- Ruling parties likely to retain power in Assam, Kerala, West Bengal; Opposition Parties expected to form govts in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
- PM Modi reviews usage of gaseous oxygen to ramp up supply and availability of medical oxygen in country
- Over 3 lakh people recover from COVID-19 in last 24 hours in country
- Over 15 crore 68 lakh beneficiaries administered Covid-19 vaccine so far
- EAM S Jaishankar on 4-day visit to London for G7 Foreign Ministers' meet
- 28 tonnes of medical equipment from France reaches India
- Railways is playing a crucial role in the collective fight against COVID by transporting oxygen to states: Piyush Goyal
- Railway Ministry deploys 4,000 isolation coaches amid surge in COVID cases
- Railways delivers 1,094 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen so far to various states
- WHO approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
- Australian govt pledges 1.7 billion Australian dollars in childcare subsidies
- Berlin police denounce May Day violence
- Seven killed in Myanmar protests
- Magnitude 6 earthquake strikes offshore Coquimbo in Chile
- ‘Take Strongest Steps, Cut Back Economic Activity’
- India needs the highest-level response measures, including curtailing economic activity, to control the second wave of Covid-19, Uday Kotak, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has said.
- The government must also listen to experts from India and abroad, at a time when the country’s healthcare system is overburdened, the veteran banker said.
- At the current pace of daily caseload, the requirement for hospital beds, oxygen and medicines will continue to escalate and, at the same time, medical personnel — who are already overstretched — will be further pressurised, the industry body said.
- Must Open Licence Regime to Push Vax, Drug Supply: Experts
- India can direct domestic pharmaceutical companies to use their manufacturing capacities to produce locally developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, experts said, even as the Supreme Court asked the Centre on Friday to issue compulsory licences for essential drugs to fight the pandemic.
- The government can invoke the Indian Patents Act to manufacture crucial drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients and to negotiate with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to license other companies to produce Covishield to ramp up vaccine production in the country, they said.
- The suggestions come as Brazil’s Senate approved a bill to suspend patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines, tests and medication during the pandemic.
- Uttarakhand Government has announced the suspension of the Char Dham Yatra.
- Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said the gates of the four Himalayan temples — Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri — would open on May 14 as scheduled, but only for the priests.
- Though it is heartening that yet another super-spreader event has been averted, what is saddening is that the Government didn’t do this on its own accord.
- The decision came a day after the Rawat Government was castigated by the Uttarakhand High Court (HC) for mishandling the outbreak.
- The Kumbh was as much a super-spreader as the Assembly polls.
- Daily COVID cases saw a 6,000% increase between March 1 and April 22 in poll-bound Bengal and a 450% spike between April 1 and April 17, when the Kumbh congregation dispersed.
- What can explain the local body elections in Uttar Pradesh and Telangana which will also turn out to be super-spreaders.
- If the Madras High Court thinks that the Election Commission officials should be “booked for murder” for the spiralling Corona cases in the poll-bound States, then what about the CMs of such States?
In third, but slow
- The much-awaited third phase of the anti-COVID inoculation drive for all adults sputtered to life on May 1.
- Ironically, at a time when India seemed to have got over its vaccine hesitancy — if the rush to register on the Co-WIN app is anything to go by — the Governments were unable to provide the citizens the shots they need to beat the virus.
- While States like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat began inoculating a lucky few, some States announced vaccination for different age groups also (such as for those above 35 years) while others told the people not to line up outside vaccination centres as they have not received enough stocks of the shots.
- Chief among the latter were Delhi, Odisha, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, who plan to launch the drive later this month.
- Even though the Union Health Ministry remains upbeat about the vaccine supply and 1,50,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V landed in Hyderabad on May 1, this is just a drop in the ocean and in no way comforting.
- The million-dollar question is how many months will it take to inoculate all Indian adults?
- Of our 138 crore population, the 0-14 age group share is 26.16 per cent, 15-65 age group is 67.27 per cent and 6.57 per cent are more than 65 years old.
- What an uphill task lies ahead can be gauged by the fact that ever since the inoculation drive began on January 16, we have been able to fully vaccinate only two per cent of our citizens and 11 per cent have got just one dose.
- So, in order to be able to cover all the adults, India will have to administer 6.5 million doses per day till the end of this year.
- Maybe it is time to listen to top US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci, who suggests ramping up vaccine production in India and a total lockdown for a few weeks to stop the surge.
The return of federalism
- The outcome of the assembly elections is a setback to both national parties and will result in more assertive states.
- It is also now time for all the new governments to focus on Covid-19.
- Swear in the new chief ministers immediately, don’t fight over cabinet berths, and work on beating back the second wave.
- There is a mandate both for continuity and change in the different regions that went to polls.
- But the results will also have an impact on national politics in five different ways.
- There will be a restoration of a degree of balance in Indian federalism — which is good — and greater tension between the Centre and states, which needs careful management.
- The fact that three important states, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, will be governed by parties which are politically and ideologically opposed to the BJP means that there will be a greater assertion of federal rights.
- The Centre has a choice — it can either double down or continue with its current approach where the BJP’s political aims often supersede the principle of cooperative federalism or it can be more collaborative.
- The states have a choice too — they can either become more confrontational for the sake of it or adopt a strong but constructive approach.
- Harmony would be a wiser course of action for both.
India's 'iron frame'
- India’s civil service, particularly the Indian Administrative Service, is the ‘iron frame’ which is sustaining the idea of India.
- People are dying – not just of the virus but because they are unable to access basic healthcare to fight the infection – hospital beds, medicines and worst of all, oxygen for the critically ill.
- The Centre and state governments are blaming each other, while political parties have added fuel to the fire.
- While politicians will do what they do, the failure of the administration to come up with a coherent and co-ordinated response has been particularly glaring.
- From an opaque and delayed vaccine approval process to a mismanaged procurement and distribution programme to the failure to ensure proper delivery, leading to catastrophic wastage of vaccines amidst shortage, to the complete failure to anticipate and plan for the oxygen crisis all point to a badly corroded ‘iron frame’.
- The latest instance is the panicked announcement of the opening up of vaccination to the 18-years-plus age group, followed almost immediately by most states cancelling such bookings due to a lack of vaccines, points to a failure of governance cutting across the board, from the highest echelons to the humblest local governments.
Q.) Russian prosecutors are pushing a court to declare the organisation founded by Kremlin critic Alexie Navalny as “extremist”. Name the organisation
- Russia Forward
- Corruption Watch
- Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK)
- Anti-corruption Watchdog
Q.) Bharat Biotech has revised its price per dose of its vaccine Covaxin to States from the earlier Rs 600 to _____
Q.) Name the snake species, endemic to Tamil Nadu, categorised by Indian herpetologist Deepak Veerappan.
- Daboia Veera
- Naja Appan
- Dveeak Bungarus
- Xylophis Deepaki