Dr Nita Mukherjee describes a decade-old effort that is bearing rich fruit
Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), a Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation, was founded by Osama Manzar in December 2002 under the Societies Registration Act. Its objective is to uplift the downtrodden using information, communication and technology (ICT). Since Mr Manzar worked in a software company, he was acutely aware of the need to bridge the digital divide which haunts India. A large chunk of India’s population is deprived of even basic ICT; telecom facilities and power are either not available or there’s errant supply. Penetration of computers and Internet is low, despite pious government pronouncements.
The Nifty will find it hard to break through 6,000 in this rally. If it does, the next resistance would be around 6,025
The market settled in the green, snapping its five week losing streak, mainly on signs of economic activity across the world picking up. Positive indicators from Japan, China and the US supported investor sentiments. Indian investors will look at the factory output data and headline inflation figures in the week ahead, which may dictate the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) stand in its policy review on 19th March.
The Sensex climbed 765 points (4.04%) at 19,683 and the Nifty advanced 226 points (3.95%) to close the week at 5,946. The market is likely to see a correction. The Nifty will find it hard to break through 6,000 in this rally. If it does, the next resistance would be around 6,025.
The market settled marginally lower on Monday on unsupportive global cues following news that the Chinese government is looking to introduce initiatives to rein in property prices. The market settled in the positive on Tuesday on global support. Firm economic indicators from the US supported gains in the domestic market on Wednesday.
A recovery in the second half of trade helped the indices close higher on Thursday. The market closed in the positive on Friday on gains in oil & gas, FMCG, metal and banking stocks.
In the sectoral space, BSE Realty jumped 7% and BSE Bankex surged 6% while the BSE Consumer Durables (down 2%) was the lone loser this week.
The top Sensex gainers were Sterlite Industries, ICICI Bank (up 8% each), Larsen & Toubro (up 7%), Cipla and Hero MotoCorp (up 6% each). Hindustan Unilever (down 3%) and Bajaj Auto (down 1%) were the losers.
The Nifty was led by IDFC (up 10%), Sesa Goa (up 9%), ICICI Bank, Jaiprakash Associates and Siemens (up 8% each). The key losers on the benchmark were HUL, Ambuja Cements (down 3% each), Bajaj Auto and NTPC (down 1% each).
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday expressed confidence that the economic slowdown will not continue and the country will bounce back to the growth rate of 7% to 8% in next two to three years.
Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman C Rangarajan said policy rate cut by the central bank will depend on inflation movement, among other factors. Inflation measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) had declined to 6.62% in January. It was 7.18% in December and 7.24% in November.
In international news, The US added 236,000 jobs in February, while unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest since December 2008, according to the Labor Department. Investors look at the nonfarm payrolls data as a measure of economic recovery. The Federal Reserve had said it will maintain its low interest rate policy until unemployment falls to 6.5% and inflation rises to 2.5%.
Meanwhile, China maintained its GDP growth target at 7.5% for 2013 and raised its budget deficit forecast as the government reduces taxes and looks at fresh initiatives to support consumer demand.
SEBI chairman UK Sinha informed the media that the finance minister has emphasised on the need for the regulator to be alert on various issues concerning the capital markets, including the technology related challenges