- National Day
Q.) Carmichael coal mine project is associated with which country?
Q.) What _____ % of groundwater and surface water is contaminated in India?
Q.) The 67th National Film Awards for Best Feature film is won by?
- Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea
- Knock Knock Knock
- Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham
- 3 weeks ago, India started second phase of the mass vaccination programme
- Now, anyone above 45 years can get it
- The U.K. model of vaccination based on age bands rather than on comorbidities
- Only severe comorbidities make you eligible for it
- The decision to make comorbidities redundant for a vaccine is commendable
- There is now increasing willingness to get vaccinated
- Increasing the gap between two Covishield doses partly addresses vaccine shortage
- India has the wherewithal to accelerate the daily vaccination rate
- Political will is missing
- Lack of microplanning
- Clearly, there is a case for reaching out to people to quickly increase vaccine uptake.
Remove the wedges in India-Bangladesh ties
- India – Bangladesh Friendship
- Bangladesh’s Liberation War – nearly 3,900 Indian soldiers gave up their lives and an estimated 10 million Bangladeshi refugees took shelter in India
- Post-Independence, the India-Bangladesh relationship has oscillated as Bangladesh passed through different regimes.
- In the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to become more assimilated in the areas of trade, connectivity, energy, and defence.
- Land Boundary Agreement in 2015
- Sheikh Hasina has uprooted anti-India insurgency elements from its borders
- Bangladesh today is India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia with exports to Bangladesh in FY 2018-19 at $9.21 billion and imports at $1.04 billion.
- India has offered duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi products.
- India can further remove non-tariff barriers
- On the development front, cooperation has deepened, with India extending three lines of credit to Bangladesh in recent years amounting to $8 billion for the construction of roads, railways, bridges, and ports.
- Bangladeshis make up a large portion of tourists in India, outnumbering all tourists arriving from western Europe in 2017, with one in every five tourists being a Bangladeshi.
- Bangladesh accounts for more than 35% of India’s international medical patients and contributes more than 50% of India’s revenue from medical tourism.
- Connectivity between the two countries has greatly improved.
- A direct bus service between Kolkata and Agartala runs a route distance of 500 km
- There are three passenger and freight railway services running between the two countries, with two more routes on their way to be restored.
- Recently, a 1.9 kilometre long bridge, the Maitri Setu, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, connecting Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.
- Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura access open water routes through the Chattogram and Mongla ports
- Unresolved Teesta water sharing issue
- Border killings are yet to stop
- National Register of Citizens
- China – cheque book diplomacy
- To make the recent gains irreversible, both countries need to continue working on the three Cs — cooperation, collaboration, and consolidation.
- The Supreme Court, after a brief hearing on March 24, reserved orders on the question of whether or not to stay the electoral bond scheme, ahead of the upcoming State elections.
- Dominant method of political party funding in India
- Across democratic societies, and through time, it has been proven beyond doubt that money is the most effective way of buying policy, of engaging in regulatory capture, and of skewing the playing field in one’s own favour.
- The Indian Supreme Court has long held — and rightly so — that the “right to know”, especially in the context of elections, is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression under the Indian Constitution.
- Elections are a battle of ideas
- Since the donations are routed through the State Bank of India, it is possible for the government to find out who is donating to which party, but not for the political opposition to know.
- One of the most critical functions of an independent judiciary in a functioning democracy is to referee the fundamentals of the democratic process.
- The petition challenging the constitutional validity of the electoral bonds scheme was filed in 2018.
- The case, which is absolutely vital to the future health of Indian democracy, has been left unheard for three years.
- Samsung is the only company among 16 that has surpassed both investment and output targets under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for handsets and components this year
- The PLI scheme for handset and component makers was aimed at attracting companies mainly from China and boosting local manufacturing for domestic and export markets.
- The incentives are given upon achieving investment and production targets.
- The handset industry urged the government to roll over the targets and combine them with next year’s goals, but there has been no decision yet.
Bulls Retreat Further as Covid Cases Go up
- The stock market slumped for the second day in a row as growing worries about a fresh Covid-19 wave took a toll on risk appetite.
- The Sensex declined 740 points, or 1.5%, to close at 48,440.12 on Thursday. The Nifty fell 224.5 points, or 1.5%, to 14,324.90.
- The daily count of coronavirus cases in India has crossed 50,000 for the first time in five months.
Bid for Air India
- SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh has partnered with Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority and Ankur Bhatia, promoter of Delhi-based Bird Group, to bid for a 100% stake in the national carrier Air India.
- Singh had co-founded SpiceJet in 2005.
- The Singh-led consortium had submitted an Expression of Interest (EoI) for Air India in December last year and has been shortlisted as a potential bidder.
- The other contender is the Tata Group, which is the frontrunner.
- The government has been trying to privatise Air India for a long time.
- The current process got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The government had failed to get any bid for Air India in 2018, when it was trying to sell a 76% stake in the airline.
- It then decided to offload 100% of Air India and its low-cost international subsidiary Air India Express, as well as 50% in ground-handling unit AISATS.
- Air India is set to make a record loss of ₹10,000 crore in the current financial year.
Petrol Prices Cut by 21p, Diesel by 20p
State-run oil companies slashed prices of petrol and diesel by 21 paise and 20 paise per litre
- Cumulatively, petrol prices are down by 39 paise and diesel prices by 37 paise a litre in two days.
- On Wednesday, oil companies started reducing prices, which had been rising for months.
- Prices of petrol had risen by ₹20 per litre and of diesel by ₹12 per litre in the past 10 months.
- Reduction in fuel prices follows a 10% collapse this month in international crude oil rates, which have dipped below $64 a barrel.
- A fresh surge in coronavirus infections in several countries and orders of lockdowns at many places in Europe.
- Budget session of Parliament concludes; Both Houses adjourn sine die
- Parliament passes National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill to provide long term finance for infrastructure projects
- Campaigning ends for first phase of assembly elections in Assam and West Bengal; Voting on Saturday
- More than 5 crore 46 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the country so far
- Several states impose local restrictions ahead of festivals to contain spread of COVID-19
- Govt launches second tranche of auction for commercial coal mining for 67 blocks
- South Korea’s National Defence Minister to be on 3- day visit to India from today
- CJI Bobde recommends name of Justice NV Ramana as his successor
- United States, Europe pledge deeper cooperation to counter China
- India, China to maintain communication to promote settlement of other issues: Chinese Defense Ministry
- India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries
- Bangladesh reports highest COVID-19 infection since July 2