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News in Short

News in Short - 14-April-2021

Japan to release contaminated water from Fukushima into the sea

Date: 14 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Japan government has planned to release into the sea more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear station.
  • The first release of water will take place in about two years, giving plant operator Tokyo Electric Power time to begin filtering the water to remove harmful isotopes, build infrastructure and acquire regulatory approval.
  • Japan has argued the water release is necessary to press ahead with the complex decommissioning of the plant after it was crippled by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
  • Nearly 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated wateris stored in huge tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant at an annual cost of about 100 billion yen ($912.66 million).

Sushil Chandra appointed next Chief Election Commissioner

Date: 14 April 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Sushil Chandra has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner. He will assume charge on April 13.
  • Chandra was appointed as an election commissioner on February 14, 2019, ahead of the Lok Sabha election. He would demit office on May 14, 2022.
  • Under him, the Election Commission would hold assembly polls in Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Chandra was the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes before he joined the poll panel.

Sputnik V gets approval for emergency use in India

Date: 14 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Drugs Controller General of India has given emergency use license to Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The decision came hours after an expert panel recommended emergency licensure to the vaccine.
  • Sputnik V is now the third vaccine to get an emergency authorisation in India after Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
  • The vaccine has been registered in India under the emergency use authorisation procedure based on results of clinical trials in Russia.

China Development Bank to extend $500 million loan to Sri Lanka

Date: 14 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Sri Lankan government has signed an agreement with the state-run China Development Bank for a loan of $ 500 million.
  • Experts pointed out that the loan is being extended as Sri Lanka's foreign exchange reserves dropped to $ 4.05 billion in March 2021, the lowest since a currency crisis in 2008-2009.
  • Last month, Sri Lanka signed a 10 billion yuan (about $ 1.5 billion) currency swap deal with China for a three year period to be used for promoting bilateral trade and direct investment between the two countries.
  • Critics say the Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka are not financially viable and that Colombo will face difficulties in repaying the loans.