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In order to understand modern Indian history, one must read these books.

As we know that Indian history is broadly divided into three categories, namely, ancient, medieval, and modern. Therefore, in order to understand where India stands today, one must read some of the books on modern Indian history which will throw light on how India became what it became.

The Idea of India by Sunil Khilani

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UNHCR provided assistance to thousands of Aghanistanis.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Thursday announced that it has provided assistance to thousands of needy people across Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, the UNHCR in collaboration with a number of aid agencies provided essential household items to a total of 4,506 people in Kabul, Kandahar, Kunduz and Balkh provinces, the UNHCR Afghanistan said in a Twitter post.

"In Herat (province) we provided cash grants to 665 persons to meet basic needs, and in Kabul and Herat 973 persons received cash for rent," the agency said.

The UN agencies together with aid agencies and a number of non-governmental organisations are racing against time to deliver life-saving aid and supplies to crisis-hit Afghans ahead of winter, reports Xinhua news agency.

The economic situation worsens in Afghanistan with higher unemployment rate and rising poverty.

Afghans make up one of the largest refugee populations worldwide.

There are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees in the world, of whom 2.2 million are registered in Iran and Pakistan alone, according to the UNHCR.

Another 3.5 million people are internally displaced, having fled their homes searching for refuge within the country.

In light of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in 2021, the number of people fleeing will likely continue to rise, the Agency added.

(IANS/JB)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the GatiShakti National Master Plan

Unveiling the GatiShakti National Master Plan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the programme will boost India's self-confidence and make the country self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) as today, "we have laid the foundation for the next 25 years."

"This national masterplan will give impetus to the 21st century India. It will boost the next generation infrastructure and multi model connectivity in the country while speeding up the national policy from planning to execution level," Modi said while inaugurating the GatiShakti National Master Plan and new exhibition complexes of the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan on Wednesday afternoon.

Modi said that his government has not only developed a work culture of completing the projects within the stipulated time, but is aiming to complete the projects ahead of time.

"Earlier, we used to see 'work in progress' boards everywhere and people started to believe that it will never be completed. This has been changed now with our planning and well-introduced 'gati' in development projects," he said.

Claiming that infrastructure development has hardly been the priority of any political party in the past, the Prime Minister said, "However, quality infrastructure is a way to sustainable development which builds economy and generates employment."

Modi cited the example of the Delhi Metro. "Before 2014, the metro was running on only about 250 km of track. Today, the metro has been expanded up to 700 km and work is going on, on 1,000 km new metro route," he added.

Modi pointed out that in the five years before 2014, only 60 panchayats could be connected with optical fibre. "However, in the last seven years, we have connected more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with optical fibre."

The Prime Minister alleged that taxpayers' money was wasted in the past due to delays and a lethargic approach to development work, which his government aspires to change. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, India, Economy, Development, Atmanirbhar Bharat


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International Monetary Fund said that India will continue to be the fastest growing economy

India will continue to be the world's fastest growing major economy, clocking a growth rate of 9.5 per cent this fiscal year and 8.5 per cent in the next, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections released on Tuesday.

The IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) kept the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts it had made in July for India, whose Covid-battered economy had shrunk by 7.3 per cent in the last fiscal year. In July, while India was in the grip of Covid-19's second wave, the IMF had cut its forecast of 12.5 per cent made in April before the pandemic's resurgence by 3 per cent.

The WEO's long-term forecast for India's GDP growth is 6.1 per cent in 2026. In the WEO tables, China followed India with 8 per cent this year and 5.6 per cent the next - a reduction of 0.1 per cent for both years from the forecast made in July.

The UK came next with 6.8 per cent growth this year, followed by France at 6.5 per cent, and the US at 6 per cent.

The global economy is projected to grow 5.9 per cent in 2021 and 4.9 per cent in 2022 - a 0.1 percentage point lower for 2021 than in the July forecast.

The WEO said: "The downward revision for 2021 reflects a downgrade for advanced economies -- in part due to supply disruptions -- and for low-income developing countries, largely due to worsening pandemic dynamics."

IMF's Chief Economic Gita Gopinath said in her foreword to the WEO, "The global recovery continues but the momentum has weakened, hobbled by the pandemic. Fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the recorded global Covid-19 death toll has risen close to 5 million and health risks abound, holding back a full return to normalcy. Pandemic outbreaks in critical links of global supply chains have resulted in longer-than-expected supply disruptions, further feeding inflation in many countries. Overall, risks to economic prospects have increased, and policy trade-offs have become more complex," she warned.

They projected a wary outlook: "Overall, the balance of risks for (global) growth is tilted to the downside. The major source of concern is that more aggressive SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) variants could emerge before widespread vaccination is reached."

The WEO, which stressed the importance of vaccination, said:, "The development of Covid-19 vaccines was encouraged by unprecedented public support." As an example, it cited the help in scaling up manufacturing by the Indian government grants to vaccine producers.

The IMF forecast is more than a per cent higher than the World Bank's estimate of 8.3 per cent for this fiscal year, which puts it behind China's 8.5 per cent growth this year.

The Bank's Regional Economic Update released last week said India's GDP growth is expected to moderate to 7.5 per cent next year and 6.5 per cent in 2023-24.

The United Nations, which made its forecast for the calendar year, rather than the fiscal, said it expected India's economy to grow by 7.5 per cent this calendar year and rebound to 10.5 per cent next year. India's consumer price index is expected to grow by 5.6 per cent this fiscal year and by 4.9 the next, according to the IMF's WEO.

The Maldives, whose economy shrunk by 32 per cent last year, is expected to rebound to 18.9 per cent this year and moderate to13.2 per cent next year, the WEO said.

Elsewhere in South Asia, growth is expected to be slower. Pakistan's GDP is forecast to grow by 3.9 per cent this year, and by 4 per cent the next, and Bangladesh by 4.6 per cent this year and 6.5 per cent the next year, according to the WEO.

Sri Lanka's growth is forecast to grow 3.6 this year and moderate to 3.3 next year, while Nepal's GDP is expected to grow by 1.8 per cent this year and then rebound to 4.4 per cent, the report said.

Bhutan's economy is forecast to continue to shrink by 1.9 per cent this year, but grow by 4.2 per cent next year, according to the WEO. (IANS/JB)

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