Growth in auto sales has gone from around 3% y-o-y in FY16 to over 14% in FY18, led by a sharp uptick in commercial vehicle sales and steady growth in the passenger vehicle segment. Two-wheelers, which saw flat growth between FY15 and FY17, recorded an upswing in FY18. In line with this trend, crude imports have climbed from 189 mn tonnes in FY15 to 214 mn tonnes in FY17.
Imports rose partly because domestic production saw a marginal, but consistent, decline between FY15 and FY18. The fall in the average crude price per barrel in the international market had a cascading impact on the Indian basket (price of indigenous crude is benchmarked to crudes like Bonny light and Tapis blend), which went down from $113 bn in FY15 to $64 bn in FY16, before surging to $70.2 bn in FY17. In the 11 months of FY18, this value has already reached $79.5 bn.
Tip for Reading List: The Chilling History of Autism
Last month, a medical historian from Vienna’s Medical University published the stunning conclusion of his eight years of research into the life and work of the Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger: that the man feted for his contribution to the understanding of autism and especially of the developmental disorder syndrome named after him, was an active Nazi collaborator who believed that some children were not worthy of staying alive. The subject of Herwig Czech’s research, published April 19 in the open access online journal Molecular Autism, now appears in a book published earlier this month.
Described by publisher W. W. Norton as “the first comprehensive history of the links between autism and Nazism”, Edith Sheffer’s Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna, submits that Asperger was “not only involved in the racial policies of Hitler’s Third Reich, he was complicit in the murder of children”. The scope of the book, however, is wider — as a review in The New York Times put it, Sheffer “shows how the Third Reich’s obsession with categories and labels was inextricable from its murderousness; what at first seems to be a book about Dr Hans Asperger and the children he treated ends up tracing the sprawling documentary record of a monstrous machine”. It is a book that draws its immediate relevance from the revelations about Asperger, but is in many ways a wider historical case study of complicity in a brutal, authoritarian regime based on hate.
This Word Means: FATA
What is this area in Pak’s ‘wild west’ that the country’s National Assembly has voted to merge with KPK?
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is a 27,000-sq-km strip of semi-autonomous tribal land sandwiched between Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province and Afghanistan. It has long been a base for terrorist organisations including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and al-Qaeda. On Thursday, Pakistan’s lower House voted overwhelmingly for its “historic” merger with KPK — a move that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said would help in the region’s mainstreaming.
Historically, the area has witnessed war and bloodshed, with the British initially using the land to guard its colonial possessions against Russian expansionism. In pre-Independence days, the area was governed by British-appointed agents and tribal elders. The British enacted the Frontier Crimes Regulations, a set of repressive and regressive laws that continue to be in force. Pakistani courts and Parliament have limited jurisdiction in this area. FATA, which has been targeted by US drones hunting terrorists, is among the poorest areas in Pakistan.