July 5, 1979, Forty Years Ago
The convention of Congressmen convened by Devaraj Urs scored a striking success in fusing the hearts of all Congressmen opposed to Indira Gandhi and paved the way for an early session of the pre-1978 split session of the AICC. This will in turn formalise the unity of the two Congresses and prepare the ground for former Congressmen — now in other parties — also to come under the banner of the Indian National Congress. Sceptics who doubted the success of the convention were surprised as speaker after speaker not only upheld the unity idea but also showered praise on Urs for taking the lead in making this fusion possible.
Alcohol as fuel
A team of experts is going to Brazil to study various aspects of the use of alcohol as fuel for automobiles in place of petrol. The petroleum and chemicals ministry has decided to try to find substitutes for gasoline following the steep rise in crude prices and the problem of its availability. Brazil has successfully experimented with blending alcohol with petrol for use in automobiles without any engine renovation or adaptation of the carburettors. According to reports, a blend containing upto 20 per cent alcohol can give good results and lead to saving of fuel. The ministry has intensified research within India to examine the best combination for the blend. IIT Delhi and the Faridabad Research and Development Centre of the Indian Oil Corporation have been entrusted with this task .
In an unusual fit of frankness, China’s leaders have told the nation’s 960 million people that they face three years of tight budgets, hard work and economic readjustment before they can resume the “new leap forward” towards industrial modernisation. However, Premier Hua Guofeng delivered a glowing report to the second session of the fifth National People’s Congress as to how well the economy had recovered from the near-collapse of 1976.