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♦ G20 summit: India holds first trilateral meeting with US and Japan, Modi names partnership ‘JAI’
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday participated in the first trilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and United States President Donald Trump at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, PTI reported.
- The prime minister reiterated India’s commitment to making the Indo-Pacific a region of shared economic growth and described the India-Japan-United States partnership as “JAI”, or victory.
- “If I put it differently, Japan, America and India is JAI,” Modi said. “In Hindi, ‘JAI’ means success. “In a way, JAI is a message of success and we are making a new beginning. Our arrangement, I believe, will play a big role in promoting world peace and prosperity.”
- Modi said the three nations are dedicated to democracy and discussed ways to promote global peace and stability. “I am glad both US and Japan are our strategic partners,” he added. “Both the leaders [Trump and Abe] have been my good friends. It is a good opportunity to work together.”
♦ FT Business School ranking 2018: IIM Ahmedabad top B-school in India, 4th in Asia Pacific
- FT Asia-Pacific Business School ranking 2018: Lead by IIM Ahmedabad, Indian B-schools have secured three slots in top 25 positions across the Asia-Pacific region. China continues to dominate the B-school sector in Asia with 11 institutes in the top 25 list including the top position The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad has emerged as the top B-school in India, according to the Financial Times Ranking 2018.
- Lead by IIM-A, Indian B-schools have secured three slots in top 25 positions across the Asia-Pacific region. The IIM Bangalore has dropped two positions from last year and has got the 8th slot in Asia Pacific region this year followed by the IIM Calcutta at the 13th spot, a rise of one position from last year. The only private institute from the country, the Indian School of Business (ISB) has also fallen one rank down to secure 17th position this year.
- China continued to dominate the B-school rankings this year as well. The Land of Dragons not only secured the slot of top B-school in Asia region with Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Antai but has also got maximum number of entries in the top 25 B-school lists with 11 Chinese B-schools on the list. The Shanghai institution, according to FT Ranking, was the only Asian school in this top tier in terms of MBA ranking.
♦ Himachal govt urged to frame new state disability policy
- A member in the newly formed State Advisory Board on Disability has urged the Himachal Pradesh government to prepare without any further delay a new state policy for persons with disabilities. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Act, 2016, was supposed to be implemented from April 19, 2016 and accordingly, a new state disability policy was to be made but no action has been taken in this regard and the pace of implementation of the Act in Himachal Pradesh is very slow, said Ajai Srivastava, an expert member in the State Advisory Board on Disability.
- Talking to PTI Monday on International Day for Persons with disabilities, Srivastava said the new Act included 14 more benchmark disabilities and the total number of types of disabilities has gone to 21. Despite their inclusion, the persons with newly included benchmark disabilities such as thalassemia, deaf-blind, specific learning disabilities, hemophilia, autism, multiple sclerosis and sickle cell disease are totally deprived of their rights as they are not being issued disability certificates as per the new law, he added.
- Srivastava, who is also the Chairman of Umang Foundation, which is supporting the disabled students, said he shot off a letter to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, urging him to immediately prepare required new policy for the disabled persons. The Himachal Pradesh High Court had ordered on June 4, 2015 to provide free education to all disabled children up to the university level in all courses on his public interest litigation (PIL), he said, adding the universities implemented it but colleges, Polytechnics and ITIs are still charging fees from the disabled students.
♦ India is fastest growing e-commerce market: Report
- Retail ecosystems comprise communities of consumers, retailer and partners that rapidly reshape the retail landscape. India’s total e-commerce retail sales in 2017 were pegged at around $20 billion and studies have indicated that another $ 50 billion of online e-commerce could be unlocked by adding new users
♦ India has highest number of children and adolescents living with HIV in South Asia: UNICEF report
- An estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia, according a report by UNICEF which warned that around 80 adolescents will be dying of AIDS every day globally by 2030 if progress in preventing transmission is not accelerated.
- The report noted that South Asia has made substantial progress in reducing HIV risks and vulnerability among children, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers.
- In India, an estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in 2017. In Pakistan, this number was 5,800, followed by Nepal (1,600) and Bangladesh (less than 1,000), according to the UNICEF report released Thursday ‘Children, HIV and AIDS: The World in 2030.’
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♣
- FACTIOUS (ADJECTIVE): conflicting
Synonyms: disputatious, argumentative
Antonyms: cooperative, peaceful
Example: A person, who has factious nature, may ruin not only his life but others’ also.
2 FAD (NOUN): fashion
Synonyms: trend, craze
Antonyms: sobriety, simplicity
Example: I do not believe in fad because I like simplicity.
- FATUOUS (ADJECTIVE):foolish
Synonyms: stupid, silly
Antonyms: sensible, smart
Example: That is not a fatuous argument, that has to be taken seriously.
- FERVENT (ADJECTIVE): enthusiastic
Synonyms: ardent, earnest
Antonyms: apathetic, dull
Example: He was fervent in his gratitude.
- FIDELITY (NOUN): faith
Synonyms: integrity, devotion
Antonyms: disloyalty, infidelity
Example: I can believe in fidelity of my wife.
- FIASCO (NOUN): catastrophe
Synonyms: failure, flop
Antonyms: success, triumph
Example: Fiasco may be the next step to get success for an optimist.
- ASPERITY (NOUN):the quality of being hard
Synonyms: harshness, acerbity
Antonyms: sweetness, courtesy
Example: “I told you he had no idea” she remarked with some asperity.
- BEATITUDE (NOUN): a state of supreme happiness
Synonyms: bliss, ecstasy
Antonyms: sorrow, misery
Example: After qualifying the IBPS PO examination, she was in a state of beatitude.
Slowdown signals: on Q2 growth estimates
The growth estimates for the July-September quarter from the Central Statistics Office show that the economy’s expansion predictably slowed. GDP growth weakened to 7.1%, from the robust 8.2% in April-June, as rising oil prices combined with a weakening rupee to dampen demand. Gross value added (GVA) data show five of the eight sectors reflecting the slowdown from the first quarter, with only utility services, public administration, defence and other services, and trade, hotel, transport, communication and broadcasting services bucking the trend. Worryingly, GVA growth in agriculture, forestry and fishing eased to 3.8%, from 5.3% three months earlier, as foodgrain output in the kharif season inched up a mere 0.6% (production had expanded by 1.7% in the previous year). Given the distress in the farm sector, below-normal monsoon rains and a shortfall of over 8% in rabi sowing till November 30, the outlook for rural demand remains challenging at least for the next couple of quarters. This demand weakness in the hinterland is also evident in the consumption spending data, with growth in private final consumption expenditure slowing to 7%, compared to 8.6% in the first quarter. Manufacturing, though posting a 7.4% expansion, also poses cause for concern as the momentum almost halved from the June quarter’s 13.5% and slipped back nearer to the year-earlier level of 7.1%. Index of Industrial Production data reveal that growth in manufacturing output remained becalmed at 4.6% through August-September, and when seen alongside the weakness in car and two-wheeler sales, suggest an acceleration may be some time away.
To be sure, not all data paint a less-than-encouraging picture. Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), a key metric for investment demand, expanded by a robust 12.5%, building on the first quarter’s 10% increase, and constituted 32.3% of GDP. With non-food bank credit also showing signs of a recovery, there is the discernible prospect of an investment revival. An RBI research paper posits that improvement in investment activity is being driven by cyclical factors and may last up to 2022-23, when the investment rate as measured by the GFCF is estimated to increase to 33% of GDP. The same RBI paper, however, points to risks to the investment outlook and flags the gross fiscal deficit as a key pressure point, given that borrowing by the government invariably crowds out investment demand. Here, the latest expenditure and receipts figures released by the Controller-General of Accounts are not reassuring: the fiscal deficit crossed the budget estimate for the full year in just the first seven months, raising the chances that the Centre would miss its target of limiting the deficit to 3.3% of GDP. With multiple uncertainties looming on the global trade and growth horizon and elections approaching, India’s economic managers will need to be at their best to keep the momentum from sliding.
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