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Nirmala Sitharaman joins leaders of tomorrow at IIM Ahmedabad for interactive session

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Nirmala-Sitharaman

The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), welcomed Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman as she joined MBA students of the globally recognized, premier management institute, for an interactive session on the theme ‘The Economic Rebound and the Indian Economy in 2021 and Beyond with its students.

Hosted by IIMA’s JSW-School of Public Policy, was the first on ground event held at the Institute since the pandemic. The session threw light on various aspects of the Indian economy including return of consumer confidence, robust financial markets, an uptick in manufacturing, education sector and the decrease in the budget allocation this year, PSU disinvestment target, health expenditure, skill India, fuel prices reduction, savings and borrowing scheme, upskilling: for automation and gig workers, investment in infrastructure, agriculture and many more.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Errol D’Souza, Director, IIMA Programmes said, “It is our honour and an encouragement to have the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman at the Institute. We are grateful for her presence, in spite of her commitments. I am happy to share that IIMA and its faculty have been supporting the government with their expertise on various aspects of policymaking, which is our way of contributing to the growth of the country. Today’s interaction with the Hon’ble Minister will become a memorable and inspiring moment for our students, who are at the threshold of beginning their journey into the real world.”

Sitharaman is an inspiration for all, especially the young people of the country. As the first woman leader to hold the portfolios of Defence and Finance at the Centre, she has become an aspirational model for the young women in the country. During the session, the Finance Minister encouraged the students to expand their boundaries and said, “You all are fortunate enough to be in an institution like this [IIMA]. My only request to you is spare sometime for the country and the nation to get stronger. India needs your support. Concentrate on yourself but also concentrate on making India brighter and smarter”

Acting as co-chairs, Prof. Errol D’Souza, with IIMA students Arunabh Saxena and Sonakshi Agrawal, among other points discussed about disinvestment targets of PSUs and government’s approach towards it. They also addressed the concerns of consumers bearing the high costs of fuel today and how is the government resolving these challenges.

When asked about the rationale and steps taken by the government to ensure quality education, Sitharaman said, “That the desire for encouraging twinning programmes in hopes of getting a world class university certificate and technologically driven tools like optical fibres even at the panchayat level will add to the betterment of education in the country. Hence there has been a conscious attempt in improving the funding of education. I would want to underline the fact that the New Education Policy, the schemes under it, and the long term vision under which the NEP looks at making the Indian education a lot more vibrant has received due consideration in the budget making process.”

Sitharaman further addressed that the Indian economy was on a rebound and she expects to see an economic recovery in the coming year. While the budget gave a due consideration to the national education policy and its schemes, she also believes that there is a huge potential of digital learning in the country across states, especially for the ones who have lesser access to it. She also threw light on the need for skilling and up skilling across industries and its success rates with a focussed approach.

The institute has a unique model of a convivial combination of the union, state and the business community. IIMA research programmes are the most coveted and prominent in the areas like Strategy, Economics, Finance, Operations and Marketing. IIMA also set up a number of sector or mission-oriented thrust groups termed ‘Centres’ to apply management science to other sectors of the economy. These Centres are led by faculty members from different inter-disciplinary areas that come together to pursue research and consulting.

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Pakistani rupee falls to yet another historic low against US dollar

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The Pakistani rupee continued to tumble against the US dollar, breaching yet another important threshold of 196 in the interbank market to hit its weakest level on Tuesday, media reports said.

Maintaining its downturn for the eighth successive working day, the Pakistani rupee was being traded at Rs 195.74 against the greenback surpassing its last low, Geo News reported.

A persistent delay in the receipt of the next tranche of $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is mounting pressure on the rupee.

The situation is likely to remain uncertain for the local currency, Commodities Director Adnan Agar said as the local unit fell below 196-mark against the greenback during the trading session on Tuesday.

“If the government decides to remove subsidies on petroleum products, the rupee will bounce back,” he said, adding that the local unit will remain within the range of 180-185.

Agar, however, added that if the government decided to dissolve the Assembly and move towards early elections, the situation for the already tumbling currency market will deteriorate.

Since the beginning of this fiscal year (July 1, 2021) to date, the rupee has collectively dropped by a massive 24.24 per cent (or Rs 38.2) compared to the previous fiscal year’s close at Rs 157.54.

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5G technology to contribute USD 450 billion to Indian economy: Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said 5G technology will contribute US Dollar 450 billion to the Indian economy.

Underscoring the role of the telecom sector in the progress of the country, he also said that by the end of this decade, the country will be able to launch 6G services of its own.

Addressing the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Modi said: “It is estimated that in the coming time, 5G will contribute USD 450 bn to the Indian economy. This will not only accelerate internet speed but also boost development and employment.”

“By the end of this decade, we will be able to launch 6G services, our task force is working on it. Our efforts will help our startups to become global champions in the telecom sector and 5G technology,” he said.

He launched a 5G Test Bed, developed by a multi-institutes collaborative project that included a eight institutes led by IIT Madras.

“5G Test Bed is an important step towards the country’s self reliance on critical and modern technology in the telecom sector. The 5G technology is also going to bring positive changes in the governance of the country, ease of living and ease of doing business,” the Prime Minister said.

This facility will boost growth in every sector – agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics, creating vast employment opportunities, the Prime Minister noted.

Referring to the situation prior to 2014, he said that the growth was slow and in last eight years, the investment has gone up one and half time more than what it used to be in 2014.

With the new initiatives taken by the government, the Prime Minister also said that the call and data rates in India are cheaper than other countries.

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Aborted Kerala Seaplane project to be turned into dam plane service

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 The ambitious sea plane project envisaged during the 2011-16 Oommen Chandy government that got aborted following serious objections from the fisher folk community appears to have taken a new shape with the Pinarayi Vijayan government deciding to turn it into a dam plane project.

If the Chandy government thought of landing the sea plane on water bodies in lakes and rivers, the Vijayan government has proposed the same but has turned the landing of such planes inside the catchment areas of numerous dams in the state.

Chandy’s project was shot down by inland fishermen who eke out a living fishing in lakes and rivers stating that their primary vocation of fishing might get affected because of frequent landing and take off by these sea planes.

According to sources, the same project of sea planes has taken a new shape and the proposed landing and takeoff is now proposed to take place in the catchment areas of the dams.

In Kerala, dams are the properties of the Kerala State Electricity Board and the Kerala Water Authority and so far there have been keen interests shown by about half-a-dozen companies.

If this project turns out to be a success, then the biggest gainer would be the tourism industry in the state as tourists can reach several prime destinations in the state by air, cutting a lot of travel time as roads in the state are congested.

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