Government projects slower GDP growth

  • As per the data, the manufacturing sector is estimated to grow by 2% as com- pared to a robust growth of 6.9% in 2018­-19. Likewise, the growth in the construction sector for the fiscal is expected to see a sharp decline to 3.2% as against a growth of 8.7% in the previous year.
  • Economic growth slower to a six ­year low of 5% in the first quarter of the 2019­-20 fiscal, while slipping further to 4.5% growth in the second quarter ( July­-September).
  • The advanced estimates also forecast slower rate of growth for real Gross Value Added (GVA) at 4.9% as against 6.6% in 2018­-19.


Genome of Indian cobra sequenced

  • A consortium of scientists, including some from India, have mapped the genome of the Indian Cobra, among the most poisonous snakes in the country. Knowing the sequence of genes could aid in understanding the chemical constituents of the venom and contribute to development of new anti- venom therapies, which have remained practically unchanged for over a century.
  • “High ­quality genomes of venomous snakes… will enable generation of a comprehensive catalogue of venom­ gland­ specific toxin genes that can be used for the development of synthetic anti ­venom of defined composition,” the scientists said in the paper published in the peer ­reviewed journal Nature Genetics this week.


Iran threatens to ‘set ablaze’ the places ‘U.S. likes’

  • The leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened on Tuesday to “set ablaze” places supported by the U.S. over the killing of a top Iranian general in a U.S. airstrike last week, sparking cries from the crowd of sup- porters of “Death to Israel!”
  • According to a report on Tuesday by the semi­ official Tasnim news agency, Iran has worked up 13 sets of plans for revenge for Soleimani’s killing. The report quoted Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying that even the weakest among them would be a “historic nightmare” for the U.S.


Austria’s Kurz returns as world’s youngest govt. head

  • The leader of Austria’s conservatives Sebastian Kurz was sworn in on Tuesday as the world’s youngest democratically elected leader, at the head of a coalition with the Greens following the col- lapse of his previous alliance with the far­ right.
  • Vowing to “protect the climate and the borders”, the 33­ year ­old has become Chancellor of the Alpine country’s first government to include the Greens, an arrangement called “exotic” and “unlikely” by Austrian media.