Current Affairs for today- 16th October 2019
GS Paper III
IMF trims growth rate to 6.1% in 2019
IMF has pared the growth projections for India at 6.1%, with a global downgrade of 3%, the slowest since the financial crisis.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution that finds its way into the daily news. IMF came into existence on 1st March 1947.
It is a formal global organisation consisting of 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth and aids to reduce poverty around the world. It periodically depends on the World Bank for its resources, promotion of international monetary co-operation, trade, higher employment opportunities and strives to build global economic stability and sustainability.
Its functions fall under 3 main verticals- Regulatory, Financial and Consultative and hence indulges in policy-making recommendations to various economies.
What’s in the news?
There is a slash of India’s GDP growth projection for the year 2019 to 6.1% that is a 1.2% downward revision from its April projections. Some of the reasons for the sluggish growth are;
Reasons for the global impedance of growth rate
- Globally rising trade barriers
- The heightened geopolitical strain on trade and commerce
- Idiosyncratic factors that have strained the market and structural factors such as an ageing population in advanced economies
- Becalmed domestic consumption demand has caused a notable drag to the momentum
Suggestions by IMF to up the game
- To patronize the consumers, especially in the hands of the rural hinterland
- Immediate address on the weak financial sectors succumbing to bad loans
- Structural reforms in the land and labour laws to boost the employment and infrastructure creation
- Streamlining and simplifying the GST structure and continue fiscal consolidation
- To lower elevated public debt levels
GS Paper I, Paper II
PM Modi says the lost share of the waters of India will be diverted back to the country and the farmers of Haryana
India and it’s hostile neighbour Pakistan had jointly signed The Indus Water Treaty on September 19, 1960, brokered by the World Bank.
It’s objective was to fix and delimit the rights and obligations of both the countries in the use of the waters of the Indus River system. The treaty concluded that the western rivers- the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab—to Pakistan and those of the eastern rivers—the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej—to India. Alongside, it also provided for funding and building of damns, link canals, barrages and tube wells. The Tarbela dam on the Indus river, Mangla Dam on the Jhelum river provided water to Pakistan to feed its farmers and the population.
Settlement of disputes:- The treaty required the creation of a Permanent Indus Commission, with a commissioner from each country to maintain a channel for clear communication and resolve any disputes, if the need arises. In addition, a mechanism for resolving disputes was provided.
- The Indian counterpart holds a stand that the excess waters that reach Pakistan can be diverted to Ravi for its use for the farmers in Haryana to support them during the lean period, without violating the Treaty.
- Since Pakistani rivers receive more waters from India, the treaty allows India to use the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum waters for limited irrigation and unlimited use for power generation, domestic, industrial and non-consumptive use like navigation, fisheries while laying down the precise regulations for India to build projects.
GS Paper II
Russia wishes to fill the void of US Military withdrawal
Who are the Kurds?
The Kurds are one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what is now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia. They made up 5 and 10% of the Syrian population of 21 million in 2011.
While an armed civil war broke out in 2011-2012, amidst the political unrest targeted against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, various factions vied for control of Syria. These included the pro-government militias, rebels fighting for a more democratic state, Islamist extremists, and militias from ethnic and religious minorities seeking to protect their areas from attack. Among them were several Kurdish militias, the strongest of which was the People’s Protection Units.
Kurds- They make the world’s largest stateless ethnic group.
The transformation of the Syrian crisis into an international conflict occurred when the US, with a previous hesitation, still decided to ally with the Kurdish militia as the safest local partners to contain the upsurge of the Islamic State fighters that swept across Syria.
What do Kurds want?
The Kurds – fighting alongside several local Arab militias under the flagname of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, and helped by US-led coalition airstrikes, weapons and advisers – then steadily drove IS from north-eastern Syria and established control over a large stretch of the border with Turkey.
The Turkish authorities for decades have been harsh with the Kurds and did not provide citizenship rights among other unfair ordains of confiscating and converting the Kurdish land to handover to Arabs.
Kurds say that it is not seeking independence but insists that any political settlement to end the conflict in Syria must include legal guarantees for Kurdish rights and recognition of Kurdish autonomy.
Also, the 1920 Treaty of Sevres post World War I, where the western alliances promised for a Kurdish State, called Kurdistan, after three years quashed any move made by the Kurds to set up an independent state and were left to be hanging by the minority status in their respective countries after the Treaty of Lausanne, which set the boundaries of modern Turkey.
Role of the US?
In 2014, the US joined an international coalition to torch out and assist the ground operations against the ISIS by building military bases on Syrian land. They acted as the de-facto peacekeepers conducting patrols along the Turkish borders.
What is Turkey’s concern?
- Turkey and America believe that the militia is an offshoot of a Kurdish guerilla group called the Kurdistan Worker’s Party that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and purports it to be a terrorist organisation. Hence, the US chose the Kurdish militia (People’s Protection Units) to expel the extremists causing a civilian massacre in Syria. Hence, they want to drive the Kurdish militia from its border.
- Turkey wants to create a space in Syria where 2 million Syrian refugees could be repatriated.
In October 2019, the US military under the Trump Administration withdrew from Syria as it did not want to engage in endless wars and has created a void which Syria’s dear friend Russia wants to back alongside the Syrian troop’s under the Syrian administration of Bashar Assad. How the US is ready to counter the sly attacks of the Turkish military against the Kurds through sanctions.