Name the country/ies sharing land border/s with Lebanon.
The script of disruption and a new order
Abnormal could well become the new normal.
Pandemics have often changed the world and reshaped human society.
Commentators are already talking of fundamental alterations in governance and business norms.
How pandemic will impact human values and conduct?
International community might well cease to exist.
UN, UNSC, WHO have failed to measure up to the grave challenge posed by the pandemic.
Economic front, the World Bank has already predicted negative growth for most nations.
Loss of millions of jobs across all segments will further complicate this situation.
Anachronistic laws may get a new lease of life.
Europe has shown a willingness to sacrifice personal liberties in favour of greater state control.
Post COVID-19, the world may have to pay a heavy price in terms of loss of liberty.
China is seeking to convert its ‘failure’ into a significant opportunity.
China has started doing Opportunistic Takeover.
China is poised to dominate the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Belt and Road Initiative: preparing the way for a China-centric multilateral globalisation framework.
U.S.’s capacity to play a critical role in world affairs is certain to diminish.
Germany, which may still retain some of its present strength, is already turning insular, while both France and a post-Brexit United Kingdom will be out of the reckoning as of now.
Coming to West Asia, both Saudi Arabia and Iran are set to face difficult times.
There may be no victors, but Israel may be one country that is in a position to exploit this situation to its advantage.
In the meantime, the economic downturn greatly reduces India’s room for manoeuvre.
In South Asia, it faces the prospect of being isolated, with the Chinese juggernaut winning Beijing new friends and contacts across a region deeply impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India in the post-pandemic world
Yes, we all know that the world we once knew has gone, perhaps forever.
What has not changed though, is human nature itself.
What we do not know is much greater than what we do know, about ourselves and the world we live in.
We first need to think about where we are headed as a post-pandemic India.
The role that India plays in the post-pandemic world order will be determined by how we deal with the crisis now, and how we emerge from it.
This, in turn, depends on certain fundamental factors —
The quality of leadership
The quality of administration at all levels, (Centre, State, district and village)
The robustness of institutional frameworks
The quality of health care
Our social coherence as a people
There are 2 Indias — an India in which social distancing is possible and an India in which it is not.
COVID-19 epidemic has mercilessly highlighted our shortcomings and our failures.
India needs to be part of international efforts to deal with the COVID-19 crisis — multilateral, regional or bilateral.
Will we emerge as part of the problem or as part of the solution?
Will we emerge weaker or stronger as a nation?
Virtual, yet open
Supreme Court and several other courts have been holding virtual proceedings.
Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde emphasises that virtual courts are open courts too.
Supreme Court Bar Association: use of video conferencing should be limited to the duration of the current crisis, and not become the “new normal” or go on to replace open court hearings.
As the use of technology is stepped up, courts should consider other steps that will speed up the judicial process and reduce courtroom crowding.
A policy road map to tackle COVID-19
Policies to address the worldwide crisis brought about by COVID-19 must satisfy three criteria.
Minimise the loss of life directly resulting from the disease.
Restore the elements of economic and social life as soon as possible.
Aim at a glide path out of the crisis.
An effective health system
As long as the disease is circulating and no medical breakthrough has been achieved, lockdowns, mass testing, contact-tracing and quarantining can only buy time.
Widespread testing and contact-tracing can help to manage the flow of infections and reduce the danger to those especially at risk.
Testing on a mass scale is far from being achieved even in the most advanced countries.
Costs of vaccine development, mass testing and other measures attacking the disease must be viewed as enjoying a healthy societal return.
Private firms are also being encouraged to contribute, but should agree that any breakthrough must be freely available and benefit all.
Financial compensation for lost earnings, and inkind support to limit social contacts, such as services to deliver essential goods to the home, can be provided to family members and professionals who help the elderly and vulnerable.
Schools must reopen in order that parents can work.
Modi hints at graded exit from lockdown, says danger not over
The country managed to “save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months”, the danger of the virus was far from over and “constant vigilance is of paramount importance”.
The signal to the States, many of whom asked for an extension of the lockdown, was clear — that any exit from would be graded, and would take into account case load and virulence.
ICMR says no payment made for Chinese test kits supplies
India does not stand to lose a single rupee, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday in response to a clarification sought on the alleged profiteering by distributors, exposed through a legal dispute between an importer and a distributor, in the delivery of rapid antibody testing kits to it.
RBI opens ₹50,000 cr. liquidity tap for MFs
RBI said the liquidity stress was limited to high risk debt funds and the larger industry remains liquid.
Centre pitches for home isolation of mild cases
India has achieved a COVID-19 recovery rate of 22.17%, with 6,361 people discharged as of now, according to the Union Health Ministry. On Monday, 1,463 new cases were reported, taking the total number to 28,380, with 21,132 active cases, it said.
Essential goods movement up, says govt.
There has been significant progress in removing bottlenecks and ensuring smooth movement of essential goods, according to Parameswaran Iyer, Chairman of the Empowered Group 5 on Logistics and Supply Chain of Essential Items.
Meghalaya seeks national lockdown beyond May 3
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has found merit in Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma’s suggestion that the lockdown should continue beyond May 3 with relaxations for green zones or low-risk COVID-19 areas.
Mr. Modi also felt Meghalaya’s idea of a Rapid Response System (RRS) at the microlevel to combat the pandemic could be replicated as a “best practice” for such challenges in the future.
“The Prime Minister appreciated our experiment with local-level RRS for activating doctors, local administration and police within 60 minutes of detection of cases. He said all the States should replicate this model,” Mr. Sangma said.
India among top 3 military spenders: report
The global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019 with India and China emerging among the top three spenders, according to a report by a Swedish think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
“In 2019, China and India were, respectively, the second- and third-largest military spenders in the world. China’s military expenditure reached $261 billion in 2019, a 5.1% increase compared with 2018, while India’s grew by 6.8% to $71.1 billion,” the report said.
In 2019, the top five largest spenders — U.S. ($732 bn), China, India, Russia ($65.1 bn) and Saudi Arabia ($61.9 bn) — accounted for 62% of the global expenditure.
The annual report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019’ was released on Monday.
Where is Kim Jong-un?
Korean leader’s public absence has triggered rumours
Chinese envoy threatens boycott of Australia
China’s Ambassador in Australia has warned that demands for a probe into the spread of the coronavirus could lead to a consumer boycott of Aussie wine or trips Down Under.
Australia has joined the U.S. in calling for a thorough investigation of how the virus transformed from a localised epidemic in central China into a pandemic that has killed more than 2,00,000 people.
Pakistan cleric slammed for misogynistic remarks
A Pakistani cleric whose group has been blamed for spreading COVID-19 is facing ridicule after he suggested the pandemic was caused partly by the “immodesty” of women.