Endeavor Careers Choicest Blogs: Weekly Current Affairs: January 2022, Week 03

Welcome to the Endeavor Editors’ Weekly Current Affairs Choicest Blog series. Get a weekly roundup – on news from business, economy, markets, policy, and more. A quick capsule format news summary and update to keep you abreast with all the latest current affairs. 

1) International News and Global Economy

US discourages India from acquiring Russian S-400 missile defence systems: Prez Biden’s nominee

The US has made clear to India that it is “discouraging” it from proceeding with its acquisition of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia but Washington will have to weigh “important geostrategic considerations” while taking a decision on growing calls for a presidential CAATSA waiver to New Delhi, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Coordinator for Sanctions Policy has told lawmakers.In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the then Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.The Biden administration has not yet clarified whether it will impose sanctions on India under the provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procuring the S-400 missile systems.

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Biden aide hints India may not face CAATSA sanctions over Russian S-400 Deal, cites this reason

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Russia prepping pretext for Ukraine invasion: White House

US intelligence officials have determined a Russian effort is underway to create a pretext for its troops to further invade Ukraine, and Moscow has already prepositioned operatives to conduct “a false-flag operation” in eastern Ukraine, according to the White House.White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday the intelligence findings show Russia is also laying the groundwork through a social media disinformation campaign that frames Ukraine as an aggressor that has been preparing an imminent attack against Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine.Psaki charged that Russia has already dispatched operatives trained in urban warfare who could use explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces – blaming the acts on Ukraine – if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides he wants to move forward with an invasion.

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Russia laying groundwork for Ukraine invasion, White House says

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India-China trade grows to record $125 billion in 2021 despite tensions in eastern Ladakh

The India-China bilateral trade touched a record high of over USD 125 billion in 2021, crossing the USD 100 billion-mark in a year when the relations hit a new low due to the prolonged standoff by the militaries in eastern Ladakh, while India’s trade deficit too mounted to over USD 69 billion, according to official data. The total trade between China and India in 2021 stood at USD 125.66 billion, up 43.3 per cent from 2020, state-run Global Times reported, quoting data from the General Administration of Customs.China’s exports to India from January to December rose 46.2 per cent to USD 97.52 billion, while India’s exports to China grew by 34.2 per cent to USD 28.14 billion.The trade deficit for India grew to USD 69.38 billion in 2021.India has been highlighting its concerns over the growing trade deficit with China for over a decade and calling on Beijing to open its markets for India’s IT and pharmaceutical products.Observers say much of China’s exports increase this year to India was attributed to the import of medical products and raw materials for India’s burgeoning pharmaceutical industry due to the massive second wave of COVID-19 and recurring bouts of the virus in the country.

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India-China trade hit record high at $125 BN amid LAC standoff, bans and boycotts I Key Points

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In first BrahMos missile export order, Philippines approves $374-million contract

In the first export order for the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system, Philippines has approved a $374.96 million contract for the purchase of shore based anti-ship variant of the missile from India, while discussions are ongoing with few other South East Asian counties. Secretary of National Defence of Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana has signed the ‘Notice of award’ for the purchase, the contract for which is expected to be signed very soon.As reported by The Hindu earlier, there is interest for acquiring BrahMos missiles from several countries and negotiations are in advanced stages with Indonesia and Thailand.Discussions with Indonesia are in fairly advanced stage, a defence official said. The sale of BrahMos was also on top of the agenda during the visit of the Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto to New Delhi in July 2020, another official stated.BrahMos is a joint collaboration between India and Russia and is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets and has been long inducted by the Indian armed forces.

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Why The Philippines wants India’s Brahmos to guard against China

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Explained: How Europe is trying to deal with its gas crisis

Europe’s natural gas crisis isn’t letting up. Reserves are low. Prices are high. Utility customers are facing expensive bills. Major Russian supplier Gazprom isn’t selling gas like it used to.It all raises the question: How exactly is Europe, which imports most of its energy, going to make it through the winter without a gas disaster, especially if the season turns out to be colder or longer than usual?Utilities turn to gas stored in underground caverns to handle sudden additional demand for gas for heating or electricity. Europe started 2021 with gas storage only 56 per cent full, compared with 73 per cent a year earlier. The reasons vary: cold weather last winter, lack of Russian deliveries on the spot market and robust demand in Asia for liquid natural gas that comes by ship. Europe’s association of pipeline operators says cold weather would mean needing to import 5per cent to 10per cent more gas than the maximum volumes observed in recent years to avoid the risk of shutoffs.

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PM Imran Khan launches Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the country’s first-ever National Security Policy, which articulates a citizen-centric framework, placing economic security at its core unlike the previous one-dimensional security policy where the focus was on the military.Unveiling the public version of the policy, which was separately endorsed by the National Security Committee and the Cabinet last month, Prime Minister Khan said that the previous governments had failed to strengthen Pakistan’s economy.The national security has been clearly explained in the new original 100-page document, he said, adding that the policy articulates a citizen-centric framework, placing economic security at its core and seeking a secure and economically resilient Pakistan.The main themes of the National Security Policy are national cohesion, securing an economic future, defence and territorial integrity, internal security, foreign policy in a changing world and human security.

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Read my lips, I’m hurting, says Pakistan’s National Security Policy, and what this means for India

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Expect more worrisome variants after Omicron, scientists say

Scientists warn that Omicron’s whirlwind advance practically ensures it won’t be the last version of the coronavirus to worry the world.Every infection provides a chance for the virus to mutate, and Omicron has an edge over its predecessors: It spreads way faster despite emerging on a planet with a stronger patchwork of immunity from vaccines and prior illness.That means more people in whom the virus can further evolve. Experts don’t know what the next variants will look like or how they might shape the pandemic, but they say there’s no guarantee the sequels of Omicron will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them.They urge wider vaccination now, while today’s shots still work.Omicron is more likely than delta to reinfect individuals who previously had COVID-19 and to cause “breakthrough infections” in vaccinated people while also attacking the unvaccinated. The World Health Organization reported a record 15 million new COVID-19 cases for the week of Jan. 3-9, a 55% increase from the previous week.

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2) India

Covid update

India reports 2.71 lakh new cases, active COVID-19 cases highest in 225 days

India added 2,71,202 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,71,22,164, including 7,743 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The country saw 1,702 new cases of Omicron variant, the highest in a single day so far, and an increase of 28.17 per cent since Saturday.According to experts, it is not possible to undertake genome sequencing of each and every sample, but stressed that this wave is largely being driven by Omicron.The active cases have increased to 15,50,377, the highest in 225 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,86,066 with 314 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.

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Other updates

India-China military talks fail to yield positive results

The 14th round of India-China military dialogue on Wednesday, like the 13th on October 10, failed to yield any positive outcomes, although both countries said they would work towards mutually acceptable solutions to resolving the 20-month long stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.The next round is expected to be held soon to continue the momentum of discussions.On Thursday, a joint statement from the two armies issued in New Delhi and Beijing talked about a consensus on consolidating previous outcomes and taking steps for security and stability on the ground.The statement was issued a day after Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said India will deal with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in a firm and peaceful way, but if it comes to war or conflict, the country will emerge victorious.

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India, UK launch FTA talks, sensitive issues not a priority: Piyush Goyal

India and the UK on Thursday launched negotiations for a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA) covering various areas including goods, services, and investments, and have set a year-end deadline for concluding the pact.Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK Secretary of State for International Trade launched the trade pact which is expected to facilitate the target of doubling bilateral trade by 2030, and give a fillip to Indian exports in labor intensive sectors like leather, textile, jewellery and processed agri-products.

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Facing hate FIRs, Narsinghanand held in Haridwar

Two days after the arrest of Waseem Rizvi alias Jitendra Narayan Tyagi in connection with the three-day conclave held last month in Haridwar where several hate speeches were made targeting Muslims and calling for violence against them, the Uttarakhand police arrested its key organiser, YatiNarsinghanand, Saturday night.Narsinghanand, the controversial priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad, was on a hunger strike at Sarvanand Ghat in Haridwar protesting against the arrest of Tyagi.The conclave took place December 17-19 but the arrest of Tyagi and Narsinghanand has come after the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre, Delhi Police and the Uttarakhand government last Monday.The notice was over a PIL alleging police inaction and seeking probe into the hate speeches at two separate events in Haridwar, organised by Narsinghanand, and another in Delhi by Hindu Yuva Vahini where speakers allegedly called for the “genocide of members” of a community.

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Gail Director E S Ranganathan arrested by CBI in bribery case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against E S Ranganathan Director (Marketing) GAIL NSE -0.45 %, and others including private persons, private companies & unknown others. The agency has arrested Ranganathan and five private individuals.The case has been registered on the allegations/ informations that the Director (Marketing), Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), BhikajiCama Place, New Delhi,( a central PSU), was indulging into corrupt & illegal activities in conspiracy with other accused who were acting as his middleman, by obtaining bribe from the private companies buying petro chemical products marketed by the GAIL.It was further alleged that at the direction of Representatives of Private Company, a private person had requested the Public Servant of GAIL for allowing some discount to the buyers on petro chemical products being marketed by GAIL in lieu of illegal gratification. It was also alleged that other private person has also collected Rs 40 Lakh from the accused earlier in this matter.

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3) Economy

India’s overall macroeconomic situation on recovery mode but facing stagflation: Kaushik Basu

India’s overall macroeconomic situation is in a recovery mode but the growth is concentrated at the top end, which is a worrying trend, according to former World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu.

Amid the rising inflationary trends, including the sharp increase in retail inflation last month, Basu, who has also served as Chief Economic Advisor to the Indian government during the UPA rule, said the country is facing stagflation and “very carefully curated policy interventions” arefully curated policy interventions”While the aggregate economy is growing, “the bottom half of India” is in recession, he said and noted that it was sad the country’s policy over the last few years has been largely focused on big businesses.While India’s GDP is estimated to grow 9.2 per cent in 2021-22, Basu said since this comes after a contraction of 7.3 per cent in 2019-20 due to the pandemic, the average growth rate over the last two years is 0.6 per cent per annum.

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India’s economy recovery on ‘solid path’ amid rapid vaccination progress, forecast to grow 6.5 per cent in FY 2022: UN

India is forecast to grow at 6.5 per cent in fiscal year 2022, a decline from the 8.4 per cent GDP estimate in previous financial year, and while the country’s economic recovery is on a “solid path” amid rapid vaccination progress, coal shortages and high oil prices could put the brakes on economic activity in the near term, the UN said. The flagship United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2022 report, launched here, said that India’s GDP is forecast to grow at 6.5 per cent in fiscal year 2022, a contraction from the estimated growth of 8.4 per cent in fiscal year 2021.Growth is projected to further slow down to 5.9 per cent in the financial year 2023, the report said.

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India’s forex reserves to face $256 billion overseas debt challenge in next 12 months

India’s enormous foreign exchange reserves faces its biggest test in the next 12 months as a record $256 billion of total overseas debt comes up for repayment amid a possible flight of capital due to monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.External debt worth $256 billion matures over the next 12 months, according to the September data released by the finance ministry. This is about 43 per cent of the September external debt outstanding at $596 billion.While the reserves still top $600 billion there could be short term pressures on the currency as the RBI is likely to temper its interventions rather than defend the currency.The recent US consumer price inflation at 7 per cent at 39 year high, the Fed might be swifter in hiking rates than earlier anticipated that could result in higher pull out of dollars from emerging markets including India. “The expectation of a rate increase by the Fed and other advanced economies is likely to accentuate capital outflow, and this is likely to put pressure on the exchange rate, current account deficit and prices” said M Govinda Rao, chief economic advisor at Brickwork Ratings.

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General govt fiscal deficit estimated at 10.4 pc in FY2022: Report

Rating agency ICRA on Wednesday said it expects a miss in the disinvestment target to cause the government’s fiscal deficit to print at Rs 16.6 lakh crore or 7.1 per cent of the GDP in FY2022, overshooting the budgeted target.With the state governments’ fiscal deficit projected at a relatively modest 3.3 per cent of GDP in FY2022, the general government fiscal deficit is estimated at around 10.4 per cent of the GDP, the agency said in a report. In the base case for FY2023, it sees the government’s fiscal deficit moderating to Rs 15.2 lakh crore or 5.8 per cent of GDP.        Although the planned ceasing of GST compensation could cause the state governments’ fiscal deficit to rise to the cap of 3.5 per cent of the GSDP set by the Fifteenth Finance Commission, the general government deficit will still compress to 9.3 per cent of the GDP in FY2023, it said.

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Exports, imports hit record highs in December

India’s merchandise exports in December surged a record 38.91% on-year to $37.81 billion, buoyed by growth in outbound shipments of engineering, textiles and chemicals, official data released Friday showed. Imports too rose a record 38.55% to $59.48 billion, widening the trade deficit to $21.68 billion.”As compared to December 2019, exports in December 2021 exhibited a positive growth of 39.47%,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.The trade deficit was $15.72 in December 2020.As per the data, 23 of the 30 major export sectors witnessed a rise in shipments.

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 4) Markets, Banking and Finance

Credit offtake from scheduled commercial banks to MSME sectors surge: CMIE

Offtake of credit from scheduled commercial banks to medium, micro and small industrial enterprises has zoomed in recent months on the back of the government’s emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS), the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.“The take-off is sudden and it is relatively big and the only set of enterprises to see an increase in bank loans are medium, micro and small enterprises,” CMIE said in its weekly analysis.According to CMIE, these enterprises have largely, or possibly almost entirely, benefited from the central government’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), launched in November 2020.

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Impact of 3rd wave low on NBFCs as bad loans fall, collections rise

The third Covid wave hasn’t significantly hurt collection efficiency and raised delinquency levels of non-bank financing companies, rating agency India Ratings said in a report. Analysts suggest that the delinquencies in 1-90 days-past-due continue to be in the range of 5%-15%, and additions to bad loans have slowed down materially.”The collection efficiency data point to a recovery in the overall operating environment. The commercial vehicle segment, where collection efficiencies fell 60%-70% in 1QFY22, has recovered and is close to pre-Covid levels,” India Ratings said.On the microfinance loans front, collection efficiency had declined 20%-25% during the second wave and has significantly recovered since then, it said.On ground data suggests that the third wave impact may not be disproportionate, given that it is not so much of a health crisis as in the second wave and the bounceback shows resilience of the segments, it said.

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5) Business

PM Modi: Golden Era of Startupshas just begun, declares January 16th as National Startup Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the 16th of January as “National Startup Day” while speaking to over 150 startups at an event that is part of the government’s Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. The date 16th January is a historic day for the Indian startup ecosystem since 2016. Six years back the government of India under Modi’s leadership had announced the Startup India Action Plan aimed at building a strong foundation for the startup ecosystem in the country. The year 2021 became the landmark year for the Indian startup ecosystem with $42 Bn being invested and 42 startups entering the Indian unicorn club. The year also saw the launch of 62 new funds for startups. With 86 unicorns and a large number of Indian startups heading for stock markets, the Indian startup ecosystem’s golden era has definitely arrived. Earlier this week, Minister of Industry and Commerce Piyush Goyal had called on Indian entrepreneurs to target adding 75 new startups to the list of Indian total number of unicorns this year.

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January 16 to be celebrated as National Startup Day: Modi

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Amid rising competition in EV Space, Hero to invest Rs 420 Cr in Ather Energy

Founded in 2013 by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, Ather is engaged in designing, manufacturing and production of electric automobiles and charging infrastructure. Hero was one of the early investors in the startup. The auto giant first invested to the tune of $27 Mn in the Series B funding round in 2016, and then later, another $17 Mn in 2018.The startup received its first funding of INR 45 Lakh from the Department of Science and Technology and IIT Madras in early 2014. It was followed by a $1 Mn investment by Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal followed by a $12 Mn investment by Tiger Global in 2015. Later in 2019, it had raised $51 Mn from Sachin Bansal, Hero MotorCorp. Overall, the EV startup has raised close to $163 Mn in funding to date (including the current round). The investment comes amid a renewed push by Hero MotoCorp to scale up its presence in the electric mobility sector. The auto giant is planning to unveil its first Electric Vehicle (EV) by March and will be produced at the company’s plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor. The company will deploy its partnership with Ather Energy to facilitate the development of its in-house EV.

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6) Technology

90 founders among 500 US unicorns were India born: study

A study compiled by Ilya A. Strebulaev, professor of finance at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, shows that out of 1,078 founders across 500 US unicorns, 90 entrepreneurs were born in India, signalling the significant presence of Indian Americans in the country’s startup and tech economy.India-born founders were followed by the ones from Israel and Canada.The data pulled together by Strebulaev comes at a time when many Indian-based technology professionals are looking to head back home. Silicon Valley-based tech publication The Information reported last week on how Indian immigrants in the US were increasingly giving up on their American dream amid visa issues and the lure of a thriving startup industry in India.It’s not startup founders alone, India-born executives are now running the most powerful tech giants in the US.

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Tech hiring in India shrugs off Omicron jitters, remains buoyant

Hiring action in India’s tech sector continues to remain buoyant, undeterred by the steep climb of the third Covid-19 wave.In the first week of 2022, the sector put out more than 70,000 active job openings, according to data from LinkedIn put together for ET by specialist staffing firm Xpheno. This is despite the first few days after holidays being typically a slow period when most companies restart action.Top technology company executives said they expect a “minimal impact” on their hiring plans as clients across sectors continue to accelerate their digitisation drive to enhance productivity and save cost.

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7) Politics

Number of ‘sensitive’ seats in UP rises to 73: which ones and why

The number of Assembly seats declared “sensitive” by the Uttar Pradesh Police this election has risen to 73. That is 35 more than the 2017 state elections, when 38 seats were declared “sensitive”.Notably, a day after the election schedule was announced, UP Police had said that they have identified 95 Assembly segments as“sensitive” in the state. The number was revised down to 73 after taking into consideration recent incidents related to law and order and deployment of security forces, said a senior police officer.“There are different criteria to select ‘sensitive’ seats. These include caste position, previous law and order history, and who are contesting the election. Heavy deployment of security forces in these seats ensure that elections are held smoothly,” Additional Director General (Law & Order) Prashant Kumar said.In the current list, Prayagraj district has the highest number of “sensitive” seats – eight of its 12 constituencies – followed by Ballia with five. Three constituencies each of Baghpat, Saharanpur, Siddharth Nagar, Bahraich, Jaunpur, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts have also been declared “sensitive”.

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BJP names 107 candidates for UP polls, fields Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur

Releasing the first list of 107 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, the BJP on Saturday fielded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban seat and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu in Prayagraj as it expressed confidence of retaining power with a big majority.Except for Adityanath and Maurya, all the names are for 105 of the 113 seats which will go to the polls in the first two phases on February 10 and 14, with 44 of them hailing from Other Backward Classes and 19 Scheduled Castes, accounting for 60 per cent of the total.

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The ruling BJP is preparing to contest all the 60 seats in Manipur, although it is also in discussion with some parties for possible tie-ups.

Assam minister and Manipur state election co-in charge Ashok Singhal told ET: “We are in discussion for a pre-poll alliance.”Assembly elections will be held in two-phases in the state on February 27 and March 3.BJP’s ally in the state government, the National People’s Party (NPP), has hinted at contesting the assembly polls on its own. National president of the NPP and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said that the party has finalised 30-plus candidates for Manipur assembly polls. The party plans to field about 40 candidates.The NPP contested nine seats in 2017 and won four seats.

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Congress releases first list of 86 candidates for Punjab polls; Channi to contest from Chamkaur Sahib

The Congress on Saturday released its first list of 86 candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab, fielding Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi from Chamkaur Sahib and PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu from Amritsar East. The party has also fielded Punjab deputy chief ministers — Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa from Dera Baba Nanak and Om Prakash Soni from Amritsar Central, the seats they already represent.Controversial Punjabi singer Sidhu Mussewala, who joined the Congress sometime ago will contest from Mansa and actor SonuSood’s sister MalvikaSood from Moga.The list was released after the party’s central election committee chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi cleared the names in its meeting held on Thursday.Punjab assembly elections are slated in a single phase on February 14 and the results will be out on March 10.

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8) Sports

Virat Kohli quits Test captaincy, a day after series-defeat against South Africa

Virat Kohli on Saturday declared quitting Test captaincy, a day after India suffered an unexpected series-defeat against a second-string South Africa.Kohli signed off as India’s most successful captain 40 wins in 68 Tests after being given the reins of the side back in 2014 when M S Dhoni stepped down in the middle of the series against Australia.Arguably the biggest ambassador of the five-day game, Kohli took India to new heights in his tenure which saw the team become a force to reckon with in all conditions.Kohli made the announcement in the backdrop of his tense relations with the BCCI which removed him as ODI captain after the star batter himself decided to leave T20 captaincy.A massive controversy erupted when BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and chief selector contradicted Kohli’s claims that that he was not asked to stay back as T20 captain.“Every thing has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test captain of India, it’s now,” Kohli wrote in a statement which he posted on Twitter, taking everyone by surprise.

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India drops to 5th in WTC standings after Newlands loss

India’s seven-wicket loss to South Africa in the series-deciding third Test has cost them a top four spot as Virat Kohli and his men slipped to the fifth position in the World Test Championship standings. India, the runners up of the inaugural edition of the WTC, are currently placed fifth in second cycle with a 49.07 percentage of points won (PCT), which is taken into account rather than the points earned.India have played nine Tests in the second cycle of WTC, winning four, losing three and drawing two. They have 53 points, the highest among all teams so far.After the second Test India were in fourth position with 55.21 PCT and South Africa were one slot behind with a PCT of 50.Currently, Sri Lanka leads the standings with a 100 PCT followed by Australia (83.33) and Pakistan (75).

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Badminton: Lakshya Sen wins maiden Super 500 title, beats world champion Loh

India’s Lakshya Sen secured his maiden Super 500 title by winning the Yonex-Sunrise India Open with a stunning straight-game victory over reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the men’s singles final in Delhi on Sunday. The 20-year-old Sen, who had claimed his maiden world championships medal with a bronze in Spain last month, produced a fine performance to outshine the fifth seeded shuttler 24-22 21-17 in the summit clash that lasted 54 minutes.Going into this match, the two had a 2-2 head-to-head record with Sen losing two of the last three meetings, but the Indian was the better man on show on Sunday as he showed great athleticism, used his attacking shots to good effect and came up with his punched winners from the back at the right moments.

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Satwik-Chirag claim maiden India Open title

Top doubles pair of SatwiksairajRankireddy and Chirag Shetty scripted a stunning straight-game win over three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia to become the first men’s team from the country to win the Yonex-Sunrise India Open on Sunday.The world no 10 Indian pair, which had won its first Super 500 tournament in Thailand in 2019, upset the top seeded Indonesian pair 21-16 26-24 in 43 minutes to make a rampaging start to the new season.

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Novak Djokovic leaves Australia after losing deportation appeal

Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening after losing his final bid to avoid deportation and play in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19. A court earlier unanimously dismissed the No 1-ranked tennis player’s challenge to cancel his visa.Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling but respected it.He has won a record nine Australian Open titles, including three in a row, but this time won’t even get the chance to try.

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9) Opinion

There will be a slowdown in this quarter’s activity: Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram Rajan, Former RBI Governor & Prof of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business states that, “Notwithstanding the Omicron variant and the devastation it is already causing, I think there will be a slowdown in this quarter’s activity. but it will get pushed a little further. That said, I would resist the temptation to say we have seen the worst and that the virus is behind us. This virus is ever morphing. Early last year, we did not imagine the extent to which Delta would be vicious and of course Omicron — there could be variants which are far more deadly than this one. So I think we should have cautious optimism that there are, globally, sufficient pent up demand reservoirs of stimulus that the economy will still grow quite substantially. We still have to be careful in making too many strong predictions given the morphing virus.”

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Women are more employable in tech development jobs than men: Report

With the tech industry opening up more job opportunities in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, a report has shown that women are more employable in development jobs than men.According to the BridgeLabz Tech Employability Quotient (BTEQ) test, which determines the likelihood of getting a development job in the tech industry, it has been found that the average score for women stands at 42 percent against that of men at 39 percent.Women are often treated as a ‘reserve workforce’ rather than an intrinsic part of the economy, the report stated.The tech industry has always been male-dominated just like other sectors and according to data in a crisis like COVID-19, job loss has hit women harder and they find fewer open doors when they want to rejoin the workforce, it said.The report also found that talent from lower tier cities and states have better employability scores than those from metro cities.

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Weathervanes or straws in the wind,as a mini-exodus is on from BJP to SP in UP. Do defectors matter?

As Uttar Pradesh enters the final stage of its election saga before the polls. Shekhar Gupta tries to catch the wind & which way it is blowing- BJP, SP, BSP or Congress. In this episode let’s look at various defectors, largely from BJP & what do they bring with them.

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10) Weekly special

Investor Ruchir Sharma discusses the Top 10 Trends of 2022

The pandemic reshaped the world – not changing everything, but accelerating many things, from population decline to rising debt and digital revolution. Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Global Strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Ruchir Sharma gave his top 10 trends of the global economy in 2022 in a recent interview. Let us look at how these trends could define the fortunes of the world, and India, in 2022.

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Prannoy Roy, Investor Ruchir Sharma discuss Top 10 trends of 2022

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With that, we come to an end for our Weekly Current Affairs January 2022 -Week3. Hope you have liked it. Write your feedback in the comments below and let  us know if there is anything else you would like us to cover.

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