geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 3rd March 2022

    1.    QUADRILATERAL SECURITY DIALOGUE

    • News: India is clearly the natural leader in the region in terms of the vision the Quad signs up to in the Indo-Pacific region, and the multi-nation defence exercise, MILAN, in Vishakapatnam demonstrates the cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Australian High Commissioner to India.
    • About Quadrilateral Security Dialogue:
      • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), colloquially the Quad or QUAD, is a strategic security dialogue between the United States, India, Japan and Australia that is maintained by talks between member countries.
      • The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the support of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
      • The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.
      • The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members, calling it “Asian NATO”.
      • In a joint statement in March 2021, “The Spirit of the Quad,” the Quad members described “a shared vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and a “rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas,” which the Quad members state are needed to counter Chinese maritime claims.
      • The Quad pledged to respond to COVID-19, and held a first Quad Plus meeting that included representatives from New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam to work on its response to it.
    • About Free and Open Indo – Pacific:
      • Free and Open Indo-Pacific is an umbrella term that encompasses Indo-Pacific-specific strategies of countries with similar interests in the region.
      • The concept has been developed through Japanese and American cooperation.
      • Japan introduced the FOIP concept and formally put it down as a strategy in 2016.
      • In 2019 the United States Department of State published a document formalizing its concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

    2.    INFLATION

    • News:S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday delivered his first State of the Union (SOTU) address, using it to criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin and show support to Ukrainians. On the domestic front, he pushed his legislative agenda and outlined plans to fight inflation.
    • About Inflation:
      • Inflation is the decline of purchasing power of a given currency over time. A quantitative estimate of the rate at which the decline in purchasing power occurs can be reflected in the increase of an average price level of a basket of selected goods and services in an economy over some period of time.
      • The rise in the general level of prices, often expressed as a percentage, means that a unit of currency effectively buys less than it did in prior periods.
      • Inflation can be contrasted with deflation, which occurs when the purchasing power of money increases and prices decline.
      • Inflation is the rate at which the value of a currency is falling and, consequently, the general level of prices for goods and services is rising.
      • Inflation is sometimes classified into three types: Demand-Pull inflation, Cost-Push inflation, and Built-In inflation.
      • The most commonly used inflation indexes are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).
      • Inflation can be viewed positively or negatively depending on the individual viewpoint and rate of change.
      • Those with tangible assets, like property or stocked commodities, may like to see some inflation as that raises the value of their assets.

    3.    TRADE DEFICIT

    • News: India’s merchandise exports rose 22.3% to $33.81 billion in February, while imports shot up 35% to surpass $55 billion, widening the trade deficit to $21.2 billion, as per preliminary foreign trade estimates. The trade deficit, which shrank to about $17 billion in January, had earlier hit a record $22.9 billion in November 2021, and had averaged $21.7 billion between September and December.
    • About the Trade Deficit:
      • A trade deficit occurs when a country’s imports exceed its exports during a given time period. It is also referred to as a negative balance of trade (BOT).
      • The balance can be calculated on different categories of transactions: goods (a.k.a., “merchandise”), services, goods and services.
      • Balances are also calculated for international transactions—current account, capital account, and financial account.
      • A trade deficit occurs when there is a negative net amount or negative balance in an international transaction account. The balance of payments (international transaction accounts) records all economic transactions between residents and non-residents where a change in ownership occurs.
      • About Current Account:
        • The current account includes goods and services, plus primary and secondary income payments.
        • Primary income includes payments (financial investment returns) from direct investment (greater than 10% ownership of a business), portfolio investment (financial markets), and other.
        • Secondary income payments include government grants (foreign aid) and pension payments, and private remittances to households in other countries (e.g., sending money to friends and relatives).
      • About the Capital Account:
        • The capital account includes exchanges of assets such as insured disaster-related losses, debt cancellation, and transactions involving rights, like mineral, trademark, or franchise.
        • The balance of the current account and capital account determines the exposure of an economy to the rest of the world, whereas the financial account (tracking financial assets, rather than products or income flows) explains how it is financed. In principle, the sum of the balances of the three accounts should be zero.