The seizure of contraband gold from a diplomatic consignment in Thiruvananthapuram

30 kgs of gold were seized by custom personnel on Sunday at the International airport of Thiruvananthapuram. The package that landed by air cargo is said to be under the name of the person who enjoys ‘diplomat immunity’. According to the sources the bag belongs to the staff member of UAE consulate general in Thiruvananthapuram. Also, it is not confirmed whether the staff member was actually involved in this smuggling or not.

According to them, the bag was not picked up for 2 days and no claims regarding the bag were made so after taking permission from the external ministry, the customs office seized the “diplomatic bag”

“We had definite intelligence about this. A search is going on and the quantity may go up. We have detained one person and are lookout for 2 more,” said Sumit Kumar, custom commissioner in-charge of Kerala and Lakshadweep. 

The custom commissioner claimed it to be the largest seizure in the recent past.


One of the officials informed “At least 13 such consignments came to the country in one year and they all passed without any check due to diplomatic immunity. Some of them were heavier than the latest consignment which weighed 70 kg. We are also probing some events organized by state government departments.” All of these consignments landed in Thiruvananthapuram.

Also, the bag consist of “diplomatic immunity” and name of the person on which custom commissioner quoted “we had a certain question and as per normal protocol, we request them to help us.”

Sources from the airport said that the gold was concealed in a bag consisting of bathroom equipment to avoid the detection of gold and worth of this captured consignment is said to be in crores.

“It came two days ago but since no one came to claim it, the bag was inspected and the concealed gold found,” they said.

A big spike is seen in yellow metal smuggling cases since the prices of gold are escalated highly in the recent period. The past two top gold seizures were seen to happen in Kozhikode

International airport from a charted flight of the Middle East in the past two weeks The consignment is said to arrive from a charted flight.

No one was expecting this smuggle during the time of pandemic. This was shocking for the officers and normal people as well.

On this Officials said they barely expected smuggle scenarios to happen during these serious times of COVID – 19 pandemic and were expecting to have relaxed checking in charted planes but they were mistaken. The investigation is still going on regarding the smuggling and maybe after this incident, there will be more rule and regulation regarding the import and export of goods.

                                   By – Anjali Sharma

US WELCOMES UK’S HUAWEI BAN AND RELIANCE JIO PRAISED BY POMPEO

The United Kingdom has banned Huawei from its 5G network after December and the already installed gear would expect to be removed from the networks by 2027. United State government welcomes the UK’s ban from future 5G networks and also praises Jio for prohibiting Chinese companies’ types of equipment. It could mean the tower of 5G is delayed for two to three years and may cost up to 2 billion pounds.

 “We welcome news that the UK plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and end untrusted Huawei pieces of kit from existing networks. With this decision, the united kingdom joins a growing list of nations from round the world that are standing up for his or her national security by prohibiting the utilization of untrusted, high-risk vendors,” Pompeo said in a statement.

 Huawei is considered to be a pivotal issue in the geopolitical war between China and the US which claims the firm poses a significant cybersecurity threat and data can be stolen. It is a major U-turn after the Prime Minister said in January that the Chinese firm could be allowed a limited role in the future of faster technology but the American President, Trump pressured the UK to ban Huawei.

“The government agrees with the national cybersecurity sensor advice the simplest way secure our networks is for operators to prevent using new affected Huawei equipment to create the UK’s future 5G networks so from the end of this year telecoms operators must not buy any 5G types of equipment from Huawei.”- UK’s digital secretary, Oliver Dowden said.

The decision is an addition to a new feather in a cap of American government, which has been pushing allies to washout Huawei from their 5G networks, claiming that the Chinese firm is untrusted to national security. Chinese administration may lead to counter-attacks against Nokia and Ericsson if European countries move to ban Huawei.

 “Listening to all or any the rhetoric it had been clear the United Kingdom had succumbed to pressure from China hawks bashers,” said Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom.

 He also hoped that Chinese students would still be welcomed in the UK and also added that China was not seeking an Economic decoupling.

On the other side, Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo praised clean carriers like Jio in India.

 “We will still work with our British friends on fostering a secure and vibrant 5G ecosystem, which is critical to transatlantic security and prosperity.”- Pompeo added.

Donald Trump has also appealed to the Indian Prime Minister and other world leaders to ban the company. Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani had told Trump about Jio is the only network in the world to not have a single Chinese component. He also announced that it has developed 5G telecom solutions and it will be ready for trials as soon as the 5G spectrum is available.

 “India’s clean app approach will boost its sovereignty, national security.”- stated Mike Pompeo on India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese applications.

                                                                          -Saswati Chattopadhyay

Markets: – A constantly changing Landscape

COVID-19 pandemic is a Humongous problem for companies everywhere, and it’s practically impossible to ignore the issue – it has changed the way business is executed everywhere. Many owners and work managers are failing to shift the regular marketing strategies to a digital marketing (The new normal). They are overlooking the situation because perhaps they have hope that some sudden turn of events towards normalcy will occur in the times of chaos. Whatever may be the cause but this inability to adapt will cause grave concerns to the economic survival of the company. Indian Markets, for the past few years, are constantly in a transition.

“Market is about two things, Marketing and Sales”

Online Shopping has been one of the major causes of loss to many Retailers and even whole-sellers, especially in urban localities. Because online markets are controlled by big multinational companies they marginalize their profit shares to such a low that, shopkeepers fail to catch up with them. So shopkeepers joined hands with them, this move was beneficial for both as the Online platform’s variety received a boost and reach of Shopkeepers increased to farthest corners of India and World.   

Many organizations have shown great adaptability by appointing digital marketing. This pandemic has made it absolutely essential for any trader, businessman, or Shopkeeper to appoint Digital Medium of Marketing and sales.

  • The impact – COVID: 19 on Market

There is no business which lies unaffected by the pandemic. In turn, this unaccustomed reaction has had a detrimental ‘trickle’ effect on larger B2B companies work as providers to these smaller businesses.

Every business, be it your neighbourhood departmental store or an enormous multinational firm, can benefit from digital marketing. Customers still need the products and services as much as ever—what these companies need to do is change the way they reach their target audiences. Even if a small enterprise doesn’t have an online page or portal (one in four do not have), it’s not very late to join in the businesses that are thriving online.

  • Coming to – HOW TO?

It’s time for the affected businesses to make the transition from a fortress store to a digital provider by contacting their customers, reviving unused online assets like websites and social media profiles, and pedalling full speed ahead.

  • Shifting daily operations online

There are very few organizations that cannot make the transition of their daily operations. Credit to video conferencing applications like Zoom, Skype, and many other executives and managers can communicate and impart instructions to staff and hold client meetings from anywhere. 

  • Sales teams can take orders and reservations and provide services to customers via email, chat, or video. They no longer have to commute; they can even start work early leaving customers with longer support hours.
  • Services that were previously delivered in person are surprisingly amenable to video presentations. Clients can pay online and receive a video link to live sessions.

Many businesses are cutting costs on their marketing efforts due to COVID-19, but what they should really be doing is grabbing advantage of the new opportunities that are rising.

This emphasis on digital marketing is not something that they’ll want to slow down on once the lockdown ends. Online shopping is going to stop no-time soon, and most companies will find those web-based interactions to be convenient than in-person meetings.

Stores will reopen but alongside newly adopted ways of selling and engaging with customers.

Talking of Digital Marketing, Digital Services, Digital India, we find one thing common that is Digital. Technologies and Gadgets are sure to expand and improve and in the process, a large number of job and services opportunities will emerge in Technology Development, Gadget Repair, Software development, coding, Data encryption, Data decryption, and Data Handling spheres.

  • Skills

India has the largest workforce worldwide but India stands nowhere in the list of Developed nations. The reason cited for this poor performance is the lack of skill in the workforce. Blaming only the individuals is not right because the Indian education System plays spoilsport due to its monotonous behaviour.

A number of govt. backed Skill Development programs have been launched recently but the major hurdle in the success of these programs is insuring proper implementation.

To grab these upcoming opportunities and chances by both hands we need to be prepared, these opportunities will demand skills like familiarization with Gadgets, computer languages and other technical know how’s? Those, who will fulfil these needs, will surely get an edge.

  • Author’s Take

While digital marketing may be regarded right now as an emergency plan, but by the time this is over, everyone will likely realize that it’s more than a temporary measure rather than a sustainable one. So “GO DIGITAL, BE FUTURE READY” and upstage and up veal everything.

~By Shubham Yadav

TWITTER ACCOUNTS GOT HACKED : BITCOIN SCAM

On Wednesday, 15th July 2020 around 4:00 PM dozens of prominent personalities’ twitter account in America was hacked including – Joseph R. Biden Jr., ex-president Barak Obama ,Kanye West, Bill Gates and Elon Musk 

Not only this but also the same message was posted on twitter “send bitcoin and famous people will send back double your money.” Initially, the hacker attacked the prominent cryptocurrency leaders and many  companies but as soon as list came up the hackers main target were people from Hollywood industries, politics  and other famous personalities.

For prevention, twitter has deleted the bitcoin message from many accounts but after deleting the message is still been posted again and again through this practice hacker and is symbolizing Twitter as powerless and in no control of their app. For a few hours, Twitter has shut down some of their services due to which verified users will not be able to tweet.

Twitter posted a tweet saying “you will unable to tweet or reset the password while we review and address the incident.” They also informed the users that at 8:30 PM they will able to use all the services of Twitter.

Twitter’s spokesman also acknowledged “We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they have accessed.” Moreover, he also added “we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal system and tools while we are investigation is ongoing” 

The chief executive of Twitter – Joe Biden on Wednesday night posted on twitter “tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happen.” 

One of the culprit behind this hacking is speculated to be North Korea as they have been shown to possess documents of using Bitcoin in their past history, but according to some this might be acchildish reason for doing so. Also, according to American Intelligence Agency this work is  likely to be of an individual hacker rather than a state. The hacker did not attack on the account of most powerful user ‘President Donald Trump’ and after this incident his account is under special security.

Mr. Stamos said “It could have been much worse. We got lucky that this is what they decide to do with the power” 

According to Mr Stamos, the hacker/hackers have committed some mistake as they sent the same message from every account which makes it easy for them to detect and delete. Also, as they ask money through bitcoin this shows that they are unwilling to use the accounts of prominent personality for the big scam. 

Well, at last, it is very disappointing as Twitter is one of the most used social media platforms and still they do not have proper security which may cause a problem in the future.

                                                      By: Anjali Sharma 

Self-reliant Economy: Fact or Fiction?

The month of May saw Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, disclosed an economic package of $266 billion to tackle the ongoing pandemic. “This package will work to bring about a self-reliant India,” said Prime Minister Modi. Self-reliance has been an issue that has dominated Indian thinking since time immemorial. In recent times, this concept has been making its presence felt, particularly in the economic sphere. The Indian economy has made a mark by emerging as the 5th largest economy. Moreover, a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) stated that the country’s GDP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) would likely overtake that of the United States by 2050. The Indian economy has seen unparalleled developments in the economic arena that has left many wondering if India would soon claim to be a self-reliant economy. In 2019 Prime Minister Modi made an official announcement regarding India’s ability to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024-2025. This vision has been claimed to be something challenging while being achievable by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharam. If India manages to achieve this feat, in no time can it declare itself as a self-reliant economy?

However, it has been pointed out by several professionals and experts of the field that such a leap is not possible for India at this stage. Scholars seem to think that for the economy to grow into a self-sufficient one, the growth rate needs to be at least 12% per year. “$5 trillion is a good aspirational goal. But please understand that a $5 trillion economy in a matter of 5 to 6 years cannot be achieved unless the economy grows in a sustained way between 8 and 9 per cent. It has to be closer to 9 per cent because today the Indian economy is $2.7 trillion. So, $5 trillion means almost doubling the size of the economy. And that is possible only if the economy grows at 9 per cent per annum in a sustained way for 5 to 6 years,” said former RBI governor, C. Rangarajan. He also opined that for the nation to qualify as one with a developed economy, an approximate of USD 12,000 needs to be the per capita income and this level of growth was pegged to be possible based on a steady rate of 9% per annum.

Towards self-sufficiency

Prime Minister Modi in an address on May 12, 2020, stated “…21st century belongs to India…this vision strengthens…our resolve of self-reliant India…the meaning of self-reliance has changed…India does not advocate self-centric arrangements…India’s progress is…integral to that of the world….imperative for us to move forward with bold reforms to create a self-reliant India…to handle tough competition in the global supply chain…the economic package will increase the efficiency of all sectors… we need to play a big role in the global supply chain.” The message how India will “integrate not isolate” from this point forward was made clear as day by the Finance Minister on May 13, 2020. These aspirational words by the Prime Minister and then reiterated by the Finance Minister has led many to wonder if this the time when the Indian economy will take the big leap.

“When India speaks of becoming self-reliant, it doesn’t advocate self-centeredness but self-reliance that would bring happiness, cooperation, and peace to the whole world,” Mr Modi said in his speech regarding Aatmanirbhar Abhiyan. The Prime Minister claimed that there are five pillars to becoming self-reliant. “Infrastructure should become the identity of India; System should be based on the 21st-century technology-driven arrangements; Vibrant Demography is our source of energy for a self-reliant India; and Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity,” said the PM Modi. Prime Minister talked about how it is important to strengthen all the stakeholders as this would directly help fulfil their demand and enhance their capacity. He opined that it is the only way forward to ensure a self-reliant India. Prime Minister Modi “The definition of self-reliance has changed in the globalized world; it is different from being self-centred. Self-reliance contributes to the progress of the whole world.” While citing and example regarding the ongoing crisis, Modi explained how this crisis posed as an opportunity in front of the nation. Manufacturing of PPE and N-95 masks has shot through the roof to 2 lakh pieces daily.

The new economic package declared by the government which is a combination of the previous packages along with a new one totals to Rs 20 Lakh Crore which is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s GDP. It was made clear by the Prime Minister that the said package will give a push to sectors that will include land, labour, liquidity, and laws, among other areas. Also, it will accommodate the needs of various sectors including the cottage industry, MSME, labourers, middle class, and heavy industries. Set of bold reforms is the need of the hour to make India self-reliant claimed the Prime Minister. The changes will promote business, attract investment, and further strengthen the “Make in India” mission. According to the Prime Minister, tough situations India might face in the global platform along with the need to expand efficiency were kept in mind while preparing the economic package. Speaking about the impact of the pandemic, the Prime Minister stated “The crisis has taught us the importance of local manufacturing, market, and supply chains. All our demands during the crisis were met locally Now, it is time to be vocal about local products and help them become global.”

How can it be achieved?                  

The crisis that has dawned on the world has destroyed several economies. Major economic players of the world have been hit hard. Experienced people have been claiming that the ongoing worldwide lockdown would usher in sharp economic decline with certain companies being hit the worst. For India to take advantage of this situation, it is a necessity to incentivize its companies to help them cope up from the hard blow. The Economic Times has brought to light how this is an “opportunity in the making.” Several propositions have been given by The Economic Times regarding the strengthening of the economy. They are:

  1. The nation should prioritize investments in the sectors concerning local SMEs and MSMEs so that the nation does not have to rely on investments made by the MNCs.
  2. The electronics industry should be the centre of attention. SOPs should be offered to Indian manufacturers that would help them to “set up and scale-up facilities.”
  3. To compete on a global scale, innovation needs to be ramped up. The great demographic dividend can be used to “innovate and build an IPR regime.”
  4. Another area of focus should be the Defense Electronics and Telecom industry. The government needs to develop “policies to encourage Indian private sector companies” to invest in this particular sector as this one sector is dominated by PSUs and Foreign companies. Along with this, the government needs to restructure the defence manufacturing PSUs as they are scattered all over the nation. The Economic Times suggests that these labs should be paired up with SMEs and MSMEs.
  5. As the crisis might delay the rollout of the 5G networks worldwide, India should try to come up with an indigenous 5G telecom gear. The nation can use the USOF and TDB funds to invest in building solutions for 5G and rural broadband.

    A strategy should be developed by the Government along with a 5-year action plan which would be formulated based on advice by the companies working in the sector instead of the consultants.
  6. The nation’s focus needs to be towards IPR and platforms that generate and store data as data is considered as the “new oil.” It should be consumed and monetized to ramp up the economy. “India’s contribution to the global telecom supply chain is minuscule while being the 2nd largest telecom market in the world. The focus should shift towards the supply side from the demand side. India imports electronics worth 400B$ and this needs to change” stated The Economic Times.

Is it achievable?

In a talk about the PM’s address regarding Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Mahindra and Mahindra MD Pawan Goenka stated “There are many factors. Some of it related to the industry itself, some of it relates to policies and some it related to the constraints that we have both internal as well as external and our competitiveness.” The lockdown has acted as a catalyst that renewed interest of the Government regarding manufacturing in India. “Furniture has an extremely high potential for export and currently India has very little furniture export. Leather and footwear also have tremendous export potential. Yet, we are still importing footwear,” said Mr Pawan Goenka. To ramp up the GDP of the nation about the share of manufacture, the MD opined, “clearly, the manufacturing growth in India has been less than what the country deserves. It is not something where you can flip the switch and the growth will happen. Several factors are responsible and the competitiveness of the industry is one of the major factors.” He clearly stated that the cost of the finished product needs to be in line with ‘competitiveness’ of the prices in the markets we are looking to take control of and this is applicable not only for China but also for other nations. The nation must look at the different finished prices of goods available on the market. “India has great potential to take manufacturing value addition to $1 trillion by 2025. Even though we have had a setback because of COVID- 19, I believe we can still do it,” said Goenka.

A prima facie overview of the economic scene of India would somehow support these “throwaway” claims, but after taking a good look at other variables one can be expected to arrive easily at the conclusion that such a jump is not at all plausible. Economists claimed that the devastating effects of the pandemic will be felt by all and manifest in the form of a decreased GDP in the year 2021. The dependency of the Indian economy on the consumption of private sector, investments by MNCs, and trade carried on by external factors will be immensely affected. The sector that takes up nearly 30% of the Indian market consists of the MSMEs. They might not be able to sustain themselves as a result of non-ending nationwide lockdown. Several ‘at risk’ business organizations might fall apart like a house of cards due to the disastrous economic situation left by the crisis after it disappears. Even if the economic growth follows a steady growth rate of 7.5% per year, $5 trillion economy by the nation can be achieved not by 2024-2025 but might be delayed by 2 years at least. The rate has, however, been based on a 4.5% inflation rate. The prevailing situation impedes any such measure that might help the economic situation and aid in the further realization of the dream of a self-reliant economy. However, the various variables one would take into account while coming to the answer regarding self- sufficiency of the economy should be understood to not be something ‘rock solid’ as the opportunities provided if used correctly might give shape to this dream.

                                                                                                                   Sagarika Mukhopadhyay