Jobs World

Jobs World

Best job in the world

Breaking

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Why India's second Covid wave is 'far from over' | Economic Times

August 03, 2021 0
Why India's second Covid wave is 'far from over' | Economic Times
NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry on Tuesday said that second Covid wave in India is "far from over" with as many as eight states witnessing a reproductive number of more than one.Reproduction number is a measure that highlights the number of people a coronavirus positive person infects, thereby reflecting the severity of the spread.A number of one or below one indicates a slowly spreading virus while any number above 1 indicates a rapid spread. According to the Union health ministry, states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka all have a high R valueThe situation is particularly worrying in Kerala, which has been adding over 20,000 new infections to its caseload over the last one week. Moreover, out of the 44 districts that have been reporting a high test positivity rate, 10 are in Kerala. "There are 44 districts where the case positivity rate is over 10%. These districts are in Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland," the ministry said during a press briefing in Delhi.It added that in the last week, 49.85 per cent of the total coronavirus cases were reported from Kerala. 'Pandemic far from over'The daily new Covid-19 cases being reported across the world are still high as more than 4.7 lakh infections are being recorded every day."A high number of Covid cases are being reported across the world and the pandemic is far from over. As far as India is concerned, the second wave is still not over," said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union health ministry. Speaking about the situation in India, Agarwal said that in the last 4 weeks, 18 districts from 6 states, including Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur have been reporting increasing trend in daily new Covid cases.Last week, fresh Covid-19 cases in India had registered a week-on-week rise for the first time in 12 weeks since the peak of the second wave in early May. India had recorded just over 2.86 lakh new cases last week ended Sunday (July 26-August 1), a 7.5% rise from the previous week's tally of 2.66 lakh. Weekly cases in the country registered a rise for the first time since May 3-9, when the second wave peaked. The fall in cases had continued till last week, even though the decline had slowed to 1.4%.(With inputs from agencies)

View: The significance of Blinken's Delhi visit | Economic Times

August 03, 2021 0
View: The significance of Blinken's Delhi visit | Economic Times
Antony Blinken’s first visit to India as secretary of State may have been short in duration, but it was long on delivery. Forward movement was registered on key issues — Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and vaccine production. And the two sides managed a respectful conversation on democracy and human rights.A sign of maturing relations, no doubt, but also of the sensible approach Joe Biden’s A Team brings to the table. A willingness to listen, adjust and respond is apparent in how Blinken, National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan and other top officials do diplomacy. They are winning admirers in ‘official’ New Delhi as the ‘best and the brightest’ of their generation.First, Blinken and S Jaishankar had a good conversation on Afghanistan. The Indian minister has been travelling recently, assessing and exploring possibilities of what can be done regionally. No one likes the Taliban rampage as reports of atrocities pile up. The best one can hope for is a stalemate as Afghan forces regroup and fight back. The downside: blame for a hasty pullout will land at Biden’s door and Blinken’s job is to salvage what he can.His message from New Delhi to the Taliban was strong and the Doha crowd will no doubt take note. ‘An Afghanistan that does not respect the rights of its people, an Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its own people, would become a pariah state,’ Blinken said. If Taliban leaders want sanctions lifted and travel freely, they should come to the negotiating table.Afghanistan dominated the discussion, taking up 50% of the time, while China consumed most of the rest. Neither minister named Pakistan in public except Jaishankar’s indirect reference to ‘malign influences’ in Afghanistan, but behind closed doors, its incessant double games were discussed.Here in Washington, Pakistan’s NSA Moeed Yusuf is playing victim, trying to sell the story that Taliban fighters are ‘not’ in Pakistan and impossible to locate. Yusuf met Sullivan last week under the watchful eye of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Faiz Hameed, and went on to give an overly effusive readout on Twitter without mentioning Afghanistan. The US response was somewhat curt.Said Sullivan, ‘We discussed the urgent need for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan and a negotiated political settlement to the conflict.’ Thing is, Pakistan is desperately seeking a role in a rapidly changing scenario — even China decided to host the Taliban after the attack on Chinese workers in Pakistan instead of going through the good offices of its ‘iron brother’.Back in Delhi, Blinken and Jaishankar exchanged notes on China and discussed ways to deepen the Quad, one of which is a new focus on economic and business ties. India recently hosted the first Indo-Pacific Business Summit to bring together government reps, business chambers, area experts and academics to encourage economic linkages in the region. Participants from 21 countries attended.The idea is to create ‘a genuine culture’ of working together and build comfort levels to allow big things to happen. The India-US relationship is a good example — the civil nuclear agreement came out of tentative discussions on problem areas in hi-tech trade. Turned out that American doors were shut because of India’s stance on the nuclear issue. Trying to resolve that led to an initial agreement, out of which came the nuclear deal.To maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, countries of the region — here’s looking at you Asean — must get more connected and develop a roadmap if they are worried about Chinese hegemony. There’s plenty to work on: climate, trade, healthcare.Finally, one issue that many thought would prove an irritant during Blinken’s visit — human rights and how to nurture them in trying times — didn’t cause an upset. Good thing Blinken doesn’t lecture unlike US officials in ‘before’ times. He admits US failings, its continuing struggle for a ‘perfect union’ and has invited UN rapporteurs to examine racial tensions. His approach is humble as it is smart.Jaishankar, for his part, is determined to project confidence as Narendra Modi’s foreign minister. His public remarks made clear that India is not a defendant and the US government not a judge in the ongoing case on democratic freedoms. The argument goes something like this: if the US is still grappling with the legacy of the Civil War, India is dealing with the aftermath of the Partition. Domestic politics are complex in both countries and compulsions of one are no more or less important than those of the other.The debate will continue, but, right now, strategic needs get top billing. As Blinken said, ‘…few relationships in the world that are more vital than the one between the United States and India.’

India building naval facility in Mauritius: Report | Economic Times

August 03, 2021 0
India building naval facility in Mauritius: Report | Economic Times
India is believed to be building a naval facility on the remote Mauritian island of Agalega in the south-western Indian Ocean, a leading Arab media organisation claimed on Tuesday, citing satellite imagery, financial data and on-the-ground evidence collected by it.In a report, Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel claimed that the military experts who have analysed the evidence collected by its Investigative Unit say an airstrip under construction in Agalega will almost certainly be used for maritime patrol missions by the Indian Navy.Agalega, some 12 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide island, is located about 1,100-km from Mauritius' main island and is home to about 300 people.Currently, aircraft use a short 800-metre landing strip to land on Agalega. Once completed, the new airstrip will be as long as runways used by the biggest aeroplanes in the world at large international airports, it said."It's an intelligence facility for India to stage air and naval presence in order to increase surveillance in the wider southwest Indian Ocean and Mozambique channel," Abhishek Mishra, associate fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) think-tank in New Delhi, was quoted as saying by the news channel."Based on my personal information, my conversations with all these people in my circle, the base will be used for the berthing of our ships and the runway will be mostly used for our P-8I aircraft," Mishra said, referring to India's P-8I maritime patrol aircraft that can be used for surveillance, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.There was no immediate response from the Indian Navy regarding the Al Jazeera report.Samuel Bashfield, a researcher at the National Security College at the Australian National University, said the southwest Indian Ocean is an area where it's important for India to have areas where their aircraft can support their ships, and also where it has areas it can use as launching pads for operations."I think it's an absolutely perfect spot for a military base,” Bashfield, whose research focuses on strategic and geopolitical issues in the Indian Ocean, was quoted as saying by the channel.The pictures and data show how, over the last two years, the island has become home to hundreds of construction workers living in a semi-permanent camp on the northern tip of the 12km-long island, it said.India sought access to the island in 2015 to develop as an air and naval staging point for surveillance of the south-west Indian Ocean – in a sense redolent of facilities other nations operate, such as the joint US-UK base at Diego Garcia, Australian website ‘The Interpreter' reported early this year."Comparing the most recent images from Google Earth to the same location as seen in 2014 shows a new 3000-metre runway – capable of hosting the Indian Navy's new Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft – and considerable apron overshadows the existing airfield in the middle of the island,” it said in an article.It said the project entails a new airport, port and logistics and communication facilities and – potentially – "any other facility related to the project."Media reports about the military base first surfaced in 2018 but both Mauritius and India have denied that the construction project is for military purposes and say the infrastructure is only to benefit the islanders, the channel said.Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has also categorically denied that the construction is for military purposes."Let me reiterate, most emphatically and in unequivocal terms, that there is no agreement between Mauritius and India to set up a military base in Agaléga,” he said in the Parliament recently.The channel said the Mauritian government restated its position that there is "no agreement between Mauritius and India to set up a military base in Agaléga."The Indian Ocean, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy, is critical for India's strategic interests. China has been making concerted efforts to increase its presence in the region."We see in the last few years that the Indian Ocean's becoming much more multi-polar in nature,” Bashfield said."We see China asserting greater influence and we see various Chinese military platforms in the Indian Ocean,” he said, referring to China's military base in Djibouti and access to several ports in the region.As a result, India has stepped up its game as well, Mishra added."The aim of the Agalega Island agreement which India and Mauritius have entered into is for the island to act as a crucial node in expanding India's overall footprint in the region," Mishra said.

Changes to insolvency law approved by RS | Economic Times

August 03, 2021 0
Changes to insolvency law approved by RS | Economic Times
A bill to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code paving the way for pre-packaged insolvency resolution for small and medium enterprises recieved Parliament's nod on Tuesday. Rajya Sabha gave its nod to the bill, cleared by Lok Sabha on July 28, which will replace the ordinance promulgated in April this year. "Prepack is cost effective and time barred and therefore very suitable for MSME," finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said responding to the discussion on the bill in the upper house, which was passed by voice vote in din amid protests from opposition members over snooping issue and farm laws. Sitharaman said that this a bill coming while keeping situation in mind that MSMEs require a lot of help post the pandemic.85015886"This will help them... we have increased the threshold, and come up with a pre pack solution," she said adding that there is an inadequacy of existing options and by this there will a better way in which MSMEs can seek to have a solution.Explaining the rationale behind the bill, She said there was a feeling that there would be a rise in insolvency after suspension under the code was lifted in March. "It is less costly, it's hybrid in nature. The debtor will be still in control and the creditors will be working together. It will actually cut the cost and speed up the process because the whole thing will be over in 120 days" she said. The proposed amendments will enable the government to notify the threshold of a default not exceeding Rs 1 crore for initiation of the pre-packaged resolution process.

Bhubaneswar claims to be 100% vaccinated | Economic Times

August 03, 2021 0
Bhubaneswar claims to be 100% vaccinated | Economic Times
The capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, has claimed to have achieved 100 per cent vaccination against COVID-19. The BMC jurisdiction, which tops the list of daily new infections as well as COVID-19 fatalities in the state, has administered as many as 18,77,178 does of vaccines by August 2. While 10,71,676 people have received first dose of vaccine, 8,05,502 beneficiaries got the second dose, BMC officials said. The 2011 census of India places the city's population at 8.43 lakh and demographers expect that to have increased to a little over 11 lakh over the ten year period. This officials point out, means given the fact that vaccines are being given only to people over 18 years of age, the city has achieved 100 per cent vaccination target. BMC additional commissioner, Laxmikant Sethy said that the civic body had covered a wide range of beneficiaries including those from rural areas on the outskirts of the town. A huge number of outsiders keep commuting to the city regularly. "No one has been ignored," he added. Bhubaneshwar's residents, however, have been given priority, he said. The state's capital city has registered the highest 1,00607 COVID-19 cases of which 97,154 patients recovered. The city has 2595 active cases while as many as 837 patients died. Bhubaneswar had reported the state's first COVID-19 case on March 15, 2020 and first fatality on April 7, 2020.