Print Friendly, PDF & Email

GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

India Third In Nuclear Power Installations.

Background-

  • India is third in the world in the number of nuclear reactors being installed, at six, while China is leading at 20, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, released in September, 2017, shows.
  • The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is, however, declining globally for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017, the report says.
  • The latest report further reveals that most nuclear reactor constructions are behind schedule, with delays resulting in increase in project costs and delay in power generation. There are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over the past year. In India itself, five out of the six reactors under construction are behind schedule. Eight nuclear power projects have been under construction globally for a decade or more, of which three have been so for over 30 years.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Data gathered by the authors shows that global nuclear power generation increased by 1.4% in 2016 due to a 23% increase in China, though the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation stagnated at 10.5%.
  • By comparison, globally, wind power output grew by 16% and solar power by 30%. Wind power increased generation by 132 TWh (terawatt hours) or 3.8 times, and solar power by 77 TWh or 2.2 times more than nuclear power’s 35 TWh respectively. Renewables represented 62% of global power generating capacity additions.
  • Russia and the U.S. shut down reactors in 2016, while Sweden and South Korea both closed their oldest units in the first half of 2017, the report notes.

Sources- The Hindu.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

Maharashtra, South Korea Ink MoU For Infra Projects.

Background

  • The Maharashtra government and South Korea signed a MoU for cooperation in construction major infra projects in the state including the upcoming 706 km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway.
  • The MoU was inked in the presence of visiting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and South Korea’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee in Seoul on 24th September, 2017.
  • Detailing various projects, Fadnavis informed Kim that Maharashtra leads in the industrial development in India and has attracted 50 per cent of all foreign direct investments in this country.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • As per the MoU, South Korea is expected to support or participate with the state on other major projects like Smart Cities, roads and highways, airports and metrorail coming up in different parts of Maharashtra.
  • The developments came on the first day of the three-day visit by a high-power delegation led by Fadnavis to South Korea. The delegation later visited Singapore for a couple of days before returning home on September 29, 2017.
  • Earlier, the state government had signed a MoU with the South Korean Land & Housing Corporation to take up land development, town planning and housing projects along the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and set up ‘agro-prosperity centres’ for boosting agro-based industries and generating employment.
  • During his stay, Fadnavis is scheduled to meet top representatives of global giants like Hyundai Heavy Engineering, LG Electronics, Hyosung Corporation, Samsung and others with focus on attracting South Korean FDI for the state.
  • The delegation included Additional Chief Secretaries Sunil Porwal, Pravin Pardeshi, Principal Secretary Ashish Kumar Singh, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Vice-Chairman and MD Bhushan Gagrani and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation Chief Executive Sanjay Sethi.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

India Is World’s 40th Most Competitive Economy: WEF.

Background

  • India has been ranked the 40th most competitive economy — slipping one place from last year’s ranking —on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index, which is topped by Switzerland.
  • On the list of 137 economies, Switzerland is followed by the US and Singapore in second and third places, respectively.
  • In the latest Global Competitiveness Report released on 27th Sept, 2017, India has slipped from the 39th position to 40th while neighbouring China is ranked at 27th.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The report said that India stabilises this year after its big leap forward of the previous two years, adding that the score has improved across most pillars of competitiveness.
  • These include infrastructure (66th rank), higher education and training (75) and technological readiness (107), reflecting recent public investments in these areas, it added.
  • According to the report, India’s performance also improved in ICT (information and communications technologies) indicators, particularly Internet bandwidth per user, mobile phone and broadband subscriptions, and Internet access in schools.
  • However, the WEF said the private sector still considers corruption to be the most problematic factor for doing business in India.
  • “A big concern for India is the disconnect between its innovative strength (29) and its technological readiness (up 3 to 107): as long as this gap remains large, India will not be able to fully leverage its technological strengths across the wider economy,” it noted.
  • Among the BRICS, China and Russia (38) are placed above India. South Africa and Brazil are placed at 61st and 80th spots, respectively.
  • In South Asia, India has garnered the highest ranking, followed by Bhutan (85th rank), Sri Lanka (85), Nepal (88), Bangladesh (99) and Pakistan (115).
  • WEF said that improving ICT infrastructure and use remain among the biggest challenges for the region: in the past decade, technological readiness stagnated the most in South Asia.
  • Other countries in the top 10 are the Netherlands (4th rank), Germany (5), Hong Kong SAR (6), Sweden (7), United Kingdom (8), Japan (9) and Finland (10).
  • The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is prepared on the basis of country-level data covering 12 categories or pillars of competitiveness.
  • Institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation are the 12 pillars.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.