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BW Businessworld

Will We See Modi In A New Avatar?

Modi in a new avatar? What do dipping scooter sales say? Bibi wins again & more

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

All surveys, including those of the BW Businessworld, clearly indicate that Narendra Modi is leading the race in the national general elections. However, there’s also a view that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) may not be able to better its 2014 tally.

It’s here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s skills as a statesman would be put to test. Earlier, it was being said that this will be the ideal scenario for someone like Nitin Gadkari to take over as Prime Minister. Gadkari has repeatedly ruled out such a possibility. So, how will Modi run a coalition? Be it in Gujarat, or in Delhi, Modi has always been known to run the show with an iron hand. The Chief Minister’s Office (in Gujarat) and the Prime Minister’s Office (in Delhi) have b oth wielded a huge influence. In the event of a change in scenario, Modi will have to play the role that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had played. Is Modi cut out for it? We will have to wait and watch.  
— Team  BW

Bibi at the helm of Israel again
Zionism prevails. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – ‘Bibi’ for his admirers – has worked his magic again, winning a record fifth term in office. Netanyahu is now set to be the longest-serving prime minister of Israeli. His term will be even longer than that of David Ben-Gurion, the country’s first prime minister, often described as the ‘Father of Modern Israel’.  Netanyahu visited India last year after PM Modi made an official visit to Israel in 2017, being the first Indian prime minister to do so. He focused largely on economic and high-end technology cooperation and boosting people-to-people linkages. Israel’s technological prowess remains unmatched in areas like waste management and reprocessing, desalination, agriculture, waste water recycling, health, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

Netanyahu’s fifth term, though, will be an hour of reckoning for both him and Israel. Netanyahu has been charged with bribery and fraud and his approach to Palestine is bullish.Should Netanyahu and his Likud Party denounce a debate on a two-state solution, the ripples on the Gulf could swell into a tidal wave.
— Manish Kumar Jha

7 private varsities in top 50 list
Seven private universities have made it to the top in the fourth edition of India Rankings, based on the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The seven private universities in the top 50 overall list include the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Rank 15), the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Rank 16), the Vellore Institute Of Technology (Rank 32), the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Rank 39), the  Siksha `O` Anusandhan, Bhubaneswar, (Rank 41) and the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Punjab (Rank 45) and the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (Rank 50).  Most of these are institutions of repute that offer multiple disciplines, but laurels from the government still count.  
— Prerna Lamba

Common man’s stallion on a limp
Sales of the common man’s stallion, the two-wheeler scooter, have begun to dip, after defying market blues for months. The skid in scooter  sales, the first in 13 years – is being attributed to customer apathy. Apparently, customers in urban and semi-urban cities have of late been shying away from making immediate purchases.

While the top three scooter makers, namely Hero Honda, Yamaha and TVS, did not comment on the trend, dealers and analysts have attributed the customer apathy to growing unemployment rates, weaker realisations from agriculture and rural distress. After all, the rural and semi-urban snooks and crannies of the country is where the scooter rides high.  It is the stallion of that elusive ‘common man’, often beyond the direct tax bracket, who gets hit most when farm incomes dip, the job market  dries up and the economy begins to show signs of fatigue.

The last time scooter sales recorded a drop though, was during the high-growth phase of FY 2005-06.  Two-wheeler sales had then skid by a palpable 1.5 per cent. Sales of scooters, which account for nearly a third of the two-wheelers in the Indian market, reported a 0.27 per cent drop to 67 lakh units during FY 2018-19 from 67.2 lakh units during the same period last year. Two-wheeler sales, especially scooters, have been on a downslide for a number of months now and the trend is expected to continue over the next couple of months too.  
—  Avishek Banerjee

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