MEA: “The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible”
MEA advised these celebrities to ascertain facts and properly understand the issues at hand “before rushing to comment on such matters”.
Is GoI seeing everything as a conspiracy against itself?
Many Indian celebrities, professed their desire to keep the country together and voiced their disapproval of ‘propaganda’.
Some issues that have a bearing on human rights, survival of democracy and international relations do tend to invite comment
Military modernisation | Tribune
India has been maintaining a high level of military preparedness
State-of-the-art weaponry in fortifying the country’s borders
4% hike in in the overall defence budget for 2021-22
Capital outlay for military modernisation: Rs 22,000 crore (nearly 19%)
In next 7-8 years, GoI is going to spend $130 billion (more than Rs 9 lakh crore) on defence modernisation
We are among the world’s biggest arms importers
‘Make in India’ initiative
Rs 48,000-crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
For large-scale indigenisation,
Overhaul and reorientation of the defence PSUs
Active involvement of the private sector
Top institutes of science and technology
An unbudgeted amount of Rs 20,776 crore was spent to buy military hardware amid the border standoff with China.
Transfer of technology by foreign players can not only help in making India self-reliant on the defence front but also boost the nation’s potential to cater to the global market through cutting-edge research and innovation.
Fake degree bazaar | Tribune
The detection of 36,000 fake degrees issued to people across 17 states is termed the tip of the iceberg by the investigators.
Only 14 of the 55 hard disks seized from Solan’s Manav Bharti University have been scanned so far by a special investigation team.
Even more alarming is the revelation that the university may have been indulging in the blatant illegal activity for over a decade.
But what is more disturbing is the persistent demand for fake degrees.
What does this say about our higher education system, or us as a society?
The tentacles are spread nationwide; periodical crackdowns have helped, but clearly fall short.
A year on, mind the gaps
January 30, 2021 marked one year since India detected its first case of COVID-19 — a student in Kerala who had returned from Wuhan, China.
Analysing the country’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic so far reveals a mixed bag of successes and failures along with a host of unknowns looming ahead, that urgently need to be addressed to both limit damage due to the pandemic and get back to the path of economic and social recovery.
Till date the country has recorded 1,07,90,183 cases and 1,54,703 deaths due to COVID-19 — the second largest in the world in terms of cases, after the United States, and fourth in terms of deaths.
For example, India’s case fatality ratio on February 3 stood at 1.4% compared to 2.8% in the United Kingdom or 3.1% in South Africa, while India’s deaths per million is 112, compared to 1,362 in the United States, 1,486 in Italy, or 1,831 in Belgium.
While India’s case fatalities ratio was lower than Bangladesh (1.5%) and Pakistan (2.1%) it was but significantly higher than Bhutan (0.1%), Nepal (0.7%), the Maldives (0.3%) and Sri Lanka (0.5%).
Deaths due to COVID-19 per million population in Bangladesh was 50, Pakistan was 54 and Sri Lanka was just 16, lower than in India.
India’s initial response was marked by political commitment at the highest level.
The fear of new more virulent strains
India was also among the few countries to announce a stringent nationwide lockdown much before it had a significant number of cases.
An unintended offshoot of the lockdown was the large-scale exodus of migrants and families forced to walk hundreds of kilometres back to their homes in the countryside.
No public health response can be successful without ownership at the state level.
In all epidemic responses, generation and use of strategic information plays a crucial role.
While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) carried out selective sero-surveillance studies in metropolitan areas, these surveys were limited in coverage and periodicity. It is therefore still a matter of guesswork as to what percentage of India’s population have been infected with the virus — an indicator of herd immunity.
The response was also marked by a lack of involvement of civil society organisations as partners with state agencies.
Vaccination drive is on.
How long the vaccine will protect us?
The pandemic period has exacerbated existing social inequalities and the poor face a ‘lost decade’ ahead, a challenge which needs to be addressed on priority.
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UN Security Council calls for release of Aung San Suu Kyi and others in Myanmar
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal says, General Budget 2021 is historic and focuses on infrastructure projects in Railways
Centre allocates about Rs 7,000 crore in rail budget 2021-22 for Odisha
PM Modi pays homage to Pt Bhimsen Joshi on his birth anniversary
External Affairs Ministry says, India is closely monitoring developments in Myanmar