TNPSC Current Affairs in English Medium Date: 08.01.2020

NSO pegs growth of GDP at 11-yr-low of 5%
  • The National Statistical Office on Tuesday forecast GDP growth to be 5% in 2019-20, slower than the previous year’s 6.8% and in line with the RBI estimate. If this growth is realised, then it would be the slowest since 3.1% posted in 2008-09 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
  • Nominal GDP, which is the market value of goods and services produced in the economy but not adjusted for inflation, is estimated to grow at a 42-year low of 7.5%. Manufacturing is estimated to slow to 2% in 2019-20 from 6.9% the previousyear
  • The services sector, which accounts for nearly 60% of the economy, is forecast to grow by 6.9%, slower than 7.5% in the previous year.
US blocks Iran from UN meet
The Trump administration on Monday blocked Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif from addressing the United Nations later this week, denying him a visa to enter the US in what was widely seen as abuse of its privilege of hosting the international body. While many diplomats and observers saw the action as violating terms of the 1947 headquarters agreement that requires the US to allow foreign officials to conduct business at the UN, the headquarters of which is located in Manhattan, New York City, US officials argued that it was Iran that violated rules of international diplomatic conduct and therefore merited a ban. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo conveyed the US decision to UN secretary general António Guterres on Monday.

The infant mortality rate – number of child deaths per 1,000 live births – in Tamil Nadu
The infant mortality rate – number of child deaths per 1,000 live births – in Tamil Nadu has been on a steady decline. Tamil Nadu recorded the second lowest IMR in the country in 2017 with 16 deaths per 1,000 live births. Kerala registered the lowest, 10. The number of underweight babies being brought in for intensive care in the state has gone up both in private and government tertiary care units

Linking Cauvery to Gundar to start by year-end
  • Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday announced that foundation stone will be laid for the massive Cauvery-Gundar interlinking scheme to divert surplus water down south. Intervening in the debate on the motion to thank governor for his address, the chief minister said the project was estimated to cost Rs.20,000 crore.
  • “The state does not have the financial resources to support the scheme. A detailed project report is being prepared to execute it jointly with the Centre. I have also taken up with the Prime Minister and Jal Shakti minister and they have assured us support,” Palaniswami said.
  • The public works department has planned to commence the project with a link canal near Mayanur barrage in Karur district.
  • Phase I of the project is estimated to cost Rs.7,677 crore and a concept paper for creation of the canal to transfer the surplus water has already been submitted to the Union government. The government was also in the process of surveying and identifying land required for the project. The chief minister said the government was preparing the report to have an open canal to carry 6,000 cubic feet of water. The project would traverse through Trichy, Pudukkotai and Sivaganga before culminating at Gundar, benefitting the districts for irrigation needs.
  • The chief minister said the government also sought the support of the Centre for modernisation of Grand Anicut scheme that would benefit 35,000km long canals.
Panel gives green signal to 150 private trains on 100 routes
  • A high-powered panel has cleared the road for rolling out nearly 150 private trains on 100 routes, including Mumbai-Delhi and Howrah-Delhi sectors, which will compete with Rajdhani.
  • While two Tejas trains have been handed over for running by Railways-controlled IRCTC on the Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes as an experiment with the “private sector”, the committee’s report is expected to pave the way for a massive competition to the services currently being offered by the state transporter.
  • The panel was set up by railway minister Piyush Goyal after Railway Board chairman VK Yadav flagged private trains in the government’s 100 days’ agenda.
  • The train routes have been primarily identified on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes as the railways is hopeful of freeing up tracks by December 2021, when both Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors will become fully operational and take over the burden of handling goods traffic. The railways has also approved the plan to improve the existing tracks on these two routes to allow trains to run at 160 kmph, which has been proposed as the speed limit for private trains.
Tyre industry to train 5L mechanics under government skilling scheme
  • Poor and faulty tyre repair is a major cause for accidents so the tyre industry is putting special focus on skilling and certifying tyre mechanics under a new government scheme.
  • Under the scheme, the Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) is targeting 5 lakh certified and trained tyre mechanics by 2022.
  • The focus on tyre mechanics rides on the back of industry impact studies that found 12%-13% of road accidents happen due to faulty tyre fitment or puncture treatment.
Veteran former Italy international Daniele De Rossi announced his retirement from football
Veteran former Italy international Daniele De Rossi announced his retirement from football on Monday, just six months after joining Argentine giants Boca Juniors. De Rossi played only seven matches for the Buenos Aires outfit, scoring once, but said he needed to return home for family reasons. “I need to go home. I'm leaving Boca and football,” said the 36-year-old former Italy and Roma midfielder. He played 117 times for Italy from 2004-17 and won the World Cup in 2.

Courtesy: Time of India

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