11.50am, June 2
Mr Modi at the Buddha
Tooth Relic Temple.
Indian PM attends multiple meetings and
events during recent trip to Singapore
REPORT ON PAGES 9, 10, 11 & 12
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India improves ranking in
childhood global index
INDIA has improved its ranking in the
world childhood index but stays at a
poor 113th position – up from 116th
last year – in the list of 175 countries
indexed by global child rights group
Save the Children.
The report commends India’s
achievements in reducing the rate of
child marriages which it said was a
major factor contributing to an
improved score in the index.
However, it said nutrition, infant
mortality and child labour remained
issues of grave concern in the country.
No Iftar party at Rashtrapati
Bhavan this year
AFTER nearly a decade, the Rashtrapati
Bhavan (official home of the President)
will not host an Iftar party this year with
President Ram Nath Kovind saying that
there should no religious observances at
the expense of taxpayers.
“After the President took office in
July last year, he said there would be no
religious observances at taxpayers’
expense. This is in keeping with the
principles of a secular state and it
applies to all festivities, irrespective of
religion,” said Mr Ashok Tandon, press
secretary to the President, in a tweet.
Officials said that Iftar parties have
been traditionally hosted at the
Rashtrapati Bhavan except during the
term of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
from 2002 to 2007.
Now Shimla is just 20 minutes
away from Chandigarh
THE travel distance between Shimla
and Chandigarh has been reduced to
just 20 minutes with the launch of a
heli-taxi service on June 4.
The state government in association
with helicopter service operator Pawan
Hans launched a heli-taxi service on the
Chandigarh-Shimla route, cutting down
the four-hour travel time by road.
The heli-taxi can carry 19 people and
a ticket costs Rs2,999 ($59). The service
is available on Monday and Friday
Union government rolls out
guidelines on adventure tourism
IN A bid to make adventure sports
safer in India, the tourism ministry
has announced elaborate safety
Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons
emphasised that, for India to be a
well-sought-after adventure sports
destination, the facilities and support
staff should be developed according
to global standards.
Prepared by a team of experts ,
these basic minimum safety
standards cover 18 land-based, seven
air-based and six water-based
Foreign Minister’s plane ‘goes
missing’ for 14 minutes
AN INDIAN Air Force plane carrying
External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj lost contact with air traffic
control for almost 14 minutes on June 2,
according to the Airports Authority of
Ms Swaraj, who was travelling to
Mauritius while on her way to attend a
BRICS (acronym for an association of
five major emerging national
economies: Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa) meeting in
South Africa, departed from
Thiruvananthapuram at 2.08pm.
The aircraft established contact with
the Male air traffic control (ATC) at
4.44pm but it could not contact the
Mauritius ATC after entering the
After the Mauritius ATC activated
the uncertainty code, the aircraft was
able to establish contact with it at
4.58pm and landed later. The
uncertainty code is initiated when a
flight is out of contact for 10 minutes.
Tripura raises compensation for
women victims of crimes
TRIPURA’S Bharatiya Janata Party-led
coalition government has raised
compensation to Rs3 lakhs ($300,000)
for women victims of various crimes.
“The minimum compensation would
be Rs50,000 ($992) and the maximum
Rs3 lakhs, considering the nature of the
crime,” said the state’s Education and
Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath.
Mumbai airport handled record
1,003 flights on June 5
THE Mumbai international airport,
among the busiest single-runway
airports in the world, set a new record of
handling 1,003 landings and take-offs
on June 5.
It broke its own previous record of
handling 988 flights in a day.
“This is the highest traffic handled in
a single day by any airport in India till
date,” said an airport spokesperson.
Kohli’s statue unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Delhi
INDIAN cricket captain Virat Kohli’s wax figure was unveiled at Madame
Tussauds in Delhi on June 6. The wax figure has been crafted from over 200
measurements and photographs taken during sessions with Kohli. The cricketer
joins other sports sensations in his signature batting pose in the interactive zone.
At the unveiling of his figure, Kohli said: “I sincerely appreciate the efforts and
incredible work undertaken in making my figure... I am grateful to my fans for
their love and support.”
PLANNED 10-day protest by
farmers demanding better
prices for their produce and loan
waivers is a sign of the growing agrarian
unrest in India that poses a challenge for
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is
seeking re-election next year.
Since June 1, thousands of farmers,
especially in the northern and central
parts of India, have refused to take their
produce, including cereals, vegetables
and pulses, to market. This has led to
shortages in many places, and price
hikes of 10 per cent to 20 per cent.
In Lasalgaon wholesale market in Ma-
harashtra, the supply of onions has
fallen by over 95 per cent.
In the latest protests, in which 130
farmers’ organisations are taking part,
farmers are demanding their loans be
waived and higher prices for their pro-
duce. This comes despite government in-
tervention at the beginning of each sow-
ing season to set a minimum price for ce-
reals and pulses, and thus prevent any
steep fall in prices. The government has
invited the farmers for talks.
For years, India’s agriculture has
been beset by multiple problems, from
dependence on the rains for water to
poor irrigation facilities. But farmers say
a large part of the problem is that they
are being held to ransom by middlemen.
Mr Abhimanyu Kohar, coordinator
and spokesman for the Rashtriya Kisan
Mahasangh, a nationwide farmers’
union, said farmers were in distress, but
were not on the government’s agenda.
“They are forced to sell their crops at
lower prices, with traders and middle-
men making money. They are spending
more to grow vegetables and are not
able to recover it,” said Mr Kohar. He
said more than 500,000 farmers sup-
ported the protests.
A crop failure or lower produce price
sends farmers, weighed down by loans,
into financial crisis.More than 12,000
kill themselves each year, according to
government estimates. Farming in-
comes have grown very slowly, by a mea-
gre 0.44 per cent over the last five years.
With farmers making up almost a
third of India’s total rural population of
83 million, the mounting agrarian stress
would be a problem for Mr Modi, who
has been trying to woo farmers ahead of
next year’s general election, said politi-
In this year’s budget, the Bharatiya
Janata Party-led government allocated
14.34 trillion rupees for rural infrastruc-
ture and agriculture, 24 per cent higher
than the previous year.
“If there is anything that really chal-
lenges this government, one is farmers’
distress and the other unhappiness
among younger people about employ-
ment opportunities,” said Dr Sandeep
Shastri, a political analyst and pro-vice-
chancellor of Jain University. “As a re-
sult, farmers are growing closer to state
parties. This would be a cause for alarm,
especially for the party in power.”
The BJP is already feeling the fallout
from the unhappiness among rural citi-
zens. It fared poorly in rural areas in the
December elections in Gujarat and,
more recently, in elections for the parlia-
mentary seat of Kairana, a sugarcane
growing region in Uttar Pradesh.
Farmers’ protests big worry
NNOVATION is the buzzword of
the day. Everyone uses it. The me-
dia uses it. The government uses
it. But what is it?
Like many buzzwords, there is as
much information as misinformation
This article seeks to discuss three
fundamental questions relating to inno-
vation: What is innovation? What
makes it important for small busi-
nesses? How can small businesses inno-
What is innovation?
Innovation is rooted in novelty and use-
fulness. To be an innovative product or
service, it must be new and original. In
addition, the novel elements of the
product or service must be meaningful
– they must accomplish the tasks the
product is designed for.
A product or service that is new but
not useful may one day become an in-
novation but for now it remains a curios-
A product or service that is useful
but not novel does not improve a cus-
tomer’s life. So, to be innovative, a prod-
uct or service must be novel and useful.
What makes it important for small busi-
Innovation allows firms to develop
technological advantages and foster re-
lationships that are difficult for com-
petitors to replicate.
The products and services offered
by a firm serve some of the needs of po-
Innovative companies focus on
learning how to better serve the needs
that they currently cater to and identify-
ing needs that they can serve in the fu-
For a customer, a focus on innova-
tion as the engine to better meet cus-
tomer needs unlocks value as it allows
the customer to achieve more than if us-
ing status quo products or services.
By enabling customers to achieve
more, innovative companies change
the nature of their relationship with
their customers, from one that is trans-
actional to one that is reputational.
This is why, in dynamic, competitive
markets like Singapore, customers
place a premium on firms that are able
to adapt and innovate as these firms en-
able their customers, in turn, to adapt
and innovate, creating a virtuous cycle
of wealth generation.
How can small businesses here lever-
age the opportunities of the world to
In the past, innovation was the domain
of mega-corporations like IBM. Today,
technological changes have made inno-
vation accessible to small businesses.
In particular, in the past, services
that are germane to entrepreneurship
were only available to large corpora-
tions as they required large invest-
For example, one needed in-house
legal counsel to protect intellectual
Today, the maturity of the entrepre-
neurial eco-system has given birth to
an entire industry dedicated to start-
ups and small-business entrepreneur-
In addition, modern technology has
made it easier and faster to source feed-
back, act on feedback and develop new
products and services.
For example, today, if you have an
idea, you can build a design, crowd-
fund the prototype, equity crowdfund
the working capital and initial invest-
ments and then launch the product – all
from a laptop, sitting in a co-working
This process was unimaginable a few
Importantly, these technological
changes have endowed small busi-
nesses, which tend to be more nimble
at taking advantage of market opportu-
nities, with an important competitive
advantage over their larger siblings.
In sum, these are exciting times.
There are many challenges due to the
rapid technology-driven disruptions
that surround us.
In a sense, one yearns for simpler
But, along with the challenges, tech-
nological change has presented us with
an opportunity to re-imagine our soci-
ety and our economy and to craft a new
tomorrow for us and our children.
HARI KRISHNA GARG
In association with
Anirban Mukherjee is Assistant
Professor of Marketing and Hannah
Chang Hanwen is Associate Professor
of Marketing at the Lee Kong Chian
School of Business, Singapore
DR NISHA SUYIEN
OUR skin is the inter-
face between our in-
ternal health and the
world around it. We
should endeavour to
keep this barrier healthy.
Understanding the nature of your skin is
important – your skin-care regimen
should vary depending on whether your
face is oily, dry or sensitive.
For dry or sensitive skin, avoid facial
cleansers that contain alcohol or fra-
grances. Instead, choose a gentle
cleanser with moisturising elements.
People with dry or sensitive skin
should take care not to exfoliate or scrub
the skin too often to avoid excessive irri-
tation. If the skin can tolerate, do so
once or twice a week – maximum.
For oily skin, a foamy cleanser is
more suitable. Some may choose to use
a normal facial cleanser and follow it up
with a toner or degreaser to remove the
When drying your skin after wash-
ing, use a towel to gently pat-dry. Do not
Limit washing of your face to once or
twice daily. With too frequent washing,
the skin of those with a dry surface may
On the other hand, oily skin may be-
come oilier with too frequent washing,
as excessive oil is produced in reaction
to the drying-out of skin with each
It is a good habit to
wash your face after exer-
cising, to prevent oil and
sweat from clogging the
When it comes to gen-
eral bathing and shower-
ing, do not shower in hot
water. As comfortable as it
may sometimes feel, this can dry out
Shower with lukewarm or room-tem-
perature water instead.
The elderly, especially, have a habit
of taking long, warm showers – some-
times 30 minutes at a go.
Long showers can likewise dry out
the skin. Limit showering time to five
minutes. It will go a long way to saving
water as well.
Another fallacy is the frequent use of
anti-bacterial soaps which people, espe-
cially the elderly, feel is required to
These soaps can be quite harsh, espe-
cially on ageing skin and can lead to dry
skin and even eczema.
One is never too young, too old or too
oily to moisturise.
This step is best done after washing
the skin, with the skin slightly damp. Ap-
plying a moisturiser then works to “seal
in” the moisture. In fact, for patients
with eczema, I recommend that they
should moisturise their en-
tire bodies just after a
This simple adjustment
in timing of application
makes full and effective use
of your moisturiser. If you
have acne, always look to
use a “non-comedogenic”
or “non-acnegenic” moisturiser.
This important word is normally writ-
ten on the product label. It means that
the moisturiser does not obstruct your
No matter your age, application of sun-
screen is a critically important third step
after cleansing and moisturising and
should be included in your daily skin-
The majority of ultra-violet (UV) ra-
diation is absorbed into skin in our
youth, from age 13 to 35 usually.
Features of sun-damage sets in later –
usually around age 40, sometimes even
in the 30s. By then it is difficult and usu-
ally expensive to reverse the effects.
Also, sun exposure is linked to many
forms of skin cancer.
In terms of the youthfulness and
beauty of skin, sun exposure leads to
premature skin ageing and pigmentary
Hyperpigmentation is particularly
evident in darker skin types.
Choose a sunscreen that offers protec-
tion against both UVA (long-wave) and
UVB (short-wave). Ideally, there should
be an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at
Many patients wonder if it is neces-
sary to obtain sunscreens of more than
A sunscreen of SPF 50, for example,
confers only marginally more protec-
tion. SPF in excess of 50 is unnecessary.
It is important to use sunscreen appro-
priately. These are important rules to fol-
Use sunscreen daily as far as possible.
The danger from sun exposure is
from 10am to 4pm.
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes to 30
minutes before the start of sun expo-
sure. Re-apply on a two-to four-hourly
basis to maintain its protective effect.
Be aware that sunlight reflected off
surfaces, such as sand on a beach and
the pavement next to an outdoor cafe, is
Try to seek shade wherever possible –
use covered walkways, an umbrella or
Tanning is an absolute no.
Oral sun-protective agents do not re-
place any of the above instructions. It is
only additive in its effect. Applying sun-
screen is still necessary.
Remember that this advice is for the
public in general. If you have any spe-
cific concerns or considerations, please
consult a dermatologist.
Dr Nisha Suyien Chandran is Head &
Consultant, Division of Dermatology at
the National University Hospital
Fuss-free skin care
Innovation and small business success
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