28 November 2020

Migratory Route of Amur Falcon


Migratory route of an Amur Falcon named Chiulan.

It was tagged in Manipur, India.

It returned to place of tagging after completing one full cycle of its migratory route, somewhere around 29,000 km.

India in Recession From Today

This will mark the first time in India's history that it plunges into recession

RBI-logo-Shutterstock 

It is an oft-bandied about statement that India is in 'recession'. Especially so in the last couple of years of economic slowdown. However, it will be officially true from today, when the government announces the July to September Q2 GDP figures. Expectations are that the economy will contract, though it will be on much better footing than the nearly 24 per cent decline in the first quarter (April to June).

Though periods of economy stagnation often get billed as 'recession', officially, a nation is said be in recession only if it has two consecutive quarters of GDP decline.

Going by that yardstick, the official announcement of Q2 figures, expected on Friday, will mark the first time in India's history that it plunges into recession.

Estimates by various agencies have put Indian economy declining anywhere from 8.6 per cent to 11 per cent or more. As for the whole year (financial year 2020-21), India's economy will decline by 9.5 per cent, as per the estimate of the RBI. 

An article in RBI's monthly bulletin released last fortnight had put the Q2 drop at 8.6 per cent. “India has entered a technical recession in the first half of 2020-21 for the first time in its history with Q2 likely to record the second successive quarter of GDP contraction,” says Pankaj Kumar from RBI's Monetary Policy Department in the article, though he reassures that the decline will be "short-lived".

Different agencies have forecast different figures, all around minus 10 per cent, for the contraction of economy in Q2. While Bank of America's estimate is the most hopeful at -7.5, the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) being cautious at -12.7. Other major estimates range from State Bank of India's -10.7, ICRA's -9.5 and Barclay's -8.5.

Indian economy was in a 'slowdown' and not recession through the downturn of 2018 and '19, dropping from a growth rate of 5.2 down to 3 per cent in the January-March quarter of this year, just as coronavirus hit. The nationwide lockdown announced at the end of March and remained in place in various forms into June ensured that the first quarter of financial year 2020-21 saw the GDP deep-diving to 23.9 per cent.

However for Q2 (July to September), the re-starting of economic activities, the pent-up demand and the festive season rush has definitely seen things looking up. The purchasing managers indices for manufacturing and services had improved, while exports also finally came back on the growth path. In fact, the uptick in indices was so much that SBI actually revised its forecast from 12.5 per cent de-growth to just 10.7 earlier this month. Agriculture, fisheries etc have been a bright spot, doing well throughout these troubled months, almost like a ray of life amidst dark clouds.

Yet, it may not be enough to save India from the inevitable tag of 'recession'. It is also expected to fare the worst among all major global economies as far as recovery goes. How well Q2 has been for India will be known when the National Statistical Office releases the GDP data today.

27 November 2020

Villagers Dig Out Diamond-like Stones in Nagaland

By BHADRA GOGOI

 DIMAPUR, Nov 26 - An area at Wanching village in Mon district of Nagaland bordering Myanmar may have deposits of diamond, throwing up “glittering” prospects.

 A video showing hundreds of villagers digging a small hill in the village to unearth “diamond” went viral today. The villagers reportedly dug out diamond-like stones from the hill.

According to sources in Mon, the villagers are camping in the area and trying to dig out the precious metal. However, the quantity and quality of the stones found in the area could not be confirmed immediately.

“Reports apparently of #Diamond found in #Wanching village #Mon district #Nagaland,” Director General (Prisons and Jails) of Nagaland Police Rupin Sharma, who was also the State DGP, tweeted today.

Meanwhile, Mon Deputy Commissioner Thavaseelan K told this correspondent over phone that some stones have been found in the village area. He said it was still not known whether these stones are diamond or any other metal.

He added that the Nagaland Geology and Mining Department is sending a team to study the stones. “It can be confirmed whether these stones are diamond or any other crystal metal only after the team finds out what exactly they are,” the DC said. According to an Indo-German study published in the journal, Current Science, the “ophiolite” rocks of Nagaland – that is a part of the Indo-Myanmar ranges – may potentially hold “microdiamonds” – diamonds of small size, less than one millimetre.

Indications of occurrence of “microdiamonds” have come from the presence of a manganese-bearing mineral called “manganilmenite” in the ophiolite rocks in the Pokphur area of Nagaland, authors of the study – Bibhuranjan Nayak of the CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology in Bhubaneswar, and Franz Michael Meyer of the Aachen University in Germany – said.

India Has Highest Bribery Rate in Asia


 
 
 NEW DELHI, Nov 27: India has the highest bribery rate in Asia and the most number of people who use personal connections to access public services, according to a new report by corruption watchdog Transparency International.

 The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) Asia, found that nearly 50 per cent of those who paid bribes were asked to, while 32 per cent of those who used personal connections said they would not receive the service otherwise.

The report is based upon the survey which was conducted between June 17 and July 17 this year in India with a sample size of 2,000.

“With the highest bribery rate (39 per cent) in the region, India also has the highest rate of people using personal connections to access public services (46 per cent),” the report said.

Bribery in public services continues to plague India. Slow and complicated bureaucratic process, unnecessary red tape and unclear regulatory frameworks force citizens to seek out alternate solutions to access basic services through networks of familiarity and petty corruption, the report said.

“Both national and State governments need to streamline administrative processes for public services, implement preventative measures to combat bribery and nepotism, and invest in user-friendly online platforms to deliver essential public services quickly and effectively,” the report said.

Although reporting cases of corruption is critical to curbing the spread, a majority of citizens in India (63 per cent) think that if they report corruption, they will suffer retaliation, it said.

In India, 89 per cent think government corruption is a big problem, 18 per cent offered bribes in exchange for votes.

About 63 per cent of surveyed people think the government is doing well in tackling corruption while 73 per cent said their anti-corruption agency is doing well in the fight against corruption, it said.

Based on fieldwork conducted in 17 countries, the GCB surveyed nearly 20,000 citizens in total.

Cape Clean - India's Top Facade and Window Cleaning

Myanmar hands over 34 Indians to Manipur

 The Indian nationals were handed over to authorities in Manipur at the Moreh border town in Tengnoupal district of Manipur.



Nov 27, 2020
: Most of the deported individuals were from Manipur, one each from Tripura, Mizoram and UP.

As many as 34 Indian nationals who have been serving jail term in Myanmar in different cases was deported to India by Myanmar Government on Thursday.

The Indian nationals were handed over to authorities in Manipur at the Moreh border town in Tengnoupal district of Manipur. Moreh is situated at the Indo-Myanmar border 110 km from Imphal. Most of the deported individuals were from Manipur, one each from Tripura, Mizoram and UP.

Yengkhom Rashni, deputy secretary Home, Government of Manipur said that the state Government is felicitating the handing and receiving of the deported individuals. All the deportation was necessitated through diplomatic channel by the Ministry, she said.

“Most of them were arrested for travelling beyond the free movement regime without proper documents”, said Rashni.

The Indian nationals were received at Indo-Myanmar friendship bridge by a team comprising of Immigration officers, staff of custom department and ICP and a team of Moreh police.

A medical team of Tengnoupal district surveillance officer conducted COVID-19 screening to all the 34 Indian nationals at Integrated check post (ICP) Moreh. Later, the Moreh police transported them to the Moreh police station. They are to be handed over to their respective family members.

Meanwhile, the Indian Government also deported as many as 28 Myanmar nationals and handed them over to Myanmar authorities on Thursday at the same border point, said the deputy secretary Home. The Myanmar nationals were arrested and detained from different places of India. It is learnt that eight are transported from Nagaland, 19 are from Assam and 1 from Mizoram.

Percentage of Population with Internet Access in India statewise as of June 2020




 

16 November 2020

Aadhaar PVC: One Person Can Order For Whole Family With One Mobile Number

 

You can use any mobile number to receive OTP for authentication, regardless of the registered mobile number in your Aadhaar. (@UIDAI)
You can use any mobile number to receive OTP for authentication, regardless of the registered mobile number in your Aadhaar. (@UIDAI)

UIDAI launched the Aadhaar in the form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) card in October.

UIDAI launched the Aadhaar in the form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) card in October this year. Just like your debit or credit card or PAN card, you will be able to carry the PVC Aadhaar card in your wallet. UIDAI puts it as ,"Loaded with the latest security features, your Aadhaar is now more durable, convenient to carry, instantly verifiable offline." UIDAI allows residents of India to get their Aadhaar letter reprint on PVC card by paying nominal charges of 50. Residents who do not have registered mobile number can also order using non-registered or any alternate mobile number. In fact, one person can order Aadhaar PVC cards online for the whole family, using his or her mobile number.

UIDAI in a recent tweet wrote, "You can use any mobile number to receive OTP for authentication, regardless of the registered mobile number in your Aadhaar. So, one person can order Aadhaar PVC cards online for the whole family. Follow the link https://residentpvc.uidai.gov.in/order-pvcreprint to order now."

Here's the tweet:


How to order PVC Aadhaar card?

> Go to the link: https://residentpvc.uidai.gov.in/order-pvcreprint

> Fill in your Aadhaar Number or Virtual Identification Number or EID to order Aadhaar card.

Aadhaar card comes with security features i.e. Digitally signed Secure QR code, Hologram, Ghost image, Guilloche pattern etc.

> Click on 'send OTP.' You can order Aadhaar card using your registered mobile number or Alternate mobile number to receive OTP.

> Aadhaar preview is available on use of registered mobile only. Preview of Aadhaar card details is not available for Non-registered mobile based Order.

> Time-Based-One-Time-Password (TOTP) can also be used via m-Aadhaar Application.

> After submitting the OTP, you will need to make the required payment and your PVC Aadhaar reprint will be ordered.

4 minors rescued in Assam after allegations of attempted human sacrifice

The police took the four boys into protective custody after learning that the father of one of the boys was preparing to sacrifice them.
The police took the four boys into protective custody after learning that the father of one of the boys was preparing to sacrifice them. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

 

Father of one of the 4 children told police he was preparing to do some exorcism ritual.

By Abhinav Sahay

Police in Assam’s Sivasagar district have rescued four minor boys following allegations from local residents that they were about to be sacrificed by the father of one of the boys.

While reports in local news channels claim that the father of one of the boys wanted to sacrifice his own son and the sons of his brother on the advice of a witch doctor with the hope of getting some hidden treasure, police say there is no evidence of an attempted human sacrifice yet, but are investigating.

“A police team was sent to Demowmukh following reports that some human sacrifice was about to take place there. We have taken the four boys into our custody on Saturday night for their safety,” said Amitava Sinha, superintendent of police, Sivasagar.

“The allegations of attempted human sacrifice are yet to be confirmed. Apart from hearsay, there is no concrete evidence about such a crime. According to the locals, the father of one of the boys wanted to sacrifice them. On questioning, the father said they were planning some exorcism ritual,” he added.

An FIR on the incident has been lodged by local residents and police have detained two persons Jamirul Hussain and Shariful Hussain, fathers of the minor boys, for further interrogation.

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