Wholesale Inflation Rises, Nipah Virus Vaccine Trials Begin

In the month of December, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation rose to 0.73%, primarily due to an increase in food prices. This rise marks a significant change from the negative zone, where the WPI inflation remained from April to October, turning positive in November at 0.26%. According to a statement from the Commerce and Industry Ministry on January 15th, the positive rate of inflation in December 2023 is mainly attributed to the increase in prices of food articles, as well as machinery & equipment, other manufacturing, other transport equipment, and computer, electronics & optical products.

The aviation industry is facing challenges due to low-visibility conditions at the Delhi airport, significantly disrupting flight operations. Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia emphasized on January 15th that all stakeholders are working tirelessly to minimize the impact of fog-related issues and passenger inconvenience. He also stressed that unruly passenger behavior is unacceptable.

In an effort to combat the deadly Nipah virus, scientists at the University of Oxford in the U.K. have initiated the first human vaccine trials. This virus, which has had a significant impact on many Asian countries including India, can be fatal in around 75% of cases. Recent outbreaks have been reported in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and India, with a notable incident in Kerala in September last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first installment of benefits amounting to ₹540 crore to one lakh beneficiaries of a rural housing scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM-JANMAN). During the virtual event on January 15th, he stressed the importance of ensuring the benefits of various welfare schemes reach all individuals, even those in the most remote areas, guaranteeing the inclusive growth of the country.

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The stock market saw a significant surge as the Sensex closed above the 73,000 level for the first time, while the Nifty scaled the 22,000-point peak on Monday. This achievement was primarily powered by a rally in IT shares, Reliance, and HDFC Bank, with the BSE Sensex jumping 759.49 points or 1.05% to settle at a lifetime closing high of 73,327.94.

Artificial intelligence poses risks to job security around the world, with the IMF chief stating that it will impact 40% of jobs globally. However, it also offers a “tremendous opportunity” to boost flagging productivity levels and fuel global growth.

The Congress party, led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi, is focused on promoting peace and harmony in Manipur. Rahul Gandhi expressed his support for the people of Manipur and emphasized the party’s commitment to restoring peace in the state.

In a devastating update from the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, it was reported on January 15th that at least 24,100 people have been killed in the territory in more than three months of war between Palestinian militants and Israel.

Passenger unrest was witnessed at the Delhi airport as an IndiGo flight to Goa faced a delay of over eight hours due to low visibility caused by severe fog. A passenger charged towards a pilot and hit him while the aircraft was on the ground, highlighting the impact of flight disruptions on passenger behavior.

BSP supremo Mayawati announced that her party would go it alone in the coming Lok Sabha elections, signaling a potential post-poll alliance with other parties. Similarly, former Union minister Milind Deora justified his decision to quit the Congress and join Shiv Sena, citing the Grand Old Party’s deviation from its ideological and organizational roots.

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In a tragic loss for the music industry, noted Malayalam music director K.J. Joy passed away at the age of 77 at his residence in Chennai. Known as the first ‘techno musician’ in the Malayalam film music world, Joy had been bedridden for some time following a stroke.

As the top leaders from across the world gather for the World Economic Forum, a survey of chief economists forecast a weakening of the global economy in 2024 and accelerated geo-economic fragmentation. The global economic prospects remain subdued, according to the Chief Economists Outlook report of the World Economic Forum.

The White House expressed the view that “it’s the right time” for Israel to scale back its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, exposing growing differences between the close allies on the 100th day of the war.

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