November 16, 2017 @ 3:30 am


16th NOVEMBER 2017

  1. Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe
  • Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe was a period of currency instability that began in the late 1990s shortly after the confiscation of private farms from landowners, towards the end of Zimbabwean involvement in the Second Congo War.
  • During the height of inflation from 2008 to 2009, it was difficult to measure Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation because the government of Zimbabwe stopped filing official inflation statistics.
  • However, Zimbabwe’s peak month of inflation is estimated at 79.6 billion percent in mid-November 2008.
  • In 2009, Zimbabwe stopped printing its currency, with currencies from other countries being used.
  • In mid-2015, Zimbabwe announced plans to have completely switched to the United States dollar by the end of 2015.
  1. Gujjar
  • Gurjar or Gujjar are a pastoral agricultural ethnic group with populations in India and Pakistan and a small number in northeastern Afghanistan.
  • They variously follow Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism.
  • The Gurjars are classified as Other Backward Class (OBC) in some states in India; however, Gurjars in Jammu and Kashmir and parts of Himachal Pradesh are categorised as a Scheduled Tribe.
  • In Rajasthan, some members of the Gurjar community resorted to violent protests over the issue of reservation in 2006 and 2007.
  • During the 2003 election to the Rajasthan assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised them ST status. However, the party failed to keep its promise after coming to the power, resulting in protests by the Gurjars in September 2006.
  • Presently, the Gurjars in Rajasthan are classified as Other Backward Classes.
  1. Bharat Stage Emission standards
  • Bharat stage emission standards (BSES) are emission standards instituted by the Government of India in 2000 to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and Spark-ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change.
  • The standards are based on European regulations.
  • Since 2005, Bharat Stage (BS) II norms have been enforced across the country.
  • Since 2010, Bharat Stage (BS) III norms have been enforced across the country.
  • In 13 major cities, Bharat Stage IV emission norms have been in place since April 2010 and it has been enforced for entire country since April 2017.
  • In 2016, the Indian government announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
  • On November 15, 2017 The Petroleum Ministry of India in consultation with Public Oil Marketing Companies decided to bring forward the date of BS-VI grade auto fuels in NCT of Delhi with effect from April 1, 2018 instead of April 1, 2020.
  • In fact, Petroleum Ministry OMCs were asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR area from April 1, 2019.
  • This huge step was taken due the heavy problem of air pollution faced by Delhi which became worse around this year.
  1. BS-VI (BS-VI)
  • In January 2016, the Union Government of India decided to skip BS-V emission norms altogether and leapfrog directly to BS-VI norms by April 2020.
  • The move to BS-VI norms from BS-IV norms will bring down NOx emissions by 25% in petrol engine vehicle and by 68% in diesel engine vehicles.
  • PM emissions, a major component of outdoor air pollution, are also expected to come down drastically by over 80% in diesel engine vehicles.
  • Transitioning to BS-VI norms will require significant engine technology changes including improvements in engine combustion and calibration, increased injection and cylinder pressures, NOx and PM after-treatment solutions and transitioning to electronic controls.

Two engine fitments will be typically required for up-gradation of passenger cars to BS-VI norms from BS-IV norms.

1)       Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)- For reduction of PM in diesel vehicles

2)       Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Module – For reduction in NOx emissions

  • Due to this technology upgrade, price of petrol cars are expected to go up by Rs 20,000- 30,000 while diesel passenger vehicles’ prices may go up substantially by Rs 75,000-1,00,000.
  • This will further reduce attractiveness of buying diesel cars (more polluting than petrol cars), with diesel fuel prices moving closer to petrol in recent times.
  1. Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
  • A diesel particulate filter (or DPF) is a device designed to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine.
  • Diesel particulate filters capture particle emissions through a combination of filtration mechanisms, such as diffusional deposition, inertial deposition, or flow-line interception.
  • Collected particulates are removed from the filter, continuously or periodically, through thermal regeneration.
  • Diesel particulate filter materials have been developed that show impressive filtration efficiencies, in excess of 90%, as well as good mechanical and thermal durability.
  • Diesel particulate filters have become the most effective technology for the control of diesel particulate emissions—including particle mass and numbers—with high efficiencies..
  1. Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology
  • Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is a means of converting nitrogen oxides, also referred to as NOx with the aid of a catalyst into diatomic nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O).
  • A gaseous reductant, typically anhydrous ammonia, aqueous ammonia or urea, is added to a stream of flue or exhaust gas and is adsorbed onto a catalyst.
  • Carbon dioxide, CO2 is a reaction product when urea is used as the reductant.
  • Selective catalytic reduction of NOx using ammonia as the reducing agent was patented in the United States by the Engelhard Corporation in 1957.
  • Development of SCR technology continued in Japan and the US in the early 1960s with research focusing on less expensive and more durable catalyst agents.
  • Commercial selective catalytic reduction systems are typically found on large utility boilers, industrial boilers, and municipal solid waste boilers and have been shown to reduce NOx by 70-95%.
  • More recent applications include diesel engines, such as those found on large ships, diesel locomotives, gas turbines, and even automobiles.
  1. Taj Trapezium Zone
  • Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) is a defined area of 10,400 sq km around the Taj Mahal to protect the monument from pollution.
  • The Supreme Court of India delivered a ruling on December 30, 1996 regarding industries covered under the TTZ, in response to a PIL seeking to protect the Taj Mahal from environmental pollution.
  • It banned the use of coal/ coke in industries located in the TTZ with a mandate for switching over from coal/ coke to natural gas, and relocating them outside the TTZ or shutting down.
  • The TTZ comprises over 40 protected monuments including three World Heritage Sites — the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
  • TTZ is so named since it is located around the Taj Mahal and is shaped like a trapezoid.
  1. Reunion Islands
  • Reunion is an island and region of France in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 kilometres southwest of Mauritius.
  • It is the most prosperous island in the Indian Ocean, having the highest GDP per capita in the region.
  • The island has been inhabited since the 17th century when people from France, Madagascar and Africa settled there.
  • Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848 (a date celebrated yearly on the island), after which indentured workers were brought from Tamil Nadu, Southern India, among other places.
  • The island became an overseas department of France in 1946.
  • As elsewhere in France, the official language is French.
  • Reunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.
  1. Varuna’ joint naval exercise
  • The annually held Varuna naval exercise is an integral part of France–India strategic relationship in the 21st century and consists ofnaval cooperation drills between the French Navy and the Indian Navy.
  • The joint-exercises are held either in the Indian Ocean or Mediterranean sea with the aim of improving Indo-French coordination on capabilities like cross-deck operations, replenishment-at-sea, minesweeping, anti-submarine warfare and information sharing.
  • France is Littoral State of the Indian Ocean through the French Overseas region of Réunion, Mayotte & Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean.
  • The inaugural Varuna naval exercise took place in 2001.
  1. Houthi
  • The Houthis is a Zaidi predominantly Shia-led religious-political movement that emerged from Sa’dah, northern Yemen in the 1990s.
  • Tension between the Houthis and the central government steadily grew in the 1990s, with war breaking out in 2004 with the group’s founder, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, leading a rebellion against then President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
  • Like many of Iranian-backed military militia such as Hezbollah, the Houthi movement attracts its Zaidi-Shia followers in Yemen by promoting regional political-religious issues in its media, including the overarching US-Israeli conspiracy and Arab “collusion
  • In 2014–2015 Houthis took over the government in Sana’a with the help of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and announced the fall of the current government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
  • Houthis have gained control of most of the northern part of Yemen’s territory and are currently resisting the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen that claims to be seeking to restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government to power.
  • The Houthis group is considered as a terrorist organization by the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.
  • The movement is not listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, the People’s Republic of China and/or the European Union.
  1. Stressed Assets
  • Stressed assets = NPAs + Restructured loans +Written Off Assets
  1. Non Performing Asset (NPA)
  • An NPA means interest or principal is not repaid by the borrower during a specified time period (90 days).
  1. Restructured asset
  • Those assets which got an extended repayment period, reduced interest rate, converting a part of the loan into equity, providing additional financing, or some combination of these measures.
  1. Written off assets
  • Those that bank or lender doesn’t count as money that borrower owes to it.
  • The financial statement of the bank will indicate that the written off loans are compensated through some other way.
  • This does not mean that the borrower is pardoned or got exempted from payment.
  1. Twin balance sheet problem
  • stressed companies
  • NPA-laden banks
  1. Provisioning of NPAs
  • Provisioning is made by Banks to make up for diminution of asset value in their advances portfolio.
  • Provisioning is calculated for each advance account and a consolidated amount is reduced from gross profit to arrive at net profit.
  • The amount is calculated on the basis of RBI guidelines on income recognition, asset classification and provisioning.

Leave a comment