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Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back?

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Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 1
Wednesday, 22 Dec 2021
Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 2

Good morning!

Here’s a covid update. The number of Omicron cases in India isn’t alarming yet—just over 200 as of Tuesday. But we also know that the variant is at least three times more transmissible than Delta. The central government has therefore sounded an alarm. In the days ahead, some restrictions may be back. States have been asked to impose night curfew and strictly regulate large gatherings. Earlier, the World Health Organization had warned that social mixing over the holiday period could lead to a spike in cases and overwhelm health systems. India certainly can’t afford a repeat of April-May.

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 3

A healthcare official counts beds at a covid-19 facility. (PTI)

Meanwhile, the pandemic months fuelled many industries. E-commerce is one. The business of sleep is another. Heard of cuddling robots? Scroll down. Also, don’t miss our pieces on Reliance New Energy Solar, Snapdeal’s IPO, and GCPL’s vision.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 8 56,319.01 (+0.89%)

NIFTY

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 8 16,770.85 (+0.94%)

Dollar/Rupee

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 10 ₹75.60 (-0.40%)

Gold

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 10 ₹48,205 (-0.07%)

Crude oil

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 8 ₹5,352 (+3.96%)

Bitcoin

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 8 ₹38,66,222.81 (+5.08%)

*As of 8 PM 21 December; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

Three sovereign funds eye RIL’s clean energy unit

Sovereign wealth funds including Singapore’s GIC Holdings Pte Ltd, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co. are exploring investments in Reliance Industries’ clean energy unit, two people aware of the development said. In June, Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani had unveiled a ₹75,000-crore push into clean energy through a new unit, Reliance New Energy Solar. Utpal Bhaskar reports. Read more.

SoftBank-backed Snapdeal files for ₹1,250 crore IPO

E-commerce platform Snapdeal, once a challenger to larger rivals Amazon and Flipkart, filed draft papers for an initial public offering. The Kunal Bahl-led company plans to sell new shares to raise ₹1,250 crore through the IPO, which will also see several top investors, including SoftBank and Sequoia Capital, selling some of their shares. Snapdeal will use ₹900 crore of the issue proceeds to finance organic growth initiatives and the rest for general corporate purposes. Ankit Agarwal has the details. Read more.

How GCPL converts Sitapati’s vision to action counts

Godrej Consumer Products’ (GCPL) shares rose 5% on the NSE on Tuesday. The Street is visibly pleased with GCPL’s managing director and chief executive officer Sudhir Sitapati’s first detailed investor session on Monday. Sitapati, who took charge in October 2021, offered meaningful insights into GCPL’s business—the company’s key ambition for the next three to five years is to deliver double-digit underlying volume growth. From a long-term perspective, investors will closely watch the execution of Sitapati’s vision, writes Pallavi Pengonda. Read more.

Parliament passes bill to link electoral rolls with Aadhaar

Parliament on Tuesday passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to link electoral rolls with Aadhaar, amid a walkout by the Opposition over demands for further deliberations on the contentious provisions of the law. The bill seeks to remove fake voters from electoral rolls. It proposes to allow election commission officials to seek Aadhaar details of registered voters on a voluntary basis and make the language of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, gender-neutral, reports Fareeha Iftikhar. Read more.

Wearables, headphone makers ramp up local manufacturing

Large companies selling wearables and headphones have begun expanding local manufacturing in a bid to improve margins, take more control of supply chains and reduce their dependence on Chinese imports. Optiemus Electronics, a homegrown manufacturer approved to receive benefits from the government’s production-linked incentive scheme for mobile phones, has started making “dozens” of hearable and wearable products at its Noida plants. Boat, which is said to be preparing for an IPO, has also started making several of its hearables in India, reports Abhijit Ahaskar. Read more.

Why sleep is not just your business (premium)

Indians are the second-most sleep-deprived, after Japan—Fitbit says that Indians get only 77 minutes of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep each night. The pandemic led to a sharp rise in the share of people who experience sleep challenges. ‘Coronasomnia’ or ‘Covid- somnia’ is causing immense challenges. With chronic sleep problems likely to get worse in the near term, businesses are already exploiting opportunities arising out of this. A bevy of sleep products has hit the market, from high-end mattresses and pillows to cuddling robots and heavy blankets that weigh around 10 kg. K.T.P. Radhika writes. Read more.

e-paper
Elsewhere…

Global business news

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 22
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Five of the biggest stocks in the S&P 500 account for more than half of the broad benchmark’s gain since April, analysts at Goldman Sachs found. Of the S&P 500’s 22% advance this year, those stocks—Microsoft Corp., Nvidia Corp., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Tesla Inc.—are responsible for around a third. The dominance of a handful of tech behemoths marks a shift from the more-inclusive run-up that propelled the stock market late last year and in early 2021.

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McDonald’s Corp. said it will sell a digital startup it acquired nearly three years ago in a bid to boost sales at drive-throughs and digital kiosks to Mastercard Inc. Dynamic Yield Ltd., which helps retailers provide personalized digital promotions to consumers using streams of customer data, has operated as a stand-alone company within the chain since its acquisition.

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Move over, Hubble. On Friday, NASA will launch the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built. As big as a tennis court and 100 times as powerful as the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope will reveal the outer reaches of the universe in more detail than ever before. It will capture images of some of the very first stars and galaxies as they appeared more than 13.5 billion years ago.

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Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 23

Oracle Corp.’s $28.3 billion deal to buy electronic-medical-records company Cerner Corp. could address a major challenge in healthcare, that of datasets that can’t communicate with one another, analysts said. Today, medical records and information are usually hosted on a range of platforms, which can make it difficult for one provider to collaborate with others.

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Religion apps are benefiting from a sharp rise in venture-capital funding as more people turn to them for a sense of community, particularly during the covid-19 pandemic, startup founders and investors say. Faith-based, for-profit apps attracted $175.3 million in venture funding this year through mid-December, up from $48.5 million in 2020.

Sponsored
Discover a World of Global & Local Opportunities
Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 29

Gujarat’s flagship business and investment platform, the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) 2022, will welcome leading investors and businesses from all over the world. Held for the first time in 2003, the VGGS has become the quintessential investment platform. Over the years, it has enthused global thought-leaders and policy makers, propelling India’s growth story. Read more.

News in numbers
2,431.44 TMT

India’s domestic crude oil production (measured in thousand metric tonnes) in November 2021, down 2.22% from the year-ago month.

93,000

The number of new residential unit launches in the first three quarters of this year, up 38% from the same period last year, signalling a recovery.

73%
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The share of Omicron variant in the total sequenced covid-19 cases in the US, up from around 3% last week, triggering concerns about the strain on the country’s healthcare system.

20

The number of YouTube channels banned by the union government for spreading anti-India propaganda and fake news. It also ordered the blocking of two websites.

39

The number of flights delayed from the Bengaluru international airport due to bad weather. Two other flights were diverted to Chennai.

howindialives.com
Chart of the day
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Assembly elections are due in five states early next year, and political campaigning has begun even as large sections of the population are yet to get fully-vaccinated against covid-19. These five states have a combined 202 million individuals, including children, who are still only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. Uttar Pradesh has nearly 85% of these people.

LOUNGE RECOMMENDS

The Fractured Himalaya

Top of the Morning ☕: Will night curfews be back? 32

In her new book, The Fractured Himalaya: India-Tibet-China, 1949-1962, Nirupama Rao, a former Indian ambassador to China and the US as well as former foreign secretary, explores the early years of this relationship, which remain controversial in India since they culminated in India’s military defeat in the war of 1962. Those early years have shaped the relationship as it is today, and she also explains why Tibet is still crucial to India-China relations. Read a review.

What the fact

A new, fierce dinosaur

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Vectiraptor greeni (Megan Jacobs)

Dinosaurs are exciting, new discoveries more so. So, what’s the latest? A new, powerful bird-like dinosaur has been found in the fossils on the Isle of Wight on the south coast of Britain. It has been named Vectiraptor greeni after Mick Green who first discovered its bones. This dinosaur would have been a much-feared predator in the early Cretaceous, 125 million years ago. “Their jaws were full of blade-like, serrated teeth and they had huge scythe-shaped claws on their feet, used to slash at their prey, causing it to rapidly bleed to death,” a release from the The University of Portsmouth stated. Scientists from the universities of Portsmouth and Bath studied the fossils—they conclude that the bones represent a new species.

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Written and edited by Goutam Das. Produced by Nirmalya Dutta. Send in your feedback to newsletterskatanalivemint.com.

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