South west monsoon arrives in Mumbai two days ahead of schedule: IMD | India News


The south west monsoon arrived in Mumbai on Sunday two days ahead of normal schedule due to favourable conditions along the Maharashtra coast, an India Meteorological Department official said.


It usually arrives by June 11, though last year it made its onset on June 24 due to ‘Biparjoy’ cyclone over the Arabian Sea, the IMD official pointed out. “Mumbai can anticipate thunderstorms accompanied by heavy to very heavy rainfall, with a probability of realisation between 51 and 75 per cent. Neighbouring areas such as Raigad and Ratnagiri stand a higher chance of experiencing heavy to very heavy rainfall. A red alert has been issued for Sindhudurg and its neighbouring district Kolhapur, emphasising heavy to very heavy rainfall in most areas,” the IMD said. Most districts in Maharashtra, especially in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, are expected to receive heavy rainfall, it added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 10 2024 | 1:12 AM IST


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AI could turn ordinary downturn into economic crisis, IMF says


The true disruptive effects of artificial intelligence on the economy and financial markets may not become apparent until there’s a downturn, which could spiral into a full-blown crisis unless the risks of AI are addressed, the IMF’s second-in-command warned recently.

During a speech at an AI summit in Switzerland on May 30, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said discussion about AI’s risks has largely focused on privacy, security, and misinformation. But much less talked about is the risk of AI amplifying the next recession.

In a world of widespread AI adoption, the technology could convert an otherwise ordinary downturn into a much deeper economic crisis by disrupting labor markets, financial markets, and supply chains, she said.

AI risks in labor markets

In normal economic times, companies historically have tended to invest in automation but still hold on to workers because they have the profits to do so. But when companies cuts costs in a downturn, workers are laid off and replaced by automation, she explained.

Gopinath pointed to IMF research that shows that in advanced economies, 30% of jobs are at high risk of AI substitution, compared with 20% in emerging markets, and 18% in low-income countries.

“So we have a much broader scale of potential job losses that we could have,” she warned. “And again, the risks of long-term unemployment are quite severe.”

AI risks in financial markets

The financial industry has long embraced automation and earlier forms of AI, such as algorithmic trading, and the sector is adopting newer AI technologies quickly today.

Gopinath noted that some AI trading is being replaced with more complex models that can learn on their own, and forecasts suggest that robo-advisors will control more than $2 trillion in assets by 2028, up from less than $1.5 trillion in 2023.

While AI can improve market efficiency and inclusion, the risks of AI also are more likely to show up in a downturn, she added. That’s because new AI models would perform poorly in novel events that are different from what they were trained on.

“And one thing we know is that no two recessions tend to be the same,” Gopinath said.

In such a scenario, AI could spur a rapid, simultaneous move to safe assets, leading to falling prices on risk assets, she explained.

The AI models would then detect the price declines, view that as affirmation of their earlier moves, then double down with more asset sales. And given black box nature of AI, such behavior could be difficult to control.

“You could have fire sales and hurting behavior, which lead to even larger collapses in asset prices,” Gopinath said.

AI risks in supply chains

As businesses adopt AI, they could let it play a larger role in deciding how much inventory to hold and how much to produce.

In normal economic time, that could boost efficiency and productivity. But AI models that were trained on “stale data” could produce major errors and lead to a cascade of supply-chain breakdowns, she said.

Ways to mitigate AI’s risks

After laying out the grim scenarios, Gopinath also provided recommendations to mitigate AI’s risks while without curtailing the positive side of AI.

One way is to ensure tax policies don’t inefficiently favor automation over workers, though she was careful to note she isn’t proposing a special tax on AI.

Another way is to help workers with education and new skills as well as strengthening the social safety net with more generous jobless benefits.

AI can also be part of the solution, such as in upskilling, targeting assistance better, and flagging early warnings in financial markets, she added.

“I believe there is a real need to have parallel effort to make sure that we’re also AI-proofing the global economy,” Gopinath said.

Her warning comes a year after she said we may not much time to determine how to protect people from AI.

“We need governments, we need institutions and we need policymakers to move quickly on all fronts, in terms of regulation, but also in terms of preparing for probably substantial disruptions in labor markets,” she told the Financial Times.

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says Trump choosing a woman VP would help him win

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Houston, Texas, U.S. May 27, 2022. 

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, once a strong contender to be former President Donald Trump‘s vice presidential pick, suggested on Sunday that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee should choose a woman running mate.

“Having a woman that is helping him campaign makes a difference. Listen, I could be home in bed or feeding my horses or rocking my grandbabies,” Noem said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But I’m in Wisconsin because I believe President Trump needs to win.”

Noem added that women voters tend to prioritize small business policy, along with child care and health care, an issue that Trump has lagged President Joe Biden, according to polling in recent months.

In March, a Quinnipiac University poll found that Trump’s support from female voters had dropped by 5% in the wake of the civil lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll related to sexual assault and defamation claims.

Since then, the former president has also been convicted on 34 felony counts in a New York trial about a hush money payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump’s support from women also posed a threat to his election chances in 2016, especially after the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape that caught the GOP candidate making crude remarks about nonconsensual sexual advances on women.

“All the polls tell him in these swing states that a woman on the ticket helps him win,” Noem said Sunday.

Noem’s comments also come as she reinforces her loyalty to Trump, despite reportedly being excluded from his vice presidential shortlist.

Trump has narrowed his search to four top contenders, according to NBC News: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Ohio Sen. JD Vance

“I don’t care. I love my job in South Dakota,” Noem said Sunday about those reports.

Noem once had optimistic prospects as a potential Trump running mate, but recent backlash involving a controversial anecdote in her new memoir downgraded her position. The snippet described a situation several decades ago where Noem decided to shoot and kill her 14-month-old puppy, Cricket, due to misbehavior that she claimed posed safety concerns.

Noem has repeatedly stood by her decision to kill Cricket, including in the Sunday interview: “That story is a 20-year-old story of a mom who made a very difficult decision to protect her children from a vicious animal that was attacking livestock.”


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Why our brains crave beauty, art and nature

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I think I must be getting old. I’ve started wanting to know the names of trees and birds and wildflowers. I’ve become enamoured with the changing of the seasons. I find myself in my local woodlands at 6am not because I’m still at a “forest rave” from the night before, but because I want to get straight out into nature after waking up, so as to catch the bright morning light, the dew on the leaves and the birdsong in all its rambunctiousness.

Or maybe I’m just tapping into a part of my nature that I have been repressing — or at least failing to recognise — until now; that which predisposes me to love, appreciate and even crave all of these things. Maybe the colours and sounds and textures of nature are ones that even those of us who live in cities have been conditioned to find beautiful and awe-inspiring. And maybe all this is a crucial, yet under-appreciated, component of our wellbeing.

That’s what some thinkers who are part of an emerging interdisciplinary field that stresses the importance of art, beauty and nature for our mental and physical health would argue, anyway.

Neuroaesthetics — a term first coined by Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist at University College London, in 1999 — is a subfield of both applied aesthetics and cognitive neuroscience, which studies the brain’s response to various forms of aesthetic experience. Its proponents argue that engagement with art and nature should not be considered a “nice to have”, but a necessity.

It would be tempting to assign such ideas to the amorphous world of “mindfulness” that we all keep on being told is so good and important for us (I am a fan of this world myself, though not of its name). But Susan Magsamen, founder and director of the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-author of Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us, tells me that recent neurological research shows that aesthetic experience is about more than that. It may indeed be helpful in allowing us to feel more present, and to quiet the interminable chatter of our minds, but neuroaesthetics, she argues, constitutes a “whole new lane” in itself.

“We’ve learnt about nutrition, we’ve learnt about sleep, we’ve learnt about exercise, we’ve learnt about mindfulness,” says Magsamen. “Now what we’re looking at is how arts and aesthetic experiences are essential to the human condition.” She explains that while some of these experiences can bring similar benefits to “mindful” activities — by lowering the activation of the brain’s stress-related amygdala, reducing cortisol and moving us into our parasympathetic “rest and digest” state — neural scans show that there’s more to aesthetic experience than this.

Perhaps most extraordinarily, research by Zeki has shown that, while we might all have different ideas about what constitutes beauty, the same area of the brain — the “medial orbito-frontal cortex”, or “mOFC” — lights up when we perceive something to be beautiful. This is true regardless of whether we are talking about visual, musical, mathematical, or even moral beauty.

There is plenty of evidence, too, to support the argument that engaging with the arts has a positive effect on health. A study by researchers at UCL, using data from more than 6,000 adults over 50, which took into account economic, health and social factors, found that those who engaged in “arts activities” every few months or more had a 31 per cent lower chance of dying over the follow-up period (a period of 12 years, on average).

Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of music for patients with dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. Other research has also shown that dance can help those suffering from Parkinson’s by increasing neuroplasticity and stimulating multiple layers of the neural system.

It’s worth pointing out that we don’t need to be particularly talented in a given artistic field to benefit from it. “Whether you’re good at it or not is absolutely irrelevant to the neuroaesthetic benefits,” Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, tells me. But while all of us were creative as children — we drew, we danced, we banged pots and pans — many of us stop our artistic pursuits after being told that we’re not actually very good at them.

That’s a mistake, according to the neuroaestheticians. In fact, if you do happen to have been blessed with artistic ability of some sort — one that you have made a career out of — you might not be experiencing the same benefits now that your livelihood depends on it. Your brain has probably moved out of the freewheeling, creative flow state and into a more judgmental, nit-picky “control state”, as Swart calls it. So get out there and make some terrible art. Or if you prefer, just expose yourself to something beautiful. Your brain will thank you for it. 


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Israel pounds central Gaza as Palestinian death toll in hostage rescue raid rises to 274 By Reuters

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

CAIRO (Reuters) – Israeli forces pounded central Gaza anew on Sunday, a day after killing 274 Palestinians during a hostage rescue raid, and tanks advanced into further areas of Rafah in a bid to seal off part of the southern city, residents and Hamas media said.

Palestinians remained in shock over Saturday’s death toll, the worst over a 24-hour period of the Gaza war for months and including many women and children, Palestinian medics said.

In an update on Sunday, Gaza’s health ministry said 274 Palestinians were killed – up from 210 it reported on Saturday – and 698 were injured when Israeli special force commandos stormed into the densely populated Al-Nuseirat camp to rescue four hostages held since October by Hamas militants.

Israel’s military said a special forces officer was killed in exchanges of fire with militants emerging from cover in residential blocks, and that it knew of “under 100” Palestinians killed, though not how many of them were militants or civilians.

On Sunday, three Palestinians were killed and several hurt in an Israeli airstrike on a house in Al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip, while tanks shelled parts of nearby Al-Maghazi and Al-Nuseirat. All are built-up, historic refugee camps.

The Israeli military said in a statement its forces were continuing operations east of Bureij and the city of Deir al-Balah in the centre of the coastal enclave, killing several Palestinian gunmen and destroying militant infrastructure.

Israel sent forces into Rafah in May in it called a mission to wipe out Hamas’ last intact combat units after eight months of war in which Israeli forces have bombed much of the rest of Gaza to rubble while advancing against fierce resistance.

Israeli tank forces have since seized Gaza’s entire border strip with Egypt running through Rafah to the Mediterranean coast and invaded several districts of the city, prompting around one million displaced people who had been sheltering in Rafah to flee elsewhere.

ISRAELI TANKS ADVANCE FURTHER IN RAFAH

On Sunday, tanks advanced into two new districts in an apparent effort to complete the encirclement of the entire eastern side of Rafah, touching off clashes with dug-in Hamas-led armed groups, according to residents trapped in their homes.

As of June 5, all but around 100,000 displaced people who took refuge in eastern Rafah after fleeing Israeli offensives further north in Gaza had left, according to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA.

“All UNRWA shelters in Rafah have been vacated. Many of the people who were based in Rafah have fled up the coast seeking safer locations in both Khan Younis and the middle area (of Gaza),” UNRWA said in a statement.

Palestinian medics said an Israeli airstrike on a house in Tel Al-Sultan in western Rafah killed two people.

The Israeli military said troops of its 162nd division were raiding some districts of Rafah where they had located “numerous additional terror tunnel shafts, mortars, and (other) weapons” belonging to Palestinian Islamist militants.

Hamas precipitated the war with a lightning cross-border attack into Israel last Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing over 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. About half the hostages were freed during a brief November truce.

Israel’s ensuing air and ground war in Gaza has killed at least 37,084 Palestinians, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said in its Sunday update. The ministry says thousands more dead are feared buried under the rubble.

© Reuters. Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. Israeli Army/Handout via Reuters

Attempts by the United States and regional countries to broker a deal that would release all remaining hostages in return for a ceasefire have repeatedly stumbled on Israeli and Hamas intransigence over terms for an end to the war.

Gaza’s conflict has destabilised the wider Middle East, drawing in Hamas’ main backer Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah which has been clashing with Israel along its northern border for months, raising fears of all-out war.

(Reporting and writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi; additional reporting by Dan Williams in Jerusalem; editing by Mark Heinrich)




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Bank Holiday on June 8: Are banks closed today for second Saturday? Check details here

Bank Holiday Today on June 8: All public and private banks in India, including the State Bank of India (SBI), will be closed today, June 8, on account of it being the second Saturday of the month.

Overall, June 2024 will see at least 12 scheduled bank holidays for various regional celebrations, religious holidays, and weekend offs on the second and fourth Saturdays and Sundays. This also includes the second and fourth Saturdays in the month and all Sundays off. Notably, June 2024 has five Sundays.

Also Read | Stock market holiday 2024: Check days, dates, and trading holidays in the new year

However, customers should note that holidays vary across states in India due to regional differences. They must confirm the full list of non-working days with their nearest bank branch. Doing so will help them better plan and avoid last-minute confusion and emergencies.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) works with the corresponding state governments to decide on banks’ holiday calendar for the year. Therefore, schedules may differ due to the local customs across states.

See | Maharashtra Bank Holidays in 2024

What About Online Banking?

Please note that online banking and mobile banking will continue uninterrupted regardless of any holidays, unless specifically stated by a bank for technical or other reasons. Customers can access banks’ mobile apps, ATMs or websites to conduct urgent transactions. However, if you need help from bank staff, it’s prudent to plan around the listed leave schedule.

The RBI issues the full list of annual bank holidays based on various factors such as national and state holidays, cultural or religious observances, operational needs, government announcements, and coordination with other banks. The central bank further communicates this through its official website and via notifications to banks and other financial institutions.


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Ensure financial stability before opting for zero-interest EMIs, says Raj Khosla of MyMoneyMantra

A lot of millennials and Gen Zs take loans to fund their weddings. What’s your view on that? What are some of the things that they should keep in mind before taking a loan to fund their wedding and how should they go about it?

Spending large sums of money on weddings is one trend that is clearly defined by the ‘want’ rather than the ‘need’ aspect of consumerism. Given the importance of the event and societal pressures, millennials and GenZs are ready to start their loan journey now more than ever.

However, it’s crucial they weigh the long-term financial implications. Here are some tips:

First, set a realistic budget. Before you venture into the unknown, it’s always good to have a budget. This will help you decide on a number beyond which spending or borrowing will not happen. By doing this, you not only safeguard yourself towards unwanted hefty EMI repayments but you will also be prepared to deal with the situation in a better way as you are within your achievable spending limits.

Second, be mindful of the loan terms. When you decide to go for a wedding loan, you must first compare and then find out the best loan terms and conditions made available to you from different sources. Compare things like interest rate, repayment tenure, pre-closure penalties and anything that can affect your overall experience with the loan.

Third, define your future financial goals. Having a debt of any kind takes a toll on your savings. You need to be aware of your future goals which require good financial stability like getting a house, moving to a new city, starting a family etc. When you have identified your future engagements then it becomes easier to go for a loan.

Many Gen Zs also take EMIs to buy phones and other purchases. Later, it becomes a habit for them and they land in a debt trap. What’s your take on it and what are some of the things that they should be aware of before taking a zero-interest EMI?

Yes, it is a very common trend as per the credit bureaus, especially in case of a new to credit population. Taking EMIs to buy things that they ‘want’ may give them immediate respite in terms of a reduced amount but monthly it is going to erode a chunk of their salary as well. By the time people realise they have already fallen in the debt trap, it becomes too late.

Here’s what they should consider before taking a zero-interest EMI:

First, understand the borrowing costs involved. One needs to be very clear on all the necessary terms and costs involved while going for a zero-interest EMI. Sometimes, there are certain charges which end up making the whole deal not so lucrative but the consumer still falls for it as they didn’t do the due diligence properly.

Second, check whether it is a need or want. Needing a phone is one thing but going to buy the latest model of a particular brand is another thing. One is a necessity where your goal is to connect and communicate while the other one is more of a luxury which you coax yourself into purchasing. Have a better understanding of your situation and then decide what things you actually need. Wanting to buy luxurious stuff is not bad if the financial planning is done beforehand.

Third is financial stability. Make sure there is enough financial cushioning to pay for the EMI in case some emergency situation arises.

What are some of the things to look for in a credit card?

Choosing a credit card should be done purely on the basis of the objective or issue that you want to address. If you are a frequent traveller then a credit card that comes with traveller benefits like lounge access will be more suitable. If you are a shopper then cards giving good reward points can be suitable for you.

Let’s have a look at some things that you should look for in a credit card:

The first aspect is obviously fees and charges. Be it joining fees or annual fees, having clarity about this is foremost. On top of this, you must also know about various charges that come with the card.

The second is rewards and benefits. Assess the worth of any card by weighing your requirements along with the rewards and benefits that are being provided.

Third is interest rates. Check the relevant interest rates on your credit card. It can be for purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers etc.

The fourth aspect is the credit limit. How much credit limit is being provided to you by a particular lender is also important. If your shopping trends show you spending 30000 in a month then you need a card with at least Rs. 1 lakh credit limit. This also helps in maintaining your credit score.

Lastly, one can also check added perks. Some cards are promoted as specialist cards in a particular segment and they have some extra benefits corresponding to that category. For example, a travel card might offer you less forex fee while a rewards card will offer you 5x or 10x reward points.

It is important to weigh all these options before zeroing in on any particular credit card. Remember, it’s only with a clear objective you will be able to find a suitable card as per your requirements.

We have heard that quite a few companies have cut down on benefits, increased the threshold on spending to access airport lounges, increased membership fees, etc. In this scenario, what should existing cardholders do?

There are a few things that you can do in case of a change in your credit card offerings.

First, reevaluate your cards. Review the benefits provided by the cards against the spending that is required to avail them. It will give you a fair idea of whether any card is actually helping you or only making you spend more. If perks have diminished but fees have increased, it might be time to look for a better option.

Second, negotiate with lenders. Sometimes, talking to your credit card issuer by leveraging your long-standing relationship with them can provide you with valid solutions that can take care of your requirements in essence, while also reducing the annual fee. For example, you can always switch to another card with the same lender which offers you a better deal in return for the money you spend.

Third, look at optimised usage of cards. Using a shopping-centric card for travel might not give you the desired results. It is essential to use cards according to their USPs.

Secured credit card is a good way to build credit history, especially for people who don’t have access to unsecured credit cards. But not a lot of players are promoting it. What’s your take on secured credit cards?

For people who are new to credit or are having low credit scores, getting a secured credit card gives them a chance to redeem themselves. The lender allocates you a credit card with a credit limit which is a certain percentage of the collateral you deposit with them.

Following are some of the aspects of secured credit cards:

Secured cards can be a very good tool for financial inclusion. People who are marginalised due to no or poor credit scores can finally start their credit journey. With a disciplined approach, you can also move towards unsecured credit cards once your credit score consolidates into a feasible range and lenders will have no problem in giving you premium cards that are offering lucrative benefits.

Banks and financial institutions should definitely consider promoting secured credit cards more aggressively as they help cultivate responsible credit habits and broaden the customer base.

Padmaja Choudhury is a freelance financial content writer. You can reach out to her at padmaja@padmajachoudhury.com.

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Published: 08 Jun 2024, 10:36 AM IST


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Star, Zee join hands for TV distribution venture

In a landmark deal announced here, Star Den Media Services Pvt Ltd and Zee Turner Ltd will form a a joint venture to combine distribution of their respective channel bouquets in the country.

Currently, Zee channels are distributed by Zee Turner Ltd, a joint venture company of Zee’s parent Essel Group and Turner International, which runs channels like Cartoon Network and Pogo in India.

Star channels, on the other hand, are distributed by StarDen, a 50:50 joint venture between Star India and Sameer Manchanda’s DEN Networks. The newly formed company, Media Pro Enterprise India Pvt Ltd, will be a 50:50 joint venture between Zee Turner and Star Den Media Services and would jointly aggregate and distribute channels licensed to Zee Turner and Star Den.

Zee Turner Ltd is an existing 74:26 joint venture between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Turner International India Private Limited (TIIPL).

Commenting on the deal, Zee Entertainment Enterprises CEO and MD Punit Goenka said: “The Indian Television market is growing rapidly and provides ample opportunities for the JV company to create value.”

Star India CEO Uday Shankar said that coming together of “the two leaders will lead to a larger consensus around a growth blueprint for the Indian electronic media industry”.

The new joint venture would mark the reunion of the Zee and Star groups, which are among the earliest entrants into the Indian private television space, after many years.

Industry observers feel that the new generation team of media companies, such as Star’s Uday Shankar, Zee’s Punit Goenka and Den Networks’ Sameer Manchanda, have successfully moved beyond the old history of cut-throat rivalry between their groups to create this new venture.

Among these people, Manchanda has mostly been a backroom strategist and industry observers feel that a partnership between two giants like Star and Zee would not have been possible without Manchanda playing a critical role in bringing them together.

Observers said that the origin of this partnership finds its roots in Manchanda’s departure from Network18 following the latter’s tie up with Sun TV group and the pullout of the group’s channels from Star DEN network.

Commenting on the deal, Turner International MD Anshuman Misra said, “This is a big win for the consumers as it gives them the choice of best of content, greater access and variety all under one bouquet and paves the way for faster digitisation of the cable industry.”

Den Networks chairman and MD Sameer Manchanda said: “This is a historic step forward in the Indian television industry and will create a paradigm shift in pay distribution.”

“The new JV gives a clear impetus to digitalisation and promotes transparency and addressability in the broadcasting distribution value chain. It also brings more channels, and greater choice and flexibility to the Indian consumer,” he added.

Star India has about 33 channels in seven languages, including names like STAR Plus, STAR One, STAR Gold, Channel [V], STAR World, STAR Movies, as well as joint venture channels Asianet, STAR News, ESPN and STAR Sports.

Star India also manages a portfolio of business ventures including DTH operator Tata Sky, cable system Hathway and channel distributor STAR Den.

STAR India is a fully owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch-owned global media conglomerate News Corporation.

Zee Group, on the other hand, is amongst the largest producers of Hindi language TV content and its channels include Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Zee Cafe, Zee Studio, ETC Music and Zee Khana Khazana.

The company also has a strong offering in the regional language domain with channels such as Zee Marathi, Zee Talkies, Zee Bangla, Zee Telugu, Zee Kannada, Zee Cinemalu and ETC Punjabi.

Zee Group joined hands with Turner International in 2002 to create a distribution venture with a portfolio of 34 channels, including Cartoon Network, Pogo, HBO, WB and CNN.

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Published: 26 May 2011, 04:09 PM IST


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Elon Musk congratulates Narendra Modi on Lok Sabha election win: ‘Looking forward to…’

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has congratulated caretaker Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his party and alliance winning the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in India,

“Congratulations Narendra Modi on your victory in the world’s largest democratic elections!” Musk, the chief of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of social media site X (formerly known as Twitter) wrote.

He added that he looks forward to doing “exciting work” in the country, stating: “Looking forward to my companies doing exciting work in India.”

Track | Lok Sabha Election Results 2024 LIVE Updates here

Responding to Musk, Modi posted: “Appreciate your greetings Elon Musk. The talented Indian youth, our demography, predictable policies and stable democratic polity will continue to provide the business environment for all our partners.”

Also Read | Elon Musk puts off India visit to ‘later’, Internet says, ‘No rush! We’ll hold off on chai-samosa plans’

Musk Delays India Visit

Earlier in April this year, Musk had delayed his much anticipated visit to India due to “very heavy Tesla obligations”. In an April 20 post on X, the billionaire wrote: “Unfortunately, very heavy Tesla obligations require that the visit to India be delayed, but I do very much look forward to visiting later this year.”

At the time it was speculated that Musk was likely to announce nearly 3 billion worth of investment in the Indian market, primarily earmarked for the establishment of a new Tesla manufacturing facility in the country.

Also Read | ‘Biggest loser’: US entrepreneur slams Elon Musk’s choice of China over India for Tesla manufacturing unit

The next week however, Musk was in China on April 28, Reuters reported. Later in the day, he also posted a photo with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, writing: “We have known each other now for many years, since early Shanghai days.”

During his tour, Musk was expected to discuss the rollout of Full Self-Driving software and permission to transfer data overseas. The US electric vehicle maker rolled out Full Self-Driving, or FSD, the most autonomous version of its Autopilot software, four years ago.

Also Read | Elon Musk goes to China & Indonesia, eyes Lanka trip after cancelling India visit. Why Tesla CEO’s itinerary matters

Then, in May, Musk visited Indonesia to launch the Starlink satellite internet service in the archipelago nation. He was also seen discussing opportunities for Starlink services with Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali.

Amid its falling profit margins, Tesla is attempting to utilise its existing factories to build new and more affordable vehicles as early as late this year, as per a Reuters report. It added that the development could lead to further delays in investments in new factories in Mexico and India.

 

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Published: 08 Jun 2024, 07:59 AM IST


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