As India with Kerala confirming three cases of Coronavirus, the country is in alarming mode. Travelling all the way from China, the virus hit three students from Kerala who was studying in China. The coronavirus started in the city of Wuhan in China– now is spreading its reach slowly across the globe, mostly in Asia countries. As per the latest report, the death toll on the mainland of China is 361, with more than 17,200 infected. Countries like Singapore are now closing their gates to Chinese visitors. However, the virus has affected not only the health of the people, but the world economy as well.
Impact of Coronavirus in India
Starting with how coronavirus is affecting the Indian economy, China is the third-largest exporter to India. Many products come to India from china because of the low price. China is one of the largest consumers and producers of metals. The virus primarily affected the Chinese economy claiming lives and mine workers are prone to such diseases and are quite vulnerable.
When these miners are affected, the Chinese economy might come to a standstill and furthermore, the prices of metals in India might go up and also create a problem for the people out here in India.
Moreover, there will also be a shortage of metals in the country as well. The same goes for the electronics market as well. Most of the mobile displays, tv panels, PCBs, capacitors, LED chips and many other products are exported from China, so when the virus affects the Chinese economy, the Chinese sellers will increase the price as a result affecting the Indian economy.
Mobile brands like Xiaomi and Realme are also made in China, and these mobile phones are quite in demand in India because of their low price and high efficiency. The halt in the Chinese economy will also lead to a shortage of these mobile phones in Indian markets.
Indian stock is market also suffering due to the virus, shares of select healthcare and safety producers from Japan, South Korea and India have been creating much buzz.
The share of Bharat Immunological & Biological Corporation has surged nearly 50 per cent to Rs 11.24 on January 28, 2020, from Rs 7.54 on January 23, 2020.
Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation is an India-based biotechnology company, that manufactures and produces a range of pharma products, including zinc tablets used to treat the common cold, lung infections, malaria, or asthma.
Shares of 3M India, which manufactures products related to healthcare, safety, industrial safety, have expanded 4 per cent on a year-to-date basis till January 28, even as BSE Sensex slid 1 per cent in the same period.
As the fear of contracting the virus and pollution make mask-wearing the new normal, business is flourishing for the manufacturers in Asia.
As per the reports, India’s chemical manufacturers are also likely to benefit if the coronavirus crisis continues to spread and impacts production in the Hubei region of China. It is said that dye intermediate companies like Aksharchem, Meghmani, Kiri Industries and Bhageria Industries could benefit.
On the expectation of the benefit from the coronavirus, several stocks in the chemical space are gaining.
Demand for face masks and hand sanitizing liquid has soared, as local residents and visitors to and from China stock up on such products as a reassuring precaution.
Effect of coronavirus across other parts of the globe:
In Japan, Kawamoto Corporation, which supplies medical products including masks, is on top, with over five-fold jump in January alone. The scrip leapt 479 per cent to JPY 2,591 on January 29, 2020, from JPY 447 on December 30 last year on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Another Japanese firm Azearth, which is engaged in protective clothing, has rallied 139 per cent during this period.
Some selected South Korean firm also has managed to deliver healthy returns, such as Monalisa has gained 93 per cent year to date, while South Korean pharma companies Kukje Pharma and Woojung Bio have added 66 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively.
Coming to the U.S. economy, the U.S. had recently put sanctions on Iran and also proposed to place sanctions on nations that would import oil from the country. Sources say that this is because the U.S. wanted their oil markets to flourish.
In other parts of the markets, the scare of coronavirus has wreaked havoc on bourses across Asia and also in the U.S. On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 2 per cent in last six sessions before registering a promising rebound on January 28, 2020, on booster from Apple earnings. Across Asia, China’s Shanghai index and Korea’s Kospi have dropped 3 per cent each, and Japan’s Nikkei lost 2 per cent over the past one month.
Now that China is affected by the virus; as a result, the citizens will travel less, which would mean that their oil demand will also come to a decline. As a result, the U.S. will be importing less oil; thus, the U.S. economy will be hurt too, as the prices will go down.
Another factor which is being affected is the tourism factor of the countries. Over 50 million Chinese people travel all over the world during the lunar new year, but the outbreak of the coronavirus has stopped these people from travelling overseas.
The countries which benefit from Chinese travellers are Japan, Hong Kong and the USA. However, because of the virus, these 50 million people have been barred from travelling overseas due to the fear that they might infect people of other countries too.
Furthermore, the investors all over the world are in a state of worry because if people stop travelling, the restaurants, shopping malls, brands would see a fall which is terrible for the whole world’s economy.
Reports say that doctors from the various province of China are moving to treat the infected, a suicide mission taken up by them to serve their duties.
All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021
On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.
Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)
With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.
Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.
The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.
लोकसभा में आज, राष्ट्रीय खाद्य प्रौद्योगिकी, उद्यमिता और प्रबंध संस्थान विधेयक, 2021 (निफ्टेम विधेयक, 2021) को पारित किया गया।
इस विधेयक के पारित होने पर इससे जुड़े हर व्यक्ति को बधाई देता हूँ और साथ ही खाद्य प्रसंस्करण से जुड़े छात्रों को भी बधाई देता हूँ। @MOFPI_GOI
— Pashupati Kumar Paras (@PashupatiParas) July 26, 2021
Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations
Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.
Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.
Fake News Stories
- On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
- On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
- Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
- On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
- In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.
Need of Accountability
False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.
If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.
Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained
Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.
The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.
Pegasus Spyware and India
According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.
This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.
Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.
According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.
The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’
This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.
Pegasus Spyware and World.
In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.
At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden. After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.
If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.
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