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Adani Wilmar crashes as company warns of low revenue growth

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The company said, “Rising interest rates, slow uptick in rural demand, and delayed withdrawal of monsoon in major parts of India impacted business in the quarter gone by.

Adani Wilmar crashes as company warns of low revenue growth

FMCG firm Adani Wilmar’s share price tumbled over 3.6 percent on October 13 after the management said that overall revenue in the September quarter is expected to grow in low single digit and volumes in the first half of the fiscal will clock low double-digit growth.

At 10 am, the stock was quoting at Rs 683 on the National Stock Exchange. This year so far, it has been one of the best performing stocks surging over 150 percent.

Follow our live blog for all the market action

In an exchange filing, the company said, “Rising interest rates, slow uptick in rural demand, and delayed withdrawal of monsoon in major parts of India impacted business in the quarter gone by.”

Leveraging the pan-India distribution of edible oil business, food & FMCG basket for the company continued its growth trajectory, expanding over 40 percent. “Edible oil business witnessed higher volume growth in the masstige category rather than the premium category as a result of downtrading,” the filing added.

The company is hopeful of sequential improvement in demand trends. Consumption may see an uptick in the second half of the fiscal on the back of festivities and softening of prices across food categories, the management said.

Brokerage firm Ventura Securities has a buy rating on Adani Wilmar with a target price of Rs 949: “The food category is a large space that is significantly underpenetrated and has decadal growth opportunities ahead. Adani Wilmar is sacrificing immediate profitability to grow rapidly and gain market share."

Share Market Closing Note | Indian Stock Market Trading View For 12 October 2022

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 Share Market Closing Note

Nifty ends above 17,100, Sensex gains 500 pts; all sectors in the green.What Is a Stock Exchange? Definition and Examples

All the sectoral indices are trading in the green. BSE midcap index rose 0.6 percent and smallcap index ended on flat note.


Topic :- Time:3.00 PM

Nifty spot close above 17080 level will result in some further upmove in the market and if it closes below above mentioned level then some sluggish movement can be seen. Avoid open short positions for tomorrow.


Topic :- Time:2.30 PM

GOLD Trading View:

GOLD is trading at 50928. If it manages to trade and sustain above 50120 level then expect some further upmove in it and if it breaks and trade below 50880 level then some decline can follow in it.


Topic :- Time:2.25 PM

Just In:

TVS Motor vrooms past Hero MotoCorp to be 6th most-valued auto company.


Topic :- Time:2.20 PM

Just In:

Supported iPhones to get 5G-related software update by December: Apple


Topic :- Time:2.00 PM

Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17100 level then expect some quick upmove in the market and if it breaks and trade below 17080 level then some decline can follow.


Topic :- Time:1.30 PM

NATURALGAS Trading View:

NG is trading at 546.If it breaks and trade below 543 level then expect some decline in it and if it holds above 543 level then it can rise till 555-558 levels quite soon. Buy on every dip is recommended till evening session.


Topic :- Time:1.10 PM

Just In:

Route One Fund divest 1.54% stake in IndusInd Bank for ₹1,401 cr


Topic :- Time:1.00 PM

Nifty is trading near to its critical support area. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17060 level then expect some pull back in the market and if it breaks and trade below 17040 level then some decline can follow in the Nifty.


Topic :- Time:12.30 PM

COPPER Trading View:

COPPER is trading at 655.20.If it manages to trade and sustain above 656.20 level then expect some further upmove in it and if it breaks and trade below 654.50 level then some decline can follow in it.


Topic :- Time:12.00 PM

Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17100 level then expect some further upmove in the market and if it breaks and trade below 17080 level then some decline can be observed in the Nifty.


Topic :- Time:11.30 AM

News Wrap Up:

1. Sensex off days high, up 100pts; Nifty50 above 17,000

2. Travelling to Europe? Now make hassle-free payments using UPI on your phone

3. Liquidity slips into deficit on high credit growth, festival loan demand

4. Vietnam giving India a run for its money in the China Plus-One game

5. Crypto industrys winter deepens as trading volumes plunge, funds dry up

6. Indias green energy firms join hands to develop carbon-credit market

7. M&M gains 2%; firm strengthens pact with Jio-bp for EV charging points

8. Biocon falls 12% in 5 days on one major deficiency alert for API unit


Topic :- Stocks under F&O ban on NSE

1. Delta Corp

2. Indiabulls Housing Finance

3. India Cements


Topic :- Results on October 12

Wipro, HCL Technologies, Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy, 7NR Retail, Artson Engineering, Mangalam Industrial Finance, Mega Nirman and Industries, National Standard (India), Nxtdigital, Sanathnagar Enterprises, Standard Capital Markets, and Yash Chemex will be in focus ahead of quarterly earnings on October 12.


Topic :- Nifty Opening Note

Indian Stock Market Trading View For 12 October 2022:

Nifty to trade volatile and is likely to follow global cues. Trade as per market trend.

Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17000 level then expect some up move in the market and if it breaks and trade below 16920 level then some further decline can follow in the market. 

Please note this is just opening view and should not be considered as the view for the whole day.


Interview | Hero Future Energies will expand offerings, geographies after KKR funding: CEO

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Company is waiting for the government's green hydrogen policy and in the meantime is in active discussions with customers in India and the UK for pilot projects in green hydrogen, says Srivatsan Iyer.No more interested in plain vanilla solar or wind: Hero Future Energies CEO  | Business Standard News

Hero Future Energies (HFE), the Hero Group’s green energy arm, aims to diversify its offerings portfolio and geographical presence supported by the recent $450 million investment by global private equity major KKR, Srivatsan Iyer, global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HFE said. In an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol’s Rachita Prasad and Sweta Goswami, Iyer talks about supply chain issues faced by the industry and the opportunities in the new energy space. While he held his cards close to his chest on a possible initial public offering of the company, Iyer said that as the business demands they will continue to raise equity funding.

Edited excerpts:

Now that KKR and Hero group have committed $450 million to HFE, what is the big picture here and why now? 

India is on the cusp of a massive aspiration in renewable energy going forward. India’s 2030 target is to have half of its electricity generation come from renewables, as well as reduce its carbon intensity by at least 45 percent. To achieve both of these, renewable energy has to play a huge role. We (HFE) are going to be 10 years old later this month; we've been committed to growing renewable energy and providing clean energy solutions. With the increasing uncertainty in the energy markets globally, several countries are looking at renewable energy not just to address sustainability and climate change but also for energy independence. This is the right time for this investment for us to not just grow in India but also in other targeted geographies. We have a presence in Asia as well as in the UK. It’s a good time for us to grow in renewable energy and also test some of the newer solutions that will help decarbonisation.

We're going to participate in renewable energy – solar and wind power – and also grow in emerging technologies like battery storage, round-the-clock RE and green hydrogen. We have had discussions with our shareholders that we want to grow in conventional as well as in new technologies.

Can you cite some more tangible targets in terms of what kind of capacity you would be looking at in wind and solar? And when you're saying other forms, what kind of plans do you have there?

We've not set explicit capacity targets for ourselves because generally capacity is associated with just solar and wind. If you were to invest in battery storage, for example, you can't necessarily add that capacity only to solar and wind. We have bagged our first battery storage bid from Kerala and in that sense, we are leading the pack. There are going to be several other battery storage bids over the next six months as states look to use it to balance the grid or to maintain grid stability. We are certainly looking at upcoming round-the-clock bids.

We're waiting for the unveiling of the green hydrogen policy, which we expect sometime this month. But in the meantime, we are in active discussions with many customers in India and some in the UK for pilot projects in green hydrogen so that we know what are the levers to reduce costs going forward that would make green hydrogen economically viable versus conventional sources of energy. For us, the quickest win is to try to convert grey hydrogen projects into green hydrogen. Parallelly, we're looking at how to use green hydrogen to do things where hydrogen is not being used today. We will be a producer of green hydrogen. Our role will be to supply green hydrogen to various end users.

You don’t want to specify targets, but with the KKR investment, are you fully funded for your expansion plans? Is there an appetite to get more investors? 

We're funded for now. The good problem to have is, "Can I finish using all those monies in the next two to three years?" And if we find the right mix of projects and the right growth, we hope to use it up in the next two to three years. And then at that point, we will decide the next course of action.

The next big step for you would be going to the market at some stage. Do you have in place a plan for an initial public offer (IPO)?

No, we don't have a timeline or a deadline. At some point, we'll have to go back and raise more equity as we grow and as this market grows. Now, whether that will take the form of a market listing or whether additional equity from the same or new shareholders is yet unknown. We'll keep raising new equity every so often.

Do you have any other plans of monetization of assets?

Everything is on the table at this point. The shareholders obviously have to consider what's the best way for them to monetize their investment in the company. It can take multiple routes.

What are your expectations from the Indian government with regard to its upcoming phase II of the green hydrogen policy? 

If you rewind 10 years, the solar and wind energy tariff was as high as Rs 10-15 a unit. The government stepped in because they were keen to grow this space and they wanted to ensure the sector learns, grows and reduces cost. Today you can get solar power for as low as Rs 2.5 per unit. We're looking for something similar from the government in terms of green hydrogen as well. Whether it be demand mandates, viability gap funding or something completely revolutionary, like dollar-link contracts rather than rupee-link contracts – there’s a lot that can happen.

Indian renewable energy companies are now seeing an opportunity in the commercial and industrial (C&I) space. What is the mix of government and C&I in HFE’s portfolio? And is that a space you would be looking at increasingly? 

The corporate sector accounts for roughly half the energy consumption in India. So for us to get to the targets we have set ourselves as a country, the corporate sector has to be an important participant. Hence, C&I is going to be important for multiple reasons. One is they are looking at sustainability because they made commitments to their shareholders and the markets in terms of the overall sustainability targets or carbon footprints. Secondly, they are looking at this for the lowest cost of energy supply. Today, C&I is roughly 10 percent to 15 percent of our portfolio.

How is the supply chain looking like right now, whether it's wind or solar, in terms of equipment? 

The supply chain is still tight globally. The only thing that has improved over the last 12 months is freight rates; container costs have come down and that part of the supply chain has stabilised globally. In non-solar space, there is still a shortage of semiconductors. This impacts RE in a fairly significant way. On the solar side, there is a global shortage all the way from polysilicon to modules. The good news is a lot of capacity is being added globally.

How effective have the production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes been overall?

The PLI scheme is certainly a step in the right direction and it has been focusing on backward integration all the way to polysilicon which is the last bit of a solar PV (photovoltaic) system. Otherwise, we are still supply-chain dependent on China. In the short term, we don't see PLI making a huge impact in the Indian market context because it would take two to three years to build capacity. But in terms of energy self-sufficiency and in terms of meeting our 10-year goal I think the PLI should help set up enough capacity in India to at least meet domestic growth. It should also allow some of the big players to export. The US is starting to put restrictions on imports from China and so I'm sure the Indian module manufacturers will look at that as an export market that's valuable for them. We really hope module prices come down. Many in the C&I sector are looking at the module prices today and say, "Look, we will just wait." It will take a little bit of time, globally, for the new capacity to come online. In the meantime, we are really looking at some kind of ALMM (approved list of module manufacturers) scheme to broaden the list of suppliers that allows the independent power producers (IPPs) to have a slightly larger range of suppliers.

Are you witnessing any kind of slowing in existing jobs?

It's very hard even for IPPs to compete with each other because we all buy modules more or less at the same price; it's not like one can outbid the other by 30 percent. We saw a lot of activity on hybrid bids and on the solar park bids but IPPs are still bidding based on the expectation of future module pricing because the tariffs that we are bidding at don't reflect today's module pricing at all. They do have a view of the future and they are bidding based on that. I expect softening of prices to happen in the 12- to 18-month range, certainly not in the coming 6 to 9 months.

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, is happening in November. How different would the conversations be from earlier, given the changes in the energy market in the last one year?

The current volatility in the energy markets is going to be the focus of all discussions. Countries would have to defend ramping up their conventional or thermal energy generation. At the same time, I believe that the countries are going to make a deeper commitment to speed up renewables growth for precisely these reasons.

There was a lot of talk in COP26 about supporting investment for adaptation for global regions that are going to be impacted. Because of what's happening in the world around us today, I suspect that conversation may be a little more muted. I suspect it's going to be more about let's not think more about investments in adaptation, let's focus all our investments in building out renewable energy.

With the fresh funding, what is the biggest challenge you foresee for your company right now?

The biggest challenge for us as a company and also for the sector is the uncertainty in the supply chain and the price volatility. No matter what we bid for, whether it's the C&I space or a utility space, we all bid based on a 12-18-month forward outlook on module pricing. The same goes for WTGs (wind turbine generators) because steel prices have become quite volatile again over the last 24 months, and WTG is tied to steel for the most part. That is the biggest worry.

Wind energy in India has seen a decline in capacity addition growth since 2018, except for 2020. Despite having about seven windy states, projects are concentrated only in about two states. Why is that so? What is HFE’s specific plan for wind energy?

There are several factors to that. The first thing is the variability of wind speeds in India. The last three years have been about the slowest in history. If you go back four to five years back, the wind speeds were at P50, what you'd expect from a 30-year average. Now, whether the last three years' low wind speed is driven by climate change or it's just a temporary anomaly is yet to be seen. As an industry, we tend to be a little more conservative about wind generation because of what has been happening in the last three years in India. Clearly, everybody wants to run to the states that have the most wind resources and run there first. Now, Rajasthan has been very attractive for that. And so everybody has gone there. Gujarat has its own set of challenges for wind. Karnataka and Andhra had been quite popular. If you ever want to look for RTC (round-the-clock) or peak power-type projects going forward, wind is going to be a critical contributor there. The biggest challenge for wind has always been to find high wind resource sources, and in India those are limited. Our initial estimate suggests that a tariff of closer to Rs 10 a unit is needed for offshore wind to kick off.

Smoother implementation of laws will increase women’s workforce participation

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The Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code 2020 can be said to be effective, only if the corresponding state rules are in compliance with and in similar lines with the codeSmoother implementation of laws will increase women's workforce  participation

The Oxfam’s India Discrimination Report 2022, released in September, criticise gender discrimination as the major reason for low female work force participation in India.

Laws in many countries reflect and perpetuate gender norms, and often act as an impediment for women to achieve full economic empowerment. A 2014 World Bank study shows that 90 percent of the countries have at least one law that limits the opportunities for women by restricting them from working in certain occupations. India is no exception; it has many laws that restrict opportunities for women to enter the women workforce.

Indian Factories Act 1948

In order to protect women workers from health hazards in factories, they were restricted from working near cotton openers, and were banned from lubricating and cleaning machinery in motion. The law also prescribed the amount of weight a woman can lift in a factory. They were also not allowed to work in night shifts, and certain ‘dangerous’ activities carried out in a factory.

Section 66(1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948 that prohibited women from work at night was struck down by several high courts as unconstitutional and discriminatory, violating Articles 14, 15, and 16 of the Constitution. Acting in furtherance of these judicial decisions, states such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra allowed women workers to do night shifts by amending state laws.

Occupational Safety, Health, And Working Conditions Code 2020

The Factories Act 1948 is now superseded by the Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code 2020 (OSH code). Most of the prohibitions in the Factories Act were lifted in the OSH code, including the night shift ban on women. But the employer has to comply with conditions to ensure the safety and security of the women workers, as mandated by the corresponding state rules.

The OSH code also allows women to work in all establishments; this includes factories and in all types of work, hazardous or otherwise. But the necessary safeguards and safety measures have to be ensured by the employer, and they need to be regularly inspected as per the OSH code, and/or state rules.

Additionally, the provision of crèche is now gender neutral, and is applicable to those factories with more than 50 workers. Under the Factories Act, a crèche was mandated in an organisation which employed 30 or more women. The OSH code is progressive in a way that it breaks the social stereotype that women are responsible for childcare.

Can The OSH Code Help Improve Women's Workforce Participation?

The Factories Act 1948 and various state rules were acting as a hindrance to many women to get employed in the factory floors, especially those factories that engaged in three shifts a day, or are engaged in hazardous/dangerous activities. The OSH code, by removing these barriers, can possibly rectify the legal barriers, and provide a viable ecosystem for employers to engage more women workers.

But OSH code can be said to be effective, only if the corresponding state rules are in compliance with and in similar lines with the code. Further, the state rules must focus on the implementation aspect of the law, rather than being too idealistic. Often the overarching emotion of protecting women blinds the lawmakers from looking into the practicality of the provisions.

While the night shift ban was lifted in certain states, studies have shown that employers have frequently evaded their responsibility by making use of strategies such as under-reporting the number of female workers in the muster roll of the factory to evade compliance of the laws. This has hindered women's employment, especially when it comes to smaller organisations, and entry-level jobs. Enforcement costs are one of the reasons for the non-compliance of factories laws, and the cause for low numbers of medium-sized firms.

The larger problem with this protectionist stance towards employing women is that it has some unintended consequences. First, it dis-incentivises employers to employ more women as they would have to incur additional expenses and effort to ensure all the stipulations provided in the Act and rules; and second, it legitimises the traditional gendered notions about women, and that in turn plays a role in reinforcing the same hierarchical structures. Moreover, there is an active correlation between safety measures and the efficiency of workers. If proper functional welfare measures are taken, then productivity will also increase.

The NITI Aayog, in its report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’, released in June, suggests fiscal incentives like tax breaks or startup grants for companies with about one-third of their workforce women, to increase the labour force participation of women in the gig economy. This suggestion can be applied in factories and establishments as well. The enforcement costs will be offset by the incentives provided.

Anu Maria Francis is Research Associate, and Gauthaman V is Research Intern, CPPR. Views are personal, and do not represent the stand of this publication.

Share Market Closing Note | Indian Stock Market Trading View For 11 October 2022

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 Share Market Closing Note

 Indian benchmark indices ended lower for the third consecutive session with Nifty finishing below 17,000 level. All You Need To Know About Stock Market Timings & Trading Sessions In India


Topic :- Time:3.15 PM

Just In:

Bank of England widens bond purchases over market turmoil.


Topic :- Time:3.00 PM

Nifty spot if holds above 16980 level on closing basis then expect some pull back in the market in coming session and if it breaks and closes below above mentioned level then some decline can further follow.


Topic :- Time:2.30 PM

CRUDEOIL Trading View:

CRUDEOIL is trading at 7309.If it breaks and trade below 7300 level then expect some further decline in it and if it manages to trade and sustain above 7320 level then some upmove can follow. Right now Crudeoil is 3.82% down.


Topic :- Time:2.00 PM

Nifty is again in deep red. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17120 level then expect some upmove and if it breaks and trade below 17080 level then some decline can follow in the market.


Topic :- Time:1.30 PM

GOLD Trading View:

GOLD is trading at 50861.Gold is likely to gain momentum and it can head towards 51200-51400 levels today. Buy from decline is advised in it.


Topic :- Time:1.00 PM

Nifty is turning volatile now. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17160 level then expect some further upmove in the market and if it breaks and trade below 17120 level then some decline can follow in the market.


Topic :- Time:12.50 PM

Just In:

Tracxn Technologies IPO subscribed 38% on Day 2, retail portion booked 1.91 times


Topic :- Time:12.30 PM

COPPER Trading View:

COPPER is trading at 652.If it breaks and trade below 650 level then expect some further decline in it and if it manages to trade and sustain above 653.50 level then some pull back can be seen. However right now trend will remain sell from rise.


Topic :- Time:12.15 PM

Just In:

Bank Of England intervenes in bond markets again, warns of material risk to UK financial stability


Topic :- Time:12.00 PM

Nifty is trading in a range however has recovered from its lows. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17220 level then expect some further upmove in the market and if it breaks and trade below 17180 level then some further decline can follow. Wait for some movement before taking big positions.


Topic :- Time:11.30 AM

News Wrap Up:

1. Sensex, Nifty move in narrow range; Tracxn Tech IPO subscribed 34%

2. Indian economys slow-but-steady activity awaits festive season boost

3. Indias e-retail market to increase to $150 bn-$170 bn by 2027

4. OECD releases global framework for exchange of info on cryptocurrencies

5. Railways plans to set up EV charging points at major stations in 3 years

6. Net inflows into equity MFs jump 130% to Rs 14,100 crore in September

7. Infosys gains nearly 1% as board to consider share buyback on Thursday

8. MF assets rise to Rs 39.88 trn in Sep on higher inflows into SIPs: Amfi


Topic :- Nifty Opening Note

Indian Stock Market Trading View For 11 October 2022:

Global cues to dictate trend. Nifty to turn volatile as the day progresses.

Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17300 level then some upmove can be seen and if it breaks and trade below 17180 level then some decline can be seen.

Please note this is just opening view and should not be considered as the view for the whole day.


Is it time to bid adieu to socialism as a political plank?

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Mulayam Singh Yadav, who passed away on October 10, was a leader who moulded socialism to suit the realities of Indian politics. Is that socialism electorally viable in today’s India?Is it time to bid adieu to socialism as a political plank?

The demise of Mulayam Singh Yadav, on October 10, has led to a detailed chronicling of the life and times of a three-time Chief Minister of India's politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, who could have been even Prime Minister in the coalition era of 1996-98 (a honour eventually that went to HD Deve Gowda and later IK Gujral) if fellow socialists like Lalu Prasad had not opposed his name.

Politics Of Social Justice

As Yadav's life is chronicled in detail about his beginning as a follower of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia in 1963, and winning as a candidate of the Samyukta Socialist Party in the UP assembly polls in 1967, a question has risen whether socialism as a political plank and trademark has served its time.

After all, Yadav’s career took off just when the politics of social justice had arrived in India. The same could be said for Prasad and Nitish Kumar in neighbouring Bihar. These leaders blossomed under the shadow of veterans such as Lohia, Jaya Prakash Narayan, and Acharya Narendra Deva as the warriors of social justice, and as an anti-Congress pole.

Of course, their baptism in anti-Congressism took even finer shape under the ‘JP movement’ against Indira Gandhi in the early 1970s, and culminated in the aftermath of the Emergency post-1977.

Since then, the socialist brand of politics held centrestage for almost 25 years through an era that also saw the decline of the Congress as it got mired in its omissions and commissions in governance methods.


The demolition of the Babri masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 was a turning point for the socialists of all hues. A newer threat emerged for their politics in the shape of a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) even as they were boosted by the adoption of the Mandal quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the 1990s.

They had to position themselves against a Vajpayee-led BJP because they realised the party was actually charioted by his associate Lal Krishna Advani who had used the ‘Kamandal’ card against a caste-based regrouping under the ‘Mandal’ banner with his rath yatra for the shrine at Ayodhya.

So some of the socialists did not mind abandoning their professed antipathy towards the Congress, and joined hands with it even though they remained critical of what they said was its penchant for ‘corruption’ for the sake of power. However, they succeeded in creating a fulcrum of anti-BJP forces as the Ram temple movement saw its rise and ebb through the 1990s.

By 2002, 20 years after the demolition of the Babri masjid and outbreak of anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat after 59 Hindu pilgrims were killed in a fire inside a train near Godhra, Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister was a new challenger for them.

Thirteen year later and after winning three consecutive assembly elections, Modi was now the harbinger of a new model of faster development. As Modi’s ascent to the national political scene seemed unstoppable, the socialist leaders remained divided on their tactics as some such as Kumar who became Bihar Chief Minister with the support of the BJP, realised they risked losing the support of minorities.


The joke goes that 'true socialists cannot stay together for six months and cannot stay apart for more than six months'. Kumar’s political oscillations are a good example of this. In 2015, he joined hands with Prasad to fight the BJP’s communalism. In 2017, Kumar left Prasad to join hands with the BJP to fight corruption, and finally, earlier this year, left the BJP and is now in an alliance with Prasad’s RJD to fight communalism. All this while he has remained Chief Minister!

As India gets ready for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and many assembly polls before that, the ‘socialist’ model of politics is hardly a talking point. Yes, there are debates about the ‘freebies and welfarism versus empowerment and targeted delivery model’, but the fact still remains that Modi (and the BJP) pose a serious challenge to the opposition parties.

SUV Socialist

What caused the decline of Yadav or Prasad was that many followers of Lohia could not resist the lure of political office, they got mired in acts of corruption and nepotism, and thus abandoned the basic tenets of socialism. Their powerful aides rode on SUVs, abandoning the bicycle that was once a symbol of a dedicated socialist. Dynastic politics became their instruments of power.

Where Is The Socialist?

That brings us to the question whether a ‘samajwadi’ can survive when there is a generational shift in politics, and in the concept of ‘social justice’.

Two years ago when Ram Vilas Paswan, another Lohia follower and a minister in the Modi government, passed away, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and former governor and civil servant, raised the question: “Are any socialists left in Indian politics?

Gandhi, who is known for his pro-Left views, wrote, "But by the question I refer to socialists in party politics, offering electoral options, political alternatives in policy-making, seeking and getting — or failing to get — voter-support for what the Constitution of India calls justice — social, economic and political. And the resounding answer is — no, not any longer. Samajwadi — socialist — as a name and style lives in the nomenclature of political parties as, indeed, it does in the preamble to our Constitution. But the old-school socialist of the mould of, Jayaprakash Narayan, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Rammanohar Lohia, Asoka Mehta, Madhu Dandavate, Mrinal Gore, S M Joshi, George Fernandes, Madhu Limaye, has become a kitab-ka-phool.”

Inconsistency has been the hallmark of the Indian socialists. Why should anybody blame only George Fernandes or Nitish Kumar for their inconsistency? Their mentor, Ram Manohar Lohia, had also displayed similar inconsistencies. Once close to Jawaharlal Nehru, Lohia turned against the Congress and even joined hands with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (the precursor of the BJP) to checkmate the Congress. So did JP. That is why the Congress lost political ground to the regional forces across India.

Mulayam Singh Yadav leaves behind a party which is on the back foot, and to defeat the BJP in UP, it will have to go the extra mile — even reinvent itself. It puts out the question of whether Akilesh Yadav can do it; but more importantly it has to be seen whether or not the socialist politics followed by Mulayam Singh Yadav can cut electoral ice in the current political reality of India.

Iran | All about the protests, its significance, and politics behind it

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The current protests have gained a lot of traction, both within Iran, and internationally, both schools and universities are seeing a pushback. But, it remains to be seen whether will it bring any real-world change to Iranian politicsHow Iran's Women-Led Protests Have Exposed The 'Islamist Racket' Everywhere  - WorldcrunchThe death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of Iranian authorities, last month, has led to the outbreak of  widespread protests across the country, largely led by women, to challenge the ultra-conservative government’s authority. More particularly the institutions such as the moral police that is responsible to regulate the population’s adherence towards the state-sanctioned version of conservative Islam in place since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Iran, of course, is not new to protests, despite strict state control. Tehran in the recent past saw protests in 2009, against what many called fraudulent elections; in 2017, against economic stresses; and in 2019, against a hike in fuel prices. It can be argued that none of those earlier events garnered the kind of interest and support, specifically on social media, as the women-led protests that is taking place today.

However, what these protests seek to gain from an Iranian context is a whole different ball game. Political change, coupled with an ideological reorientation of a state structure is easier said than done, despite popular mobilisation against it.

The Arab Spring, from a West Asian context, perhaps remains a prime example a decade after it began to spread across the region. From Tahrir Square in Egypt to protests peppered across the Gulf region, what changed was arguably a little direction to mitigate future risk by the region’s monarchies, the political structures themselves survived. In Egypt, the ouster of Hosni Mubarak’s almost 30-year-long rule led to elections that brought a pro-Muslim Brotherhood candidate to power, alarming regional states, and the United States (US) alike. The Brotherhood government was dislodged via a coup in 2013, bringing the Egyptian Army Chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, into power.

The other challenge for such protests is the fact that geopolitics, in general, has a significant penchant to compromise with morals, ethics, and ideas in return for real-world gains. A lot of global capacity, and specifically the west, is today tied down with the Russia-Ukraine war and the protection of European borders. Whilst the strains of the West’s relations with Iran are as old as the Revolution itself, and despite the protests being independent in nature, the Iranian state’s claim that it is the US and Israel that are planning these uprisings,  aiming to attach the protests as nefarious designs purported by foreign forces against Iranian interests.

This is consistent with its response regarding other similar domestic upheavals in the past. Much like during the Arab Spring, when then-President Barack Obama had asked US-based social media companies like Twitter to keep their services online and defer any planned down maintenance, this time as well the US has looked to primarily try and give more open access to information and the internet to the protesters via technologies such as Starlink in an attempt to bypass Iranian state censors

The challenge for any social protest in Iran today is like those faced by others during the Arab Spring, that of a lack of an off-ramp. The ascent of Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s President in 2021 brought back into power the conservative section of Iranian polity, after former President Hassan Rouhani, known to be a ‘moderate’ and ‘reformist’, spent most of his tenure trying to normalise Iran’s relations with the US and negotiated with the P5+1 group of states the nuclear deal (also known as the JCPOA) which was signed in 2015 despite pushback from the conservatives.

While this would have been a watershed moment, the US unilaterally withdrawing from the deal under the presidency of Donald Trump in 2018 was a big blow to any future US-Iran rapprochement, and also to a certain extent, the Iranian moderate’s ecosystem, which did try to find its feet during previous protest movements but without much success. The failure of the JCPOA was seen by the conservatives as another example where the US proved that it could not be trusted and engaging with the same was a futile endeavour, even though negotiations to bring the deal back continue even today, albeit with much less optimism.

Over this period, the dominant clerical establishment, led by Ayatollah Khamenei, has strengthened itself to insulate itself and the state from western sanctions, and this has included closer relations with Russia and China, two countries that offer economic assistance and political partnership without strings attached in a world fast moving towards a new era of great power competition between Washington D.C. and Beijing.

The current protests are taking place under these geopolitical realities, which make it hard for movements to translate into action by states that view most events through the lens of the existential threat posed by foreign interventionism. Furthermore, if the protests are largely inclined to one city or social strata and do not gain mass traction, much like before, the government can clamp down on them without significant local blowback. Domestic corruption and economic mismanagement have also played their own role in fermenting public discontent.

According to a poll conducted in 2021 by the University of Maryland and IranPoll, a Canada-based research firm focusing on Iran, 63 percent of Iranians (out of a sample size of 1,000) blamed corruption and mismanagement more than international sanctions for economic distress.

The current protests have, in fact, gained a lot of traction, both within Iran, and internationally, with both schools and universities inside Iran seeing pushback. This is perhaps why, Ayatollah Khamenei, despite praising the police and security agencies, has not yet called for an all-encompassing hard national crackdown. Sixty percent of Iran’s population of 80 million is below the age of 30. The perception costs here may be significant for Iran if a large section of young women do not see their rights, privileges, and aspirations aligned with the state.

Saudi Arabia, perhaps still most popularly known for its ultra-conservatism, arguably realised this, and ‘defanged’ its own moral police establishment, known as the Mutawa, to portray a more “moderate” polity heralding Riyadh towards a more stable economic future beyond oil money, and looking to make itself more palatable to the international community. After these protests, Tehran risks taking this unwanted mantle from Riyadh in eyes of the international community.

The kind of real-world effect these protests will bring to Iranian politics, if any, remains to be seen. The place to witness any potential change in political course would be to keep an eye on who succeeds the 83-year-old Ayatollah Khamenei in the future, and whether this particular transfer of power would bring any fundamental political and ideological reorientation in the country, or whether it will remain business as usual.

Mulayam Singh Yadav | The mud-pit wrestler who grappled with social realities on the political plane

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Through his nearly six-decade political journey, Netaji straddled regional and national politics on his own termsMulayam Singh Yadav | The mud-pit wrestler who grappled with social  realities on the political plane

The death of socialist leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, a leading light of alternate politics in India, brings the curtain down on this fast-diminishing breed of politicians who rose to the pinnacle from the grassroots with a spirit of accommodation.

Yadav, known by the sobriquet ‘Netaji’, remained a quintessential old-school politician who remained committed to the socialist stream as opposed to the dominant course set by the Congress and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh/Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Influenced by the work of Ram Manohar Lohia, after his death Yadav gravitated towards Chaudhary Charan Singh and his Bharatiya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh, the crucible of national politics.

It was Singh who launched the political career of this self-acclaimed mud-pit wrestler who converted his penchant for ‘Daav’ (wrestler’s gambit) into a successful political career first on the regional, and then on the national stage.

In a career spanning over half-a-century, Yadav was clear about his priorities to work towards empowerment of the backward classes and minorities through the route of political power.

In the process, at times his proclivity to align at different times with the Left and the Congress contributed in creating an image of a leader who tread his own path.

Through association in early days with the likes of Lohia and Singh, ingrained in him an anti-Congress stance. Towards the end of the 1990s, it transformed into creating the Rashtirya Kranti Morcha that laid the foundation for his Samajwadi Party in 1992.

Yadav realised the Congress was losing grip in Uttar Pradesh, and decided to occupy the space being vacated. He vowed to work and make the Congress a politically less relevant force. It is no surprise the last Congress government in the state ended its tenure in December 1989.

It is another matter that some 28 years later, in 2017, his son and party chief Akhilesh Yadav revised the position to join hands with the Congress under Rahul Gandhi.

It is ironic that during his lifetime, the SP did two political U-turns in UP. After the 2017 experiment, the party buried the hatchet to smoke the peace pipe with another arch-rival, the Bahujan Samaj Party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The famed coming together of ‘Bua-Bhatija’ (aunt-nephew) duo of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav could not prevent the BJP winning three-fourths of the 80 seats in UP.

The seeds of distrust between the BSP and the SP were sown in the mid-1990s. Having created a strong base for the party, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s first shot at power in the state came in 1993 forming a government with the BSP then under the leadership of party founder Kanshi Ram. Relations turned bitter after Mayawati levelled a serious charge of a dastardly and life-threatening attack against her by SP workers.

For the next two decades, the SP-BSP remained strident opponents, and in 1996 when the BSP had an opportunity to form a coalition government in UP, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav played a pivotal role in preventing it. By then he had acquired a national role as Defence Minister in the HD Deve Gowda-led United Front government.

The indifferent nature of relations with the Congress continued, and was pronounced. The SP was forced to sit out of any arrangement in 2004 when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance formed the government. The SP went into a sulk since it won 39 Lok Sabha seats, but counted little.

With Left too, the SP founder had his share of differences that were pronounced twice in the same decade. In 2002, Mulayam Singh Yadav walked out of the ‘Lok Morcha’ (Peoples’ Front) alliance of the Left parties, and the SP. The disagreement was over the choice of Captain Lakshmi Seghal in the election for the President of India with Yadav favouring APJ Abdul Kalam.

Then in 2008, Mulayam Singh Yadav heeded to the scientific reasoning of Kalam and decided to support the Manmohan Singh government on the India-US nuclear deal, an agreement that led the Left withdraw its outside support to the coalition government at the Centre.

These decisions left political watchers confused over the trajectory of SP politics just as his praise in Parliament for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work and predicting a second term for him, confounded his supporters.

This in a way, reflected the old-school politician who accorded respect to opponents despite ideological differences. The spirit of accommodation and realising there was space for the other view in politics guided his policy, which otherwise remained committed to socialist ideals.

This author recalls an incident during 2002; while waiting at an airport I was having a conversation with the SP chief. Suddenly, Netaji raised his voice to scold a party leader asking, “What are you doing?” The party leader, who had just brought a cold beverage, mumbled, “Netaji, I was feeling thirsty…” only to be told “drink water”! Mulayam Singh Yadav returned to the conversation we were having, prefacing “We Samajwadis, do not consume such beverages".

Yet, towards the later part of the decade, while the SP came back to power on its own, it attracted adverse comments for the glitzy festivals at his native village Safai, with the Clintons as his guests on one occasion.

Through his nearly six-decade political journey, Netaji straddled regional and national politics on his own terms. He carried the flag of socialist ideals with Lohia as the guiding light, and took positions that could be at times be termed pragmatic. He ended the journey with the satisfaction of a seamless transfer of leadership to son Akhilesh Yadav, and empowerment of the larger Yadav clan.

With e₹, India joins the CBDC bandwagon

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The CBDCs can help in reducing operational costs in physical cash management, foster financial inclusion, and bring further innovation in the payments system without risksThe e₹ is on the way as RBI gears up for a pilot launch of its own digital  currency

From barter, shekel, metal including gold, silver, bronze, nickel, to paper to polymer, the form of money is now attempting to enter another new era by going digital through the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

As cryptocurrencies and stablecoins have become increasingly popular among young users, central banks around the world seem to believe that they need go digital on their currencies, and towards this have been issuing their own concept notes and in the early days of their experimentation phases. However, one needs to understand that the CBDCs and crypto assets are different — and cannot be compared.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on October 7 released a concept note on India’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had already announced earlier this year, that a digital rupee would be issued in 2022 or 2023 that will operate via blockchain or related technologies. The concept note comes at a time when India's crypto exchanges and the ecosystem has borne the severe brunt of higher taxes including high rate of TDS, an operational shadow ban on exchanges through payment systems all of which has indirectly pushed business and monies out of India into the hands of overseas exchanges, which seemed to have benefited the most.

For easier understanding, a CBDC is a ‘digital banknote’ that can be used by individuals for their retail requirements such as paying shops, businesses or between businesses or among financial institutions for their wholesale ones. A CBDC is a virtual money backed and issued by a central bank. The CBDCs are different from electronic payments such as UPI, wallet, NEFT, IMPS, RTGS, etc. as these are digital payments with banking solutions at their core. The liability of these account transfers lies with the corresponding government/commercial banks. Despite being called the sovereign equivalent of crypto assets, the CBDCs are centralised.

The RBI’s concept note has defined the CBDC as the legal tender issued by the central bank in a digital form, and referred to it as ‘e₹’. The RBI has also explained the objectives, choices, benefits, and risks of issuing a CBDC in India. The RBI has proposed to issue two versions: one for wholesale for interbank settlement, and the other for retail for the public. The RBI has also proposed that it will issue the e₹ but regular banks can distribute it. The RBI has also proposed the e₹ in its retail version to be token based, wherein one can find out the recipient’s public key, and transfer it using one’s private key. Anonymity has been proposed for small amounts only.

As per the Atlantic Council, today 105 countries, representing over 95 percent of global GDP, are exploring CBDCs of which 10 have fully launched, with China’s pilot set to expand in 2023. Of the G7 economies, the United States and the United Kingdom are most behind on CBDC development. Nineteen of the G20 countries are exploring a CBDC, with 16 already in development or pilot stage. Globally various efforts that involve multiple countries and banks have been underway from efforts like Multiple CBDC Bridge (mBridge), Project Dunbar, Project Helvetia, Project Jasper, Project Aber, Project Jura, Onyx/Multiple wCBDC etc. Bahamas was the first to issue the Sand Dollar CBDC three years ago.

It is, however, important to understand that in some countries a CBDC may be an important path to financial inclusion, while in case of others it may have other motivations. The CBDCs may also help support trade in another emerging area of NFTs.

The CBDCs can help in reducing operational costs in physical cash management, foster financial inclusion, and bring further innovation in the payments system without risks. It can be used for retail, wholesale, and international payments.

With each central bank around the world evolving its own use cases, concepts, and with certain banks and countries collaborating in their own way, there is a likelihood that the global financial system may face an interoperability issue, unless there is equal effort to work towards certain standards as well.

Light to heavy rain recorded in several Rajasthan districts

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Light to heavy rain was recorded in several parts of Rajasthan in the last 24 hours due to a new weather system active in the region, a MeT official said. Karauli recorded the highest rainfall at 118 mm during the period.Light To Heavy Rainfall In Rajasthan

Almost all places in east Rajasthan witnessed light to moderate rain, Jaipur MeT Centre Director Radheshyam Sharma said. Heavy rain was recorded in isolated places in Karauli, Dholpur, Banswara, Pratapgarh, Jhalawar, Baran, Sawai Madhopur and Kota districts, while one or two places received very heavy showers in the last 24 hours, he added.

The MeT department said 70 mm rain was recorded in Sajjangarh, Pachpahar, Chhabra, Dholpur, Baran, Kishanganj, Sallopat, Aklera, Mangrol, Mandrayal, Chauth ka Barwara, Choti Sadri and Pipalda each in the last 24 hours. Several other places recorded 10-60 mm rainfall.

Sharma said satellite pictures from Saturday morning showed cloud cover over most parts of the state except some areas of western Rajasthan, while intermittent rain was seen in Udaipur, Jaipur, Kota and Bharatpur districts. This spell of rain in east Rajasthan is likely to continue for the next two-three days, he added.

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