Top headlines: India to evacuate 15k citizens; gold imports plunge in April

The exercise is being touted as one of the largest ever undertaken by any country.
15,000 Indians to be evacuated from 24 countries in 1st week starting May 7
India plans to airlift almost 15,000 stranded citizens across the world from 24 different countries starting from May 7. The exercise is being touted as one of the largest ever undertaken by any country. According to an internal plan prepared by the Ministry of External Affairs and reviewed by Business Standard, while priority is the Gulf region, where 70 percent of non-resident Indians live, India will also bring back stranded citizens from London, Singapore, San Francisco, New York, Washington, Kuala Lumpur, Chicago in the first week itself. Read More

Covid-19 may slow India IT and business service growth to 6.5% in 2020: IDC
The Indian IT and business services market is expected to grow annually by 6.5 per cent to reach $14 billion by December 2020, with some impact from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to research firm International Data Corporation. The IT and business services market grew by 8 per cent annually in the second half of 2019, according to IDC Worldwide Semiannual Services Tracker-2H19. The Indian software services industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), stopped providing a current year growth projection for the industry from 2019. Read More

April gold imports plunge 99.9% to three-decade low amid lockdown: Report
India's gold imports plunged 99.9 per cent year-on-year in April to their lowest in nearly three decades as air travel was banned and jewellery shops were closed amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a government source said. The world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal imported around 50 kilograms of gold in April, down from 110.18 tonnes a year ago, the source said on Monday, who is not authorised to speak to the media. In value terms, April imports dropped to $2.84 million from to $3.97 billion a year ago, he added. Read More

Hand out temporary ration cards to feed the poor: Abhijit Banerjee
Nobel laureate and economist Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday said the national lockdown has indeed created a havoc on the economic front and that the government is not clear how much it is willing to spend on a stimulus package as 1 per cent of GDP is not enough to lift the situation. "A lot of us have been saying that we need a stimulus package. That’s what the US is doing, Japan is doing, Europe is doing. We really haven’t decided on a large enough stimulus package. We are still talking about 1% of GDP. United States has gone for 10% of GDP, " he said. Read More

Tata Steel leaves Indian Steel Association; Narendran quits president post
Tata Steel has withdrawn its membership from the Indian Steel Association (ISA), an apex steel industry body. Subsequent to it, the company's CEO and Managing Director (MD) T V Narendran has also stepped down from the Presidentship of the Association, tenure of which was scheduled to end in August. An ISA President is elected for a period of two years. Read More

Israeli research team gets a step closer to developing a Covid-19 vaccine
As researchers and medical labs are stepping up their efforts to find a cure for Covid-19, the Isreal Defence Ministry said in a statement that the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has completed the development phase of coronavirus antibody or passive vaccine, reports The Jerusalem Post. The Israeli defence minister was briefed by the research team, who told that this antibody attacks the virus and neutralises it in the body. The institute is now preparing to get a patent for the antibody and contract for its commercial development. The defence ministry of Israel will coordinate this with the IIBR. Read More

WeWork co-founder Neumann sues SoftBank over failed $3 bn tender offer
WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann filed a lawsuit against Japan's SoftBank Group Corp and its Vision Fund on Monday for terminating a $3 billion tender offer to the office-sharing startup's shareholders. The tender offer was part of a $9.6 billion rescue financing package that SoftBank agreed with WeWork in October and gave it control of the company. Since then, WeWork's occupancy rates have plummeted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

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