inflation issues

Retail inflation eases to 5.07% in January, industrial output for December grows 7.1%

Food inflation was at 4.7%, compared to 4.96% in December 2017.

As food inflation declined, retail inflation slowed to 5.07% in January compared to 3.17% in the corresponding period in 2017, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Monday showed. The Consumer Price Index inflation, which measures the change in retail prices, had climbed to a 16-month high of 5.21% in December 2017.

The CPI inflation for rural areas was 4.93% in January, while that for urban areas was 5.21%. In January 2017, the rural inflation was 3.36%, while it was 2.9% in urban areas.

Retail food inflation was at 4.7%, compared to 4.96% in December 2017. The price of vegetables has risen by 26.97% compared to the corresponding period last year, while the price of eggs rose 8.7%, and that of milk and related products increased 4.21%.

The Reserve Bank of India in its monetary policy review had predicted retail inflation at 5.1% for January-March 2018.

The government also released data that said industrial output increased 7.1% in December 2017 compared to the output in December 2016. Sixteen of the 23 industry groups registered positive growth during the month when compared to the corresponding period in 2016. The industry group ‘Manufacture of other transport equipment’ registered the highest positive growth of 38.3%, followed by pharmaceutical, medicinal chemical and botanical products, which registered 33.6% growth.

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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.


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