NAMASKAR! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is GAURAV SHARMA and with me is PRASHANT KUMAR SINHA 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.
Over 7 crore 30 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered in the India so far.
Bangladesh announces countrywide lockdown to stem sharp rise in Coronavirus infections from Monday.
United States, South Korea and Japan to work to keep up pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
30 member Indian Army delegation arrives in Dhaka to participate in multinational military exercise SHANTIR OGROSHENA.
India’s exports rise 58.23 per cent to 34 billion dollars in March.
US Government seeks public feedback on wage levels for H-1B Visa holders.
In Tennis, defending champion Ashleigh Barty takes on eighth seeded Bianca Andreescu in Women’s Singles Final of Miami Open.
As the number of Covid cases are on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower the guard, follow all the precautions and all those above 45 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation.
Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps –
INDIA VACCINATION -COVID UPDATE
In India, over 7 crore 30 lakh 54 thousand doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the country so far. The Union Health Ministry said that more than 30 lakh 93 thousand doses were given to the beneficiaries in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the country’s COVID-19 recovery rate has reached 93.36 per cent with the total recovery of more than 44 thousand people in the last 24 hours. Over one crore 15 lakh people have already recovered from this disease. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is over 6 lakh 58 thousand which comprises only 5.32 per cent of the total positive cases.
More than 89 thousand new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country in the past 24 hours taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore 23 lakh.
Amid a sharp rise in Corona infection and death over the last several days, Bangladesh has announced that a countrywide lockdown will be imposed from Monday.
Our Dhaka Correspondent has filed this report:
Following up the announcement of a countrywide lockdown in Bangladesh starting from Monday, the Railway Ministry has suspended all passenger train services once lockdown is imposed in the country. However, freight trains will run as per normal schedule.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has also decided to suspend all domestic flights in the country from Monday in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus. But the operation of the international flights will not be affected by this decision of CAAB.
After the announcement of the lockdown, people were reported to be leaving the capital city Dhaka for their respective hometowns and villages. There was a bigger rush in shops also as people prepared themselves for the lockdown.
Earlier in the day, the Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told the media that a nationwide lockdown will be imposed in Bangladesh from Monday in view of the sharply rising cases of COVID 19 infection and deaths in the country. However, emergency services and factories will remain outside the purview of lockdown.
Earlier, the government had issued an 18 point directive limiting the presence of employees in the offices to half and curbs on occupancy in public transport services among other measures to control the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
In the meanwhile, Bangladesh reported 5683 fresh Corona positive cases and 58 deaths on Friday. Rajesh Jha/ World News/ All India Radio/Dhaka.
The overall global Covid-19 caseload has surpassed the grim milestone of 13 Crores as the pandemic is still raging, while the deaths have surged to more than 28 lakhs, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update, it revealed that the US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases at over three crores and deaths at over five lakh fifty four thousand.
Brazil follows in second place with over one crore twenty nine lakhs cases and over three lakhs twenty eight thousand fatalities.
More updates on the Coronavirus from the world in this report
Italy has entered a strict three-day lockdown to try to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases over Easter. All regions are now in the red zone, the highest tier of restrictions. The country battles a third wave, with about 20,000 new cases a day.
Non-essential movement is banned, but people are allowed to share an Easter meal at home with two other adults. Churches are also open, but worshippers are being told to attend services within their own regions.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization Director General has appealed for an international treaty on pandemics.
The United States has became the first nation in the world to vaccinate more than 100 million people. The US reached this important milestone in its coronavirus vaccination drive on Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the number of people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine stood at 101.8 million.
Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that it has started testing its vaccine on adolescents. The company in a statement said that the single-shot vaccine will first be tested on a small number of 16 and 17-year-olds as part of an ongoing study of the vaccine that began last September.
The Netherlands has halted the use of AstraZeneca coronavirus shots for people under the age of 60 after fresh reports of rare blood clots. Australia, however has announced that it will continue its inoculation program with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
And, Kenya has ordered an immediate ban on imports of COVID-19 vaccines by private companies. The country’s health minister on Friday said that such shipments were unlicensed and potentially dangerous since the shots could be counterfeit. RESHMA TIWARI FOR AIR WORLD NEWS.
The US department of labour has sought feedback from the public to determine the wage levels for the employment of various immigrants and non-immigrants, including persons on the H-1B visas. The H-1B Visa is the most popular after work visa among Indian professionals. The department has given 60 days for the feedback.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. Companies depend on H-1B visa to hire their employees from outside the US. Indian and Chinese people are main beneficiaries of this visa.
Washington DC witnessed some unruly scenes when a Capitol Police officer was killed on Saturday. The incident took place after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the US Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife. The suspect also died at a hospital. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters that both officers were hospitalized, and one of them succumbed to his injuries. Pittman did not identify the slain officer or suspect. The crash and shooting happened at a security checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess. The US Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings.
Taiwanese prosecutors have sought an arrest warrant for a construction site manager whose truck is believed to have caused a train accident that killed at least 50 people. The authorities warned on Saturday that more bodies could be found in the wreckage.
Friday’s crash was Taiwan’s worst rail accident in seven decades. It occurred after an express train hit a truck that had slid down a bank next to the track from a construction site.
The train was carrying about 500 people on its way from Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, to Taitung on the east coast, when it derailed in a tunnel just north of Hualien.
Ministry of Justice Department of Prosecutorial Affairs Director-General Lin Jinn-tsun said on Saturday, that prosecutors had applied to the court to arrest the manager on charges of causing death by negligence and forged documents.
Meanwhile India has offered condolences to the families of the victims of the train accident in Taiwan. In a tweet, Spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Mr. Arindam Bagchi expressed sadness at the loss of so many lives in the railway accident in Taiwan. He also prayed for the early recovery of the injured.
JOINT STAMENT-NORTH KOREA
The United States, South Korea and Japan have agreed in high-level security talks to work together to keep up pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
After day long talks ,US National security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and his Japanese counterpart, Shigeru Kitamura, and South Korea’s national security adviser Suh Hoon reaffirmed their commitment to address the issue through concerted trilateral cooperation towards denuclearization.
The three countries also agreed on the need for full implementation by the international community of U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea. These include preventing proliferation, and cooperating to strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
The national security advisers also discussed the value of working together to address other challenges such as COVID-19, climate change and promoting an immediate return to democracy in Myanmar.
The talks held in the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was the most senior-level meeting between the three allies since Biden took power in January. It has come in the backdrop of rising tensions after North Korean missile launches last week.
The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. A report:
The move, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, lifts the sanctions imposed on Bensouda over her investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The sanctions were imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump. It also removes Phakiso Mochochoko, head of the ICC’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, from the Specially Designated Nationals list. In a statement, Mr. Blinken said the State Department had also terminated a separate 2019 policy on visa restrictions on certain ICC personnel. Mr. Blinken in a statement said that the decisions reflects their assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective.
However, the statement added that Washington continued to disagree strongly with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations. Mr. Blinken added that the US objects to ICC efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel.
In Somalia, at least 23 people were killed on Saturday in terrorist attacks on two military bases Lower Shabelle province.
Government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar said, two suicide car bombers struck two military bases in the district of Awdhegle and Bariire village in the Lower Shabelle province.
Somali armed forces said they had killed 19 militants in both attacks shortly as after the bombings, the heavily-armed insurgents tried to storm the army bases.
Army commander Abdullahi Rage said four soldiers were killed and scores of others were injured in the exchange of fire.
A thirty member Indian Army delegation arrived in Dhaka on Saturday to participate in a multinational military exercise named SHANTIR OGROSHENA 2021.
The Multinational Military Exercise is being held from the 4th of April to the 12th to mark the birth centenary of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the liberation of Bangladesh.
Apart from India military contingents from Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army are also participating in the event.
The Indian army contingent for the events comprises 30 personnel including Officers, JCOs and Jawans of a battalion from the Dogra Regiment.The theme of the exercise is Robust Peacekeeping Operations. Military observers from the USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise, said the press release issued by the Indian army.
The Indian Council For Cultural Relations and the High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in New Delhi organized a cultural performance to celebrate the Mujib Year and 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.
Mohammad Imran, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India shared his views on the occasion of Mujib Year and 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.
A series of dance performances were dedicated to the people who sacrificed their lives during the liberation war.
Chol Chol, a dance based on a marching song by the national poet of Bangladesh, Kazi Nazrul Islam was also performed at the event. In this dance, by drum beats, the everlasting youth of the land rises in the dawn’s light and takes the spirit of youth and victory to heavenly heights.
The 3rd of April is the Birth Anniversary of the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa. All India Radio commemorates the Legendary Military commander on his Birth Anniversary:
Field Marshal Cariappa is cherished as the most distinguished Generals of the Indian Army.He was an embodiment of soldiering and visionary military initiative. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, as he was popularly known, spearheaded India’s glorious victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.
After a distinguished military career that spanned almost three decades, Field Marshall Cariappa chose to retire into the quiet serenity of the rolling hills in Coorg. In a rare interview from the Prasar Bharti Archives, General Manekshaw explains his decision to settle in the quiet environs of Coorg after an action packed career across India.
Further in the interview, the Field Marshall while endorsing the Gandhian principle of non-violence, explains the necessity of being prepared for any adversity.
India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has said that the government will change all normal bulbs of 40 to 60 watts with LED bulbs in a few years from now. He said, in the last six years of the Narendra Modi government, two billion normal bulbs have been replaced with LED bulbs. Addressing Sri Ram College of Commerce Business Conclave through video conference, Mr Javadekar said, this initiative will not only help in reducing carbon emission but will also save energy. He also mentioned that India is one of the leading countries in renewable energy and at present the country’s renewable energy capacity is 136 GigaWatt. Mr Javadekar informed that India has already reduced its emission intensity by nearly 26 per cent and it is committed to cut it by 35 per cent by 2031.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Climate Summit to be held virtually on the 22nd and 23rd April having accepted US President Joe Biden’s invitation. The External Affairs spokesperson confirmed this on Friday.
FLOATING SOLAR PLANT
India’s biggest floating solar power plant with a capacity of 100 MW will be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana. The project, expected to be opened in May, is being set up at Ramagundam thermal power plant reservoir. The solar project is commissioned by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The project, which is estimated to cost around 423 crore rupees, will have 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels. The solar panels will cover 450-acre area of the reservoir and can be expanded in the future. NTPC’s efforts to set up floating solar power projects is aimed at reducing its carbon footprints and accelerating its green energy production to 30 per cent of its capacity.
The world’s largest solar power plant with 600 MW capacity is being set up on Omkareshwar Dam on Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh. The project costing 3,000 crore rupees is expected to start power generation only by 2022-23.
BEIJING FOOD FEST
Beijing residents got another opportunity to experience the soul of India, this time through its food as they flocked to the 7 day-long Indian Food Week in Beijing. The week long culinary festival concluded on Friday. Indians, Chinese and foreigners of other nationalities alike savored delicacies, anecdotal Indian masala tea, Indian chaat, panipuris and chowmein along with delectable desserts like kulfi. Live counters were a special attraction which allowed the foodies to adjust the taste as per their choice. A report from our Beijing correspondent:
Any Indian Food Festival is every foodie’s heaven! It’s not just about eating but to have an experience. Beautifully decorated food stalls presented dishes from different Indian states giving a glimpse of mini-India to the visitors. Indianness in plenty, they not only enjoyed the food but also got a glimpse of India’s culture and its diversity through a range of tastes on to their plates. They said, there is no better way to experience the soul of India than trying out its variety of food on offer. They are also curious to understand Indian culture and loved the preparation methods and the stories associated with different delicacies. After Beijing, this Indian Food Week will be now organized in Shanghai this month. ANHSUMAN MISHRA AIR NEWS BEIJING
In the Kashmir Valley, five-day Tulip Festival in Srinagar was inaugurated on Saturday by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties are in full bloom on the foothills of Zabarwan Mountains. More from our Srinagar Correspondent:
The five-day-long Tulip Festival in Asia’s largest tulip garden at the foothills of Zabarwan hills on the banks of world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar has begun today. The Tulip Garden was opened for tourists and the general public on 25th of March. Last year the Tulip Festival could not be held because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19. However, this time, the Tulip Festival is being organized on a large scale to attract more and more tourists. The Tulip Festival, to be held from 3rd to 7th of April, will showcase Kashmiri folk music apart from a painting competition. This is Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar.
India’s merchandise exports in March 2021 increased an impressive 58.23 percent to 34 billion dollars as compared to 21.49 billion dollars in March last year.
Exports during April-March 2020-21 were 290.18 billion dollars, as compared to 313.36 billion during the same period of last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 7.40 percent.
India’s merchandise imports in March 2021 were 48.12 billion dollars as compared to 31.47 billion in March last year. This is an increase of 52.89 percent. Merchandise imports during April-March 2020-21 were 388.92 billion dollars, as compared to 474.71 billion during the same period of last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 18.07 percent.
India is thus a net importer in March 2021, with a trade deficit of 14.11 billion dollars, as compared to trade deficit of 9.98 billion. This is an improvement by 41.4 percent.
President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has greeted the nation on the eve of Easter. In his message, Mr Kovind said the festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated with joy all over the world. He said Jesus Christ is a symbol of humanity, forgiveness, sacrifice, compassion and truth and his life teaches peace, love and fraternity. He urged people to follow these values that will strengthen the bond of love, affection and harmony in society and increase happiness and prosperity in the nation.
Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind was shifted from the ICU to a special room at the AIIMS in New Delhi on Saturday. Rashtrapati Bhavan in a tweet said, President Kovind’s health has been improving continuously. Doctors are constantly monitoring his condition and have advised the President to take rest. President Kovind had undergone a successful bypass heart surgery in the AIIMS. After his surgery, the President said he was touched by messages, from citizens and leaders from India and abroad, wishing him speedy recovery.
In the English Premier League, Chelsea were humbled by a 2-5 defeat at home by West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. A 10 Man Chelsea side after Thiago Silva’s sending off struggled against the West Brom Side as they scored 5 times against the 4th place side in the league.
Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:
New York Times and the Wall Street Journal write that U.S. and Iran Agree to Indirect Talks on Returning to Nuclear Deal.
Global Times reports that Joe Biden is set to host Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on the 16th of April.
The Guardian writes that China launches musical in bid to counter Uyghur abuse allegations.
Globe and the Mail writes that Finish-line anxiety is now the defining feature of pandemic life.
The Himalayan Times reports that Nepal Prime Minister sets in motion construction of 165 roads across country.
Gulf Times reports that Ministry of Public Health of Qatar urges kidney patients to stringently follow Covid measures.