Tuesday 14th August 2018 15:39 EDT

An intruder  Murad Ali Shah by name, aged 25, having rammed the gate to former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s residence in Jammu was shot and killed by a security guard as he tried to enter the premises. The relatives of the dead youth protested along with others that he should have been arrested. This is utter absurdity, this being a protected area. If the intruder had caused Dr Abdullah bodily harm or worse, the same demonstrators would likely have charged the authorities with negligence. He paid dearly for his foolish caper (Hindu August 5).

Kashmir on the boil

The Kashmir Valley was on the boil last week. Five jihadis were killed in an armed encounter with security forces, while a couple of days later another four were slain by the Army during an operation when the jihadis holed up in house engaged in a gunfight  (Hindu 5, 8).

Jihadi held in Kolkata college

Dilwar Hasan, 26, Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh, was arrested in Jharkhand by the anti-terrorist police squad. Hasan set up a hub in Kolkata, where he was a registered college student, recruiting new members to the organization. The accused ran a mobile phone shop in central Kolkata (Times of India August 10).   

Hindu fringe held: terror plan foiled

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested three men affiliated to radical Hindu fringe operating out of Mallasopara and Satara. Police recovered  a large cache of explosives, including crude bombs, gelatin sticks etc. Vaibhav Raut, 40, and two associates were arrested. They had planned to bomb M umbai,Pune, Satara and Solapur. Information by a special investigation team tracking the assassins of journalist and activist Gauri Lokesh in Bangaluru helped the ATS  catch their prey (Indian Express August 11). 

India engine of Global growth

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India will be the engine of global  growth for decades, playing a role akin to that of China past decades. ‘India has contributed in purchasing power parity measures 15 per cent of the growth in the global economy, which is substantial, ‘ said Ranil Salgado, the IMF’s mission chief  for India. Behind only China and the United States, India is around thirty years away from the point when the working age population starts to decline. Hence the coming three decades are likely to be one of positive economic activity. (Business Line, Times of India August 9).

M&M first quarter profit surge 

Mahindra & Mahindra registered a first quarter surge of 67 per cent net profit of Rs 1,275 crore in the current financial year ending June 30, as opposed to Rs 752 crore profit for the same period last year. The demand for passenger cars and tractors have thrved on rising domestic sales, with exports numbering 9, 360.   Vehicles. The demand for both autos and tractors was driven by positive sentiment about the economy ( Business Line August 8).

IKEA debut in Hyderabad

Swedish household furniture firm IKEA had a gala opening in Hyderabad. It has swept the city off its feet and promises to be an experience to savour in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. The IKEA concept: something for everyone is no empty public relations gimmick, it is a real life show off the best in Swedish design in furnishings, with an array of vintage Indian products, from handi8crafts and much else, giving the place a local ambience. Add to this a spanking restaurant serving biriyanis to meat rolls and much else to complete a day to remember.

Future that works

The choice of Hyderabad for this venture surely carries a message: Hyderabad is India’s upcoming megacity, poised to surpass Bangaluru. Hyderabad with its spacious roads and highways, spacious airport and much else, tells of a future that works (Business Line August 7). 

Flipkart on a roll 

India’s e- commerce retail giant, Flipkar, plans to expand its biggest private label SmartBuy across 100 categories by the end of this calendar year, aiming to generate around one-fifth of its overall sales from private labels over the vnext three years. NM Mew businesses such as sports and fitness accessories, stationery and general merchandise will embellish the SmartBuy brand, launched in 2016. T he brand is currently present in 65 categories such as home appliances and mobile accessories (Mint August 8).

Start-ups funding boom returns

Indian start-ups have been raising multiple rounds of capital in rapid succession at increasingly higher valuations. Investors are chasing start-ups that do not generate much or no revenue at present and market share is the preferred investment metric.  The current year bears resemblance to 2014 , when a handful of relatively mature start-ups raised huge sums of money.  That was followed by a broader hyper funding wave in 201. Investors have already struck 18 deals worth $100 million or more compared to 22 in the whole of last year (M int August 6).

Mechanical paddy transplanting: Punjab

Mechanical paddy transplanting is back in vogue in Punjab with an estimated 4,500 acres covered these machines in the current kharif season. A massive shortage of manual labour has been the stimulant for machine-led transplanting. A local farmer said: ‘Punjab Agricultural University scientists recommend that at least33seedlings should be planted every square metre, with manual labourers prepared to plant a mere 12. M achiness clearly are a boost to productivity (Indian Express August 9). 

Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat best for business

Delhi is the most attractive place to do business, followed by Tamil N adu and Gujarat, according to a National Council for Applied Economic Research Index 2018. Gujarat was in no 1 position but has slipped two places, but the surprise in Tamil Nadu which moved uip four places. Another surprise is West Bengal which jumped 11 places to from last year to emerge in 10th place. In other overall rankings, Haryana is fourth, Maharashtra fifth, and Kerala sixth.(Business Line August 4).

Opposition front a busted flush

The notional Opposition front for India’s general election in 2019, it would appear, is a hallucinatory delusion.. The contest for the Deputy Chairmanship of the Rajya Sabha (Upper house of Parliament) ended  in a comfortable victory for the ruling BJP-led NDA coalition.  The Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik’s (Biju) Janata Dal candidate Harivansh was duly elected, beating Congressman B.K. Hariprasad comfortably. The fevered politicking of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was little more than a damp to be a damp squib. The Taming of the Shrew comes readily to mind. (Hindu, Times of India August 10).

IAF takes charge of LCA project

Government has entrusted the IIndian Air Force to take charge of the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) project from the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd on account of delays in the final operational product leading to an escalation of cost over-runs. The IAf had stipulated a range of improved technologies that would give more teeth to the aircraft’s offensive capability. The IAf is 12 squadrons short of its approved 42 squadron required to meet the needs of a two-front war (Hindu August 5). 

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