Milk crate challenge: What it is and why US doctors are appealing people to stop participating in it

2021年3月30日 0 Comments

Milk crate challenge: A new challenge has started gathering pace in the US – the milk crate challenge – and it is reminding people of the The social media is rife with teenagers carrying out the milk crate challenge, much to the dismay of the doctors and experts, according to a report in IE. The challenge requires people to stack milk crates into a wall shaped like a pyramid, and attempt to climb it from one side and get down from the other side. The challenge is to keep the crates balanced while attempting this, and most of the attempts end up in falls, which can be funny but is also dangerous. Many doctors have expressed concern regarding the challenge and the danger it poses for people who try to attempt it. As a result, TikTok has removed the videos of the challenge from its servers. However, social media giants like Facebook and Twitter still have the videos on their platforms. During August, the challenge gained a lot of popularity on social media, particularly in the US, and many videos of people trying out the challenge in their backyards or at parties or even at gender reveals started surfacing. However, since the crates are unstable, many people end up falling down. This has led to an increasing number of people turning up at the US hospitals As a result, doctors are now calling this challenge a public health hazard. Among the injuries sustained due to the task are rotator-cuff tears, shoulder dislocations, broken wrists, ACL and meniscus tears, and the much more severe spinal cord injuries. This challenge is also adding to the woes of hospitals which are already understaffed and struggling under the increased number of coronavirus cases and deaths due to the delta variant. These concerns have led to TikTok removing content related to the challenge from its servers.

SAIL aims to cut net debt by Rs 20,000 crore in next few months

2021年3月30日 0 Comments

SAIL has targeted to bring down its debt between Rs 15,000- 20,000 crore in the next couple of months, chairperson Soma Mondal told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the MSTC new headquarters. At the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal SAIL Though steel prices have shown a rising trend in early July, they tamed down during the last week of the month. However, the markets anticipated a rise in August but Mondol said, though the flat steel prices were stable, long steel prices were improving. On the proposed joint venture between SAIL and ArcelorMittal, Mondal said, there has been no progress so far. In December 2017, the SAIL approved the proposal of entering into a JV with ArcelorMittal to manufacture high-end automotive steel. Although the JV has not yet been scrapped both are yet to sign a definitive agreement. SAIL and ArcelorMittal signed a memorandum of understanding in 2015.

Analyst Corner: Possible REC Solar buy could reduce RIL’s execution risk

2021年3月30日 0 Comments

Key takeaway: RIL could acquire REC Solar, reports media. REC is a fully integrated solar PV maker with similar ambitions to RIL. It is the only player globally to commercialise a tech that consumes 75% less power than Chinese comps. It has patented tech and has a long operating record of reliability. Challenge in stabilising yield has prevented wider adoption of RECs tech. The possible acquisition could lower RILs execution risk but wouldnt eliminate it. REC fully backward integrated solar equipment maker: REC Group is a fully integrated solar PV module maker starting from Si. It uses a proprietary tech for polysilicon manufacturing that has a high monocrystalline yield. RECs fully integrated model is in line with RILs aspiration of a similar integrated operation. REC also manufactures semiconductor-grade polysilicon of much higher purity Low power cost key competitive advantage for Chinas polysilicon makers: Polysilicon is the basic building block of the solar PV module. Power cost is c40% of polysilicon production cost. Major polysilicon producers in China are located in Xinjiang, which has abundant supplies of sand and coal, among the lowest industrial power cost in China, and accounts for 45% of global polysilicon supply. REC only company globally to commercialise tech that consumes 75% less power than Chinese comps: REC has implemented the Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) tech for producing polysilicon on a commercial scale. The FBR process consumes 75-80% less energy than the traditional Siemens process that Chinese players use. RECs plants have a long operating history of reliability and quality. REC owns patents across its tech: The FBR tech is very difficult to stabilise and is protected by many patents. REC owns patents over the entire FBR production process and mono-crystallisation technology. These patents along with the long commercial operating history are major competitive advantages. Multiple challenges have prevented wider adoption of FBR tech: Despite its energy cost savings, FBR has seen limited adoption because 1) Every design in the manufacturing process is protected by patents 2) For a new entrant, operating and stabilising the tech could take years 3) Some benefit of low energy cost is offset by high share of unusable silicon dust in the output. E.g. GCL Poly that acquired the only other commercial FBR tech globally, SunEdison in 2017, which was declared bankrupt at the time, took four years to achieve quality and yield adequate to start commercial production in CY2021. A possible acquisition of REC would lower execution risk, but wouldnt eliminate it: As REC owns patents across the FBR manufacturing process and has a long operating history of uninterrupted operation with stable yields, it would lower RILs execution risk were it to come under the latters fold. It managed to stabilise operations at its Chinese JV in the first year of operation- comforting in our view. However, RIL as a new entrant could take time to stabilise the process based on examples in the industry. REC would also help RIL enter the semiconductor grade silicon supply chain.

Afghanistan Crisis News Highlights: Afghan government formation by Taliban postponed; to be announced on September 4

2021年3月30日 0 Comments

Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Highlights: The formation of a new Afghan government by the Taliban, which was to be announced on Friday, has now been delayed by a day, according to the spokesman of the insurgents Zabiullah Mujahid. Mujahid said the announcement about the formation of the new government will now be made on Saturday – September 4. PTI reported sources as saying that that Chairman of Talibans Political Office, Doha, Qatar Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar is likely to be the head of the Taliban Government. Consultations are almost finalised on the new government, and the necessary discussions have also been held about the cabinet, Mufti Inamullah Samangani, a senior official in the Talibans information and culture commission, said. Over two weeks after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the hardline Islamists are all set to announce the formation of a new government in Kabul on the lines of the Iranian leadership, with the groups top religious leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada as Afghanistans supreme authority, a senior member of the group has said. There are several names doing the rounds but nothing has been confirmed by the Taliban. The factionalism between Akhundzada vs Haqqani vs Mullah Baradar is what many believe is delaying the critical announcement. The Taliban have been desperately trying to shed their brutal image of 90s. But looks like that the global powers are in the The US, as well as the UK, have said that they are not in any hurry to recognise the Taliban government. India is also silent on this issue. Stay with us as we bring you the latest from Afghanistan and other related news to Kabul evacuations.

The love jihad bogey: Gujarat HC protects consensual conversion for marriage

2021年3月23日 0 Comments

The Gujarat High Court judgment that protects inter-faith marriages between consenting adults, where one of the partners converts to the faith of the other, from the state The communally-minded notion that inter-faith marriages are for the sole purpose of conversion, as absurd and dangerous as it is, has found many votaries within the members of the ruling dispensation at the Centre and some states. The HC observed that the law, prima facie, The law puts the burden of showing that the conversion didn While the state contended that the 2021 law was meant to guard against conversion related to marriage where there is an instance of allurement, fraud or coercion, the fact is, on the ground, it translates into harassment, even persecution, of couples who originally were from different faiths. Indeed, as several legal experts have pointed out, the Special Marriage Act, governing inter-faith marriages without conversion, has provisions hostile to such marriages; it requires a public notice of the marriage application, for a long period before the marriage is solemnised. However, this serves as an alert for the parties So, many couples choose conversion as a route to escape harassment and unite under the laws governing one or the faith. The Gujarat HC From the Hadiya case to the recent incident of a Muslim man being dragged to a police station in Karnataka by members of a communal organisation on the mere suspicion of travelling with a Hindu woman in a bus, there are enough examples of the divisive nature of the narrative. Laws like Gujarat Many, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, have enacted anti-conversion laws that are couched in religion-agnostic terms, but are intended to enable communities to police inter-faith interactions and prevent inter-faith marriages. As recently as June this year, the UP law forced the Allahabad HC to refuse protection to three inter-faith couples. Bear in mind, the court, in November 2020, had said earlier judgments that held conversion for the purpose of marriage as unlawful did not While the Gujarat HC

China is our most important partner, says Taliban

2021年3月23日 0 Comments

Describing China as its most important partner, the Afghan Taliban has said it looks to Beijing to rebuild Afghanistan and exploit its rich copper deposits as the war-ravaged country faces widespread hunger and fears of an economic collapse. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the group supports Chinas One Belt, One Road initiative that seeks to link China with Africa, Asia and Europe through an enormous network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks. China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us because it is ready to invest and rebuild our country, Geo News quoted Mujahid as saying in an interview to an Italian newspaper on Thursday. There are rich copper mines in the country, which, thanks to the Chinese, can be put back into operation and modernised. In addition, China is our pass to markets all over the world, said Mujahid. China has been making some positive statements towards the Taliban and has expressed the hope that the insurgents will follow moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, combat all forms of terrorist forces, live in harmony with other countries, and live up to the aspiration of its own people and the international community. Stating that China respects Afghanistans sovereignty and will not interfere and follow the friendship with entire Afghan people, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that, facts show that in realising economic development we need an open inclusive political structure, implementation of moderate foreign and domestic policies and clean break from terrorist groups in all forms. The Taliban also view Russia as an important partner in the region and will maintain good relations with Moscow, Mujahid said. The Taliban seized control of Afghanistans capital, Kabul, on August 15. The last of the foreign troops left the country on August 31, bringing an end to 20 years of war amid fears of an economic collapse and widespread hunger. Following the chaotic departure, Western states have severely restricted their aid payments to Afghanistan. Earlier this week, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan and urged countries to provide emergency funding as severe drought and war have forced thousands of families to flee their homes. Guterres expressed his grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country, adding that basic services threatened to collapse completely. Amid fears of an economic collapse and widespread hunger, the Taliban have indicated a formal government structure was on the horizon

PLI playbook good, but Make in India needs more

2021年3月23日 0 Comments

Manufacturing as a share of India6% in FY20 and stayed there in FY21, down from the high of 16.8% in FY18. A strategy paper floated by the department of promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) some time back, on reforming industrial growth, focused on the need to increase the share of manufacturing to 20% by 2025. That looks like a tall ask now, given the disruption due to the pandemic, but the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme could nonetheless take the share somewhere close. Indeed, even as it encourages local production, it cuts the import bill and boosts export earnings. For an additional investment of Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore, additional production value that could be generated over the next 5-7 years is estimated at Rs 30-35 lakh crore. According to Kotak Institutional Equities, an incremental nominal value addition of around Rs 2 lakh crore, on average, is possible every year, which compares with an average manufacturing value addition of Rs 1.3 lakh crore over the 10 years to FY19. That is a 50%-plus jump, but can only materialise if the scheme gets going. So far, the progress has been somewhat slow. Of the 13 sectors for which outlays have been finalised, guidelines need to be framed for a few; in others, the industry For a couple We also haven An official memo in March that was written in bureaucratese seemed to be saying the committee would chalk out a strategy to facilitate investments and production in technology-intensive sectors, including semi-conductors, and also ease the process of getting approvals and so on. Given how one automaker after another is struggling to source chips How the DPIIT strategy paper didn Incidentally, the PLI outlay for the auto-plus-components sector is the biggest, at Rs 58,000 crore. But the government seems to be in a quandary on whether to allow suppliers of Chinese origin to invest; moreover, it doesn Also, a Rs 6,322-crore outlay for specialty steels, aimed at more than doubling production from the current levels of 18mt and offering incentives of 4-15%, has been cleared, but needs some finishing touches. The PLI playbook is a good one, but not all the 13 sectors are likely to attract the kind of interest that the handphones sector has; for that to happen, the government must work harder to satisfy manufacturers However, it must not go overboard and give in to lobbying. It is true the Make-in-India initiative has failed to deliver and, despite a steep cut in corporation taxes, neither foreign nor local firms have invested much. Local businessmen would rather lobby for high import duties than shape up and become competitive. The PLI outlay must deliver returns in the form of jobs and worthwhile import substitution, enabling us to become part of some global supply-chains.

Jaishankar calls on Slovenia PM; discusses bilateral ties, Indo-Pacific & Afghan

2021年3月23日 0 Comments

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday called on Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Jana and held discussions on enhancing bilateral ties, and major global issues, including Europes challenges, the Indo-Pacific and the Afghanistan situation. Jaishankar is in the central European nation as part of a four-day visit to Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark to enhance India-EU ties and for bilateral talks. Called on Prime Minister of Slovenia @JJansaSDS. Valued the discussion on enhancing our bilateral ties. Appreciated his insights and perspectives on major global issues including Europes challenges, Indo-Pacific and Afghanistan, he said on Twitter. Jaishankar also held a cordial meeting with President of the National Assembly of Slovenia Igor Zorcic and discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations and increasing parliamentary exchanges and people to people contacts. Later in the day, the minister interacted with Indian students at the Nova University here. Pleased to have the opportunity of inaugurating an India Studies Centre at the Nova University. Confident that it would be an asset for India-Slovenia relations. Interaction with Indian students abroad always provides energy, Jaishankar said in another tweet. On Thursday, he had a panel discussion with Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar at the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) on the subject of Partnership for a Rules-Based Order in the Indo-Pacific here. There is a sharper awareness in Europe that what happens in the Indo-Pacific impinges directly on its interests, Jaishankar said. India-EU relations have emerged stronger as the world battles a global pandemic and that issues of trust and transparency, reliable and resilient supply chains have created common ground, he added. Slovenia currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union and has invited Jaishankar to attend the informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU states. The crisis in Afghanistan was on the agenda of the closed-door ministerial discussions on Thursday. The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US complete troop withdrawal on August 31 after a costly two-decade war. This forced Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country to the UAE. The Taliban insurgents stormed across Afghanistan and captured all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away. Thousands of Afghan nationals and foreigners have fled the country to escape the new Taliban regime and to seek asylum in different nations, including the US and many European nations, resulting in total chaos and deaths.

Jana SFB ties up with two co-op banks to offer digital, payment services

2021年3月16日 0 Comments

Jana Small Finance Bank (Jana SFB) will provide its digital infrastructure and payments services to HCBL Co-operative Bank and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank under the bank sponsorship programme. Under the bank sponsorship programme, the RBI has permitted Core Banking Solution (CBS) enabled co-operative banks to issue ATM cards or ATM-cum debit cards to its customers in association with the sponsor bank. Jana Small Finance Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HCBL Co-operative Bank, Lucknow and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank, Mysore to provide digital infrastructure and payments services to the respective banks under the bank sponsorship programme of the RBI, Jana SFB said in a release on Thursday. With this tie-up, HCBL Co-operative Bank and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank will be able to extend ATM, point of sale (PoS) and e-commerce services to its customers. This is for the first time that Jana SFB has tied up with a co-operative bank to provide IMPS services to facilitate seamless payment options to its customers, it said. These associations will boost digital transactions enabling more rural customers to come under the gamut of financial inclusion in true sense. Jana Small Finance Banks digital capability will now be available to all its partner banks, said the lender. Our endeavour is to build an ecosystem by providing smarter and simpler banking solutions for the underserved so that the benefits of digital banking can reach the masses, Ajay Kanwal, MD and CEO of Jana Small Finance Bank, said. The bank will provide RuPay debit card to its customers in association with Jana SFB, A K Srivastava, CEO, HCBL Co-operative Bank, said. He said the bank is also working to introduce IMPS and e-commerce transactions for its customers. Bengaluru-based Jana SFB was one of the 10 financial institutions which had received in-principle approval from the RBI for a small finance bank in 2015. The bank received its final banking licence in April 2017. It commenced operations from July 2018.

US regulators give full approval to Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

2021年3月16日 0 Comments

The US gave full approval to Pfizers COVID-19 vaccine Monday, a milestone that could lift public confidence in the shots and spur more companies, universities and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory. The formula made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech now carries the strongest endorsement from the Food and Drug Administration, which has never before had so much evidence to judge a shots safety. More than 200 million Pfizer doses have been administered in the U.S., and hundreds of millions more worldwide, since December. But up to now, they were dispensed in this country under what is known as emergency use authorization from the FDA. The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in announcing full approval, which comes as the U.S. battles the most contagious coronavirus mutant yet, the delta variant. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement he hopes the decision will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives. The shot now will be known in the U.S. by the brand name Comirnaty. U.S. vaccinations bottomed out in July at an average of about a half-million shots per day, down from a peak of 3.4 million a day in mid-April. As the delta variant fills hospital beds, shots are on the rise again, with a million a day given Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Just over half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated with one of the countrys three options, from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson Johnson. Moderna has also applied to the FDA for full approval of its vaccine. JJ said it hopes to do so later this year. Full approval means Pfizers COVID-19 vaccine meets the same very high standards required of all the approved vaccines we rely on every day, said Dr. Jesse Goodman of Georgetown University, a former FDA vaccine chief. That should help anyone who still has concerns gain confidence in the shots. The FDAs action may also lead to more vaccine mandates covering students, employees and customers. Mandating becomes much easier when you have full approval, said Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University. I think a lot of businesses have been waiting for it. This month, New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco all imposed proof-of-vaccination requirements at restaurants, bars and other indoor venues. At the federal level, President Joe Biden is requiring government workers to sign forms attesting that they have been vaccinated or else submit to regular testing and other requirements. Anxious Americans increasingly are on board: Close to 6 in 10 favor requiring people to be fully vaccinated to travel on airplanes or attend crowded public events, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The delta variant has sent cases, deaths and hospitalizations soaring in recent weeks in the U.S., erasing months of progress. For weeks we have watched cases go up at an alarming pace among individuals who are not vaccinated while the vaccinated are largely protected, said Dr. Tomas J. Aragon, director of Californias public health department. If you are not vaccinated, let this be the milestone that gets you there. The FDA, like regulators in Europe and much of the world, initially allowed emergency use of Pfizers vaccine based on a study that tracked 44,000 people 16 and older for at least two months, the time period when serious side effects typically arise. Thats shorter than the six months of safety data normally required for full approval. So Pfizer kept that study going, and the FDA also examined real-world safety evidence in deciding to fully license the vaccine for people 16 and older, those studied the longest. Pfizers shot still has emergency authorization for 12- to 15-year-olds. Even after hundreds of millions of shots, government tracking shows serious side effects remain very rare, such as chest pain and heart inflammation a few days after the second dose, mostly in young men. As for effectiveness, six months into Pfizers original study, the vaccine remained 97 per cent protective against severe COVID-19. Protection against milder infection waned slightly, from a peak of 96 per cent two months after the second dose to 84 per cent by six months. Those data came before the extra-contagious delta variant began spreading, but other data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the vaccine is still doing a good job preventing severe disease caused by that mutant. As for all the talk about booster doses, the FDAs licensure doesnt cover those. The agency will decide that separately. The FDA already is allowing emergency use of a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for people with severely weakened immune systems, such as organ transplant recipients or cancer patients. For everyone else who got those vaccinations, the Biden administration is planning for boosters starting in the fall, if the FDA and CDC agree. Also still to be decided is vaccination of children under 12. Both Pfizer and Moderna are studying youngsters, with data expected in the fall.