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News in Brief


Employment opportunities expected to rise in 2019
According to India Skills Report after a gap of 4 years hiring intent in 2019 is expected to be strongest especially in IT, automotive, travel and hospitality sectors. According to the report, almost 64 per cent employers have a positive outlook on hiring, 20 per cent said they will hire the same number of people as 2018 and only handful have a negative outlook for 2019. Besides, the appetite for fresh hiring in the coming year has more than doubled to 15 per cent from a mere 7 per cent in 2017. Although hiring volumes might not reach the scale of 2010-11, the situation would still be better than what it was in the last 2-3 years. Tech hiring is expected to make a comeback in the coming year. In this space, design and analytics jobs would be the most sought-after ones in the overall set, while demand would increase for specialist technologies in the space of artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning. Besides software, engineering, automotive, travel, and hospitality will see a considerable upswing in their hiring numbers next year.


Jindal to help modernize rail infrastructure
Jindal Stainless, one of the largest domestic stainless steel players company has partnered with Railways’ arm Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) for modernizing rail infrastructure, particularly in the bridge segment. The first such stainless steel foot-over-bridge is coming at Bhayandar station in Mumbai next year. Over the next 4-5 years, the plan is to produce around 10,000 stainless steel coaches annually, the company said in a statement. India’s 7500-km coastline increases the need to use stainless steel infrastructure. High air-borne salts in marine environments cause rapid corrosion and degradation of infrastructure. Bridges, especially in these areas, are exposed to severe risk of collapse. As per industry data, around 1,35,000 rail bridges exist in India, of which over 25% are over 100 years old and need immediate replacement.

Coming soon, 14 new mega food parks
Fourteen mega food parks (MFPs) will become operational this year with a minimum estimated investment of ‘ 3500 crore and it is aimed to bring together farmers, processors and retailers and link them with the market so as to ensure maximisation of value addition, minimisation of wastages and improving of farmers’ income. The government says that MFPs will create more than 70,000 jobs. The MFP projects are expected to come in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Tripura, Mizoram, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha and two in Kerala. It is expected that each MFP project will have around 25-30 food processing units with a collective investment of around `250 crore that would eventually lead to an annual turnover of about `450-500 crore.  The MFPs follows a cluster based approach to create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market. 

EIB cooperating with SBI to finance wind energy
The European Investment Bank will cooperate with SBI to finance renewable energy and support India’s wind energy projects by expanding the ongoing financing initiative in this area. With this collaboration, the promoters of wind projects in India will get an impetus. EIB feels it is very important to scale up renewable energy investment as it is crucial for economic growth, improving access to energy and for climate change.

Maharashtra tops the list with 129 development projects
Maharashtra has topped the list among all the Indian states with the maximum number of development projects that are under implementation. A report by Care Rating shows that of the total 1,361 projects under implementation across different sectors, Maharastra has 129 projects being implemented at a total original cost of `1.72 lakh crore. These projects are across sectors ranging from steel, power & transmission, atomic energy, petroleum & petrochemicals and urban development. Due to the capital-intensive nature of these projects, many of them are multi-state projects. Maharashtra tops the list followed by Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The anticipated cost for completion of all 1,361 projects has surged from an original cost outlay of `16.78 lakh crore to `20.16 lakh crore, the report showed, adding that 296 projects might get delayed.