GS Paper II- International Relations.

IREDA Becomes First Indian Financial Agency To Raise Funds Overseas.

Lists 5-Year Green Masala Bond In UK, Raises Approximately $300 Million

Background

  • The state-owned Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (Ireda) became the first Indian financial institution to raise what are termed ‘green masala bonds’.
  • The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency on 29th September, 2017 launched a new Green Masala Bond on the London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market to raise funds to finance renewable energy projects across India.
  • The five-year dated bond raised approximately $300 million (Rs19.5 billion), with a coupon of 7.125%, and became the first Green Masala Bond to be listed on the International Securities Market (ISM).

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • IREDA, a state-owned non-banking financial institution, has a remit to promote, develop and extend financial assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency conservation projects in India.
  • The company provides financing for hydro, wind and solar energy projects, new and emerging technologies and for bio energy sectors.
  • Anand Kumar, secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy said that The IREDA Green Masala Bond illustrates government of India’s commitment towards fostering the renewable and sustainable energy sector. Renewable energy will increasingly become the dominant force in energy generation, as India strives for ‘Electricity for All’ and achieve the mandate of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022.
  • The new green bond is certified by Climate Bonds Initiative, an international, investor-focused not-for-profit, which helps build robust and transparent assurance frameworks around green bond investment. It marks the fourth green bond by an Indian issuer to be issued on London Stock Exchange.
  • Axis Bank and NTPC joined in 2016, raising respectively $500 million and $300 million equivalent. In June this year(2017), the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) raised $450 million.
  • London Stock Exchange claims to be the largest Masala Bond centre globally, with 42 bonds listed in total with an equivalent value of over $6 billion.
  • The London Stock Exchange is the largest, and greenest, in Europe and has helped position Britain as a world-leader in green finance.

Sources- Livemint.

 

GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

INA Veteran, 91-Year-Old Rama Khandwala Awarded Best Tourist Guide.

 

Background-

  • A Second Lieutenant belonging to the Rani Jhansi regiment in Rangoon, Burma, Rama Khandwala spent her days marching, hoisting flags, learning how to wield a rifle, a bayonet and the Bren machine gun. Photographs from that time show a slim 17-year-old, her hair in school-girl braids, aiming a rifle during target practice.
  • On 4th October, 2017, Khandwala received a National Tourism Award in the ‘Best Tourist Guide’ category to honour her almost 50-year stint as a Mumbai tour guide. The ministry of tourism award was presented to the 91-year-old by President Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Guides are unofficial ambassadors of our country,” says Khandwala explaining that they must be equipped to answer questions on a range of subjects from arranged marriage to poverty.
  • She is currently distraught because the MTDC has introduced a 12-day training programme for city guides, which she considers inadequate compared to the three-month in-depth study of Indian archaeology, iconography, religions, transportation systems and cuisines that older guides underwent.
  • Khandwala’s fluency in Japanese — a result of the Japanese occupation of Burma from 1942-1945 — helped her bond with tourists from Japan. She’s visited the country six times and has stayed with former guests including a Japanese doctor and his wife, who love her cooking and constantly pester “Ramasan” to start her own Indian restaurant in their country. Her language skills and interest in Indian archaeology even led her to meet the Dalai Lama and the King of Bhutan. She met the former while working as an interpreter for a Japanese documentary and she accompanied the latter to Elephanta’s Hindu caves as a guide.
  • Khandwala’s journey from Rangoon to Bombay (now Yangon and Mumbai) began with her grandfather, a lawyer, doctor and benefactor of Mahatma Gandhi, who moved there to set up his jewellery business. The fifth of seven siblings, Khandwala was born in 1926 when Burma (now Myanmar) was still part of British India.
  • During the Second World War, the British government was overthrown by the Japanese.
  • Khandwala’s mother, Lilavati Mehta, was the recruiting officer for the Rani Jhansi regiment, which is how both her daughters became the first two recruits in Rangoon, joining as ‘sepoys’ before rising through the ranks. As a Rani, Khandwala worked in an INA hospital nursing wounded soldiers and almost died in an air raid when bomber planes targeted their shelter.
  • Even today, Khandwala wears her loyalty to ‘Netaji’ on her sleeve or to be more precise her ‘pallu’. The bespectacled Bose gazes solemnly from a badge pinned to her blouse.

Sources- The Times Of India.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

India’s GDP To Hit $6 Trillion By 2027 On Digital Leap: Morgan Stanley Report.

Background

  • India is likely to be the world’s fastest-growing large economy in the next 10 years, driven by digitisation, favourable demographics, globalisation and reforms, predicts a Morgan Stanley report.
  • According to the global financial services major, the trend line in India’s annual GDP growth has been accelerating to 6.9 per cent in 2000s, from 5.8 per cent in the 1990s, and this momentum is likely to continue in the next decade as well.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Morgan Stanley expects digitisation will provide a boost of 50-75 bps to GDP growth and forecast that India will grow to a $ 6-trillion economy and achieve upper-middle income status by 2026-27.
  • India’s GDP growth slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in April-June, 2017 as disruptions caused by demonetisation spilled over to the third straight quarter amid slowdown in manufacturing activities.
  • Experts believe that reforms over the past year have created disruption in India’s GDP numbers, but the medium-term growth potential of the country looks bullish.
  • Morgan Stanley said in a research note that they expect India’s real and nominal GDP growth to compound annually by 7.1 per cent and 11.2 per cent, respectively, over the coming decade.
  • Moreover, gross FDI inflows are expected to amount to $120 billion by 2026-27, almost double the current 12-month trailing run rate of $64 billion.
  • The report noted that the impact of higher GDP growth is expected to get reflected in corporate earnings momentum.
  • The report stated they think India’s stock market could be among the world’s best performers in the next 10 years, leading to India’s market cap rising from around $2 trillion to around $6 trillion.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.