1. Indian economy to grow at 7.5% in 2015: Unctad
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2015, a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has said.
In the ‘Trade and Development Report 2015’ released on Tuesday, Unctad pointed out that lower oil prices have eased current account deficits in countries, such as Pakistan and India.
The UN body’s growth estimates are in line with the projections made by the World Bank, and ratings agency Fitch. The RBI, too, revised downwards its projections for GDP growth to 7.4 per cent from 7.6 per cent earlier. India’s growth projection, however, is higher than that of most economies in the world.
China’s growth is likely to slow down to 6.9 per cent in 2015 (from 7.4 per cent in the previous year), as it rebalances the structure of its demand by concentrating more on exports
2. DNA scientists win 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
Sweden's Tomas Lindahl, the US-based Paul Modrich and Turkish-born Aziz Sancar won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on mapping how cells repair damaged DNA.
"Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement awarding the 8 million Swedish crowns ($969,000)
Chemistry was the third of this year's Nobel prizes. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.
3. 2016 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conference to be held in New Delhi
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conference 2016 will be held in New Delhi from 8 January to 10 January 2016.
The PBD Conference 2016 will be organised with an objective for developing a new paradigm for engagement with the Diaspora over the next decade.
The 2016 PBD Conference will be an attempt to do an expert study on various issues concerning the Diaspora and areas of mutual benefit to India and to them, while the previous PBDs focused only on meetings with the Diaspora.
The traditional PBD convention will be held every alternative year, with the partner State. Such a convention would be held in 2017.
Beside this, the Union Government also announced that it will organise the 9th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (RPBD) at Los Angeles California, USA on the 14 November and 15 November 2015.
4. Sergey Karjakin won the 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup
Russia’s Sergey Karjakin emerged victorious in the 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup beating Peter Svidler by 6-4 in the final. It was held in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, from 10 September 2015 to 5 October 2015.
Karjakin and Svidler, both from Russia, won two classical games each. However, the title was decided in the tie-breakers.
In the tie-breaker, Karjakin won the opening rapid game, but Svidler came strongly back by winning the next two. However, Karjakin won the fourth rapid game to draw level. In the end, Karjakin took the tie-breaker by 6-4.
By reaching the final, the pair has qualified for the 2016 Candidates Chess Tournament.
The Chess World Cup is the highly regarded tournaments in chess after the World Championship and the Candidates Tournament.
5. IMF released World Economic Outlook October 2015 Update
International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 6 October 2015 released World Economic Outlook (WEO) October 2015 Update titled Adjusting to Lower Commodity Prices.
The report projects global growth for 2015 at 3.1 percent, which is 0.3 percentage point lower than in 2014, and 0.2 percentage point below the forecasts in the July 2015 World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update.
India’s growth is expected to strengthen from 7.3 percent 2015 and last year to 7.5 percent in 2016. Also, Domestic demand in India is projected to remain strong.
Global Outlook for 2015-16
• Global growth is projected to decline from 3.4 percent in 2014 to 3.1 percent in 2015, before picking up to 3.6 percent in 2016
• The decline in growth in 2015 reflects a further slowdown in emerging markets, partially offset by a modest pickup in activity in advanced economies—particularly in the euro area. This pickup, supported by the decline in oil prices and accommodative monetary policy, will modestly narrow output gaps.
• The decline in growth in emerging markets, for the fifth year in a row, reflects a combination of factors and they are
a) Weaker growth in oil exporters
b) Slowdown in China
c) The pattern of growth becomes less reliant on investment
d) Weaker outlook for exporters of other commodities, including in Latin America, following price declines
• The sizable pickup in projected 2016 growth reflects stronger performance in both emerging market and advanced economies.
• Among emerging market and developing economies, growth in countries in economic distress in 2015 including Brazil, Russia, and some countries in Latin America and in the Middle East, while remaining weak or negative, is projected to be higher than in 2015. Domestic demand in India is projected to remain strong.
• These developments more than offset the projected continuation of the slowdown in China. Among advanced economies, higher growth reflects a strengthening recovery in Japan, the United States, and the euro area, as output gaps gradually close.
• Inflation is projected to decline in 2015 in advanced economies, reflecting primarily the impact of lower oil prices.
• The pass-through of lower oil prices into core inflation is expected to remain moderate, in line with recent episodes of large changes in commodity prices.
• In emerging market and developing economies, the inflation rate is projected to increase in 2015, but this reflects the sharp increase in the inflation forecast for Venezuela (more than 100 percent in 2015) and Ukraine (about 50 percent).
• Excluding these countries, inflation in emerging market and developing economies in 2015 is projected to decline from 4.5 percent in 2014 to 4.2 percent in 2015.
• In advanced economies, inflation is projected to rise in 2016 and thereafter, but to remain generally below central bank targets.
• In emerging market and developing economies, inflation is projected to decline in 2016, with markedly lower inflation in countries that experienced sizable depreciation in recent months, such as Russia and to a lesser extent Brazil.
External Sector Developments
• World trade growth is projected to remain modest, as in the past two years.
• A pickup in trade is forecast for advanced economies.
• For emerging markets import growth is projected to decline further, reflecting weakening domestic demand and depreciating exchange rates, but export growth is projected to increase, sustained by higher oil exports from the Middle East and the pickup of domestic demand in advanced economies.
Projection about India
Growth in India is expected to rise above the rates in other major emerging market economies.
India’s growth is expected to strengthen from 7.3 percent 2015 and last year to 7.5 percent in 2016. Growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices.
On inflation, the report said in India, inflation is expected to decline further in 2015, reflecting the fall in global oil and agricultural commodity prices.
Risks to the Global Outlook
The distribution of risks to global growth remains tilted to the downside. Compared to the risk assessment in the April 2015 WEO, downside risks to growth for emerging market and developing economies have increased. These downside risks are
• Risks from China’s growth transition
• More protracted commodity market rebalancing
• Increased foreign-currency exposure of corporate balance sheets
• Capital flow reversals associated with disruptive asset price shifts
• A Further Sizable Strengthening of the U.S. Dollar
• Geopolitical Risks
In advanced economies, contagion risks from Greece related events to other euro area economies, while lower than earlier in the year, remain a concern, as do risks from protracted weak demand and low inflation.
Oil price declines since June (and lagged effects from previous declines) could imply some upside risk to domestic demand and growth in oil importers.
6. Union Government to spend Rs. 70,000 crore for major port’s development
Union Government is planning to spend about 70,000 crore rupees on the development of major ports as part of its ambitious Sagarmala project. It was announced by Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping at the first meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC).
About Sagarmala project -
In March 2015, Union Cabinet had given its ‘in-principle’ nod to this flagship project for port-led development in coastal States. Sagarmala project aims for holistic port infrastructure development along the 7,500-km-long coastline through modernisation, mechanisation and computerisation. Under this port-led development framework government hopes to increase its cargo traffic three-fold in next 5 years. It will benefit around 14 per cent of country’s overall population from at least 13 States and Union Territories. If inland waterways programme is included in it will benefit at least 55 per cent of all population.
Two ports Kandla (Gujarat) and Paradip (Odisha) are being developed into Green Smart Cities and the Government is eyeing at 4,500 rupees profit from ports this fiscal. At Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone, government is investing 4,000 crore rupees which will provide employment to 1.5 lakh youth.