A bird, a dam and a belief – (Environment)
· The NyamjangChhu dam will inundate Zemithang Valley, the winter home of the black-necked crane that’s sacred to Buddhists. Can development override nature and faith?
· One of the crane’s few global wintering sites is in Arunachal Pradesh, and it has chosen two places here for its winter migration: Sangti and Zemithang Valley.
China devalues currency by 1.9 per cent – (Economics)
· The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), China’s central bank, decided to devalue the yuan, also known as the renminbi, by 1.9%, the largest devaluation in two decades.
· The move comes after July data revealed a six-year low in the producer prices index, which was 5.4% lower on a year on year basis, and a fall in China’s exports of 8.3% year on year.
· The devaluation will affect India’s exports not only to China but to other countries also with increasing competitiveness of Chinese exports.
PM’s sudden UAE trip takes many by surprise – (International Relations)
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE has set off speculation for the suddenness of its announcement, which has caught many within the government and even the organisers in Dubai by surprise.
· Officials said the PM’s decision to travel to the UAE was conveyed only last Wednesday. External Affairs Ministry officials said South Block officials had to scramble to make arrangements and organise security.
India stretches suspense over attending WW-II parade – (International Relations)
· India continues to stretch the suspense over its participation in China’s big military parade to mark 70 years of victory in World War-II.
· China has invited several countries for the celebrations on September 3 at Tiananmen Square. While India is committed to honouring its own WW-II efforts, recent tensions with China and the anti-Japan theme of the celebrations mean it could downscale its presence or boycott it completely as compared to the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee at the Russian parade in May this year.
Accountability with autonomy – (Economics)
· By clarifying the objective of the Reserve Bank of India, the monetary policy framework has enhanced its autonomy. Nothing should be done to dilute the authority that goes with this responsibility.
· The Reserve Bank of India is not an insular institution. It keeps its ears open. Before any major policy decision is taken, it holds extensive consultations with banks, industry associations, economists and various market participants.
BIMARU States: the shoe still fits – (Economics)
· The term BIMARU – an abbreviation for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – was coined in 1980 by the demographer Ashish Bose in a paper he wrote in the early 1980s.
· Mr. Bose examined a range of demographic indicators to conclude that these states, home to 40 per cent of the country’s population, lagged significantly behind the southern states, and were contributing the most to India’s population explosion. He also looked at five additional indicators including per capita income.
U.S. tells Afghanistan, Pak. to fight extremism together – (International Relations)
· The U.S. has called for reducing tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan and has asked leaders of both the countries to work together to combat violet extremism.
· U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called up Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss situation on the ground in the aftermath of the series of terrorist attacks in Kabul over the last one week. Kerry’s call has come in the wake of accusation from Ghani that terrorist safe havens continue to exit in Pakistan.