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Singapore Press Holdings
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
V.K. Santosh Kumar
Marketing Team Head
Woman escapes death after bid to
get Rs2,000 note from metro track
A woman narrowly escaped death after
she jumped onto the train tracks to
retrieve a Rs2,000 note at Dwarka Mor
metro station in New Delhi on Tuesday.
As the 26-year-old jumped to pick up
the note, a few coaches of an
approaching train passed over her.
When the train departed from the
station, she was rescued with minor
injuries and taken to the hospital.
She was detained by the police for
the rash act and subsequently wrote an
apology for disruption of services on the
blue line of the Delhi Metro before she
was let off.
Sex scandal in Tamil Nadu
A sex scandal in Tamil Nadu’s Pollachi
town has caused widespread outrage in
the state. The matter came to light when
a 19-year-old college student came
forward with her story.
Four men had forcibly removed her
dress in a car near Pollachi and
videographed her on Feb 12.
The police arrested
K. Thirunavukkarasu, N. Sabarirajan,
N. Sathish and T. Vasanthakumar in
connection with the case. They later
recovered four videos from the arrested
men involving other victims.
It is feared that more women have
been preyed on by the men.
Archaeologists have found a massive
burial site dating back to the Harappan
civilisation in Gujarat’s Kutch district.
The site is home to 250 graves, out of
which 26 have been excavated.
A human skeleton, 1.83m in length
and believed to be about 5,000 years
old, was dug up during the excavation.
It has been sent to Kerala University
to determine its age, gender and
possible cause of death.
Uber study finds Bengalurans
Bengaluru has been ranked first in the
list of the “most forgetful” cities in India.
It is followed by New Delhi, Mumbai, Hy-
derabad and Kolkata.
A lost-and-found study by cab-aggre-
gator Uber showed that passengers in
Bengaluru have left behind items such as
live fish, milk sachets, prams, ukuleles,
bananas, yoga mats, knee pads and saris
in Uber cars last year. Phones, cameras,
bags, wallets, keys, clothing and umbrel-
las topped the list of items left behind in
Uber cars across India.
United States to build six nuclear
plants in India
The United States and India on
Wednesday agreed to strengthen
security and civil nuclear cooperation,
including building six nuclear power
plants in India.
The agreement came after two days
of talks in Washington involving Indian
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and
the US Under Secretary of State for
Arms Control and International
Security Andrea Thompson.
Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse had
been negotiating to build reactors in
India for years, but progress was slow,
partly because of India’s nuclear
Goa bridge scaffolding collapses,
Four people were injured after a
scaffolding erected for the construction
of a major bridge in Goa across the
Zuari river collapsed on Wednesday.
The incident occurred in the
afternoon when the metal scaffolding
supporting a concrete slab collapsed,
injuring four workers at the site.
An investigation has been launched
to find out the cause of the collapse.
Bengaluru top pick for
Bengaluru has been found to be the top
destination for migrant workers seeking
jobs in delivery, security, facility
management and beauty.
The city is followed by Delhi,
Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.
According to a survey by the
blue-collar job aggregator BetterPlace,
which studied 11 lakh respondents, job
seekers flock to Bengaluru from
neighbouring states such as Andhra
Pradesh and Telangana and even
further like Rajasthan. Many go to the
city for work from Nepal too.
First transgender to bag
government job in MP
Ms Sanjana Singh Rajput has made
history by becoming the first
transgender to be employed by a
government department in Madhya
She has been hired as a personal
secretary to social justice department
director Krishna Gopal Tiwari.
The Times of India reported the
Bhopal born as saying: “This is as good
as it gets and a step towards bringing the
transgender community into the
Chef pays tribute to heroic air force pilot
Chef Jitender Singh carved out the face of Indian
Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan
Varthaman on a watermelon as a tribute to his
heroism during the 14th edition of Culinary Art
He carved Abhinandan’s “iconic” moustache
on the watermelon, along with “Jai Hind” in
Devanagari script and a couple of army men.
The pilot had shot down a Pakistan Air Force
F-16 fighter aircraft on Feb 27 during an aerial
engagement, but his plane was hit and he landed in
Pakistani territory, where he was captured. He was
later released by Pakistan as a “peace gesture”.
Paying tribute to Abhinandan was more
important to Mr Singh than winning the
competition. He won a silver.
“What Abhinandan did for our country is
beyond courage and bravery. Through this fruit
carving, I wanted to pay a tribute to our brave
pilot,” Mr Singh said.
It was supposed to be a dream family va-
An immigrant grandfather eager to
set foot on African soil after an absence
of 30 years. A doting mother deter-
mined to show her Canadian daughters
where she came from. And two teenage
girls giddy at the prospect of seeing ani-
mals on safari in Kenya.
Instead, the three generations of an In-
dian-origin Canadian family died when
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed
last Sunday – killing 157 people.
They were on their way to a vacation
in Kenya when the plane crashed min-
utes after take-off from Addis Ababa,
killing passengers and crew from more
than 30 countries.
Prerit Dixit, 43, and Kosha Vaidya,
37, their daughters Ashka Dixit, 14, and
Anushka Dixit, 13, and Vaidya’s parents
Pannagesh Vaidya, 73, and Hansini
Vaidya, 67, were among the 18 Canadi-
Pannagesh and Hansini were Indian
nationals. They lived in Brampton, a
“This is terrible and tragic,” Mr Man-
ant Vaidya, brother of Kosha, told
“It feels as if my whole support sys-
tem has disappeared. I have no idea how
we will cope with this tragedy.”
In Brampton, a multi-cultural subur-
ban city where Punjabi is the second-
most spoken language after English, the
tight-knit South Asian community was
Within hours of the crash, the mayor
ordered that flags at city hall be lowered
to half-staff to honour the family. Flags
were also lowered at the girls’ schools.
The Dixit-Vaidya family was flying to
Kenya so that Kosha, who became a
Canadian permanent resident in 2003,
could show her Canada-born daughters
the country of her birth, Mr Manant said,
adding his parents were returning there
for the first time in more than 50 years.
“They thought the March break was
the perfect time for them to go over
there, have fun. It was going to be a really
great trip for everybody,” he said.
Mr Manant added that his parents in-
sisted that they also wanted to go on the
“I asked my dad why he wanted to go
and he told me that in his life he wants to
go one more time,” said Mr Manant, who
works for Reuters’ parent company
He said his brother-in-law worked
seven days a week in order to pay for the
He plans to fly to Ethiopia tomorrow
and from there to Mumbai for the final
rituals of the deceased.
Prerit worked at medical-testing com-
pany LifeLabs as a lab technician and as
a lab professional for Public Health On-
In e-mail statements, both organisa-
tions remembered his helpful and pleas-
ant demeanour, sense of humour and
dedication to the family.
Kosha was a human resources adviser
for the Canadian Hearing Society since
2017, the organisation said in a website
statement, adding she would be “remem-
bered for her intelligence, professional-
ism and dynamic personality.”
The other Indians who died in the
plane crash were Shikha Garg, a consul-
tant with India’s ministry of environ-
ment, who was travelling to attend a
United Nations Environment Pro-
gramme conference in Nairobi, and
Nukavarapu Manisha, a young doctor
from Andhra Pradesh studying in the
United States, who was on her way to
Nairobi to visit her elder sister.
Mr Manant Vaidya (right) and his wife Hiral hold a photograph showing the six members of
their family who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Three generations killed in air crash
March 15, 2019
India’s engineers struggle for work
as jobs crisis worsens
Unemployed graduates posing before a board with their qualifications during a job fair in Chinchwad, western India.
Santosh Gurav gained a bachelor’s de-
gree in technology from a mid-tier col-
lege in western India last year, specialis-
ing in electrical engineering and hoping
to land a job in industrial automation.
Six months on, the 27-year-old re-
pairs mixer-grinders, table fans and
other household appliances at a
cramped shop in the western city of
On better days, he picks up broken
LED lights from scrap dealers, fixes
them and then sells them.
He earns about US$50 (S$68) a
month, just enough to cover the rent for
the room he shares with two others as his
“I haven’t even started repaying my
education loan,” said Gurav, referring to
the nearly US$4,000 he had borrowed
for his undergraduate study.
He is one of thousands of engineers –
studying everything from computer
code to civil engineering – that India’s ed-
ucation system churns out each year,
many with large loans and little prospect
of finding a job in their field.
They highlight Prime Minister Naren-
dra Modi’s difficulty in fulfilling a prom-
ise he made weeks after coming to
power in 2014: Creating millions of jobs
by boosting manufacturing under a flag-
ship “Make in India” project launched
with much fanfare.
“Come, Make in India, we will say to
the world, from electrical to electron-
ics,” Mr Modi said in his maiden Indepen-
dence Day speech as prime minister,
pledging to create up to 100 million new
jobs by 2022.
NO ECHOES OF CHINA BOOM
Four years on, the programme’s impact
on job creation is unclear and growth in
the manufacturing sector has been slug-
gish, partly due to a lack of land and
India’s unemployment rate rose to
7.2 per cent last month, up from 5.9 per
cent in February last year, according to
data compiled by the Centre for Monitor-
ing Indian Economy (CMIE) think tank.
The figures are more recent than gov-
ernment data and many economists re-
gard them as more credible.
The data, which is an estimate based
on household surveys, shows 31.2 mil-
lion people were actively looking for
jobs last month, said Mr Mahesh Vyas,
the CMIE managing director.
It did not have a breakup for engineer-
ing or technology graduates.
With more than half of India’s popula-
tion under 25 years of age, critics say the
votes of jobless youth could hurt Mr
Modi’s chances of securing a second
term in the general elections which will
be held in April and May.
The increasing use of automation in
industry, the massive number of young
Indians entering the job market and the
regulatory hurdles that companies still
face if they want to set up shop in India
are all big issues for those without work.
The manufacturing boom that helped
China in the past 40 years will not wash
up on India’s shores.
Companies can no longer afford to
just rely on cheap labour: They need
skilled labour and better infrastructure
to drive technological innovations and
Employers often complain about the
lack of skilled engineering and technol-
ogy graduates, said Mr Varun Aggarwal,
an electrical engineer and co-founder of
the skills assessment firm Aspiring
Its surveys show over 80 per cent of
the engineers India produces are not em-
The employability has not improved
in seven years, Mr Aggarwal said.
“The numbers have just not budged,”
he said. “Many can’t even write basic
“We need to start there, at the begin-
ning of the education system.”
The IT industry had long been seen as
a gateway to the middle class in India,
but a move to robotics and artificial intel-
ligence has replaced some positions.
The business process outsourcing in-
dustry – seen as a stable provider of “off-
shore”jobs – added the least number of
employees in seven years in 2017-18
(April-March), according to the trade
LACK ENGLISH SKILLS
At a recent job fair organised by a college
in the town of Chinchwad in western In-
dia, Gurav was among hundreds who
queued up to apply, including dozens of
engineers, even though most companies
were hiring for marketing and finance po-
Many came from rural areas where
they studied in regional languages and
lacked strong English skills – another
gap that recruiters say India’s education
system needs to address.
Mr Ankush Karwade, 22, who trav-
elled 130 km to reach the fair, said his fa-
ther was a farmer and the family
couldn’t fund him to earn an undergradu-
ate degree. He did a shorter and cheaper
diploma course in engineering.
“I watch some English movies and
read the newspapers to improve, but
most employers want graduates,” he
said. “They (also) want English speaking
skills, which I don’t have.”
Ms Gayatri, a 24-year-old woman
who goes by one name, gained a master’s
degree in engineering four months ago,
under pressure from her parents. She
said she had wanted to continue her edu-
cation in Indian classical music.
“My father wanted me to do engineer-
ing, so I did it. Now there are no jobs,”
she said. A company at the fair offered
her a customer service position that
would pay about US$140 a month.
“Can you believe it?” she said.
“I didn’t get this degree to sit at a call
Jobless engineers are not a new prob-
lem and “minuscule” in comparison to
the millions of farmers dissatisfied over
weak crop prices, said Mr Himanshu, an
associate professor of economics at the
Jawaharlal Nehru University who also
uses one name.
Still, they represent a lot of untapped
Fixing household appliances is not
what Gurav expected to do as a gradu-
ate. “I could find work at a call centre,
but it’s not what I want to do,” he said.
He may soon be forced to reconsider
though as his father is due to retire next
year and the family will need money.
For now, Gurav plans to continue do-
ing repair work – but is too ashamed to
tell his friends about it.
“If people see me working there they
might think I’m unskilled. But I have
skills. I am passionate about this field,”
“My father wanted me to do engineering, so I did it.
Now there are no jobs.”
– Ms Gayatri, 24, who gained a master’s degree in engineering four months ago
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