OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES Will South Asia go blind? FE LINES WHY NASA LAUNCHED A ROBOTIC ARCHAEOLOGIST NAMED LUCY The unity song A new version of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara gets popular Page 6 The mission will study asteroids known as Trojans that may contain secrets of how planets ended up in their current orbits Page 10 ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM VOL. XVIII, NO. 8 WORDS WORTH Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM THE MADNESS OF MUSK KOLKATA SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2021, 14 PAGES, `10 (NE STATES & ANDAMAN `13) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , READ TO LEAD H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K A T A , L U C K N O W , M U M B A I , VACCINE PRODUCTION BOOST Biological E to get $50-m US funding WHAT'S INSIDE ● To formalise the financing agreement with DFC on Monday ■ SPOTLIGHT, P7 Tech care, kids Amid projections over a rise in infections among children during an anticipated third wave of Covid-19 in India, healthcare startups dedicated to the younger age groups are seeing a rise FE BUREAU Pune, October 23 THE US INTERNATIONAL Devel- opment Finance Corporation (DFC)willfurnish$50millionto Biological E Limited to increase its Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity.A media invitation from the US Consulate said thechiefoperatingofficerofthe DFC David Marchick and BiologicalEMDMahimaDatlawill formalise the financing agreementonOctober25. Biologic E is carrying out Phase 2/3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, Corbevax, and has received advance orders from the government of India for supplying 30 crore doses by December.Thegovernmenthas ■ LEISURE, P5 The lockdown canvas Artists study human behavioural changes triggered by the pandemic to find new dimensions in their art ODD & EVEN FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY An interesting attempt to uncover the story behind Musk the man and his biz Page 4 BIG PUSH ■ Biologic E carrying out Phase 2/3 trials of its Corbevax vaccine ■ To supply 30 crore doses by December ■ Govt has paid in advance ` 1,500 crore to Biological E It has plans to make 1 billion doses by 2022. This includes its own vaccine and J&J The DFC funding was promised during the Quad Leaders Summit in March made an advance payment of `1,500 crore to Biological E. Hyderabad-based Biological E has plans to make one billion doses of the vaccine by end of 2022. This includes Biological E’s own vaccine and manufacturing of the Johnson and Johnsonvaccine in India. Continued on Page 12 N E W D E L H I , P U N E FIXED BROADBAND Jio overtakes Bharti to win second spot KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, October 23 BharatBiotech,DrReddy’sLaboratories,ZydusCadila,Biological E, Gennova Biopharma and Panacea Biotech and discussed the future course of action with vaccine makers to make India a superpower in vaccines. The country administered 102.08 crore vaccines as on Saturday and had crossed the 100 crore jobonThursdaywith71%ofthe adult population getting their first shots and 31% fullyvaccinatedwithtwoshots. Industry and government worked togetherto achieve this milestone, the vaccine makers said aftermeeting the PM. RELIANCE JIO HAS overtaken Bharti Airtel to become the second-largest fixed broadband provider in the country on the back of healthy additions over the last many months. In fact, Jio has been consistently adding around 2 lakh fixed broadband connections every month in the past and in August, the number has risen to 2.4 lakh. State-owned BSNL is the largest fixed line broadband player in terms of subscribers. Although Bharti Airtel has also been adding fixed broadband subscribers every month, the pace is slower than Jio. Both these operators are capturing the market share from BSNL, which has been losing customers at an alarming rate. As per a report by Nomura, BSNL had a market share of 44% in fixed broadband before the launch of JioFiber in September 2019. Since then, the state-run firm’s share has come down to 21.5%. Continued on Page 12 Continued on Page 12 Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting with Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla (centre) and other Covid-19 vaccine makers in New Delhi on Saturday PTI VACCINATION MILESTONE Entire world looking up to India after our success: PM FE BUREAU Pune, October 23 PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA Modi on Saturday praised effortsofIndianvaccinemanufacturers, which, he said, resultedinthecountrycrossing the milestone of 100 crore vaccinations.Heacknowledgedthe big role played by the vaccine makers in India’s success story. He said the entire world is looking up to India against the backdrop of the success of the vaccination drive, adding that the vaccine manufacturers should continuously work together to be ready to face future challenges. ❝ "Vaccine makers should work together to be ready to face future challenges" — NARENDRA MODI, PM The PM exhorted that the country needs to institutionalise the best practices learnt during the last one and a half years.PM Modi interacted with thedomesticvaccinemanufacturers at Lok Kalyan Marg. Modi met representatives of Serum Institute of India (SII), QuickPicks ROHNIT PHORE Major oil producer Saudi Arabia announces net-zero by 2060 ONE OFTHE world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, announced Saturday it aims to reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining more than 100 countries in a global effort to try and curb man-made climate change. The announcement, made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in brief scripted remarks at the start of the kingdom's first-ever Saudi Green Initiative Forum, was timed to make a splash before the start of the global COP26 climate conference in Scotland.PAGE 12 '' don’t bother for scars any more. '' LONG WAITING Demand for cars high; supply low ● New launches, popular models continue to see high demand VIKRAM CHAUDHARY New Delhi, October 23 THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY is going through a phase where demand is high but supply-side constraints due to chip shortage are playing spoilsport as manufacturers have to curtail production. This is leading to high bookings for newly launched models as well as the popular selling ones.The end result is that the waiting list period for customerswould go on increasing over the next few months. BOOK MY CAR ■ Mahindra’s XUV700 SUV has clocked over 65,000 bookings in just 2 weeks from the start of bookings on Oct 7 ■ Skoda Kushaq has crossed the 10,000-booking milestone ■ The Thar, launched last year in October, has clocked over 75,000 bookings ■ MG’s Astor, whose bookings started on October 21, has clocked 5,000 bookings within minutes and has been completely sold out for calendar year 2021 ■ The Taigun, launched on September 23, has clocked 12,221 pre-bookings (before even the announcement of its price) Hot-selling models like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Maruti Suzuki Swift, continue toseehighdemand.Apartfrom them,carslaunchedinthepast two-three months have been getting huge bookings, even though there is not enough clarity by when carmakers will be able to deliver them. For instance, Mahindra’s XUV700 SUV,whose bookings commenced on October 7,has clocked over 65,000 bookings injusttwoweeks,thecarmaker saidonOctober20.Availablein both five and seven-seat configurations, the XUV700 is priced starting `12.49 lakh (ex-showroom). Similarly, the Thar, launched last year in October and priced starting `12.49 lakh, has clocked over 75,000 bookings. The Thar,in fact,has one of the longest waiting periods; the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (Fada) told FE that the waiting period of the Thar diesel is 9-11 months, and that of the Thar petrol is 3-4 months. MG’s Astor, whose bookings started on October 21 and which clocked5,000bookingswithin minutes, has been completely sold out for calendar year 2021,the company said. Continued on Page 12 To get blemish free skin use NO SCARS. It helps to reduce and remove, scars and marks. RA ALOE VE 100r% ue P rian a Veget ap So The curious case of vacant office spaces ● For second time since 2017, vacancy levels have breached the 13-14%-mark RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, October 23 Vacancy levels in commercial real estate (CRE) space have surpassed the 16% mark with net absorptions failing to keep pace with comple- tions. This is the second time since 2017 that vacancy levels have breached the 13-14%-mark. According to JLL India, vacancy levels at the end of the July-September period this calendar year rose to 16.4% — the seventh straight quarter of rise. This is the highest level in last 11 quarters. During Q1 2019, vacancy levels stood at 13.3% from where it declined to 12.8% in Q1 2021, then Covid struck and levels have been rising ever since. “New completions continued its streak of previous two quarters (Q1 and Q2) with 10.8 million sq ft (MSF) of supply influx during Q3 2021. Continued on Page 12 Face h Was PREMIUM QUALITY SOAP Get dazzling Glamour with... 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