Global News in Five Minutes
- India resumes international flights after two-long years post-Covid
India resumed international flights after a gap of two long years on April 17. The big move has been taken amid widening global vaccine coverage, the government has said. Adapting to the world hit by the pandemic, the aviation industry – in the country a nd internationally – has faced many setbacks with new variants leading to the resurgence of Covid cases several times in the last two years
2. News comment: Without international solidarity, Ukraine’s displacement crisis could turn into a catastrophe
Millions have been living through the horror of war in Ukraine. In a month, many civilians have lost their lives, with thousands more injured. Families have been torn apart. This unspeakable suffering and mass human displacement will only worsen without an immediate end to the fighting. The war in Ukraine has generated enormous suffering but also inspired acts of great courage, generosity and compassion. Ensuring continued support to its innocent victims is vital if we are to stop this crisis from turning into a catastrophe.
- In a sudden move, Singapore’s eCommerce major Shopee decides to exit India
In just about six months of starting operations in India, Singapore’s eCommerce firm Shopee has decided to shut its India operations, according to three people in the know. Shopee announced to its local team in a company-wide town hall in the last week of March that it will exit India. The move also came a month after India banned Free Fire, a game operated by Shopee’s parent Sea Ltd.
- Axis Bank, kept out of Reliance Capital insolvency process, eyes legal options
Axis Bank has protested against its exclusion from Reliance Capital’s insolvency process, claiming that it is a financial creditor of the company and should be included in the committee of creditors, people aware of the matter said. It made the demand in a communication to the Reserve Bank of India-appointed administrator for the company.
- States working out tariff issues with Tata, Adani Power
States buying electricity from the two large, imported coal-based plants totalling 8 GW in Gujarat owned by Tata Power and Adani Power are working on the resolution of issues amid record demand projections this summer. About 17 GW of imported coal-based plants are non-operational because of high prices that have made it unviable at the current tariffs available to them. It is putting pressure on domestic demand for coal and leading to low fuel stocks.
6. Byju’s, Qatar Investment Authority announced the launch of a new edtech business
Byju’s and Qatar Investment Authority have partnered to launch a new edtech business and research and development centre in Doha, a statement said. The new entity in Doha will drive research and innovation to create learning solutions customised for students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
7. ‘Rise of the BA.2 variant is worrisome’: Quebec urges caution as it warns of ‘possible’ 6th COVID wave
Quebec is urging people to be prudent amid rising COVID-19 cases as the province says it is possibly gearing up for a sixth wave of the pandemic driven by the even more transmissible BA.2 Omicron sub-variant. Interim public health director Dr Luc Boileau held a rare Sunday press conference issuing a warning to Quebecers, saying several indicators of another wave are on the rise as experts closely monitor an upsurge in the spread, but that “it is still too soon to say that a sixth wave is officially here.”
8. ‘Political Will Needed’: After Covid, India Tries to Get on Top of Tuberculosis
When Covid-19 ripped through India in 2020-21, several million people are thought to have died. Desperate efforts to stem the pandemic hurt the battle against another huge killer: tuberculosis. India is the home to a quarter of the world’s TB infections, and an estimated half a million people died of the curable lung disease in 2020 in the South Asian nation — a third of the global toll. Because of the pandemic, global deaths from the “silent killer” rose in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade, reversing years of progress, the World Health Organization says. In India, the number of new cases detected in 2020 fell by a quarter to around 1.8 million due to Covid restrictions and as the pandemic diverted resources.
9.’Kashmir Files important for BJP. For me..’: Kejriwal on what he did for Pandits
After facing backlash over his remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ in the Delhi assembly, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said his speech was “presented in a wrong way”. In an interview with Times Now Navbharat, the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said all he had demanded was that everyone should rise above the party line and work for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.
- Hindus can get minority status in some states: Centre to Supreme Court
The Centre has told the Supreme Court that states can consider granting Hindus the ‘minority’ status if the community is not in the majority within their jurisdictions to enable them to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice, in keeping with the rights guaranteed to minorities by the Constitution.
- Amit Shah’s Plan For Chandigarh Government Employees Riles Punjab Parties
Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement that the Chandigarh Union Territory administration employees will have the same benefits as Central government employees have the political parties in Punjab – the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the opposition Akali Dal and Congress – up in arms. All alleged that it dilutes Punjab’s claim on Chandigarh and is against the spirit of federalism. AAP alleged it was a panic reaction by the BJP after its big victory in the state.
12. Bharat Bandh: Kerala HC directs the state to restrict govt employees from participating in the strike
A joint forum of central trade unions, supported by the All India Bank Employees Association, had called for a nationwide strike on March 28 and March 29 against the Central government’s policies affecting workers, farmers, and people in general. The decision came following a meeting on March 22 where the trade unions said they would protest against the Centre’s “anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies”. The bank unions are participating in protesting against the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.
13. Worldwide Foundation to Continue Bridging Credit Union Gaps Worldwide
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU) continues its work to champion and strengthen the global credit union movement by extending its Bridge the Gap campaign through 2022. Encouraged by the success of the campaign in 2021, Worldwide Foundation is inviting credit unions and system partners to hear distinct voices from the international credit union movement through four initiatives that provide tangible examples of how its work is transforming people’s lives—and the work of World Council of Credit Unions.
14. Breaking news highlights: CBI arrests former NSE CEO Chitra Ramkrishna
A SEBI order has levied a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna for violating rules in his appointment.
According to SEBI, several key decisions taken by Ramkrishna during her tenure as NSE’s MD and CEO from 2013 to 2016, including Subramanian’s appointment, were guided by an unidentified “Paramahansa who may be largely dwelling in the Himalayan Ranges”.
15. Moradabad 2nd in the world in noise pollution: UN report
Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad is the second-most noise polluted city globally, according to the recent ‘Annual Frontier Report, 2022’ published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report said that the area recorded noise pollution of an ear-splitting 114 decibels at its highest (dB) in 2021. The report ranks 61 cities around the world, of which Dhaka tops the list with noise pollution of 119 dB. Islamabad is third, with maximum noise pollution of 105 dB. Thirteen cities from South Asia feature in the list. Five of them are from India. The other four are Kolkata at 89 dB, Asansol (89 dB), Jaipur (84 dB), and Delhi at 83 dB.
- Biden calls India ‘shaky’ in Russia confrontation
India is among a small minority of countries that have not called out Moscow for its attack on Ukraine, which began on February 24. The Biden administration had said, soon after the invasion began, that it hoped those countries with stronger ties to Moscow than the US would leverage their relationship in a “constructive way”, and New Delhi has repeatedly highlighted the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been on the phone with the leaders of Ukraine and Russia. However, weeks into the attack, pressure mounted for India to take a stronger stand against Mr Putin.
- Protestors raise ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ slogan against Pak Army, take out massive rallies after Imran Khan’s ouster: Top developments
After multiple delays, the voting on the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led PTI government began in the country’s National Assembly late on Saturday night. As many as 174 members recorded their votes favouring the motion to remove Khan from the office after the Speaker and the deputy Speaker tendered their resignation late Saturday night.
18. PM Modi, US President Biden to have virtual meet ahead of India-US 2+2 talks
US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a virtual meeting on Monday ahead of the 2+2 bilateral engagement between the two countries’ top foreign policy and defence officials, the White House announced on Sunday. The two sides will discuss the familiar basket of issues, including strengthening the global economy and security in the Indo-Pacific, the White House said. It added that President Biden “will continue our close consultations on the consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilising impact on global food supply and commodity markets.”
- Australia-India partnership for nurturing global success
The India-Australia relationship is at an all-time high. The pace and scale of our cooperation have grown swiftly since our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was agreed upon in 2020. The recent Summit between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on March 21 called for a new level of ambition to drive our cooperation forward, particularly when it comes to our economic cooperation. And education is a sector that holds great potential.