Trump appoints Indian-American Raj Shah to key position in Communications team

US President Donald Trump on 12 September 2017 appointed Indian-American Raj Shah to a key position in his Communications team.

The White House said in a statement that Shah will serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Formerly, Shah was serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director.

Trump also appointed Hope Hicks as his Communications Director. Earlier, Hicks was serving as Assistant to the President and Interim Communications Director.

Other appointments at White House includes

Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications: Mercedes Schlapp, a Fox News contributor and columnist for The Washington Times.

Director of Strategic Response: Steven Cheung, who previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Assistant Communications Director.

About Raj Shah

• 32-year-old, Shah is one of the handfuls of Trump’s aides who were given a post in the White House within hours of him being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Trump was sworn in as President on 20 January 2017.

• Shah was Director of Opposition Research in the Republican National Committee (RNC) before moving to the White House.

• His parents are from Gujarat, who migrated to the US in the 1980s.

India witnessed third highest terror attacks in 2016: US

According to the Country Report on Terrorism released by the US State Department, India witnessed third highest number of terrorist attacks in 2016, more than Pakistan.
The six countries that faced highest number of terrorist attacks in 2016 are Iraq (2,965 terrorist attacks), Afghanistan (1,340), India (927), Pakistan (734), Philippines (482), Nigeria (466).
Key Highlights from report
Several countries that have routinely experienced large numbers of terrorist attacks in recent years observed considerable decreases in total attacks in 2016, compared to 2015.
In 2015, Iraq (2418 attacks) and Afghanistan (1708) were ranked first and second respectively, while Pakistan took the third spot (1009 attacks).
The number of terrorist attacks in India in 2016 has increased by 16% and total number of deaths also has increased by 17%.
More than half of the terrorist attacks in India in 2016 took place in four states: Jammu and Kashmir (19%), Chhattisgarh (18%), Manipur (12%) and Jharkhand (10%).
This geographic pattern of attacks was relatively stable compared to 2015, with the exception of J&K which experienced an increase of 93% in attacks in 2016.
Though India ranked 3rd, the lethality of these terrorists attacks were relatively low compared to other countries that have experienced great deal of terror violence.
On average, terror attacks in India led to 0.4 deaths per attack in 2016, compared to 2.4 deaths per attack worldwide.
Nearly three-quarters of attacks at 73% were non-lethal in India in 2016. The majority of attacks in India either involved explosions/bombings at 47% or armed assaults at 18%.
In addition, kidnappings at 15% of all attacks were particularly prevalent in India, compared to 10% worldwide, while facility/infrastructure attacks were at 12% of all attacks, compared to 6% worldwide.
The deadliest attack in India in 2016 took place in July 2016, when the Communist Party of India – Maoist (left wing extremists) detonated explosives and opened fire on CRPF personnel in Bihar, killing 16 people including six assailants.

Eight core sectors growth slips to 3.6% in May 2017 

The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 3.6% in May 2017 due to fall in output of coal and fertilisers.

It was 5.2% in May 2016. In April 2017, these eight sectors had recorded a growth rate of 2.8%.

Core industry can be defined as the main industry.

In most countries, there is a particular industry that seems to be the backbone of all other industries and it qualifies to be the core industry.

In India, there are eight core sectors comprising of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.

The electricity has the maximum weight of 10.32% followed by Steel (6.68%), Petroleum Refinery (5.94%), Crude Oil production (5.22 %), Coal production (4.38 %), Cement (2.41%), Natural Gas production (1.71 %) and Fertilizer production (1.25%).

These eight Core Industries comprise nearly 38% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which measures factory output.

Key Facts In May 2017, Coal and fertiliser productions recorded negative growth of 3.3% and 6.5%, respectively.

Steel sector growth dipped to 3.7% as against 13.4% in May 2016.

Slow growth in these key sectors may also have implications on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) number as these segments account for about 41% to the total factory output.

However, growth in refinery products and electricity output grew by 5.4% and 6.4% in May 2017 as against 3.3% and 6.2%, respectively in the same period last year.

Natural gas production too grew by 4.5% in May 2017 as against a negative growth rate of 6.5% a year earlier.