The impact of coronavirus pandemic on India has been largely disruptive in terms of economic activity as well as a loss of human lives. Almost all the sectors have been adversely affected as domestic demand and exports sharply plummeted with some notable exceptions where high growth was observed. An attempt is made to analyze the impact and possible solutions for some key sectors.FOOD & AgricultureSince agriculture is the backbone of the country and a part of the government announced essential category, the impact is likely to be low on both primary agricultural production and usage of agro-inputs. Several state governments have already allowed free movement of fruits, vegetables, milk etc. Online food grocery platforms are heavily impacted due to unclear restrictions on movements and stoppage of logistics vehicles. RBI and Finance Minister announced measures will help the industry and the employees in the short term. Insulating the rural food production areas in the coming weeks will hold a great answer to the macro impact of COVID-19 on Indian food sector as well as larger economy.AVIATION & TOURISMThe contribution of the Aviation Sector and Tourism to our GDP stands at about 2.4% and 9.2% respectively. The Tourism sector served approximately 43 million people in FY 18-19. Aviation and Tourism were the first industries that were hit significantly by the pandemic. The common consensus seems to be that COVID will hit these industries harder than 9/11 and the Financial Crisis of 2008. These two industries have been dealing with severe cash flow issues since the start of the pandemic and are staring at a potential 38 million lay-offs, which translates to 70 per cent of the total workforce. The impact is going to fall on both, White and Blue collar jobs. According to IATO estimates, these industries may incur losses of about 85 billion Rupees due to travel restrictions. The Pandemic has also brought about a wave of innovation in the fields of contactless boarding and travel technologies.TELECOMThere has been a significant amount of changes in the telecom sector of India even before the COVID 19 due to brief price wars between the service providers. Most essential services and sectors have continued to run during the pandemic thanks to the implementation of the ‘work from home’ due to restrictions. With over 1 billion connections as of 2019, the telecom sector contributes about 6.5 per cent of GDP and employs almost 4 million people. Increased broadband usage had a direct impact and resulted in pressure on the network. Demand has been increased by about 10%. However, the Telco’s are bracing for a sharp drop in adding new subscribers. As a policy recommendation, the government can aid the sector by relaxing the regulatory compliances and provide moratorium for spectrum dues, which can be used for network expansions by the companies.PHARMACEUTICALSThe pharmaceutical industry has been on the rise since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in India, the largest producer of generic drugs globally. With a market size of $55 billion during the beginning of 2020, it has been surging in India, exporting Hydroxychloroquine to the world, esp. to the US, UK, Canada, and the Middle-East.There has been a recent rise in the prices of raw materials imported from China due to the pandemic. Generic drugs are the most impacted due to heavy reliance on imports, disrupted supply-chain, and labour unavailability in the industry, caused by social distancing. Simultaneously, the pharmaceutical industry is struggling because of the government-imposed bans on the export of critical drugs, equipment, and PPE kits to ensure sufficient quantities for the country. The increasing demand for these drugs, coupled with hindered accessibility is making things harder. Easing the financial stress on the pharmaceutical companies, tax-relaxations, and addressing the labour force shortage could be the differentiating factors in such a desperate time.OIL & GASThe Indian Oil & Gas industry is quite significant in the global context – it is the third-largest energy consumer only behind USA and Chine and contributes to 5.2% of the global oil demand. The complete lockdown across the country slowed down the demand of transport fuels (accounting for 2/3rd demand in oil & gas sector) as auto & industrial manufacturing declined and goods & passenger movement (both bulk & personal) fell. Though the crude prices dipped in this period, the government increased the excise and special excise duty to make up for the revenue loss, additionally, road cess was raised too. As a policy recommendation, the government may think of passing on the benefits of decreased crude prices to end consumers at retail outlets to stimulate demand.BEYOND COVID-19: THE NEW NORMALIn view of the scale of disruption caused by the pandemic, it is evident that the current downturn is fundamentally different from recessions. The sudden shrinkage in demand & increased unemployment is going to alter the business landscape. Adopting new principles like ‘shift towards localization, cash conservation, supply chain resilience and innovation’ will help businesses in treading a new path in this uncertain environment.
Image: Starved Rock State Park, rei.comLooking to enjoy the great outdoors this spring? Camping offers a weekend mostly free of COVID complications, not to mention a breathtaking escape from reality even in normal times. 2020 saw a surge in camping interest from Chicagoans and you can expect much of the same in 2021, so be sure to plan ahead before your preferred site books up. Here, we’ve compiled some of the fan favorites within just a couple hours of Chicago to get your search started. Indiana Dunes State ParkDriving distance from Chicago: <1 hourChicagoans are no strangers to the Indiana Dunes, which has been welcoming hordes of visitors long before it gained national recognition in recent years. What’s not to like about easy access less than an hour from Chicago, sandy dunes, and a picturesque lakefront? You can even take the train there on the South Shore Line, which runs from Millenium Park. In terms of camping, the official park campground is less than a mile from the beach and quite popular, so make sure to plan well ahead. Otherwise a smaller campground called Dunewood is also available just south of the park. Van Buren State ParkDriving distance from Chicago: 2 hoursCamping or not, the charming town of South Haven, Michigan is worth a visit. But why not pitch a tent at the well-equipped Van Buren just a few miles out? The campgrounds are also just a few blocks’ distance from the beach. You’ll find dunes here too. All campsites have fire pits and are near restroom facilities. For the hikers among us, a 2.5 mile spur trail connects the park to a main 14 mile trail that connects the towns of Hartford and South Haven via a former rail line, sneaking through fields, sand, trees, and all kinds of wildlife. Starved Rock State ParkDriving distance from Chicago: 2 hoursAnother crowd favorite for those from the Chicago area, Starved Rock is commonly shown in photos by its beautiful waterfalls. But with over 13 miles of hiking trails plus 18 canyons formed by melted glaciers, the topography of the place is enticing in a way few others in Illinois are. 133 campsites are available year-round, but this park attracts crowds from near and far so make sure to book ahead here too. Campsites include electricity and grills, and restrooms with shower facilities are available on site. Kettle Moraine State ForestDriving distance from Chicago: 2 hoursWisconsin campsites are also quite popular with Chicagoans. Some offer more amenities or more interesting terrain, but many also allow alcohol, while most Illinois parks do not. For Kettle Moraine, make sure you know if you’re booked at the Southern Unit or Northern Unit, as they’re actually not in the same place at all. A handful of campsites are available for booking of various types. More experienced campers can opt for the backpack shelters, such as the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. This 31 mile trail offers numerous shelters along the way, and none of them can be accessed by vehicle. There is even a horse riders’ campground along the 33 mile Bridle Trail. Illinois Beach State ParkDriving distance from Chicago: 1 hourIf you’re looking for that “getaway without getting away” campsite, Illinois Beach might be the place, especially for northern suburbanites. Its location in Zion makes it an extremely quick drive. The 244 campsites can fill up on summer weekends, so be aware that this may not be the most exclusive location. The main draw, of course, is the six and a half miles of Lake Michigan shoreline that are easily accessible from the campground. Fishing is also allowed. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports that this is the last remaining beach ridge shoreline remaining in the state, and over 650 species of plants can be found in the dunes area alone.
Shelly C. Lowe has been named the new executive director of Harvard University’s Native American Program (HUNAP). The appointment becomes effective this July.An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Lowe grew up on the Navajo reservation in Ganado, Ariz. Before coming to HUNAP, Lowe held the position of assistant dean for Native American Affairs in the Yale College Deans Office and was director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University. Prior to her position at Yale, she spent six years as the graduate education program facilitator for the American Indian Studies Programs at the University of Arizona. During her time at the University of Arizona she was actively involved in the Native American Student Affairs Office and the American Indian Alumni club. She has served on the board of the National Indian Education Association and as a trustee for the National Museum of the American Indian.Lowe is completing her doctorate in higher education with a focus on American Indian student success and services. She will be the guest of honor at HUNAP’s student-faculty dinner on April 16. In the interim, Lowe will be continuing to work with the HUNAP staff and faculty to help lay a solid groundwork for continuing to move HUNAP forward next year.
Twiddle kicked off a Valentine’s Day run of concerts on Friday night with a show at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY.Related: SweetWater 420 Festival Announces 2020 Lineup Additions: Snoop Dogg, The Allman Betts, MoreThe Vermont quartet began the show with “Five”, which appeared on the band’s Plump (Chapters 1 & 2) collection. After that, Twiddle launched into “Apples”, which kicked off a jam sandwich that segued into “Every Soul” and “Beehop” before segueing back into “Apples” to complete the sandwich. The “Apple” melody was followed by “Life Back Now” which segued back into “Every Soul”, at which point Lowell Wurster joined the band on washboard. Twiddle closed out the first set with another chain of segues, starting off with “Hattie’s Jam”, which transitioned into “When It Rains It Pours”, into “Forevers”, back into “When It Rains It Pours”, which teased “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, to close the set.The band returned to the stage with a fitting cover of Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On”. After the Marvin Gaye cover came “White Light”, which segued into another holiday cover with “Girl I Wanna Lay You Down” by Jack Johnson & ALO, before segueing back into “White Light”. The set closed out with a pair of older songs, including “Beethoven and Greene” and “Doinkinboink!!!”, which flowed into the newer composition “Just Gravy”, and finally back into “Doinkinboink!!!” to close the show.Check out some fan-shot videos of Twiddle from Valentine’s Day at the Palace Theater, courtesy of Charlie Francis.Twiddle – “Beehop” – 2/14/20Twiddle – “White Light” – 2/14/20Twiddle – “Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye cover) – 2/14/20View VideosTwiddle’s winter tour continues on Thursday, February 20th at the Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks, PA. The band then continues its westward push, until the tour culminates with a pair of shows in the Pacific Northwest where Twiddle will co-headline with ALO. For tickets and a full list of tour dates, head to the band’s website.Scroll down to see a gallery of photos from photographer Charles Francis.Setlist: Twiddle | Palace Theatre | Albany, NY | 2/14/20Set one: Five, Apples> Every Soul> Beehop> Apples, Life Back Now> Every Soul , Hattie’s Jam> When It Rains It Pours> Forevers> When It Rains It Pours Set two: Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye) , White Light> Girl I Wanna Lay You Down (Jack Johnson & ALO) > White Light, Beethoven and Greene, Doinkinbonk!!!> Just Gravy> Doinkinbonk!!! w\ Lowell Wurster on washboard Somewhere Over the Rainbow teaseTwiddle | Palace Theatre | Albany, NY | 2/14/20 | Charles Francis Load remaining images
Jillian Mueller View Comments The celebrated Broadway musical Pretty Woman adds a new pair of stars on July 22. Jillian Mueller, a former understudy in the show, and Brennin Hunt, who starred as Roger Davis in Fox’s Rent Live, step into the central roles of Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis, respectively, replacing original cast members Samantha Barks and 2019 Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Andy Karl, who took their final bow at the Nederlander Theatre on July 21.In addition to Pretty Woman, Mueller has been seen on Broadway in Bye Bye Birdie and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and on tour in Dirty Dancing, Flashdance the Musical and American Idiot.Following his turn in Rent Live, Hunt wrapped the indie feature Walking with Herb, set to premiere in 2020; he previously guest-starred on Nashville and X Factor. Pretty Woman marks his Broadway debut.Based on the hit 1990 film, Pretty Woman features a book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton with music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. The production is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell with orchestrations and musical arrangements by Will Van Dyke.As previously announced, Pretty Woman will conclude its Broadway run on August 18. Related Shows Jillian Mueller & Brennin Hunt(Photos provided by Polk & Co.) Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 18, 2019 Pretty Woman: The Musical Star Files Brennin Hunt
by Mike Smith Donald Trump blasted the media on Twitter last weekend, saying: “If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20 percent.” Trump was angered by media reports describing turmoil in his campaign and saying that advisers, including family members, were urging him to stay focused on the economy and public safety rather than getting sidetracked on other, sometimes trivial, issues. First, Donald Trump’s campaign is, in fact, in disarray. States that should still be in contention and possible “pick-ups” for the Republican presidential nominee are now swinging in favor of Hillary Clinton. And states that should be solid Republican and easy wins for any Republican presidential nominee are becoming close races between Clinton and Trump in recent polls. Trump is discovering that rallies with his faithful and reliance on social media are poor substitutes for a well-established political ground game, strategic advertising and well thought out policy statements. If advisers and family members are counseling him to change course, then good for them, because they are giving him sound advice. Second, Trump craves the attention of the press, but this attention must be on his own terms, which, in a democracy, it never is. If press coverage isn’t fawning or positive, then the media become a convenient scapegoat for his failings. Since the outset of his campaign for president, Trump has relied heavily on the media, sometimes saying or doing outrageous things just to attract attention. But this is a one-dimensional campaign strategy that has a significant downside, since it places so much power over the fate of a campaign in the hands of the media. That is why you are hearing advisers urging him to start advertising so he can get his message out on his own terms. Trump deserves what he gets in negative media coverage because of the things he says and does, but he probably doesn’t deserve all the negative press that he gets. Studies confirm that the media as a whole tend to be more liberal than the average American. Also, they are likely to hold political views that align more closely with Democrats than Republicans. As a result, Republicans feel that there is an inherent bias in the media, and this manifests itself into an obsession with Trump, resulting in less scrutiny of Hillary Clinton. As evidence of this bias, many Republicans will point to the media’s lack of initiative in uncovering a possible conflict or questionable contacts between the US State Department headed by then Secretary of State Clinton and the privately operated Clinton Foundation. To them, these possible breaches in protocol and ethics raise many questions that are far more serious than Donald Trump calling someone a name.However, the truth is that Trump makes it deliciously easy for the media to pounce when he shifts his positions, can’t answer questions or provide explanations in an articulate manner, is confrontational and less than transparent. But minus the name-calling, many wonder if Hillary Clinton is that much better? This is why Trump and Clinton are the two most unpopular presidential nominees in history. This presidential election should have favored a Republican nominee, especially against Hillary Clinton, an unpopular Democrat. The American public is yearning for change. They want economic and political policies that look out for their welfare, instead of focusing on the welfare of the elite. And yet Trump continues to slide in the polls and no matter how many times he tweets, and no matter how many times he calls this election “rigged,” the sole reason for his failure falls squarely on his shoulders, and not with the media. Mike Smith is the host of the radio program, “Open Mike with Mike Smith,” on WDEV 550 AM and 96.1, 96.5 and 101.9 FM. He is also a political analyst for WCAX-TV and WVMT radio and is a regular contributor to the Times Argus, Rutland Herald and Vermont Business Magazine. He was the secretary of administration and secretary of human services under former Governor Jim Douglas.
Shawnee contributed $250,000 to the project to reinvigorate the Aztec Theatre downtown.In Overland Park, work has been underway for a few years now on projects to revitalize the historic downtown district. In Shawnee, city leaders are hoping a similar renaissance is in the offing for its downtown.Register to continue
CNN:The first thing I did after receiving what is surely one of the top two or three most terrifying medical diagnoses was pick up the telephone to call my husband to tell him to come home, and my brother to ask him to call my parents, because I couldn’t bear their grief as well as my own.The second thing I did was open a document in Word and name it: The Second Half of My Life.And these are the words I wrote in those first few minutes:Read more: CNN More of our Members in the Media >
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EOLINK is performing tank testing of a 1:50 scale model of its floating wind turbine, which would allow for the utilization of +10MW wind turbines and reduction of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of 25%.So far, the tests validated that the floating wind turbine is able to withstand very harsh seastates with low mooring lines tensions (Hs>12m) and also that the turbine always faces the wind, even in the worst case scenario: 90° misalignement between wind and waves, EOLINK reported.The floating wind concept involves a set of profiled arms instead of a conventional single tower.Having a turbine mounted on a single tower induces vibrations and huge bending moment at the base of the tower and with floating application, this tower is no longer mandatory, EOLINK said, adding that its concept replaces the single tower by a set of thin and profiled arms, making the structure lighter and stiffer and saving on materials used, which leads to decreasing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE).The structure also allows increasing wind turbine size. Main specifications include a nominal power of +10MW, rotor diameter of 200m, nacelle altitude of 120m above M5L, weighing < 600 tons, as well as a 66m long and 58m wide semi-submersible floater made of steel and/or concrete.The testing is being carried out in IFREMER facilities in Brest, in cooperation with France Energies Marines, as part of a project supported by French National Research Agency (ANR), with EOLINK aiming to push the concept forward to industrialization.