INDIAN ECONOMY: OVERVIEW, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
Why last 15 minutes of lander Vikram are most crucial?
In less than 13 hours, the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s lander Vikram is going to enter the most challenging phase of its journey as it attempts to soft land near the Moon’s hitherto unexplored south pole. In fact, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has described it as “15 minutes of terror”. According to the space agency, the lander hopes to touch down in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N.
The 1,471 kg lander successfully separated from the orbiter on Monday and began revolving around the Moon, lowering its orbit over two manoeuvres and performing several pre-landing tests.
According to ISRO Chairman K. Sivan, the final descent is going to be terrifying as the agency has not done it before. “It is for the first time we are going to another body where there is no atmosphere and using the propulsion system we will have to break the velocity and bring the vehicle safely to soft land. To achieve this we will have to balance between the gravity and thrust. So we have to modulate the thrust of the engine,” he said.
Moreover, of the 38 attempts of ‘soft landing’ on the lunar surface so far, only 20 have been successful. Just five months back, Israel’s attempt crash-landed on the moon. If things go to plan on Saturday morning, India will become the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve success.
So what will happen in the last 15 minutes before touchdown?
On September 7, Vikram will begin its descent from a height of 35 km above the lunar surface and a velocity of around 6,000 kmph. In just over 10 minutes, the lander will drop to a height of 7.4 km above the Moon altitude and lower its speed to around 526 kmph.
PM Modi urges Indians to watch landing, says ‘extremely excited’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be watching the final touchdown of Chandrayaan 2’s lunar landing at 1:55 am on Saturday from the ISRO control room. He will be accompanied by 60 school children who were chosen by ISRO through an online quiz. On Friday afternoon, PM Modi said that he was extremely excited to witness the extraordinary moment in India’s history and urged Indians to watch the historic feat. He also said that the large participation in the quiz organised by ISRO showcases the interest of the youth in science and space.
“The moment 130 crore Indians were enthusiastically waiting for is here! In a few hours from now, the final descent of Chandrayaan – 2 will take place on the Lunar South Pole. India, and the rest of the world will yet again see the exemplary prowess of our space scientists,” said PM Modi.
PM Modi said, “I am extremely excited to be at the ISRO Centre in Bengaluru to witness the extraordinary moment in the history of India’s space programme. Youngsters from different states will also be present to watch those special moments! There would also be youngsters from Bhutan.”
Carmakers may not get tax relief in GST council meet on September 20
With the slowdown in the domestic automotive industry showing no signs of ebbing, the government on Friday again hinted at a possible GST rate cut from 28 to 18 percent but also added a rider that it may not happen in the next GST council meeting scheduled on September 20 in Goa.
Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur while addressing the ACMA annual conclave said the government has received request from various segments of the industry for a GST rate cut and while it is evaluating the possibility of that, he asked the industry to also reach out to various state finance ministers of the country that are part of the GST council.
“Any rate cut on GST has to be first approved by the GST fitment committee and then it is sent to the council at the next meeting,” Thakur said. “We are open to taking it to the council but most decisions there are taken unanimously. I would like the industry to also reach out to individual state finance ministers who are also part of the GST council.”
While the industry has been lobbying hard for a tax cut, which it believes will lead to a revival in demand, the uncertainty over whether and when it will happen or not has put it in a tight spot. Dealers across the country said were are witnessing significant postponement of purchases by potential customers in anticipation of a reduction in prices post the rate cut.
Maruti Suzuki alto sales decline 54percent in August; lowest in 15 years
India’s largest selling car for 15 straight years, which is also its bestselling car historically, witnessed a steep 54.5 percent fall in sales in August 2019 at just 10,123 units. This was Alto’s lowest tally in a month since April 2004 when 9,350 units were dispatched to the dealers.
However, following that, it had become the country’s best selling car for the first time in a month in May 2004 when its tally stood at 10,373 units against the then bestseller Maruti 800’s 10,016 units. It was also the first fiscal (2003-04) when Alto went on to end Maruti 800’s nearly two decade long hold at the top. It is a position it hasn’t relinquished till date.
The crash in sales in August has seen Alto lose four slots to stablemates Dzire, Swift, WagonR and Baleno and drop down to number 5 in the bestseller’s list for the month, another low since 2001. It is symptomatic of the consumer’s shift in preference in India towards more feature-rich and powerful cars which has been aggravated by an unprecedented downturn in the overall automotive industry in the country.
The bestselling car for the month, Maruti Dzire, registered a 40 percent decline in sales followed by Swift at 35 percent, WagonR at 16.5 percent and Baleno at 37.52 percent. The only two cars in the list that bucked the trend were Maruti Eeco, which registered a 32.26 percent growth at 8,658 units, and the Ertiga MPV, which posted a 139 percent jump in sales at 8,391 units on the back of the refreshed version in November 2018 and the addition of a more premium variant in the XL6 last month.
How India’s moon mission differs from the ones by other countries
India will be the first country that will attempt to land on the virgin part of the Moon, a feat no other country has achieved so far. In an interview to India Today, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Pramod Kale said that until now countries like US, Russia, and China landed their missions near the equatorial region of the moon. However, it will be the first time India will attempt to land on the south pole area of the Moon which is 70 degrees south.
Kale also talked about Chandrayaan-2 and its significance with regards to India’s space program. “The Orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 is orbiting in the Moon orbit, going from pole to pole. The Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter is in its orbit and the Vikram lander, which separated from the orbiter two days ago, has entered the final orbit to be precise,” Kale said.
The lunar mission which was launched from Satish Dhawan Space centre on July 22 has completed the journey of around 3,84,000 km and the Vikram lander is just 35 km above the Moon’s surface now.
The Vikram lander will move in Moon’s orbit till Thursday (September 6) night. The decision regarding the final landing will be taken on Friday (September 7) morning. Kale stated that the lander might be a little bigger than a huge dining table.
As the Vikram lander goes for the final soft landing, its engines will be fired to slow its speed. Once the lander touches down on the Moon’s surface, the ramp would be lowered, which is when rover Pragyan will come down from it. The ramp would be lowered only after two hours of landing to give time for the dust around the lander to settle.
Indiabulls housing finance share falls 9pc over alleged pil against firm, promoters
The share price of Indiabulls Housing Finance fell to a fresh 52-week low on BSE after the company issued a clarification regarding the petition filed against the company and its promoters.
Indiabulls Housing Finance submitted a regulatory filing related to media reports suggesting a ‘PIL against the company and its Promoter in Delhi High Court’.
The IBHFL stock opened 6.07percent lower at Rs 420.70 against the previous close of Rs 447 on BSE. Later, the stock fell over 9.31percent to an intraday low of Rs 406.2, also its fresh 52-week low on BSE. The lower price band of 10percent circuit for the stock stands at Rs 403.15. Indiabulls Housing share price is trading lower than 5, 20, 50, 100 and 200-day moving averages.
Overall 11.6 lakh shares and 173.5 lakh shares changed hands on BSE and NSE, respectively. There were more sellers offering than buyers bidding for the stock, with reduced volume indicating a bearish trend.
IBHFL said,” The petition hasn’t yet been filed in the High Court as per the website records of Delhi High Court, but has been leaked in the social media with malicious intent and vested interests to create turbulence in the stock price of the Company and fulfil ulterior motives.”
“The purported PIL admits that the allegations are the same as in the petition of earlier petitioner Abhay Yadav which was subsequently withdrawn,” the filing said adding that, “similar complaints with exactly similar allegations have already filed under various individual names in July 2019”.
Aditya Birla capital to raise rs 2,100 crore
Aditya BirIa Capital Limited (ABCL) announced on Thursday that it has received approval from its Board of Directors to raise primary equity capital of Rs 2,100 crore through a preferential allotment to certain marquee investors and the promoter as well as promoter group entities. This approval is subject to the requisite statutory and regulatory approvals, including that of the shareholders, ABCL said in a regulatory filing. The board also decided to convene an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on October 5.
ABCL is the holding company of the financial services businesses of the $48.3 billion Aditya Birla Group. The equity capital will be raised at Rs 100 per share, which is at a 10.62 percent premium to the ABCL closing price of Rs 90.40 as of September 4, the company said in a statement, adding that it has ABCL has signed definitive share subscription agreements with Jomei Investments Limited, an affiliate of Advent International, and PremjiInvest’s affiliate PI Opportunities Fund.
While Jomei Investments will plough in Rs 1,000 crore for 10 crore fully paid-up equity shares, PremjiInvest, the family investment arm of Wipro, will pump in Rs 100 crore. The company will also raise Rs 770 crore from its promoter, Grasim Industries, as “confidence capital” along with Rs 230 crore from three promoter group entities, namely Surya Kiran Investments Pte Limited, IGH Holdings Private Limited and Pilanl Investment and Industries Corporation Limited. “This is in proportion of their respective inter-se shareholding in ABCL,” the statement added.
On completion of the issuance, the promoter and group entities will hold about 70.54 percent in ABCL. Meanwhile, Advent International will hold a stake of approximately 4.15 percent, making it the largest non-promoter shareholder, The Economic Times reported. Advent International, one of the largest global private equity investors, boasted $36 billion in assets under management at the end of the last fiscal and has recently raised $17.5 billion for its ninth global fund. PremjiInvest through its affiliate will own a 4.11 percent of ABCL’s equity capital.