Why Ethanol fuel is making news in India

Ethanol fuel is making news in India because the government has expedited efforts to boost the local output of oil and a transition to alternative fuels to cut its import bill.

India plans to introduce 20% ethanol blending with gasoline in some parts of the country from April 2023, while a nationwide rollout is expected only from 2025-26.

This move will directly contribute to reducing India’s fuel bill while simultaneously curbing carbon emissions from the transportation sector.

The development assumes significance as the first 100 Percent Ethanol Based Flex Fuel car has been launched in India.

The new Innova will be powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a petrol engine with an electric motor.

How does ethanol fuel blending help in reducing carbon emissions?

Ethanol fuel blending can help reduce carbon emissions by decreasing the amount of gasoline used in vehicles.

Ethanol fuel is a renewable fuel made from plant materials, and when it is blended with gasoline, it can reduce the carbon footprint of transportation.

The use of ethanol-blended petrol decreases emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Higher reductions in CO emissions were observed with E20 fuel, which was 50% lower in two-wheelers and 30% lower in four-wheelers.

Compared to regular gasoline, ethanol blends have a 20% reduction in hydrocarbon emissions. However, there are concerns about the inefficient land and water use for ethanol extraction as well as food security concerns.

How much ethanol fuel can be blended with gasoline?

Ethanol can be blended with gasoline in various proportions. The most common blend is E10, which is a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.

This blend is approved for use in any conventional, gasoline-powered vehicle and is sold in every state.

More than 98% of U.S. gasoline contains up to 10% ethanol to boost octane, meet air quality requirements, or satisfy the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Other blends include E15, which is composed of 10.5% to 15% ethanol and gasoline.

E15 is approved for use in model year 2001 and newer light-duty conventional vehicles.

E85 (or flex fuel) is an ethanol-gasoline blend containing 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on geography and season that qualifies as an alternative fuel under EPAct.

E85 can be used in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which have an internal combustion engine and are designed to run on E85, gasoline, or any blend of gasoline and ethanol up to 83%.

In India, the government plans to introduce 20% ethanol blending with gasoline in some parts of the country from April 2023, while a nationwide rollout is expected only from 2025-26.

Supersonic aircraft: Melbourne to LA 8.5 hours!

A new supersonic aircraft called Overture, which is being developed by Boom

It is expected to be able to fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles in just 8.5 hours.

Overture is still in development, but it is expected to start flying passengers within six years.

The current record for flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles is 11 hours and 51 minutes, set by a private jet in 2019, However, this flight did not follow commercial flight regulations, which require planes to fly at slower speeds over populated areas.

So, if you are looking to fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles in 8.5 hours, you will need to wait until Overture starts flying passengers. In the meantime, the fastest commercial flight option is about 14 hours.

NASA’s supersonic hydrogen jet is called the X-59 QueSST.

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It is still in development, but it is designed to fly at speeds of up to Mach 1.7, which is about twice the speed of sound.

The X-59 is powered by two supersonic combustion ramjet engines, which will be fueled by liquid hydrogen.

The X-59 is designed to be much quieter than previous supersonic aircraft, such as the Concorde. This is because it has a unique design that reduces the amount of sonic boom produced. The X-59 is expected to make its first flight in 2024, and it could be flying passengers by the early 2030s.
The X-59 is part of NASA’s Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) program. The goal of this program is to develop a supersonic aircraft that can fly over land without creating a disruptive sonic boom. If the X-59 is successful, it could pave the way for a new generation of supersonic passenger jets.

Chatbot: Top 10 AI Chat Open Assistant

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through text or voice interactions.

Chatbots are often used in customer service applications, where they can answer questions and resolve issues without the need for human intervention. They can also be used for marketing, education, and entertainment.

These are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP). AI allows chatbots to understand natural language, while NLP allows them to generate human-like responses.

Classified into two main types: rule-based chatbots and machine-learning chatbots. Rule-based chatbots are programmed with a set of rules that determine how they respond to different prompts and questions. Machine learning chatbots, on the other hand, learn to respond to prompts and questions by analyzing a large amount of data.

Increasingly popular as they offer a number of advantages over traditional customer service channels. They are available 24/7, they can handle multiple conversations at the same time, and they can be programmed to understand a wide range of queries.

Here are some of the benefits of using chatbots:

  • 24/7 availability: They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which can be helpful for businesses that need to provide customer support around the clock.
  • Scalability: They can be scaled to handle a large number of conversations at the same time, which can be helpful for businesses that have a high volume of customer support inquiries.
  • Cost-effectiveness: They can be a cost-effective way to provide customer support, as they do not require the same level of human resources as traditional customer service channels.
  • Improved efficiency: They can help businesses improve their efficiency by automating tasks such as answering common questions and resolving simple issues.
  • Personalization: They can be personalized to the individual customer, which can help to improve the customer experience.

Chatbots are a powerful tool that can be used to improve customer service, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. As technology continues to develop, They are likely to play an even greater role in the future.

Here are the top 10 AI chatbots in 2023:

  1. ChatGPT
  2. Google Bard
  3. HuggingChat
  4. Zapier AI Chatbot
  5. Microsoft Bing AI
  6. Perplexity
  7. YouChat
  8. KoalaChat
  9. Jasper Chat
  10. ChatSpot

These are ranked based on their features, capabilities, and popularity. They are all powered by artificial intelligence, which allows them to learn and improve over time. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as customer service, marketing, and education.

Here is a brief overview of each chatbot:

  • ChatGPT: An open-source powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model. It is known for its ability to generate human-quality text, translate languages, and write different kinds of creative content.
  • Google Bard: Google Bard is a large language model developed by Google AI. It is still under development, but it has learned to perform many kinds of tasks, such as answering questions, generating text, and translating languages.
  • HuggingChat: An open-source framework that allows developers to create and deploy their own chatbots. It is based on the Hugging Face Transformers library, which provides a variety of pre-trained language models.
  • Zapier AI Chatbot: Can be used to automate tasks between different applications. It is powered by the Zapier platform, which allows users to connect over 2,000 apps and services.
  • Microsoft Bing AI: This can be used to search the web, get answers to questions, and perform other tasks. It is powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine and artificial intelligence technology.
  • Perplexity: This can be used to generate different creative text formats, such as poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, emails, letters, etc. It is powered by the GPT-3 language model.
  • YouChat: This can be used to have conversations with users. It is powered by the Rasa framework, which provides a variety of tools for building and deploying chatbots.
  • KoalaChat: This can be used to provide customer service. It is powered by the Dialogflow platform, which provides a variety of tools for building and deploying chatbots.
  • Jasper Chat: This can be used to generate content, such as emails, blog posts, and marketing materials. It is powered by the Jasper platform, which provides a variety of tools for generating content.
  • ChatSpot: This can be used to provide sales and marketing support. It is powered by the Salesforce Einstein platform, which provides a variety of tools for building and deploying chatbots.

These are just a few of the many AI chatbots available. The best for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

Evergrande Bankruptcy far-reaching consequences

The impact of Evergrande Group’s bankruptcy would be significant, both in China and globally.

  • China’s economy: It is a major player in China’s economy, and its collapse would have a ripple effect throughout the country. The real estate sector accounts for about 25% of China’s GDP, so a slowdown in the property market would have a major impact on economic growth. In addition,
  • creditors include banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, so its collapse could lead to a financial crisis in China.
  • Global financial markets: It is also a major player in global financial markets. It has issued bonds worth billions of dollars to investors around the world. If it defaults on its debts, it could cause a sell-off in global financial markets and disrupt the flow of capital.
  • Homebuyers and businesses: Have built millions of homes in China, and many of these homes are still unfinished. If it goes bankrupt, these homebuyers could lose their deposits or be forced to move into unfinished homes. In addition, many businesses that do business with Evergrande could be affected by its collapse, as they could lose out on payments or be forced to lay off workers.

The full impact of bankruptcy is still unknown, but it is clear that it would be a major event with far-reaching consequences.

Specific impacts that have been reported so far:

  • Homebuyers: Some homebuyers who have paid deposits for unfinished homes are now facing the possibility of losing their money. In some cases, It has stopped construction on these homes, and it is unclear when or if they will be completed.
  • Businesses: Many businesses that do business with it are also being affected. Some suppliers have not been paid for their goods, and some construction workers have not been paid their wages. This is leading to job losses and financial difficulties for these businesses.
  • Financial markets: The financial markets have also been affected by the crisis. The value of their bonds has fallen sharply, and there is concern that this could lead to a wider sell-off in the markets.
  • China’s economy: The Chinese government is trying to contain the fallout from the crisis. However, the crisis is already having a negative impact on the economy, and it is unclear how long the government can keep it under control.

The full impact of the Evergrande crisis is still unfolding, but it is clear that it will be a major event with far-reaching consequences.

Image credit

Windmemories, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

JustMyRoots and Sourav Ganguly

JustMyRoots is a restaurant aggregator and food delivery platform

that connects people with local restaurants. It was founded in 2015 by a group of ex-corporates and ex-bankers with a fervent passion for good food.

As per news reports, Sourav Ganguly acquired a minor stake in JustMyRoots.

JustMyRoots is one of India’s leading food delivery platforms, with over 100,000 restaurants on its platform and over 10 million users. The company is headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, and has operations in several cities across the country.

JustMyRoots offers a wide variety of cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, Continental, and South Indian. The company also offers a variety of meal options, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

JustMyRoots is committed to providing its users with a safe and secure food delivery experience. The company has a team of quality control experts who inspect all restaurants on its platform to ensure that they meet the company’s high standards. They also use a variety of security measures to protect its users’ data.

JustMyRoots is a convenient and affordable way to order food from local restaurants. The company offers a variety of payment options, including cash on delivery, credit card, and debit card. It also offers a variety of discounts and offers to its users.

Here are some of the features of JustMyRoots:

  • Wide variety of cuisines and meal options
  • Convenient and easy-to-use app
  • Secure payment options
  • Variety of discounts and offers
  • Same-day delivery
  • 24/7 customer support

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable way to order food from local restaurants, then it is a great option. The company offers a wide variety of cuisines and meal options, and it is committed to providing its users with a safe and secure food delivery experience.

Image credit

Bollywood Hungama, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rivian Stock soaring High recently

Rivian stock soared high recently due to its strong second-quarter delivery numbers

Rivian reaffirmed the production target of 50,000 vehicles in 2023

It is an electric vehicle company founded in 2009 and based in the United States. The company designs and manufactures electric vehicles, including pickup trucks and SUVs. It’s vehicles are known for their innovative design and advanced technology, including their use of electric motors and battery packs.

The stock has been soaring recently due to a number of factors. First, the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in November 2021 was well-received by investors, with the company’s stock rising significantly on its first day of trading. Second, Rivian’s vehicles have received positive reviews from automotive journalists and industry experts, which has helped to boost the company’s reputation and credibility. Third, Rivian has partnerships with major automakers, including Amazon and Ford, which has helped to increase the company’s visibility and credibility.

Overall, recent success can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the company’s innovative products, strong partnerships, and positive reception from investors.

Image credit

NotTheDefault, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I-95 will reopen ahead of schedule

Governor Josh Shapiro on Tuesday announced the I-95 will reopen in Northeast Philadelphia ahead of schedule.

On June 21, 2023, a section of I-95 in Philadelphia collapsed, sending cars and debris into the Schuylkill River below. The collapse occurred at approximately 10:30 AM EDT and caused significant damage to the highway and surrounding area.

There were no fatalities in the collapse, but several people were injured. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation, but it is believed to have been caused by a combination of factors, including heavy rains and construction work that was being done on the highway.

The collapse of I-95 caused major traffic disruption in Philadelphia, and it took several days to clear the debris and reopen the highway. The collapse also raised concerns about the safety of other aging infrastructure in the United States.

Here are some of the latest updates on the I-95 collapse:

  • The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the cause of the collapse.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has reopened a portion of I-95, but the full highway is still closed.
  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released $25 million in emergency funding to help with the repairs.
  • The collapse has raised concerns about the safety of other aging infrastructure in the United States.

Image credit

U.S. Federal Highway Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Real story behind Rs 2000 note ban by RBI

The real story behind the Rs 2000 note ban by RBI is a complex one.

There are many different perspectives on the issue.

However, the significant impact will be on businesses that sell alcohol in India, including state governments in India. Since most alcohol purchases happen via cash, which often does not get converted into white money, alcohol company stocks might take a hit. The other major sector that will take a hit is real estate where it is speculated that 50% of the transaction value is dealt with cash. Another sector is jewelry and luxury cars.

Some people believe that the note ban was a genuine attempt to crack down on black money and corruption. the new Rs 2000 note ban would make it more difficult for criminals to operate.

Others believe that the note ban was more about political grandstanding than about actually tackling corruption. They argue that the move was designed to appease the public and to distract from other problems facing the government, though RBI reduced printing the note for the last 5 years.

It is also possible that the note ban was a combination of both of these factors. It is possible that the government was genuinely concerned about black money, but that they also saw the opportunity to use the issue to their political advantage.

Key arguments for and against the Rs 2000 note ban:

Arguments in favor of the note ban:

  • The note ban was a necessary step to crack down on black money and corruption.
  • The new Rs 2000 note would make it more difficult for criminals to operate.
  • The note ban would boost the economy by encouraging people to deposit their black money in banks.

Arguments against the note ban:

  • The note ban was a disruptive and inconvenient measure.
  • The note ban will lead to a sharp decline in economic activity.
  • The note ban did not have a significant impact on black money.

The truth about the Rs 2000 note ban is likely somewhere in between these two extremes. It was a complex issue with no easy answers.

Rs 2000 note ban

Image credit

Reserve Bank of India, GODL-India, via Wikimedia Commons

Russia boosts oil and gas output

Russia boosts oil and gas output

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI
Oil extends gains in Asian trading after rising for seven weeks. A global energy crunch due to a shortage of coal and gas ahead of winter is pushing the price of crude oil. Brent futures rose by over $1 to $85.89 a barrel.
China’s September oil processing rate fell on feedstock shortage and environmental inspections, which cut production. The country’s economy grew at the slowest pace in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, supply bottlenecks, and sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has urged the country’s oil producers to increase output to support industries hit by high energy costs.
In India, diesel consumption fell in the first half of October compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary sales data. Diesel sales by the country’s state fuel retailers came in at 2.4 million tonnes during Oct. 1-15, a decline of about 9.2% from last year and down 0.9% from the same period in 2019, the data showed. – John Xavier
For more news on the global economy, business and markets, read our blog
Carmaker Toyota announced an investment of $3.4 billion inti automotive batteries in the U.S. and build a factory in the country for production. 
The 10-year investment is part of the company’s project announced last month to inject 1.5 trillion yen into the development and supply of batteries, at a time computer chip and in short supply.
Equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty soared to record highs today, led by banking, IT, and metal stocks. Sensex ended 0.75% higher at 61,765.59, while Nifty surged 0.76% to close at 18,477.05. 
The rupee closed 9 paise lower at 75.35 against the U.S. dollar. Separately, gold prices rose marginally by ₹37 to ₹46,306 per 10 grams.
Taiwan’s Foxconn unveiled three electric vehicle prototypes under ‘Foxtron’ brand, indicating a bullish stance on the world’s EV market. Foxtron Vice-Chairman Tso Chi-sen added that he hoped electric vehicles would be worth a million Taiwan dollars to Foxconn in five years’ time.
It first mentioned its EV ambitions in November 2019. And, this year it announced deals to build cars with U.S. startup Fisker Inc and Thailand’s energy group PTT Pcl.
Shares of DMart’s owner Avenue Supermarts tumbled 8% briefly after hitting a record high, over investor concerns about valuation.
The company reported a 110% surge in consolidated net profit for the September quarter earlier today. However, several brokerages flagged limitations to the stock’s upside due to high valuation.
Sterlite Power has bagged a power transmission project worth ₹324 crores. The Nangalbibra-Bongaigaon interstate power transmission project consists of a new 220/132 kV substation at Nangalbibra and laying of 130 km of 400kV D/c transmission line connecting Bongaigaon in Assam to Nangalbibra in Meghalaya across the river Brahmaputra.
Russia has cranked up oil and gas condensate output to 10.84 million barrels per day (bpd) over October 1-17, an increase from 10.72 million bpd on average in the previous month. The country’s decision to increase production comes as the OPEC+ phases out supply cuts due to a rise in demand.
Housing sales in eight major cities in the country grew 59% to 55,907 units in the July-September period, compared with the year-ago period, indicating signs of recovery. Eight prime residential markets that witnessed a remarkable upswing during the period were Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune. These cities showed a three-fold jump to 65,211 units.
The demand for residential properties bounced back in the September ending quarter after a drop in the previous quarter, PropTiger, one of the leading housing brokerage firms, said in a report. Housing units in the price bracket of less-than-₹45-lakh contributed the most to quarterly sales with a 40% share, as per the report.
Capital markets regulator Sebi has allowed six companies, including Adani Wilmar, Star Health & Allied Insurance, and Nykaa to launch initial public offerings (IPOs).
Adani Wilmar will issue new equity shares worth up to ₹4,500 crores. And, Star Health and Allied Insurance Company’s IPO will make a fresh issue of equity shares worth ₹2,000 crores.
The IPO of FSN E-Commerce Ventures, which runs an online marketplace for beauty and wellness products Nykaa, will offer new equity shares worth ₹525 crores.
Penna Cement Industries, Latent View Analytics, and Sigachi Industries are the other three firms that received Sebi’s clearance.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country has to issue government bonds to fund the pandemic-relief measures in the world’s third-largest economy.
“Japan is still in a crisis situation. To protect people’s lives and livelihood, we should decisively resort to government bond issuance to fund necessary policies,” Kishida said
After posting gains for two straight days last week, the Indian rupee was trading marginally lower against the U.S. dollar today. The domestic unit opened on a steady note against the greenback and traded cautiously between a high of 75.26 and a low of 75.29. The Indian currency is tracking a stronger greenback.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was up 0.17% at 94.09.
Oil prices surged, hitting their highest level in years on rising gas and coal prices, and an increase in demand. Brent crude rose 1.1% to $85.76 a barrel, while the U.S. WTI gained 1.5%, to $83.51 a barrel.
Brent hit a session-high of $86.04, the highest since October 2018. WTI touched a session high of $83.73, the highest since October 2014. Both contracts rose by at least 3% last week.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged oil producers to increase output and take measures to support industries facing high energy costs.
Kishida said he has instructed his cabinet to take “necessary action flexibly” to ease the pain caused by high oil prices, which could potentially damage the country’s economic recovery.
“We’re closely watching the impact oil price moves have on the domestic industry and people’s livelihood,” Kishida noted.

China’s coal output dipped in September compared to August, as production was curbed in some of the major coal-producing regions due to tighter safety inspections.
China, the world’s biggest coal producer and consumer-produced 334.1 million tonnes of the fuel last month, from 335.24 million tonnes in August, the National Bureau of Statistics data showed. The coal output in September was 0.9% lower than the year-ago period.
As China continues to suffer from power shortages, the government has initiated measures to increase coal output. China’s data last week showed that “current” daily coal output rose to over 11.2 million tonnes, the highest since February.
Petrol and diesel prices in the country are at record highs after another round of rate hikes on Sunday. Prices of petrol and diesel were increased by 35 paise per liter. Auto fuels now cost 33% more than the rate at which aviation turbine fuel or jet fuel is sold to airlines.
In Delhi, Petrol is now sold at ₹105.84 per liter, and diesel at ₹94.57 a liter, both prices touching record high levels.
With this rise, petrol is now at ₹ 100-a-liter mark or more in all State capitals while diesel has touched the 100-mark in over a dozen states.
China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, supply bottlenecks, and sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.9% in July-September from a year earlier. China’s recovery is losing steam after a rebound. 
A slowing property sector is also weighing on the country’s economy. Property stocks in the country plunged even as the People’s Bank of China said spillover effects from Evergrande Group’s debt woes were controllable.
The CSI300 Real Estate Index, which tracks China’s biggest developers, fell more than 2%, while an index tracking the broader sector was down roughly 1.7%.
The People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang said on Sunday the economy faces challenges such as default risks for certain firms due to “mismanagement”, and that authorities are keeping a close eye “so they do not become systematic risks”.
Indian indices opened on a strong note today amid mixed global cues. The BSE Sensex hit a new all-time high at 61,894.33, after opening over 500 points higher than its previous close at 61,817.32. Similarly, NSE Nifty gained 161.55 points to open at 18,500.10, a fresh record high.
Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong plunged following the release of Chinese economic data for the third quarter, which showed that the world’s second-largest economy grew slower than expected.
China’s gross domestic product grew 4.9% in July-September from a year earlier. Chinese blue chips fell 1.53%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.45% in early trade after opening in green.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last down 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi opened at 3,017.48, marginally higher than its previous close.
The decline in the Asian market comes after stocks globally ended last week in a bullish mood posting their best day in five months on Friday.

—-  Edited by John Xavier
(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)
Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 7:09:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/business-news-live/article37048200.ece
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Host of reasons, including economic recovery and geopolitics, behind the trend

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