NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is GAURAV SHARMA and with me is RENUKA bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports, entertainment and more.
As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a message of caution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:
⦁ Wear a face mask.
⦁ Maintain social distancing.
⦁ Focus on hand and face hygiene.
⦁ India administers over 4 Core 50 Lakh COVID vaccinations in the country; Vaccine Expert Group calls for increasing the interval between two doses of COVISHIELD between 4 to 8 weeks.
⦁ India supplies second shipment of Mobile Harbour Cranes to Iran to develop Chah Bahar Port.
⦁ Catch the Rain campaign launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on World Water Day.
⦁ Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 conferred on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; 2019 prize for late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman.
⦁ At the National Film Awards, Malayalam movie Marakkar-Arabikkadalinte-Simham bags the Best Feature Film prize.
⦁ And In Cricket: India to take on England in the first of the three-match ODI series in Pune on Tuesday.
COVID UPDATE – VACCINATION
In India, over 4 crore 50 lakh 65 thousand doses of Covid vaccines have been administered to the beneficiaries in the country so far. The Union Health Ministry said that more than four lakh 62 thousand doses were given to the beneficiaries in the last 24 hours.
The country’s COVID-19 recovery rate has reached 95.75 per cent with the total recovery of more than 21 thousand patients in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said over one crore 11 lakh patients have recovered from the disease.
Meanwhile, the Union Governmet has written to States and Union Territories to increase the interval between two doses of COVISHIELD to 4 to 8 weeks. The decision was based on recommendation of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, NTAGI and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19, NEGVAC. This decision of revised time interval between two doses is applicable only to COVISHIELD and not to COVAXIN Vaccine.
The second consignment of Made In India vaccines have arrived in Bhutan on Monday. In a spiritual ceremony, the consigment was received in Paro. With this, Bhutan is all set for its nation-wide mass vaccine roll-out. Speaking a the occasion, Foreign Minister of Bhutan Dr. Tandi Dorji thanked India for the gesture.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has signed an agreement with Virchow Biotech Private Limited for production of up to 200 million doses per year of Sputnik V covid-19 vaccine. Virchow Biotech is the fourth Indian company to sign a production agreement with RDIF. The Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials of the SPUTNIK FIVE vaccine is being conducted by Dr Reddy’s in partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
GANDHI PEACE PRIZE
The Gandhi Peace Prize is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the year 2020 and late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman for the year 2019. The award carries an amount of one crore rupees, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft item. Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by Government since 1995, the 125th Birth Anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and freedom, and is a hero to Indians as well. Let’s listen to Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s speech at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi in January 1972 during his visit to India.
Sultan Qaboos was a visionary leader whose twin policy of moderation and mediation in addressing international issues won him praise and respect across the globe. Prime Minister Modi had recalled the contribution of Sultan Qaboos to India-Oman ties when he passed away, by saying that he was a true friend of India and provided strong leadership for developing a strategic partnership between India and Oman.
CHAH BAHAR-SECOND SHIPMENT
India supplies two Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) each weighing 100 tons to Iran on Monday. In a tweet, the Indian Embassy in Iran said that it is part of India’s continued commitment towards development of phase-I of Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar. This is the second such consignment of equipment shipped to the strategic port at Chah Bahar. India had earlier supplied two 140-ton MHCs in January this year. Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the step is continuing with India’s commitment to develop Chabahar Port.
Foreign Affairs Minister of Afghanistan Mohammed Haneef Atmar has arrived in New Delhi for an official visit to India. Upon arriving in Delhi, the Minister tweeted that he is looking forward to holding talks with External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S Jaishankar on the Afghan Peace Process, upcoming regional forums on peace & development in Afghanistan, security & economic cooperation. <<>>
Meanwhile, United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday. In the meeting both expressed their concerns over the increase of violence in the country, according to reports. Austin stressed that the lasting peace is the main solution for the current situation in Afghanistan.
Austin’s trip comes after he paid a visit to India, where he met Indian officials. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, during his visit to India, stated that US President Joe Biden has not made a final decision on the pullout of US troops from Afghanistan yet.<>>
Bangladesh is celebrating the historic event of its liberation from Pakistan and the birth centenary of its founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This year also marks 50 years of the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.
Today’s HOTSPOT section is dedicated to the innumerable lives that were lost in the state orchestrated genocide during the Bangladesh’s Liberation War Struggle. Prasar Bharti Special Correspondent Rajesh Jha spoke to Lt. Col. (Retd.) Sajjad Zahir, one of the Mukti Yoddhas who fought for the liberation of Bangladesh. In poignant narrative, the Liberation war hero recounts the horrors inflicted by the Pakistan army during the genocide of Bangladeshis.
Lt. Col. Zahir describes his childhood and his entry into the Pakistani Army as a young officer. He describes the tumultuous times of the genocide and his escape from East Pakistan.
Lt. Col. Zahir goes on to talk about his encounter with the Indian Army subsequent to his escape from East Pakistan. He talks about the and the intelligence inputs he provided to bolster the Indian Army’s support for the Liberation Struggle of Bangladesh which resulted in the Pakistani Army sentencing him to an execution by a firing squad.
The War hero India talks about the joint offensive mounted by the Indian and Bangladeshi Allied Forces or in the latter stage of the war. In a moving account, Lt. Col. Zahir describes him carrying the dead and wounded Indian soldiers as he pays homage to the sacrifices by the young soldiers.
The struggles and sacrifices of these young men did not go in vain as Bangladesh gained their cherished independence on the 26th of March in 1971.
Indian Embassy in Beijing on Monday said that a recent notification by Chinese authorities relating to visa facilitation does not apply to foreign students. The Embassy in a notification said, Chinese authorities at various levels continue to maintain their position that overseas students are temporarily unable to enter China. They explained the decision based on last year’s announcement to temporarily suspend the entry of foreigners holding valid Chinese Visa and residence permits following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has begun a visit to China on Monday. Moscow and Beijing are seeking to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar and Western payment systems. Lavrov, on a two-day visit to China, is expected to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart.
Speaking to Chinese media before the start of his visit, Lavrov said Moscow and Beijing were compelled to develop independently of Washington in order to thwart what he said were U.S. attempts to curb their technological development.
Moving onto Australia where Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced disaster relief for flood-affected New South Wales residents of Australia on Sunday. Australia’s federal government has activated disaster relief for those who are significantly injured, lost homes or had their homes damaged.
The NSW and Federal Government have signed 16 natural disaster declarations in areas spanning the central and mid-north coast, from Hunter Valley near Sydney to Coff’s Harbour, said NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott.
The Australian government had earlier declared a natural disaster in large swaths of New South Wales as heavy rains battered the State, forcing thousands to evacuate.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in association with Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), North Eastern Chapter organised North East Buyer Seller Meet in Guwahati on Monday. The meet is aimed at harnessing the potential and strength of the North Eastern region by linking its products and services to the markets in neighbouring countries – Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The event was organized in hybrid mode to maximize its reach.
The North Eastern Buyer Seller Meet featured participation from over 100 entrepreneurs in B2B meetings including 70 from North Eastern Region and 30 from neighbouring countries. A Mini-Expo was also held, to showcase the products and services. It was widely acknowledged that post pandemic, a boost to the industries was very much required and the event was held at the right time.
PM JAL SHAKTI ABHIYAN
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, water security and effective water management is crucial for rapid development. The Prime Minister said this while launching Jal Shakti Abhiyan : Catch the Rain campaign virtually on the occasion of World Water Day on Monday.
Mr Modi noted that the awareness around Jal Shakti Mission is increasing. He expressed happiness that villagers are trying to save rainwater and educate others to promote efficient use of water. Mr Modi called for more participation of women in Jal Jeevan Mission.
On the occasion, Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh signed the Memorandum of Agreement to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project. This is the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers.
REV NATIONAL FILM AWARD
The 67th National Film Awards – 2019 were announced on Monday. Malayalam movie Marakkar Arabikkadilinte Simham directed by Priyadarshan will be awarded the Best Feature Film Award. Announcing the awards, Chairman of the Feature Films Jury N Chandra said, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan will be given best Direction Award for Hindi film Bahattar Hoorain. He said, actor Manoj Bajpayee will be awarded best Actor award for Hindi movie Bhonsle and Dhanush will get the award for Tamil Movie Asuran.
BUSINESS cum WORLD NEWS CAPSULE
The Sensex today logged modest losses amid weakness in the global stocks. The rupee appreciated 14 paise against the US dollar. A report from the business world-
Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa on Monday has reached the port of Ehoala, Madagascar with humanitarian assistance to the country. INS Jalashwa is delivering a consignment of 1,000 metric tonnes of rice and 100,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine to help Madagascar in dealing with severe drought in South Madagascar.
Moving on to sports,
India will take on England in the first of the three-match One Day International series in Pune on Tuesday. Indian team’s confidence is soaring high after a resounding T20 series win, and it would look to win the ODI series as well, while the bruised England will look to bounce back after facing defeats in the test as well as T20 series.
In cricket, South Africa Women has registered a series-clinching six-wicket win against Indian Women in the second T20 International played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:
⦁ The Washington Post says that AstraZeneca’s U.S. trial shows vaccine is 79 percent effective.
⦁ The Guardian writes that China returns eight activists jailed for trying to flee Hong Kong.
⦁ Globe and the Mail writes that ‘Firefly’ test aims to shed light on COVID-19 vaccine endurance.
⦁ The Himalayan Times reports that Amnesty International calls on FIFA to act on labour abuses in Qatar as World Cup qualifiers kick off.
⦁ Khaleej Times reports that UAE mobile units to detect Covid and vaccinate residents.
India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite Bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from FINLAND.
AND WITH THAT, WE END THIS BULLETIN. SEE YOU AT SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.