INDIAN EXPRESS 6th March 2020

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1)Who was Amrit Kaur, the woman mentioned in TIME magazine’s list of 100 influential women?

Who was Amrit Kaur?

Amrit Kaur was the first woman in independent India who joined the Cabinet as the Health Minister and remained in that position for 10 years. Before taking up the position of a Health Minister, Kaur was Mahatma Gandhi’s secretary.

During these 10 years, she founded the Indian Council for Child Welfare. She also laid the foundation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Lady Irwin College in Delhi in the following years. Born into the Kapurthala royal family, she was educated in Oxford and returned to India in 1918, and began to be drawn towards the work and teachings of MK Gandhi.

While Kaur advocated for equality, she was not in favour of reservations for women and believed that universal adult franchise would open the doors for women to enter into the legislative and administrative institutions of the country. In light of this, she believed that there was no place left for reservation of seats.

2) Explained: Why Indian markets are in the red

The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange fell by up to 1,459 points or 3.8 per cent on Friday and the rupee crashed 52 paisa against the dollar to trade at a 17-month low of 73.87 as both domestic and global factors hit the sentiments.

While RBI’s move to supersede Yes Bank board and imposition of withdrawal cap of Rs 50,000 did hurt the confidence on India’s banking and financial sector, the sharp fall in Asian markets on Friday morning on account of growing concerns over economic impact of coronavirus spread also played a role.

While all the 30-stocks that make the benchmark Sensex at the BSE fell in Friday morning trade, the banking index was leading the fall. As concerns grew over the financial sector following RBI’s move on Yes Bank Thursday evening, the BSE Banking index fell 4.15 per cent. Even the BSE finance index fell 3.98 per cent in the early trading hours.

The fall in Indian markets was also triggered by the decline in major Asian markets following concerns over spread of coronavirus and its impact on global economic growth. While NIkkei in Japan fell 2.9 per cent, Hang Send in Hog Kong and Shanghai Composite in China were down by 2.15 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

As for India, domestic factors such as fall of Yes Bank, DHFL, IL&FS, Jet Airways and many others only make the situation worse. Experts say that the weakness and lack of confidence in the banking and finance sector may hurt India’s economic growth revival and the finance market in general.


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