India set to retain fastest growing economy tag

BY REUTERS

NEW DELHI: India probably gathered momentum to hold its ranking as the world’s fastest growing large economy in the quarter through March, giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi more to celebrate after completing two years in office last week.

Modi swept to power promising to revitalise Asia’s third-largest economy and, despite a dearth of private investment and shrinking exports, his policies are having some success as cooling inflation and lower interest rates have boosted consumer demand. A Reuters survey of economists expected data out on Tuesday will show India’s gross domestic product grew 7.5 per cent year-on-year between January and March, faster than the previous quarter’s 7.3pc.

“This 7.5pc growth, in a global slowdown environment, has a potential to pick up even more,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said last week in general comments about the trends.

India’s upbeat outlook contrasts with neighbouring China, where growth slipped to 6.7 in the first quarter – the slowest posted by the world’s second largest economy in seven years.

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Indus Valley Civilisation much older than thought: report

KOLKATA: It may be time to rewrite history textbooks. Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have uncovered evidence that the Indus Valley Civilisation is at least 8,000 years old, and not just 5,500 years old. It took root well before the Egyptian (7,000 BC to 3,000 BC) and Mesopotamian (6,500 BC to 3,100 BC) civilisations. What’s more, the researchers have found evidence of a pre-Harappan civilisation that existed for at least 1,000 years before this.

The discovery, published in the prestigious Nature journal on May 25, may force a global rethink on the timelines of the so-called ‘cradles of civilisation’. The scientists believe they also know why the civilisation ended about 3,000 years ago: climate change.

“We have recovered perhaps the oldest pottery from the civilisation. We used a technique called ‘optically stimulated luminescence’ to date pottery shards of the Early Mature Harappan time to nearly 6,000 years ago and the cultural levels of pre-Harappan Hakra phase as far back as 8,000 years,” said Anindya Sarkar, head of the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kharagpur.

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