The Indian rupee has depreciated to 72 per dollar and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is kind of holding on here. Indian 10-year bond yield has reached 8.10 per cent, signifying a possible rate hike in coming months. Question is what next for the dollar-rupee tango. Lets look at primary factors that are at play for the dollar/rupee movement.
Data is the new oil, but the truth is, it’s crude, unrefined and though available in plenty it is hard to find. Data is only valuable once it has been processed. Data powers the information economy in the same way that oil fuelled the industrial economy. Data promises a plethora of new uses – expansion of business in the required direction, diagnosis of diseases, traffic patterns, etc. Mega-trends such as big data, smart cities, internet of things (IoT) and rapid development of mobile technologies are driving the utilisation of personal data.
You wake up; groggily pick up your phone and swipe through countless emails, calls and app notifications. You get out of bed, get ready for work and with a few quick swipes on your screen, a cab arrives at your doorstep. While you are at work, a few more screen swipes and a vacuum cleaner cleans your home before you get back. Get home, and there’s no need to cook because your trusty phone can also have food delivered right to your doorstep.
The diplomatic tug of war in the Maldives seems to be going in favour of China as it looks to have gained a stronghold on President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom through the ‘debt trap diplomacy’, with the inauguration of Beijing-funded Sinamale Bridge, which India chose to boycott. It is a flagship Chinese infrastructure project linking capital Male with the airport island. Also known as the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, it has been built with a $72 million loan besides $116 million grant by China.
Most people are curious as to why Satya Pal Malik has been sent to J&K as governor at this crucial time. The general reaction being Malik, who? Instead of a bureaucrat or a retired general, which has been the norm, why a career politician this time? When you lift the hood and inspect the power train, you realise there is a method to this decision.
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In emerging economies like India, the most crucial factor in people’s lives is incomes they have and quality of infrastructure, healthcare and education support provided by the state. While we are the third largest economy in PPP terms, our per capita income is extremely low. We are categorised as a low-middle income country by the World Bank. Huge poverty and extensive malnutrition exists in our country. We need to grow at a sustained level of 8 per cent plus for next 2 decades to get a respectable middle-income level.
At recent functions to celebrate quarter century of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), some focus revolved around how the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been working overtime to empower MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises). Will it work and trigger a new regime of growth across the country, asked many?
Their worries were understandable.
Not so long ago, maybe less than half a decade, a retail model was the norm. Retailers would select the look and the ranges they wanted to offer to customer that season or that year, make them available locally, and price them competitively against other stores in the area to get sales. One can’t imagine today that their choice was limited by the availability of competing products and services within the same local market. The last bastion of the older model, the 50-75 year olds are gradually either changing buying habits, becoming digitally savvy or, passing into eternity.
When it is summer in other parts of the country, people descend on Kerala, because the rains are due, and the pre-monsoon drizzles are gentle.
The unprecedented floods and rains in Kerala emphasise the need for proactive preparation to meet such calamities. I had recommended in Sardar Patel Lectures of All India Radio in 1973 that we should have a drought code and a flood code ready so that we can minimise the adverse impact of deficit or excess of rainfall. The Kuttanad package presented to the government of Kerala also provides some guidelines for flood avoidance or management.