Sree Iyer: Hello, Namaskar and welcome to episode number 116. Today is the 11th of March 2021. We do not have Sridhar Chityalaji today. He is under the weather a little bit. He’s still recovering from the vaccine shot that he took yesterday. We hope to have him back tomorrow.
And in the main news, today we have a year after the pandemic had hit said the world, the world exhibits optimism and positive signs of recovery.
The house passes the 1.9 trillion stimulus bill and has sent it to Biden for his signature.
The United States and China are going to have a high-level meeting in Alaska next week. This is a significant development and the pentagon is bracing for the probable deployment of Iran’s Nuclear weapons.
In the United States news, Top Defense and State Department officials are to visit Japan and Korea for security discussions. The defence secretary will be visiting India first and then from there he will be also joining this group.
The United States and China are going to have a high-level meeting in Alaska next week. Would this mean that the discussions remember that there was an impasse after phase one of tariff negotiations had come to a halt because the United States had said that China had deliberately put in verbiage to exclude it from honouring its side of commitment? Should there be a natural cause and that was the covid vaccine and this was in January 2020 perhaps that would be one of the things that will be coming up? But more importantly, there is increased vigilance along the first island and the second islands in the South China Sea and the East China Sea and also the United States as being actively telling India that China is amassing troops on its side even though there appears to have been a pullback in just one area. So all this is going to be discussed and let us see how that plays out.
Lloyd Austin the United States defence secretary will be meeting India’s Defence minister Rajnath Singh to broaden ties. So this is a commitment that was started, if you remember in the last few months defence secretary Esper also came to India along with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which could have been thought of as a two plus two talk. So there is a continuing dialogue going on at the very highest level and it is heartening to see that the Biden Administration appears to be continuing in the foreign policy where the Trump Administration has left off.
Biden says the border is not open while calling for the expansion of legal entry. 500 National Guard sent to the Border. We have been telling you till yesterday that close to 102,000 people entered the United States illegally in the month of February and now 10 days have elapsed in March and perhaps a number is equally high. Suddenly this Administration is waking up to the reality that there could be an uncontrolled exodus and now it is beginning to the crackdown. I think we ever suggested this to the first place ought to be fired. If you see Trump Administration, he did not hesitate to fire anybody, if he felt that they were not up to the mark. Certainly, some people have really read the signs wrong here. In fact, Biden administration has been shown to be flip-flopping on several issues and I think it is it behoves the administration to start looking at who is sending these crossed mixed messaging and to set its house in order.
The Senate confirms Merrick Garland as the United States Attorney General and Marcia fudge as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
In India South Asia update, India’s second indigenous nuclear submarine the Arighat is to be commissioned this year. And you will remember that India had Arihant before but, there was a problem that was caused because of a shoot being closed incorrectly and that caused extensive damage and we don’t know the status of that submarine, well let’s hope that has been brought up to operational status. We will give you the update as and when we receive that.
Sittwe a deepwater Port built by India in Myanmar is to be operational soon and will help the trade and commerce of Mizoram. This perhaps explains why the Modi government has been very very soft on its response to the coup in Myanmar. Modi government has introduced Rupees 1.97 lakh crores worth PLI schemes to promote Domestic Manufacturing in 13 key sectors. Two or three days ago Sridhar Chityala had mentioned which segments of the industry have attracted this investment and we will again touch upon this topic when he is back.
In Asia news, Japan is limiting foreign Airlines to allow only up 100 passengers per flight. Now, if you think of an Airbus 787 that has perhaps about 400 plus seating capacity. So rough estimate would be 33 per cent to 25 per cent occupancy is what Japan is saying the foreign Airline should carry as their load.
Foxconn is set to make iPhone 12 in India shifting it from China. The iPhone 12 If you remember viewers, there were three models and in the United States the iPhone 12 mini has not been setting very well and they are even thinking of cutting back on production on that model. But, it is possible that the iPhone 12 mini might find resonance in countries like India and might sell well. It’s a good thing that such a mainstream product of Apple is going to be manufactured in India.
China leaders to agree on vaccine aid to counter China influence. Now, what is happening with the Chinese vaccine many countries who had originally signed up, have now walked away from the Chinese vaccine. We don’t know the reasons for that and it’s one of the things where India has had a rare diplomatic win across the world. It has engaged with many countries and has supplied vaccine to many countries. We’ve been saying this for a while now certainly the vaccine diplomacy of Modi and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has been a huge hit. Let’s hope that India goes on to build more strength from this and establish strong ties with all its Partners for whom it is supplying vaccine. And we also told you that India’s vaccine is the cheapest.
China and Russia signed a memorandum on Lunar Research Station. We touch more upon this in the next few episodes.
In Europe and Middle East Africa news, Italy has made Sputnik 5 by Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer likely to ship to EU once it is approved. And I know for a fact that Pfizer has also applied to India for trying to manufacture its vaccine in India. So whether it is the source of its own vaccines or it is a manufacturing powerhouse for other countries vaccines India is certainly becoming the vaccine leader of the world and it’s probably only number two to the United States and as time plays out. We will see the effect of this in the years to come.
Germany expects a steady rise in vaccine supply through July.
Pentagon is bracing for a probable deployment of Iran’s nuclear weapons.
In the markets, the house has passed the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus Bill and resented to Biden for Signature and you may have seen our episode yesterday. We detailed the breakdown of how this 1.9 trillion is going to be distributed among various segments.
The Dow closes at a record about 32,000 and the yield on treasury has dipped to 1.52% and the inflation has been very tame in February. In fact, markets are up today.
It is expected that this growth will continue to go and there is a 38 billion Bond auction that showed that there is enough demand to stay off investors fear because there was a fear that the United States bond market might collapse, but I don’t think that is happening.
So that’s all we have for you today. Thank you very much. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to our Channel, donate to our cause and also join our membership. Thanks and Namaskar. See you all tomorrow.