India has chronic indigestion to thank for the surge in industrial production

India’s industrial production hit a 17-month high in November last year.

India’s industrial production, which measures the country’s factory output, expanded at a rapid clip in November to hit a 17-month high, data released on January 12 showed. A month before the budget, these robust numbers could be a sign that the economy is back on track.

The Narendra Modi government, however, needs to thank the acute cases of chronic indigestion plaguing Indians for this uptick in growth.

That’s because digestive enzymes, antacids, and proton pump inhibitors, which are used for treating symptoms of ulcers and heartburn, are the highest contributors to India’s industrial growth. In terms of industries, the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and medicines has shown the highest growth at 39.5%, as per a release by the press information bureau. And as per item groups, digestive enzymes and antacids showed an uptick of 110.7%. The other major item groups like electricity, sugar, cement, etc, all lag far behind.

These digestive enzymes and antacids hold only 0.22% weight compared to segments such as electricity that account for 7.99%. However, despite the minimal clout enjoyed by these medicines, if they are able to move the Index of Industrial Production needle in a significant way, it suggests that there may have been growth in antacid medicines of monumental proportions.

This, though, isn’t the first month where antacids have played such a crucial role in the IIP growth. Even in the previous months of the 2017 financial year, it had been the top contributor to growth.

“Historically speaking we have seen several such instances when some industry crops up and it starts accounting for a lot of industrial growth,” the chief economist at a rating agency told Quartz, requesting anonymity. “Once upon a time it was hair oil, as if everyone was going bald in India, then it became alarm clocks and now it is antacids. But now that this antacid trend has started, it will continue for at least 12 months due to the low base effect.”

Till then, India’s IIP numbers will remain a bit gassy.

This article first appeared on Quartz.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.


The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.