India will be worst-affected among the world’s major economies even after Covid-19 wanes, with output 12% below pre-pandemic levels through the middle of the decade, says a report by global forecasting firm Oxford Economics.
Balance sheet stress that had been building even before the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to worsen further, Priyanka Kishore, head of economics for South Asia and South-East Asia, writes in the report. She projects potential growth for India at 4.5% over the next five years, lower than 6.5% before the pandemic hit the world.
“It’s likely that headwinds already hampering growth prior to 2020—such as stressed corporate balance sheets, elevated non-performing assets of banks, the fallout in non-bank financial companies, and labor market weakness—will worsen,” Priyanka states, adding: “The resulting long-term scars, probably among the worst globally, would push India’s trend growth substantially lower from pre-Covid levels.”
Meanwhile, with 45,576 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours on Thursday, India witnessed a jump of over 50% in such cases reported on Tuesday, pushing its cumulative tally to 89,58,483. As per Health Ministry data, the total death toll rose to 1,31,578 with 585 more fatalities in the last 24 hours, a jump of over 24% from Wednesday’s figures. Up to 4.43 lakh active cases remain in the country till Thursday.
Total death toll in the national capital has crossed the 8,000-barrier. On Thursday, Delhi recorded 7546 fresh Covid cases along with 98 deaths. The numbers take Delhi’s total cases to 5,10,603, with the death toll being at 8041. There are 43,221 active cases in the national capital.
Mumbai reported 924 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 2,72,449, while 1,192 more patients were discharged from hospitals following recovery, said the city civic body. This was the highest daily count so far this week. Cases have registered a steady rise after 409 new coronavirus patients were detected on 16 November, the lowest daily count since April.
Telangana reported 1,058 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally to over 2.6 lakh, while four fatalities pushed the toll to 1,419, said the state government. As many as 12,682 patients are under treatment. The case fatality rate in the state was 0.54%, while it was 1.5% at the national level. The recovery rate in Telangana was 94.59%.
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that Delhi accounted for 22.39% of the Covid-19 fatalities reported across India in the span of 24 hours. The national capital recorded 131 deaths and became the largest single-day contributor to coronavirus deaths in India on Wednesday.
The Ministry said that 79.49% of the 585 Covid fatalities reported in a span of 24 hours on Wednesday were from 10 states and Union territories – Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra also saw a three-digit fatality count of 100, while West Bengal reported 54 new deaths.
Seeing the deteriorating health condition in the state, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for a high-level meeting which included the Coronavirus nodal officer, state Congress chief Anil Chaudhary and state BJP chief Adesh Gupta. Post-meeting, Kejriwal announced that the fine for not wearing a mask in public would be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 2000 in Delhi.
Appealing to citizens to not take the customary dip in Delhi’s water bodies during Chhath Puja, CM Arvind Kejriwal said that his government has directed the raising of non-ICU bed reservations at private hospitals in the city from 50% to 60% for coronavirus patients. He added, “The decision to reserve 80% ICU beds in private hospitals for Covid-19 patients has been implemented starting Thursday.”
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the number of RT-PCR tests will be enhanced from 18,000 to 27,000 daily in Delhi. CM Kejriwal, who previously deliberated over shutting markets to curb the spread of the virus, took the decision to shut markets that may prove to be hotbeds of infection.
With agency inputs
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Fire breaks out in Thane auto garage
Thane (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): A fire broke out at an auto garage in the Daighar area of Maharashtra’s Thane district on Wednesday.
As per the Regional Disaster Management Cell (RDMC) of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), a fire tender reached the spot to douse the fire but around 15 two-wheelers parked at the garage were destroyed in the fire.
The situation is under control and no casualties have been reported so far, the RDMC added. (ANI)
BJP MP’s son shot at in Lucknow
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 3 (ANI): The son of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Kaushal Kishore was injured when he was shot at by unidentified assailants in Lucknow, police said on Wednesday.
The assailants who were riding a bike shot at Aayush, 30, in the Madiyava area of the district and fled.
Uttar Pradesh Police admitted him to the trauma centre for treatment where has been declared out of danger.
“Ayush, son of the MP, has received a gunshot injury in his chest and was brought to the hospital for treatment. His condition is stable now. The case will be investigated,” Raees Akhtar, DCP North told reporters.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)
Priority is not to let any fascist force come to power in WB: Tejaswi Yadav
Patna (Bihar) [India], March 3 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and son of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav, on Tuesday said their priority and duty is not to let any communal and fascist force come to power (in poll-bound West Bengal).
“It is our priority and duty to not let any communal and fascist force come into power (in West Bengal). We have decided to strengthen Mamata ji’s hands and give our unconditional support to her,” Tejashwi Yadav told reporters.
He said, “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called us and we will be there, wherever she needs us.”
On March 1, the RJD leader had announced his full support to her in the coming assembly polls in the state.
Addressing the media after meeting the TMC supremo at Nabanna, the state secretariat here, Tejashwi told reporters, “It is Lalu ji’s decision to provide full support to Mamata Ji. Our first priority is to stop BJP from coming to power in Bengal.”
He also took a jibe at the “baraat” of BJP leaders in the recent weeks arriving in West Bengal to campaign for the party and questioned their ability to run the government in the state better than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“The BJP is such a big party. The BJP has brought a ‘baarat’ (procession) of all the union ministers to West Bengal. Who is their groom? Name a single BJP leader who is more experienced than Mamta Banerjee in running the government. Will you hand over power to a leader who does not have any experience?” Tejashwi Yadav asked.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched an alliance for the polls.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)
Innovation should be affordable for people, accessible to masses: Piyush Goyal
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Addressing the Global Bio-India Startup Conclave, 2021, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that innovation has to be affordable for the people, accessible to the masses, and should have an impact on society.
“Innovation has to be affordable for the people, accessible to the masses and should have an impact on society,” the Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry said at the Conclave organized by the Department of Biotechnology on Tuesday.
Piyush Goyal said in a statement that our startups, young professionals, innovators, thinkers and scientists will be at the cutting edge of technology worldwide, and at the forefront of India’s development to ensure a better future for our children.
Expressing his hope towards the growth of the country, Goyal said that newer technologies will serve the country and ensure we convert future challenges into opportunities.
Goyal complimented all the young startups for their ingenuity, their forward-looking thinking and all the good ideas demonstrated by them.
“Our startups need to be encouraged to experiment, to go beyond the run of the mill thinking. Stressing on the need to ensure they are not afraid of failure. It is only when somebody fails, he knows how not to do something, and the learning helps in the future,” he added.
Lauding the efforts of DBT, the minister said that they have demonstrated India’s capability and prowess in research, innovation and new technologies. He said that the forward-looking, contemporary thinking and professional approach of the department has ensured that there are over 4,000 startups in the country in the field of Biotechnology.
During the event, the project development cell of DBT was launched. Five new technologies were also launched. (ANI)
Ex-serviceman who won star medal during Indo-China war now drives an auto
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], March 3 (ANI): An ex-serviceman, who was a star medal awardee during the 1971 Indo-China war, now drives an autorickshaw in Hyderabad for a living and has appealed to the state government for help.
Sheikh Abdul Kareem, an ex-Army personnel is a Star Medal recipient, a special award for his contribution to the 1971 Indo-China war.
Speaking to ANI, Kareem said, “I was recruited into the Indian army after the death of my father who worked for the British Army and then for the Indian army. In 1964, I entered the Indian army.”
“I participated in the 1971 Indo-China war and was posted in Lahaul area. I was awarded with Star Medal and was the special award recipient in 1971,” he said.
Kareem said, “During the reign of Indira Gandhi, as there were surplus army personnel, many of them were removed from the postings and I was one of them. While in the army, I applied for government land and was given five acres of land in Gollapalli village in what is now Telangana.”
He said, “After nearly 20 years, the five acres land that was given to me has been distributed among seven village persons and after complaining about the same, I was offered another five acres under the same survey number but was denied the original land. Now it has been nearly about one year and till now the document of the land details are not ready.”
He said that after being removed from the army, he faced a lot of problems. He said that he does not even own a home and currently, at the age of 71, is driving auto-rickshaws to feed his family.
“I offered my services to this nation as an army personnel for nine years, but was removed and am now driving an auto-rickshaw at the age of 71. It has been difficult to feed my family. I do not even have my own house so that I can look after my family,” he said.
He also urged the government to provide ex-servicemen who are homeless with the double bedroom flats that are given to the poor.
“Despite winning a good service medal, I have not even received any sort of pension or any financial support from the government. I also request the central government to financially suport ex-servicemen who are in need of help,” he said. (ANI)
Naveen Patnaik sanctions scholarship worth Rs 101 cr for SC, ST students in Odisha
Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India] March 3 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sanctioned Rs 101 crore for providing scholarships to 50,000 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students.
An official release said the scholarship amount will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of students. The Chief Minister also inaugurated three ‘Akanshya’ hostels and 68 other hostels. He also launched “My Hostel” cards for 5.75 lakh students living in hostels.
Addressing the event, Patnaik said, “Education is the basis of reformation and my government has always focused on the education and because of this SC&ST students have been excelling in various fields.”
He also stated: “A total of 1.5 lakh student will be benefited through the programme. They can avail post-matric scholarship through Odisha State Scholarship portal directly in their bank account.”
“This will benefit around 5.75 lakh students in getting proper accommodation and study facilities in 6,700 hostels constructed for SC & ST students. Steps have been taken to provide proper education to them.
Highlighting the nutrition programme yesterday for the tribes, the Chief Minister said that this is another important programme of the state government. (ANI)
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