Current Affairs - September, 2018

First General Assembly of International Solar Alliance to be held on 2 October in Delhi

The inaugural General Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) will be inaugurated on 2 October 2018 in New Delhi. It will be followed by ministerial level assembly of ISA following day which will be will be held in Greater Noida.

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

ISA was jointly launched by India and France in November 2015 at Paris on side lines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference. Its Framework Agreement came into force in December 2017. It celebrated its founding day on 11th March, 2018. Its founding conference was held on 11 March 2018 in New Delhi.

ISA is action-oriented organization that aims brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase, facilitating deployment of existing solar technologies at scale and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building. It also aims at contributing to implementation of Paris Climate Agreement 2015 through the rapid and massive deployment of solar energy.

ISA is first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India. It is headquartered at campus of National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram, Harayana. Till date, 47 countries have signed and 19 countries have ratified Framework Agreement of ISA. United Nations is Strategic Partner of ISA.

Objectives of ISA

  • Undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology;
  • Mobilize around US $1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy;
  • Pave way for future technologies adapted to needs of solar rich 121 countries lying fully or partially between Tropic of Cancer and Capricon.

ISA’s 4 ongoing programmes

  • Scaling Solar Mini Grids;
  • Affordable Finance at Scale.
  • Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use.
  • Scaling Solar Rooftop catering to the needs of solar energy in specific areas.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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Fitch raises India’s GDP forecast to 7.8% from 7.4% for FY19

Fitch Ratings in its Global Economic Outlook has revised up India’s growth forecast for current fiscal year (2018-19) to 7.8% from 7.4% projected earlier. However it has flagged tightening of financial conditions, weak bank balance sheets and rising oil bill as headwinds to growth.

Key Highlights

Growth Projections: Fitch’s upward revision in growth forecast comes in backdrop of GDP expanding 8.2% in the April-June period, higher than its expectation of 7.7%. This robust performance was partly attributable to a powerful base effect, with GDP growth dampened in 2Q17 (April-June) by companies de-stocking ahead of rollout of goods and services tax (GST). It has however cut growth forecasts for FY 2019-2020 and FY 2020-2021 growth by 0.2 percentage points to 7.3%.

Inflation Forecast: It is also picking up to upper part of Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target band (4%, plus-minus 2%) within forecast horizon on relatively high demand-pull pressures and rupee depreciation.

Rupee: It has been worst-performing major Asian currency so far this year. Despite RBI’s greater tolerance for currency depreciation, interest rates have been raised to higher levels, more than anticipated.

Fiscal policy: It should remain quite supportive of growth in run-up to elections likely to be held in early 2019. The investment to GDP ratio has stopped trending down, helped by ramped-up public infrastructure outlays, in particular by state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Fitch Ratings

It is one of Big Three credit rating agencies in the world, the other two being Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Fitch Ratings is smallest of the “big three”. It is headquartered in New York (US) and completely owned by Hearst Corporation.

Credit rating agency is company that assigns credit ratings, which rate debtor’s ability to pay back debt by making timely interest payments and likelihood of default.

Month: Categories: Business & Economy Current Affairs 2018

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