AFPA


 

India acquires 48th rank in the 13th edition of Global Innovation Index 2020

In the annual report jointly released by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD Business School, India for the first time makes its entry in the group of top 50 countries acquiring the score of 35.59 and taking up the 48th rank. The top 5 positions are occupied by High-Income countries like Switzerland, Sweden, US, UK, and Netherlands, while Vietnam, Ukraine and India were the top 3 among countries with Lower- Middle Income. The parameters for GII include institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market and business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.

 

India’s exports and imports are showing positive trends with narrowing trade deficit

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal announces the positive streak shown by the country’s export and import, in a meeting with the Office-bearers of various Export Promotion Councils (EPCs). The sharp downfall in export in April due to the outbreak of the pandemic and imposed lockdown has shown to increase and reach last year’s standards, while importing of Capital Goods are maintaining balance, reduction in imports has been seen mainly in crude, gold and fertilizers. He also added that trade deficit has been reduced and the nation’s share in the global trade is improving. Talking about the recent changes made in the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), the minister said capping of Rs 2 Crore will not affect 98% of the exporters who claim benefit under the scheme.

 

PM Modi pitches India as best place for global investors

With the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme to channel the nation on the path of self-reliance, PM Modi stresses it is not a policy to isolate India from the global market, but to cater to the local market and then supply needs to the nation’s allies. Not mentioning China, PM Modi diplomatically talks about the nation’s allies and that trust has become an important factor for global supply chain decisions. He also mentions that the companies are looking for reliability and policy stability, which India promises to offer. He goes on to talk about the nation’s role in supplying generic medicines, manufacture of COVID vaccine among the pandemic this year.


 


 

Sri Lankan Cabinet to draft new Constitution

After the Rajapaksa brothers’ pledge to abolish the 19th Amendment, introduced by the former government, the promise of a new Constitution is being kept as the Cabinet has set up an experts’ committee to draft Sri Lanka’s new Constitution after securing a comfortable two-thirds majority in the August general elections. The rejection of the 19th Constitution is due to its nature to strengthen Parliament and independent institutions, besides curbing presidential powers.

 

Facebook to ban political ads one week before elections

Facebook has come to a decision of banning political ads in the week before U.S. elections, as the CEO Mark Zuckerberg worries about the risk of a state of civil unrest after the vote. The platform also vows to fact check any declarations made before the official announcement of results, and label such posts educating the mass about the verified news, if anything comes around as such. It is also to add an informational label to any content seeking to delegitimise the results or mislead by claiming that lawful voting methods will lead to fraud. The motto, as the CEO reveals, is based on educating the voters and ease the challenges faced while voting.

 

Supreme Court to hear plea about NEET JEE

A three-judge Bench of the apex court, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan is scheduled to hear a petition filed by 6 non- BJP states, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, regarding the commencement of NEET JEE examinations. The plea is based on the grounds of the center’s sudden scheduling of the two main entrances of the country, after months of inaction and stagnancy. The motto is to aid the students’ dismay about their uncertain performance on such short notice, while the National Testing Agency (NTA) promised to keep in check the safety protocols and social distancing measures.


 


 

Wall Street suffers tech sell-off

Wall Street’s main indices face decrement regarding technology-focused stocks, preparing for the worst since June. On one hand, the investors are rejecting such stocks, on the other hand, economic data underlines the concerns about the long and difficult recovery from the loss. Shares of big name companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Apple have suffered as they sank between 4.6% and 6.2%. The NYSE FANG+TM Index, including the five core FAANG stocks have also shed 6.2%, bracing it for its biggest one day decline since March 16.

 

COVID-19 and NEP to stimulate digital transformation in education

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and other educational institutions are shut off and students are heavily relied on the internet for their schooling. The recently announced National Education Policy (NEP) has fostered the growth of education technology sector, making way for a double-digit growth of the estimated $3.5 billion. Companies like Eruditus, Byju’s, Vedantu, Tech Avant-Garde have raised up to $113 million in recent months. The ed-tech revolution post NEP aims to create meritorious students by providing universal access to quality materials.

 

Expected increase in apparel exports

Majorly focusing on the medical textiles, apparel exports are expected to increase by 40% this financial year. The exports are expected to reach $22 billion in 2020-2021, surpassing last year’s $15.4 billion. With the government lifting export ban on many PPE items, apparel exporters may lap up this venture into man-made fibre-based (MMF) garments in a larger scale.