Economic Update:

  • The IMF in annual Article IV consultation report acknowledged India’s effective inflation management amidst global commodity price hikes through extensive government interventions. It has projected a balanced outlook for India’s economic growth, citing an upward revision in the medium-term potential growth rate at 6.3 percent, from the 6 percent estimated earlier. However, the Indian government expressed greater optimism, estimating a potential growth rate of 7-8 percent.
  • IMF gave a fairly optimistic outlook for India’s economy, saying it has the potential to grow faster than the fund’s forecast of 6.3% in the current and next fiscal years if the government undertakes key structural reforms.
  • IMF however expressed concerns about the long-term sustainability of India’s debts, stating that that general government debt may exceed 100 percent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the near future. The need for significant investment towards climate change targets was also stated.


  • COP28, held in Dubai, was the 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting, where governments discussed how to limit and prepare for future climate change. COP28 came at an important time for the key target to limit long term global temperature rise to 1.5C.
  • COP28 began on controversial note as it was held in UAE, one of the major fossil fuel producer and presided by Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of one of the state owned oil companies. Allegations of greenwashing on social media were also leveled.
  • Around 200 nations were represented, including global leaders like Indian PM Narendra Modi, UK PM Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron etc. (US president and Chinese president did not attend but countries were heavily represented.) Over 70,000 people were accredited for the summit, with 400,000 more granted access to the surrounding blue zone.
  • King Charles gave the opening address, warning that “we are carrying out a vast, frightening experiment of changing every ecological condition, all at once, at a pace that far outstrips nature’s ability to cope”
  • The conference is significant as for the first-time countries agreed on the need to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems” “in a just, orderly and equitable manner” to reach net zero by 2050. This is seen as an important recognition that richer countries are expected to move away from coal, oil and gas more quickly. However, it also received criticism because it doesn’t compel countries to take action, and no timescale is specified.
  • The agreement also includes a global target to triple the global renewable energy by 2030.
  • There was agreement on the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund and its funding arrangements.
  • The participants of the conference pledged 85 billion dollars to different climate issues and made various pledges.
  • COP28 however certainly missed on breakthroughs that were expected to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. There is still no consensus on urgent actions like removal of subsidies on petroleum products which account to around half a Trillion dollars and removal of them can go a long way in reaching net zero targets.

Israel – Gaza Crisis:

  • Israel – Gaza war continued amid growing international pressure for a humanitarian cease fire.
  • India on December 13 voted in favor of a resolution in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict and the unconditional release of all hostages. This was the first time India supported such a resolution since the war broke out more than two months ago.
  • The 193-member UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted the resolution at an emergency special session, with 153 nations voting in its favor, 10 voting against and 23 abstentions.

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