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Business News/ Special Report / Best of Mint Primer 2023

Best of Mint Primer 2023

Understanding complex issues, made simple

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows India as the only large economy whose factory output is growing significantly. (File Photo: AP)Premium
The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows India as the only large economy whose factory output is growing significantly. (File Photo: AP)

Amidst the noise prevalent across the news these days, it's difficult to understand the facts and distill the important information. This is where Mint Primer comes in. We're dedicated to helping readers understand complicated situations not only from India, but across the globe. 

A Mint Primer typically contains five pointed questions that surround any issue. We then answer those questions in a concise manner — a simple yet encompassing way to understand that issue in a succint manner.

From the stock markets to geopolitical ties and personal wealth, Mint Primer always has you covered. Here are some of our top Primers from 2023:

Sensex surging: Will this be the new normal?

The stock markets hit record highs in 2023. Then they did it again, and once more — as soon as a couple of days ago. Sensex and Nifty, the benchmark indices, have been faring well despite ongoing global tensions. Manvi Agarwal breaks down the resiliency of India's stock markets, and tells you if you can expect these sunny days to continue.

A fissured land: Israel, Palestine and Hamas

One major global conflict erupted in 2023, and it continues to divide opinion and people in the Middle East. Dipankar de Sarkar takes a bipartisan look at the Israel-Hamas conflict, providing context to answer some key questions surround this war.

It's not been a shining year for the diamond workers of Surat.
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It's not been a shining year for the diamond workers of Surat. (Reuters)

Crisis in diamond city: Is Surat’s glitter dimming?

Not everything that glitters is gold: sometimes, it can be diamonds. But in 2023, lab-grown diamonds took a huge leap, to the extent that seasoned professionals are now struggling to differentiate between natural and artificial ones. A big fallout of that effect is seen in Surat, the diamond-polishing capital of the world. With lower volumes of diamonds being processed, many workers have struggled and turned desperate. N. Madhavan explains this change in Surat's most common livelihood.

What explains the resilience of Indian manufacturing?

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) shows India as the only large economy whose factory output is growing significantly. In a rare show of slowdown, China is now growing slower than India. N. Madhavan writes about this trend, and why it's significant for India's global ambitions. Read more.

Why are the rich leaving India?

More than 6,000 rich people, who have a net worth of more than $1 million, are projected to have left the country this year. Tauseef Shahidi explains this wealth drain, and why the rich choose to emigrate.

Are Indian students fooling varsities down under?

Two Australian universities barred Indian students from taking admission in their colleges after multiple cases of fraudulant credentials were found from previously-admitted Indian students. Tauseef Shahidi writes about this incident, explaining the history and the decision that ired a lot of Indian students.

Can India become a developed nation by 2047?

India has big plans: most prominent of those, to become a superpower by 2047. While this feat presents a lot of challenges, it also provides for widespread opportunities for a country like India. Tauseef Shahidi outlines the blueprint that could get India to achieve its dreams in the next two decades.

The bitter truth about artificial sweeteners

The real ill-effects of sugar, especially for Indians, have just come to the fore. From tea to sweets to even butter chicken, sugar seems difficult to escape. Artifical sweetners have found a lot of takers. But they have their own set of ugly truths. Nandita Venkatesan warns against freely substituting artificial sweetners for sugar.

Not Go-ing anywhere soon.
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Not Go-ing anywhere soon. (Reuters)

Bailing out: What went wrong at Go First Airlines

Flyers were miffed after Go First was grounded — other airlines shot up their prices. Anu Sharma explains the reasons why the airline's wings were clipped, and if there's any hope left for the fleet to fly again.

12-hr workday: What works and what doesn’t

Reaching peak manufacturing capacities is also a result of extended work hours for workers in factories. Archaic laws have made changes in labour difficult, but workers's rights and working conditions also have to be taken into consideration. Devina Sengupta presents a balanced view on the topic.

What rising employee costs mean for IT firms

Blue-collar employee costs have shot up of late. In crunch times, these salaries are the first to go, especially for IT firms. Manjul Paul and Devina Sengupta write about these costs, and how IT companies dealt with wage costs.

Why Telangana has a persistent inflation problem

India's newest state is consistently plagued with high inflation. What makes the essentials so expensive in Telangana? N. Madhavan explains.

Why Generative AI is a house divided

2023 also saw the rapid emergence of generative artificial intelligence — the purpoted replacement for all things content-related. Anyone that has used any AI-related products such as ChatGPT will tell you that the possibilities are both exciting and scary. Leslie D'Monte writes about this dichotomy, and what global AI experts have been saying.

EV and SUV? SRK must've saved on a lot of taxes.
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EV and SUV? SRK must've saved on a lot of taxes. (PTI)

A taxing question India can’t resolve: What’s an SUV?

Half of the cars sold this year were categorised as a sports utility vehicle (SUV). After all, navigating Indian roads should qualify as an adventure sport. But apart from its on and off-road abilities, SUVs provide for another benefit: lower taxes. The government charges differently for different types of cars, and SUVs fall in the lower brackets. The problem is, India's definition for SUVs is quite liberal. Nobody knows what an SUV exactly is, and everyone wants one. Sumant Banerjee writes about this interesting conundrum.

What’s next in the Yes Bank AT1 bonds saga?

hBonds are purpoted to be very safe investments, all things considered. But with troubled lender Yes Bank, things were different. As a part of the bank's bailout, more than 8,000 crore worth of bonds had to be written off. This was the first such case in Indian banking history. Gopika Gopakumar explains the entire situation.

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Shashwat Mohanty
Shashwat works in the Subscriptions team, often thinking and executing ideas that could get people to pay for news. He is interested in editorial-led iniatives, as he believes that genuined journalism is still extremely valuable. He is a co-writer of Mint's flagship newsletter, Top of the Morning, and also writes the script of the podcast by the same name. Shashwat is also the producer and acontributer to the Best of the Week newsletter. When he's not missing deadlines, he likes attending live music gigs, discussing baseball, and complaining about the mileage of his car.
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Published: 29 Dec 2023, 11:02 AM IST
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