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PMFAI seeks policy support for growth of agrochem market

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Noting that investments in the Indian agrochemicals sector are increasing despite Covid-19, the Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) has urged the Centre to extend policy support to enable a two-fold growth of the Indian agrochemical market double, with a major focus on exports.

Addressing the 52nd Annual General Meeting of PMFAI, Pradip Dave, President, PMFAI, said that the Indian agrochemical sector has a market size reaching more than Rs 43,000 crores, out of which Rs 23,000 crore worth pesticides are exported to the global markets.

Presently, India is the fourth largest producer of agrochemicals in the world after the US, Japan and China.

Dave observed that while investments in the agrochemicals sector for developing new molecules are declining worldwide, it has grown here as Indian companies have increased their expenditures in research and innovation.

“If the government extends policy and procedural support, the industry can grow to reach the market size of Rs 75,000 crore within 4-5 years with major increase in exports,” he said.

During the AGM, Dave was unanimously re-elected as President of PMFAI while Deepak Shah was elected Vice President.

The members noted that dependency on imports for technical grade pesticides, among other factors impede the process of ‘Aatmanirbhar’ Indian agrochemical industry.

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WhatsApp working on new software that uses Apple Mac Catalyst

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 Meta-owned WhatsApp is working on a new Mac app that uses the Apple Mac Catalyst development environment to make better use of system resources.

According to AppleInsider, WhatsApp currently provides a web-based Electron app for Mac users in addition to its web app via browsers.

Electron and Catalyst are software development frameworks that help developers create desktop apps.

The new app has been in a closed beta for a few months, but now anyone can download the file on macOS Big Sur or later on the WhatsApp website, according to the report.

Following installation, it will display a QR code that users can scan with their iPhone to link their accounts using the WhatsApp iOS app.

The Mac app’s three-panel interface provides access to archived chats, starred messages, phone calls, and settings.

The Catalyst app includes features not available in the Electron version, such as file drag-and-drop and a spell-checker, the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has reportedly rolled out some new shortcuts for group admins to quickly and easily perform actions for a certain group participant, on iOS.

The new shortcuts simplify interactions with group members as now the platform supports large groups of up to 1,024 participants, reports WABetainfo.

The new update will help group admins quickly manage and communicate with such a large number of participants in private.

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Mumbai: No jumbo block on Western Railway on Sunday

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There will be no jumbo block on Sunday, January 29 over Western Railway’s (WR) Mumbai suburban section, the WR announced today.

Major block to dismantle Gokhale bridge

Earlier last week, the Western Railway had enforced a major 4.5 hour block on the down slow lines from 12.15am to 4.45am on the intervening nights of Jan 19-20 and Jan 20-21 to carry out dismantling work of the Gokhale road overbridge at Andheri.

As a result, a number of local train services were affected.

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Panvel unit of employees of Bank of Maharashtra to join a day strike

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The Panvel unit of employees of the Bank of Maharashtra joined the one-day strike on January 27. All the unions operating in the Bank of Maharashtra have called for a one-day nationwide strike on January 27, 2023, mainly on the issue of adequate recruitment in all the cadres. The bank has eliminated the part-time staff cadre.

In the case of clerks and officers, the bank has not filled vacancies caused by death, retirement, resignations, or promotions, let alone vacancies caused by business growth.

During the last 10 years, banks’ business has grown by 250% while their staff has been reduced by 20%, and thus staff is hard pressed.

According to the union, employees are required to work beyond normal hours on almost all days and report to their duties on their weekly off and holidays. Employees are not able to avail of leave to their credit even for exigencies, and thus they have lost work-life balance.

Due to acute staff shortages, employees are unable to provide efficient customer service, despite their sincere efforts. Employees are working under immense pressure and thus are undergoing physical and mental stress.

The unions have been raising this issue of recruitment individually and collectively, but management is adamant and stubborn; thus, the January 27, 2023, strike has become inevitable.

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