/DESA’s flagship report on the state of the global economy. It is a result of the joint work of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the five United Nations regional commissions: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Apart from the above organizations, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) also contributs to the report.

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India elected as President of UN-Habitat

India has been unanimously elected as the President of the UN-Habitat. UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations’ Organisation (UNO) reports to the United Nations General Assembly. UN-Habitat  promotes socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements across the world. India has been elected as the President of UN-Habitat after a gap of 10 years. This is only the third time that India has been elected as the President of UN-Habitat after 2007 and 1988. The UN-Habitat was established in 1978.

The Governing Council of UN-Habitat is an inter-governmental policy making and decision making body that aims to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries and regions in addressing human settlement problems and strengthen cooperation among countries over the issue of human settlement. Subsequent to the election, Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation  M.Venkaiah Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat for the next two years. Accordingly he will chair the 26th Meeting of 58 member Governing Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the meeting  is “Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda”

He will also chair the Bureau Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development in Nairobi. The New Urban Agenda which was adopted by the world community at Quito, Ecuador would focus on inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future and sustainable urbanization and integrated human settlements.

UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat, also known as United Nations Human Settlements Program is a UN agency responsible for sustainable urban development and human settlements. It was established in 1978 and has its headquarters in the UN Office at Nairobi, Kenya. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is also a member of UNDP. UN-Habitat works in more than 70 countries in five continents focusing on seven areas: Urban Legislation, Land and Governance; Urban Planning and Design; Urban Economy; Urban Basic Services; Housing and Slum Upgrading; Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation; Urban Research and Capacity Development.

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April 22: Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. It was first celebrated in 1970, and since then it is celebrated in more than 193 countries by over a billion people every year. Earth Day celebrations are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy. Environmental and climate literacy was chosen as it is important for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies across the globe as well as to accelerate green technologies and jobs.

Earth Day

Every year Earth Day is being observed on the 22nd April to build support for environmental protection around the world. It aims to encourage people to carry out activities that will benefit the Earth, such as recycling more, using solar power or plant trees.

Earth Day celebrations are a way to remind humans of environmental deterioration caused by them and advise them to turn off the electronic devices that are not in use or taking public transport to reduce the emission levels. It recognises that Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also aims to raise awareness that humans have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.

The concept of observing Earth Day was formally proposed by John McConnell at a UNESCO conference on Environment in 1969. Later in 1971, a proclamation was signed to observe international Earth Day annually on the Vernal Equinox by UN Secretary-General U Thant.

On Earth Day 2016, historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed. The agreement is legally binding on signatory countries to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

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