GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World.

Typhoon Hato Slams Into Hong Kong And Macau.

Background-

  • Typhoon Hato, a maximum category 10 storm, slammed into Hong Kong on 23rd August, 2017 lashing the Asian financial hub with destructive winds and waves which uprooted trees, flooded streets and forced most businesses to close.
  • More than 400 flights were cancelled, financial markets suspended and schools closed as Hato bore down on the city, the first category 10 storm to hit Hong Kong since typhoon Vicente in 2012.
  • Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to descend on Hong Kong in five years, killed at least three people in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau and forced Hong Kong to close offices and schools and cancel hundreds of flights Wednesday, 23rd August. The storm left streets flooded, uprooted trees and smashed windows in its wake.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Hato passed within 37 miles of the city with maximum sustained winds of 78 miles per hour and gusts of up to 129 mph. Hong Kong last experienced a storm of Hato’s strength in 2012, with Typhoon Vicente.
  • A category 10 storm in Hong Kong is roughly equivalent to a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale widely used in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Hato’s destructive winds forced most businesses and government offices to close. It also shut courts and the stock market, leaving skyscrapers dark and empty, and the financial hub’s normally bustling streets eerily quiet. Low-lying areas flooded and large waves surged over sea-front promenades swamping some buildings and vehicles.
  • Hato weakened as it headed toward the western side of mainland China’s Pearl River Delta, a densely populated area. China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that thousands of people were evacuated from parts of the mainland coast ahead of the storm’s arrival as a precaution.
  • Many skyscrapers in the heart of the financial centre were empty and in darkness as the city’s workers stayed at home and hunkered through the storm. Hato churned up Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour and triggered large swells and massive waves on some of the city’s most popular beaches, with serious flooding in low-lying areas.
  • A senior scientific officer for the Hong Kong observatory warned that sea levels could rise several metres in some places, with the government issuing flood alerts and opening 27 shelters across the city.

Sources- The Indian Express, USA Today.

 

GS Paper II- Governance, Polity.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Chairs The 17th Meeting Of FSDC.

Background

  • The seventeenth Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi on 22nd August, 2017 under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley.
  • Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) made a presentation on the state of economy. The Council noted that India has macro-economic stability today on the back of improvements in its macro-economic fundamentals, structural reforms with the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), action being taken to address the Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) challenge, extraordinary financial market confidence, reflected in high and rising bond and especially stock valuations and long-term positive consequences of demonetization.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Council discussed the issues and challenges facing the Indian economy and Members agreed on the need to keep constant vigil and be in a state of preparedness of managing any external and internal vulnerabilities.
  • The Council also took note of the progress of Financial Sector Assessment Program for India, jointly conducted by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Council directed that the assessment report should be finalized by the end of this calendar year (2017).
  • FSDC took note of the developments and progress made in setting up of Computer Emergency Response Team in the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) and Financial Data Management Centre and discussed measures for time bound implementation of the institution building initiative.
  • A brief report on the activities undertaken by the FSDC Sub-Committee Chaired by Governor, RBI was placed before the FSDC. The Council also undertook a comprehensive review of the action taken by members on the decisions taken in earlier meetings of the Council.
  • The Council discussed on the Central KYC Registry (CKYCR) system, took note of the initiatives taken in this regard by the members and discussed the issues / suggestions in respect of operationalization of CKYCR.

Sources- Business-Standard.

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

FDI Jumps 37% To $10.4 Billion During April-June 2017.

Background

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country grew by 37 per cent to USD 10.4 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal (2017), DIPP reported on 21st August, 2017.
  • According to the figures of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), India had received USD 7.59 billion FDI during April-June 2016-17.
  • The main sectors which attracted the highest foreign inflows include services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software and automobile.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • Bulk of the FDI came in from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Japan.
  • The government has announced several steps to attract foreign inflows.
  • The measures include liberalisation of FDI policy and improvement in business climate.
  • Foreign investments are considered crucial for India, which needs around USD 1 trillion for overhauling its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.
  • A strong inflow of foreign investments will help improve the country s balance of payments situation and strengthen the rupee value against other global currencies, especially the US dollar.
  • The DIPP through its ‘Make in India’ twitter handle also stated that FDI equity inflow in manufacturing sector grew by 31 per cent to USD 4.19 billion during April-June, 2017.
  • FDI equity inflow in glass, Leather cement & gypsum products, sea transport, air transport, construction development, mining, sugar and medical & surgical appliances recorded five-fold jump during the quarter.
  • It added that since the launch of ‘Make in India’ initiative (October 2014 – June 2017), foreign inflows jumped 64 per cent to USD 110.12 billion from USD 67.26 billion in the same period last year.

Sources- The Economic Times.