Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.
Global Growth: India Retains Top Spot: India's economy retained the title of the world's fastest-growing major economy, despite the disruption caused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation decision. Data released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday showed gross domestic product (GDP) registered 7 per cent growth in October-December quarter, down from 7.4 per cent in the previous quarter. India's growth was higher than China's 6.8 per cent for the last three months of 2016.
RBI Strengthening Cyber Defences: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up an inter-disciplinary standing committee on cyber security to review the threats inherent in the existing and emerging technology. “While banks have taken several steps to strengthen their defences, the diverse and ingenious nature of cyber attacks necessitates an ongoing review of the cyber security landscape and emerging threats,” the RBI said.
Government Wants Bank Account Internet-Enabled: After seeing the ‘phenomenal success’ of the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is pushing for all bank accounts to be internet-enabled by 31 March. “The ministry is calling a meeting with all banks post Holi to streamline any issues with online payments and make sure that the 31 March deadline is also met,” a government source said. A third of all bank accounts aren’t linked to the internet yet.
Multinational Cola Boycott Begins In Tamil Nadu: A state-wide boycott of top multinational cola brands begins today in Tamil Nadu. Many grocery store owners, restaurants and refreshment vendors will stop selling drinks with a large number of shopkeepers already reporting sharp drop in sales. Customers have even asked storeholders not to stock brands made by the likes of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola as anti-multinational sentiment has grown in the state.
Fast-Tracking Weapons Modernisation: India is fast-tracking the much-delayed weapons modernisation programme for the Army's Special Forces. Defence Ministry sources said on Tuesday that seven tenders or RFPs (request for proposals) were issued last week to American, Israeli, Swedish and other companies for acquisition of the specialised weaponry on a fast-track basis. They are aimed at acquiring new assault rifles, sniper rifles, general purpose machine guns, light-weight rocket launchers, tactical shotguns, pistols, night-vision devices and ammunition.
Thiruvananthapuram Tops City Governance Ranking: In the annual city governance ranking, Delhi slipped two places to rank ninth while Thiruvananthapuram retains its number one position. The Annual Survey of India's City-System saw Pune in the second place, up two ranks from 2015, while Kolkata retains its third slot. The biggest gainer is Bhubaneswar, which has jumped eight places from 2015 to land at the 10th spot. Bengaluru has dropped four places to rank 16.
Banking Operations Hit: Banking operations were paralysed on Tuesday by the day-long, nationwide strike called by employees of public sector banks with cheque clearance, money market, cash withdrawals and deposits getting hit. “Cheques for Rs 2 lakh crore were not cleared. Cash transactions remained crippled and ATM machines went dry after few hours,” said Vishwas Utagi of the All India Bank Employees Association. Employees are demanding compensation for the work bank employees did during demonetisation, strong mechanism for recovery of non-performing loans and action against bank loan defaulters.
Weathermen Predict Difficult Summer: India is facing a difficult summer ahead with the weathermen predicting "above normal" temperature across the country this season. Several states are likely to witness heatwave conditions, the India Meteorological Department said in its summer forecast for the season – March to May. Above normal conditions are likely over "core heatwave zone". This includes Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana.
MUST READ OP-EDS
Nurturing 21st Century Enterprises: The Union government is putting together a few programmes to help support India’s enterprises of the future. The nature of the enterprise is undergoing a tectonic shift, a ‘disruption’ in start-up speak.
The Great Deception: Though the prosperous section of society has succeeded in convincing the masses that the accretion of capital is a result of their hard work, this is not true. Nor is such inequality sustainable. It is only a matter of time till this myth is busted.
What Goes ‘UP’ Comes Down: Over the last decade, several chief ministers have won repeatedly by stressing development that yielded rapid economic growth. If growth is the parameter statistical picture goes against Akhilesh Yadav.
Time To Restart The Old Capitalism Death Watch: A big question is whether a long, messy period full of Brexits and Donald Trumps would threaten to end capitalism. The market has been given more and more freedom to follow its own internal logic, and that logic has led to an inevitable crisis.
Gurmehar Kaur And The Battles The Right Must Learn To Avoid: The Right must know which battles to fight and which ones to ignore. Taking on a naïve and possibly idealistic young woman is not going to get them any brownie points even if she is 100 per cent wrong.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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