- Maoist duo surrenders to police
A 19-year-old male from Chintoor mandal and a 19-year-old female from Yetapaka mandal in East Godavari district, belonging to the Gutti Koya tribe, have surrendered themselves before East Godavari Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi. They belonged to the Azad Protection Team and the Charla Local Organisation Squad of Sabari Dalam of the banned Maoist party.
Mr. Nayeem Asmi informed that the two had joined the organization back in December 2019, however were not involved in any offensive activities. Their role was that of mere guards in the Sabari Dalam and that of protection in Azad. Upon their discovery, they have surrendered to the police and expressed the desire to lead a normal life in the mainstreams.
- Health Ministry informs COVID-19 recovery rate risen to 70.77%, fatality rate declined to 1.96%
Union Health Ministry says that the recovery rate for the novel coronavirus has faced increment, reaching up to 70.77% amounting to the number of patients to have recovered around 17 lakhs. Mortality rate on the other hand, has decreased to 1.96%
Reporting the highest number of recoveries on Thursday, the number has risen up to 56,383, making the total number to be 16,95,982; while the number of active cases sum up to 6,53,622. The credit is due to the collaborative efforts of the Centre, state and Union Territories, and the effective measures taken by the authorities.
- $500 million package for connectivity in Maldives
In order to help the Indian Ocean islands deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, India has announced new connectivity measures for the Maldives, including air, sea, intra-island and telecommunications.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid, over a video conference, discuss about air connectivity “bubble” for travel, a direct ferry service, a submarine cable for telecom connectivity; and assistance for the Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP) to connect Male to three neighboring islands, among the biggest projects so far. The implementation of the GMCP in Maldives, is to be carried out through a financial package consisting of a grant of USD 100 million and a new Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 400 million. It is believed that the Maldives President Ibrahim Solih had personally sought India’s assistance for the GMCP project during his visit to New Delhi in September 2019.
- Militant hideouts busted in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir
Two militant hideouts in the forest area of Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir have been discovered, yielding a cache of arms and ammunition. The mission was led by Awantipora police, after being discreetly informed about presence of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants in Badroo forests of Awantipora.
A police official reported to have discovered and confiscated over 1,900 rounds of AK ammunition, two hand grenades and an UBGL thrower with four grenades; and other explosives including ammonium nitrate-like substance, five gelatin sticks, one crude pipe bomb and three code sheets.
- Supreme Court to restart physical hearings
A seven-judge committee of the Supreme Court, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, has decided to hold two-three courtroom hearings on a fortnight basis. The meeting took place among the the committee and senior advocate Dushyant Dave, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, the chairman of the Bar Council of India and advocate Shivaji Jadhav, who is the president of the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association.
The decision is also being undertaken due to the plea of various lawyers who are suffering both financially and professionally. Additionally, it has been reported that the virtual courtroom trials lagged as few exceptional cases were complex, required intensive arguments and documents. The mode of hearing has shifted online since the beginning of the nation-wide lockdown and is being maintained till date.
- Bengal offers employment to support the families of COVID-19 warriors
The government announces a West Bengal Special Compassionate Appointment [to the dependant of COVID warrior who has died or been permanently incapacitated due to COVID-19] Scheme, to be in effect from April 1. The scheme will offer employment to the dependent of the deceased COVID-19 warrior. It is being implemented in order to boost the morale of the people working in the frontline.
The appointment will only be in the Group C and Group D posts, provided they are vacant. In exceptional cases, the post might be higher than aforementioned, in consideration of higher qualification and eligibility.
- Degradation of critical hornbill habitat in Arunachal Pradesh
A trio of ecologists discover the receding forest cover of the 1,064 sq.km. Papum Reserve Forest (RF) adjoining the Pakke Tiger Reserve as well as a part of Assam affected by illegal felling and ethnic conflict. Papum RF is a nesting habitat of three species of the large, colorful fruit-eating hornbills: Great, Wreathed and Oriental Pied. The 862 sq.km. Pakke reserve is the home to a fourth species, the Rufous-Necked.
Generally referred to as the “farmers of forests” or “forest engineers”, hornbills are a sign of ecological prosperity as they are responsible for major seed dispersal in their habitat, leading to increase in flora. However, the illegal logging and deforestation poses an acute threat for these animals.
- Founding of a rail coach factory in Telengana
Foundation laid for a rail coach factory of Medha Group near Hyderabad. The much delayed project will cost around Rs 1000 crore, progressing the nation’s self-reliant goal. The project is expected to create 2,200 direct and indirect employment opportunities.
Medha Servo Drives is the flagship of the group providing hi-tech electronic commodities and services to locomotives, train sets, coaches, railway stations and yards. It is the largest equipment supplier to Indian Railways.
- 20 trained nurses dead, 509 infected
Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) released records for the first time amidst the pandemic, showing the accurate number of health workers that have passed away, and the number that are affected. Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal have the maximum number of COVID positive staff nurses in the country with the highest mortality rate.
West Bengal reported 111 COVID-19 positive nurses with three fatalities; Maharashtra has 75 cases with six deaths and Gujarat has 96 cases with four deaths.
- Union Health Ministry denies interest in Sputnik V
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a government body funding the manufacture of the coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, had on their official website and in another statement mentioned that countries including India, Brazil, UAE, among a few others to be interested in Sputnik V and hence the need for its mass production to cater to the global needs.
The Union Health Ministry has been found skeptical about the manufacture of the vaccine due to lack of data and the confidentiality of the results of the stage III test. Officials have denied the statements made by RDIF, highlighting the need for transparency to make such requests.