The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented upheavals in personal, economic and financial, and political lives. Stringent lockdowns have thrown the global economy off gear. Numerous predictions were floated about the trajectory of the virus and the resultant path of the global economy as the business situation remained volatile and uncertain.
The general sense is that the rate of global economic revival would depend upon the course of the pandemic. The manner in which the global vaccine programme is scaled up will be one of the crucial factors of such recovery. The World Bank’s latest projections of January 2021 peg the global output growth at 5.5% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022.
At home, a prudent mix of fiscal stimuli and monetary policies, announced in 2020, have helped the economy witness a V-shaped recovery, with the GDP in Q3 2020-21 estimated to have grown by 0.4% over Q3 2019-20. The OECD’s forecast for India is revised upwards by 4.7 percentage points to 12.6% for 2021, while the IMF’s projections indicate a growth of 11.5% in 2021, after a dismal -8% in 2020.
Some economic parameters are ameliorating. From 54.0 in April 2020, monthly IIP rose to 135.9 in December 2020. Agriculture, the only sector not subjected to lockdowns, is also the lone sector to have a projected positive GVA of 3% and a projected positive GDP growth (0.9%) in 2020-21. There are signs of revival in trade too. The decline in exports from 2019-20 to 2020-21 has narrowed down from 36% in Q1 to 5% in Q2 to 4% in Q3 of 2020-21. FDI flows in Q2 2020-21 were 2.4 times the Q2 2019-20 figures and 3.6 times the Q1 2019-20 level. Bank credit to agriculture and service sectors has witnessed some resumption. According to a recent FICCI survey, India Inc’s business confidence has reached its peak in the past decade, with FICCI’s Overall Business Confidence Index witnessing a decadal high of 74.2 following an improvement in present business conditions. The Index had stood at 70.9 in 2020 and 59 in 2019. The release of pent-up demand built during the lockdown has improved capacity utilisation and key operational parameters, thereby boosting business confidence. A big positive is that stock markets are performing well, reflecting investors’ confidence in the strong fundamentals of the economy. The Budget announcements have rightly endeavoured to tackle both demand and supply-side issues for economic resumption.
Despite positive movement on the economic growth front, the challenge remains since it has to not just recuperate, but accelerate as well to more than offset the low base. It needs to be noted that despite the slight improvement in the GDP in Q3 2020-21, estimates for the financial year 2020-21 remain bleak at -8%, compared to 4% in 2019-20. In absolute terms, while Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) is estimated to record an increase in 2020-21 over 2019-20, Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) is still low. All sectors other than agriculture and electricity are projected to record negative GVA in 2020-21. The outlook for global FDI flows, rising fuel prices, unemployment, especially in the informal sector, and a slowing tourism, hotels and transport sector are sending out disconcerting economic signals. Direct investment made by India overseas fell by 31% to $1.85 billion in February 2021. There has been subdued lending by banks to large industries. Inflation reached a 27-month high in February 2021. The combined Index of Eight Core Industries in February 2021 also declined by 4.6%, compared to February 2020.
The evolving situation is further exacerbated by a recurrence of Covid-19 cases, along with new variants being found. After registering a peak of more than 98,000 daily new Covid-19 cases in September 2020, the number of cases dipped to around 9,000 in February 2021. However, as soon as we were celebrating our success with controlling the pandemic, a second wave, riding on our complacency, hit us hard. The number of daily new cases has climbed up to above 80,000 now and another round of localised lockdowns is being resorted to, bringing along the imminent hazard of a debilitating effect on the economy.
The global financial crisis of 2007-08, which stretched till around 2011-12, had witnessed long periods of dampened growth and high unemployment. A full revival of the global economy after the Great Depression of 1929 had taken a decade. The IMF’s projections indicate that the global medium-term loss in output growth, due to the pandemic, is expected to be lower than that after the global financial crisis, yet sizeable, at an expected 3.5% lower than the output projected for 2024 before the pandemic.
Thus, while early green shoots are visible, it is too early to let our guards down and become complacent. A sustained economic recovery would require us to be cautious about the potential surge in infections, the resultant compelling lockdowns, and impending threat to employment and incomes due to a potential increase in corporate and individual insolvencies.
With regulatory forbearances slowly lifting across countries, the impact on indebted business and individuals will now be visible. In the Indian context, the Supreme Court has recently decided in favour of lifting of the standstill on the classification of NPAs and granting no further extensions on loan moratoriums. The suspension on filling for corporate insolvencies under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code also ended on 25 March 2021.
So, are we out of the woods? Not quite. The road ahead for the economy is precarious and needs to be trekked with great caution. We have some kind of solution on the health front, wherein the proactive contribution of citizens would be of utmost importance to sustain gains from the ongoing vaccination programme. However, getting the economy back on track will be an uphill task. Balancing forbearance with austerity on the fiscal path ahead would be a tightrope walk. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. There is no known policy prescription available to fall back upon, especially when any economic solution is crucially linked to the highly uncertain path of a virus on which we seem to have little control. However, think tanks and governments are earnestly engaged in addressing economic and health issues in tandem.
The authors belong to the Indian Economic Service. The views expressed are personal.
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5 MUST-HAVE JEWELLERY PIECES FOR KARVA CHAUTH
As we spent yet another year at home in our pyjamas, the ongoing festive season has given us the perfect excuse to dress up! It is that time of the year when festivity in India is in its full swing. India boasts of an array of significant festivals, of which Karva Chauth, marks one important celebration for married couples.
Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands.
Undoubtedly, like every year, ladies would be stressed about choosing the perfect outfit for the special day. But do you think your search will be limited to finding a good dress? Of course not!
With your sartorial choices taking the front seat, do not forget to have your hands on the must-have jewellery pieces that not only compliment your clothes but also your personality.
Bhavesh Navlakha, founder of online fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi helped ANI list the trending jewellery pieces that would be a one-time investment for you to perfectly style your outfit not only for Karva Chauth but also for the entire festive season:
1. Pearl choker: Chokers are never out of style and are a beautiful addition to accentuate Indian outfits. The choker lends an edginess to your chosen ethnic outfit. An elegant pearl choker can elevate any outfit and give a rather classy look without being too heavy.
2. Long-chain jhumkis: Long-chain jhumkis, also referred to as Bahubali-inspired earrings, is a style statement that acts as the perfect addition to any ethnic outfit. It is a contemporary take on traditional earrings which adds a touch of glamour to your outfit without the need for any more jewellery.
3. Pearl bangles: Bangles are one of the most traditional accessories used in India. Bangles are a versatile jewellery piece that compliments our ethnic outfits. Adding jewellery pieces to your wrist acts as the perfect accessory to just about every Indian outfit.
4. Jhumkis: Jhumkis are immensely popular as one of the most worn jewellery pieces and is loved by everyone for their intricate design. Jhumkis can be paired with Indian ethnic outfits and also western outfits to create an eye-pleasing ensemble.
5. Kundan neckpiece: Kundan neckpieces look elegant and sophisticated and can glam up your outfit in no time. Not just for Karva Chauth, but Kundan sets can be worn by pairing them with your favourite outfit and layering the necklaces.
With jewellery trends constantly evolving and changing every year, we find it hard to keep ourselves updated on them. So, now that we have got you all covered, style your outfit with the above-mentioned jewellery pieces, making your ensemble not only look great but also speaking volumes for you!
Needledust launches its first-ever store in Mumbai
India’s first-ever designer jutti label, Needledust is thrilled to announce the launch of their first-ever store in Mumbai at Reliance’s first premium mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, Jio World Drive.
Housing more than 90+ premium and luxury brands, JIO World Driver is an exciting hub for luxury, fashion, shopping and entertainment. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and spanning across an area of 17.5 acres at Maker Maxity, Jio World Drive is Mumbai’s newest, vibrant urban hangout. The precinct is home to 72 prominent International and Indian brands, 27 culinary outlets with cuisines from across the globe, Mumbai’s first rooftop Jio Drive-In Theatre, an open-air weekend community market, pet-friendly services, a dedicated pop-up experience and other bespoke services. With an international consumer base, Needledust launched in 2014 with an original first of its kind product in the designer jutti space.
Following the immense success of their existing stores in Delhi & Chandigarh and a spectacular online presence on Needledust.com, this is a significant milestone for the brand as they open their doors to the tinsel town.
Needledust brings to you a line of bespoke fine leather juttis that speak the charm of a true old school artisan with a desire to recreate this age-old craft for those who wear, admire, preserve its elegance and culture.
The celebrated label is all about unbridled passion for the revival of the jutti and unmatched craftsmanship, amalgamating the finesse of old royal moulds with innovative design and embroidery patterns that impeccably reflect 21st-century aesthetics.
MANUBHAI JEWELLERS LAUNCHES AN EXCLUSIVE BRIDAL JEWELLERY COLLECTION FOR NEW BRIDES-TO-BE
This wedding season, Manubhai Jewellers, a leading jewellery brand for over 30 years has made the process of finding the perfect jewellery for all the brides-to-be more special and remarkable. The brand has launched a new campaign called “Wedding by Manubhai” that features jewellery for every function – Sangeet, Mehendi and Wedding -along with a special traditional experience for all the new brides-to-be to wish them good luck and prosperity.
Speaking about the new campaign, Samir Sagar, Director, Manubhai Jewellers, said, “We at Manubhai Jewellers have been creating intricate and beautiful pieces of jewellery that balance between tradition and contemporary design to suit every occasion. For the wedding season, we want to take the opportunity to highlight the traditional values associated with our brand and offer a new bridal experience.” Manubhai Jewellers are popularly known for their specially crafted and curated collections in Mumbai. With a retail presence in Borivali, they cater to every customer’s needs ranging from beautiful modern diamond pieces to fanciful and chic gold wear, to traditional Kundan and Jadau jewellery. The brand is one of the few jewellers in Mumbai creating bespoke designs in Polki, Temple and Antique.
Additionally, Manubhai Jewellers are also committed to specialising in bridal jewellery called Madhuban. The Madhuban collection features beautifully handcrafted inspirational jewellery displayed in the store with a royal theme. Manubhai’s traditional concepts stand are brilliantly reflected through the indigenous craftsmanship of the Madhuban collection and has made the brand popular among the best jewellery shops in Mumbai. Further, all jewellers at Manubhai are hallmarked and certified.
Further, to make the moment special for new brides, Manubhai Jewellers have also introduced “Madhuban Delight” wherein the bride is first welcomed in a traditional way with the ‘Aarti thali’ and then gifted with a ‘Potli’ – a traditional drawstring bag that contains silver coins, vermilion, rice and Swastik that symbolise good luck, prosperity and imply the underlying cultural significance of ceremonial rituals.
Karva Chauth 2021: Stand out with these easy makeup looks
Karva Chauth, an important festival for married couples has always been about dressing up to the nines and sporting elaborate makeup looks for women. Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands. This year Karva Chauth will be celebrated on 24 October, that is, Sunday.
Ladies, you may even have spent days planning out your Karva Chauth outfit and makeup look. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic easing down, there is much of a point in getting decked up like earlier.
So, it is time to come up with a makeup look that is not only appropriate for your special day but also worthy of posting on Instagram!
Check out the simple tips listed below by Professional MUA Sahibjeet Kaur shared with ANI to create a makeup look that is unapologetically you:
1. Basic red, with popping eyeliner or kajal: Women love to wear traditional red shades for their Karwa Chauth, but another trend that has really taken up and we cannot get enough of is the coloured eyeliner or kajal look. Gone are the days when your eyes could carry only basic black or simple brown colours. Now, you can use coloured eyeliner or kajal to add a unique point to your Karva Chauth look. Add trendy colours like lime green, electric blue, and bubblegum pink to your eyeliner or Kajal. You can play around with a sleek cat-eye look or experiment with a graphic liner look by doing a cut-crease with a coloured liner. Apply bold blood-red lipstick with small size red bindi. To compliment your look, style your dress with gajra, mang tikka, and a choker neckpiece.
2. Have fun with the eyeshadow palette: Bid adieu to your basic pink and red eyeshadow look. Explore the peppy colours in the palette and blend the shades that go with your outfit. To add more glam to your eye makeup, apply artificial lashes on your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Go light with your lip-shade to let your eyes do the talking!
3. Smokey eyes with a glitter twist: A trend that can never become stale is the basic smokey eye makeup look. But, why should you settle for basic? Pick up your makeup brush tool and add some glittery twist to the whole look. Choose a colour matching to your outfit for the smokey eyeshadow. Blend it until you achieve the perfect smoke. Apply artificial lashes to your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Ditching the basic black, add a glittery twist to the whole look by applying a silver shiny eyeliner. Apply nude or glossy lipstick and a stroke of highlighter on your cheekbones. If you can wear big jhumkis, it can enhance your look like anything.
4. Add some glow to your look: Steer clear of your ultra-bright golden highlighter and go for a subtler look instead. Opt for a subtle highlighter in the shade of rose gold, champagne, or dull gold. Apply it at the high points of your cheekbones, on your brow bones, and down your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look. This will make your makeup look understated while still making you look effervescent.
5. Get peachy with blush: Red, pink or green- choose any colour for your outfit and peachy makeup will add volumes to your look! Go for a peachy blush with a slight shimmer to add warmth to your face and elevate that dewy look. You can apply the blush straight across your cheekbones and nose to create a pretty fresh look and to your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look.
Pro-tip: Do not neglect your eyebrows. You can use an eyebrow pencil to shape up your eyebrows or can use eyeshadow to give a natural uplift to your brows.
Now that we have got you all covered, try out these makeup tips to glam up this Karva Chauth!
DIAL M FOR MINIMALISM
With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes.
Clamping down on consumption for some has indirectly affected their aesthetic (most for the better). It has initiated a shift in consumer choices. The year 2020 and a majority of 2021 have seen a shift in design trends. Instagram accounts with zen influencers have made impressions in the aesthetic inclinations of many. Enter Marie Kondo, the purveyor of minimalism with tidying up as her motto. Known to preach cleanliness, she believes ’Tidying up’ fosters joy and serenity. Indulgence and maximal living is a personal choice and we are not arguing about it. Respect, Kardashians and Jenners.
However, understated interiors are an aesthetically pleasing choice of decor. This style that is #trending can be incorporated into homes of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s Japanese, modern or Scandinavian, there are many ways to achieve this coveted look. An added advantage is it is not labour intensive to execute so you can save energy for your upcoming HIIT session. Most of these sleek looks can be achieved by incorporating simple streamlined furniture with chalky hues for upholstery.
Clean modern lines, a pastel palette of colours and simple silhouettes. With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes. Colours are imperative.
A decluttered coffee table with a statement pot planter can do the trick. Facets that add to the zen features range from contemporary ceramic bowls to a some-free soy wax candle. These contemporary bowls can be procured from Ellementry, a home accessory studio from Jaipur. Nestasia (an online Indian home store) boasts of geometric ceramic pots that are unique and trendy. They are available in chalky hues in harmony with a minimalist’s handbook. For everything else there is Ikea.
Rattan mirrors are topping the charts for sprucing up your blank spaces. Choose from a range of hand made rattan numbers to bevelled circular pieces. One mirror on a single wall should do the trick. A multitude of small rattan mirrors can add that subtle adornment. These handmade rattan numbers could be found at gingercrush.com. You could also explore www.pepperfry.in for some sleek round mirrors by the brand Flairglass.
Tables with sharp lines or curves comply with the minimalist’s montage. Sofas and couches with forms conforming to the Marie Kondo design sensibility.
If you’re looking to fix the mess, commit to tidying up. Investing in simple yet effective pieces with minimum maintenance. Airy spaces with sunlight pouring in are therapeutic. Choose earthy and pastel colours in tandem with the zen philosophy. To destress, declutter.
ICDMA FOUNDER TO INTRODUCE AI PLATFORM FOR IDENTIFYING AND MITIGATING DIGITAL RISKS
ICDMA is a provider of IT services such as Cyber Forensics, IT Audit, IT Risk Evaluation, and Digital Security. In recent years, it has become a tried-and-true standard for businesses looking to defend their brands, enterprises, and reputations from crippling cyber attacks. They develop and deploy information security platforms and services, both standard and personalised, to protect, evaluate, and respond to cyber threats such as security breaches that occur in your systems and networks. The services they provide include Application and Web Development, Graphic Design, Security Audits, Cyber Security Services, Vulnerability Assessments, Fraud Risk Management, and IT Consultancy.
In addition, the firm achieved awards for being the best Cyber Forensics firm preventing businesses from external threats. A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business, or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible and practical solutions to protect you.
Being a cyber security expert and analyst, Dheeraj Kumar has years of experience and stays up-to-date with the current crimes and security trends. He believes that like many other professions, this is a never-ending learning field. They monitor your networks and then analyse them to find common threat patterns or trends. Further, they design software that suits the needs of the problem at hand and ensures that these measures are maintained properly. If, in any case, they encounter a new problem, they utilise their years of experience and knowledge to produce a unique solution.
Witnessing the increased cyber threats, Cybersecurity analyst Dheeraj advises people to use the Internet wisely and productively. Dheeraj is currently working on an Al-driven platform for identifying and mitigating digital risks and counteracting brand impersonation attacks with the company’s patented technologies at its core. Dheeraj’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks.
A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible solutions.
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