Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2018

IMD to deploy 30 more doppler radars across India

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is planning to add 30 more doppler radars in the next two-three years across the country. 14 will be located in the northeast, four in Jammu and Kashmir and three each will be Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Background

The first Doppler radar in India was installed in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 2002. Its need became more compelling after 2005 Mumbai floods. There are currently 27 Doppler radars in the country. The hilly states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and J&K had witnessed erratic patterns like thunderstorms and heavy rains and snowfall, so do north eastern states. In 2013, erratic cloud burst in Uttarakhand had caused flash floods killing hundreds.

Doppler radar

Doppler radar is an observational tool used for precisely monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as hailstorms, thunder storms, cyclones and tornados. It uses Doppler effect by bouncing microwave signal off desired target to produce velocity data. This data helps in analyzing object’s motion by altered frequency of returned signal. It mainly gives information about wind velocity and precipitation.

Doppler radar has radius of 250 km and helps in issuing forecasts two-three hours prior to severe weather conditions. It can provide area specific rain and storm warnings which are beneficial for disaster management and emergency response, aviation and related services. It can be used for wind speed measurements during cyclones and thunderstorms which is not possible in conventional weather radar.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

IMD is the principal agency of Government of India responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. It functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is headquartered in New Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.

IMD is one of six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It has been entrusted with responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in Northern Indian Ocean region, including Malacca Straits, Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf.

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India was world’s largest remittance-receiving country in 2017: Repot

According to recently released report ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’, India was largest remittance receiving country in the world with US $69 billion in 2017. Top five remittance receiving countries in 2017 in the world were India ($69 billion), China ($64 billion) and Philippines ($33 billion), Pakistan ($20 billion), and Vietnam ($14 billion).

Key Highlights of Report

Asia-Pacific region: Remittances to Asia-Pacific region amounted to US $256 billion in 2017. It represented 53% of flows worldwide, growing 4.87% since 2008, with rates flattening in recent years. About 70% of remittances sent to Asia and Pacific came from outside region and in particular from Gulf States (32%), North America (26%) and Europe (12%).

Remittances contribute to region more than 10 times official development assistance. 400 million people in region i.e. one out of every 10 people, are directly affected by remittances either as sender or as receiver. It benefits about 320 million family members in the region, most of them in rural areas.

Remittances and Rural Development: Remittances are particularly crucial in rural areas where poverty is highest. Worldwide, an estimated 40% of total value of remittances goes to rural areas. In Asia-Pacific region, remittances go disproportionally to countries with majority of rural populations such as Nepal (81%), India (67%), Vietnam (66%), Bangladesh (65%), Pakistan (61%) and the Philippines (56%). Remittances to rural areas are generally costlier due to expenses associated with offering access points in distant locations.

Usage of Remittances: 70% of remittances in the Asia pacific region are used to meet basic needs, such as food, clothing, healthcare and education. The remaining 30% can be saved and invested in asset-building or income-generating activities, helping families to build livelihoods and their future.

Improvement of remittance markets: It still needs to be transformed to ensure that families can benefit fully from the flows. Technological innovation in remittance marketplace can bring about fundamental transformation for hundreds of millions benefiting from these flows. Moreover, outdated regulatory barriers on both sending and receiving ends is resulting in higher and less transparent costs which make it less likely and more difficult to convert remittances into savings and investments. Besides, financial inclusion which has increased in recent times has not fully represented reality of substantial majority of remittance receiving families in Asia-Pacific region where financial exclusion remains predominant.

 

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