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Mobilise experts to find innovative solutions, Rahul Gandhi tells govt

As on Saturday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases crossed 14 thousand mark and had taken away 480 lives.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, April 18 : Senior Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday demanded mobilisation of scientists, engineers and data experts to work on innovative solution amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The former President of grand old party claimed that the pandemic situation was an also an opportunity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a huge challenge but it is also an opportunity. We need to mobilise our huge pool of scientists, engineers & data experts to work on innovative solutions needed during the crisis,” he wrote in a tweet on Saturday morning.

As on Saturday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases crossed 14 thousand mark and had taken away 480 lives.

India is under a nationwide lockdown aimed to curtail the spread of deadly coronavirus.

India

Special ‘angavastram’ awaits PM Modi in Varanasi

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PM Modi

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 29: A weaver from Varanasi has woven a special silk ‘angavastram’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit his constituency on Monday.

The ‘angavastram’ carries the Buddhist mantra “Buddham Sharanam Gachchami, Dhammam Sharanam Gachchami, Sangham Sharanam Gachchami” along with a leaf of the ‘Bodhivriksha’.

The weaver, Bachche Lal Maurya, said that he wants Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to gift the ‘angavastram’ to the Prime Minister during his visit to Varanasi on November 30.

Maurya said, “There are reports that Prime Minister Modi may go to Sarnath during his proposed visit to Varanasi, I started weaving the ‘angavastram’ with a Buddhist mantra and a leaf of ‘Bodhivriksha’ especially for him.”

Modi is likely to visit the holy site of Sarnath to watch the light and sound show which shows the transformation of prince Siddhartha into Lord Buddha, his first preaching and then chronicles his journey.

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India

Don’t want food from Badal’s supporter: Farmers tells Sirsa at Tikri

As the situation tensed up a bit, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) leader Sirsa beat a hasty retreat. The protesters soon calmed down and got busy with their other activities.

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Farmers Delegation

New Delhi: SAD’s Delhi leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Saturday faced embarrassing situation when he went to offer ‘langar’ or community kitchen food to farmers rallying at Tikri on the Delhi-Haryana border, as protesters dubbed him a ‘chamcha’ or obsequious supporter of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

As soon as Sirsa, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President, moved towards the protesting farmers, they protested his presence and climbed on the concrete block and police barricades to raise slogans against him as he stood there with folded hands.

“Badal de chamcheyan da langar nahi chahida (we don’t want to eat langar handed over by Badal’s obsequious follower),” the farmers shouted amid sloganeering against the Centre’s farm policies.

As the situation tensed up a bit, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) leader Sirsa beat a hasty retreat. The protesters soon calmed down and got busy with their other activities.

On Saturday, a day after their stand-off with security forces over entry into Delhi, farmers from Punjab and Haryana continued to rally and shout slogans at the Tikri interstate border entry/exit point, without any interference from the policemen who preferred to look on.

Various farmer leaders addressed the protesters even as the situation was more relaxed compared with what was witnessed on Friday, as policemen armed with a water cannon and tear-gas shells remained stationed in vicinity.

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Business

Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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Manufacturing

New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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