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OCTOBER 26, 2018
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New terminal at Hyderabad
international airport opens
THE Interim International
Departure Terminal at the Rajiv
Gandhi International Airport in
Hyderabad was opened on Tuesday.
All international departures will
now operate from this terminal,
which has been built to facilitate the
Built at a cost of Rs50 crores, the
terminal plans to offer a “premium
check-in” facility, where passengers
travelling first or business class can
experience a separate, personalised
and assisted service.
Karnataka plans blueprint to
make Dussehra tourist-centric
KARNATAKA is planning a blueprint
to make Dussehra tourist-centric after
an estimated 50 lakh tourists visited
Mysuru during the festival from Oct 10
The illumination of the Mysuru
Palace, air show and flower shows
attracted thousands of tourists from
across the world, generating revenue
for the state.
On Nov 1, which marks Karnataka’s
formation day, the southern state will
also celebrate a folk art festival called
Janapada Jatre in a bid to preserve the
fading folk art forms.
First made in India engine-less
train gears up for trial
INDIA’S first self-propelled train will
begin its trials next month.
The train was designed and built by
Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory in 18
months. The executive coaches features
modern amenities as well as
360-degree rotatable seats imported
Witness in Kerala nun rape case
FATHER Kuriakose Kattuthara, who
had given statements against Bishop
Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of
raping a Kerala nun, was found dead
under mysterious circumstances in
Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district on
Monday. Kattuthara’s family in Kerala
suspects foul play.
The Punjab Police said a probe is
under way into the 62-year-old priest’s
death. He was found dead in a room in
St Mary’s Church in Dasuya town,
about 180km from Chandigarh.
He was under the Jalandhar diocese
which is headed by Mulakkal.
First domestic cruise between
Mumbai and Goa launched
INDIA flagged off its first domestic
cruise from Mumbai to Goa last
Saturday. The ship called Angriya set
sail from the Mumbai Port Trust’s
newly refurbished domestic cruise
It has six decks and 104 cabins and
can ferry 399 passengers at a time. It
will run four times a week, except
during the monsoon season. A one-way
ticket ranges from Rs7,000 to
Rs12,000. One of the crew members
described the experience as “a dream
come true” as he never thought he
would do a cruise in India.
Walk with Gandhi in virtual
WITH a moon rock, a chunk of
Mount Everest and the chance to
stroll with Mahatma Gandhi, the
Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s
House) in Delhi has lifted the veil
on its treasures in its new museum.
The space recreates moments
from India’s independence
struggle such as Gandhi’s
landmark protest march against
the salt tax in 1930 and the 1919
Jallianwala Bagh massacre of
civilians by troops under British
Technology allows visitors to
walk with Gandhi in the virtual
reality room, while interactive
features include a flipbook of
October 26, 2018
Smartphones boost for economy
Bright spot... A
worker tests a
handset at its
plant in Noida.
MARTPHONE-maker Lava is a
small player in India’s booming
mobile communications indus-
try, but it has become a poster child for
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambi-
tious effort to make India a global hub
for electronics manufacturing.
Just a few years ago, Lava imported
cheap phones from China. Now it builds
its own devices at two factories on the
outskirts of New Delhi that employ
about 3,500 people. Expansion plans
are in the works.
Mr Modi’s vow to create tens of mil-
lions of new jobs has stuttered on many
fronts, but domestic smartphone produc-
tion has emerged as a bright spot for
Asia’s third-largest economy.
Along with local firms such as Lava,
global smartphone giants including Sam-
sung, Oppo and Xiaomi are expanding
rapidly in India and starting to bring
along components suppliers while driv-
ing contract manufacturers like Foxconn
to ramp up.
More than 120 new manufacturing
units have created about 450,000 jobs in
the mobile phone industry over the past
four years, according to the Indian Cellu-
lar and Electronics Association, thanks
largely to the “Make in India” campaign
and a phased plan featuring stiff duties
on imported devices and parts.
That growth has made India the
world’s second-biggest mobile phone
maker and positioned it for further
growth as trade tensions and rising costs
hobble China’s world-leading electron-
ics manufacturing sector.
“India has an opportunity to become
a major player in the global supply chain
because we have a very strong domestic
economy,” Mr Vikas Agarwal, the India
head of Chinese smartphone maker
OnePlus, said. The country still needs to
encourage the production of high-value
components as well as research and de-
velopment, Mr Agarwal added, “but at
least we are off to a very good start”.
The Indian industry’s emergence is es-
pecially visible in Noida, where Lava is
based. Once a suburb for tech outsourc-
ing firms, Noida is now bursting with
companies making everything from
headphones and chargers to high-end
Mr Sanjeev Agarwal, Lava’s head of
manufacturing, says local production is
helping it reduce costs and build high-
quality devices that can sell for less than
Much of the company’s product de-
sign is still done in China, Mr Agarwal
said, but the company plans to bring that
work to India over the next few years.
The local presence allows quicker inno-
vation, he said, as well as lower, tariff-
Lava has some big neighbours in
Noida. Samsung this year opened what
it said was the world’s biggest mobile
phone plant there.
The South Korean giant last year said
it will spend Rs49.2 billion to expand ca-
pacity at the plant over three years.
Not far from Samsung’s factory,
China’s Oppo, one of India’s top smart-
phone players, is building a massive
plant too. It is expected to open soon.
Working hard to lessen inequality... PM Lee delivering his opening remarks at the
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Man given stern
torn flag image
A FORMER DBS em-
ployee who posted an im-
age of a ripped Singapore
flag on Facebook was
given a stern warning by
police on Oct 3.
The warning was
given following investiga-
tions and in consultation
with the Attorney-Gen-
Mr Avijit Das Pat-
naik’s post in August
showed a black T-shirt
with a graphic of a Singa-
pore flag being torn, re-
vealing an Indian flag un-
The 44-year-old was
investigated under the
Singapore Arms and Flag
and National Anthem
Rules, which has a rule
stating that no person
shall treat the flag with
Mr Patnaik, a Singa-
pore permanent resident
who has lived here for a
decade, posted it ahead
of India’s Independence
Day on the Singapore In-
dians and Expats page on
A caption in Hindi
said “Phir bhi dil hai…”,
which roughly translates
to “Still my heart is…”
and alludes to a popular
Hindi song that talks
about always feeling love
for the motherland, In-
Mr Patnaik said he did
not design the image and
had not meant to cause of-
The Straits Times
S SINGAPORE progresses,
it needs to also ensure the
country’s poor are not disad-
vantaged or left behind, Prime Min-
ister Lee Hsien Loong said at a re-
cent dialogue with Singaporeans.
Another important point he un-
derlined is that in Singapore’s meri-
tocratic system, every effort should
be made to bring everyone to a good
This would give everyone a fair
chance to do well and compete, re-
gardless of whether they are from
rich or poor families, or whether
their parents have connections or
not, he added.
PM Lee was speaking to 530
grassroots leaders at a closed-door
post-National Day Rally dialogue
organised by the People’s Associa-
tion on Oct 14.
Transcripts of his opening re-
marks and part of the question-and-
answer session were released to the
media on Monday.
A significant portion of his
speech was on the hot-button issues
of income inequality and social mo-
bility, topics that have dominated
the national discourse in recent
Inequality and the lack of social
mobility are threats to the Govern-
ment’s objective of improving the
lives of everyone, he said.
But inequality is not unique, he
noted. It exists everywhere, and it
has always existed in Singapore.
“In every society, there is a cer-
tain amount of inequality, and there
is no society where the top and the
bottom are the same,” he said.
In Singapore, “if you look back
50 years, a lot of people were poor
and lived miserably, and still there
were rich towkays (business own-
ers) and landlords. And there was a
range from the rich to the poor ”.
Over the years, he said, the Gov-
ernment has worked hard to lessen
the inequality through a progressive
income tax system and high-quality
and affordable housing, education
and healthcare for all.
But PM Lee believes safeguard-
ing social mobility is even more im-
portant than reducing inequality.
“Because people can accept that
some are rich, some are poor, pro-
vided if I am poor I have a chance to
work hard and get better off,” he
He added: “If I am poor, my chil-
dren have a chance to study hard
and improve their lives. And if they
improve their lives, they will im-
prove my life.”
That is what happened in the pre-
vious generation, and many success-
ful people today came from poor
families, PM Lee said.
“But if it is not like that, if people
are poor, say, there is no hope, the
doors are closed, that they will al-
ways remain poor, and their chil-
dren too, no matter what they do,
then I do not think people will ac-
cept it.” For that reason, a lot of gov-
ernment policies are targeted at pre-
venting social stratification from tak-
ing root in Singapore, he said.
Citing pre-school education for
all, he said the move is to ensure that
if parents cannot afford to send their
child to a “posh place, you still have
a good and affordable pre-school
which will bring you to a good point
when you reach Primary 1, and you
are at a good point to start your for-
Similarly, HDB towns are de-
signed such that rental blocks and
sold flats of various sizes are mixed,
so that people of different income
groups get to interact, he said.
“Because we want high- and
low-income families to live together
side by side, get along with one an-
other, interact,” he said.
The Straits Times
PM Lee: Protecting social
mobility is key
INSTEAD of the “5 plus-minus 1” per cent
growth of yesteryear, Singapore’s economy will
likely enter a phase of “3 plus-minus 5” per cent
growth, arising from technological disruption and
global trade tensions, said Minister for Trade and
Industry Chan Chun Sing.
This new reality will have wide implications for
companies and whole industries that fall on either
side of the spectrum, he added. The wider growth
range means redistribution through social policies
will be affected too, since it will be more difficult
to help everyone move together.
Speaking at the Future Economy Conference
and Exhibition at the NTUC Centre on Monday,
Mr Chan outlined what should be the economic
strategy for Singapore firms in a likely future of
The Government, he said, will transit from hav-
ing only broad-based measures in the past to also
having industry-specific strategies as a comple-
ment since the wider range of growth impacts
each industry differently. For poor-performing
companies, the goal is to recycle land, labour and
capital. This means moving them out of unproduc-
tive industries, redeploying their factors of pro-
duction into more productive ones.
“At the business level, the businesses must be
prepared to say that ‘this is not going to go very far
if I continue on this particular track and I need to
fundamentally change’,” he said.
Average performers at the 3 per cent growth
level will also need to go beyond digitalising cur-
rent processes to re-engineering the product or
service entirely, he added.
Even the most productive firms will require a
strategy aimed at expanding their global market
share or the size of the market, otherwise Singa-
pore will end up with a productivity problem.
“Some companies might have high productiv-
ity, but if the market does not expand as fast, it
means that they need fewer people to get the same
output. This means that there will be excess
labour that will be displaced to sectors that have
average or below-average growth,” said Mr Chan.
The Straits Times
Chan Chun Sing:
Prepare for wider
and its impact
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