Tuesday, September 22TRUSTED FEARLESS INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL NEWS PORTAL

Opinion

Agri-reforms will empower farmers. The Opposition is wrong | Opinion
Opinion

Agri-reforms will empower farmers. The Opposition is wrong | Opinion

The unprecedented 23.9% decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020-21 is serious. But gross value-added numbers show that agriculture grew by a respectable 3.4%, suggesting the rural economy will drive recovery. The Centre promulgated three agriculture-related ordinances in June, which were a break from the past when pernicious interventions by governments were justified in the name of farmers’ welfare. The supply chain in requires massive investment from warehousing, cold storage, transportation to infrastructure in retail distribution. This mega push can come from private sector alone. Agriculture has also been moving from shortages to surplus and the policy on essential commodities from 1955 is bound to be reworked and limitations removed f...
Tourism New Zealand launches new virtual campaign in India, shares video messages of hope and care amid Covid-19
Opinion

Tourism New Zealand launches new virtual campaign in India, shares video messages of hope and care amid Covid-19

Tourism New Zealand on Monday virtually launched its new campaign ‘Messages from New Zealand’ in India as part of its efforts to promote the country as a preferred destination. The campaign “features everyday New Zealanders sharing video messages of hope and care with their international family, presenting a unique Kiwi perspective about what is important to them,” Tourism New Zealand said in a statement. The campaign will be released through social and digital channels, it said. When asked about the numbers of visitors New Zealand is expecting from India in 2020, Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Trade Marketing Manager Asia Steven Dixon told PTI that it is not known at this time when the border is likely to re-open but public health is at the forefront of any decision made ...
The scientific enquiry on Covid-19 immunity
Opinion

The scientific enquiry on Covid-19 immunity

In eight months since the onset of Covid-19, over 47,000 scientific papers dealing with the disease have appeared in journals. This translates into about 5,875 papers per month. It took 20 years to have the same number of publications on the discovery of the human genome. This rate of scientific enquiry is unprecedented. More than half the publications deal with the key features of innate (pre-existing, ready to attack) and adaptive (more potent and desired) arms of the immune response, and towards ascertaining the long-term B- and T-lymphocyte immunological memory against the Sars-CoV-2 virus. The data generated has been helpful in forecasting the outcome of the disease, and developing effective strategies to control it. Five takeaways from these immunology-focused studie...
Nepal’s Janakpur locals rejoice as they welcome a modern train after nearly a decade
Opinion

Nepal’s Janakpur locals rejoice as they welcome a modern train after nearly a decade

As a brand new train chugged into Janakpur Dham station in Nepal, it brought to an end the wait for hundreds of people for the first modern railway in the Himalayan country.The trial for Nepal’s first broad-gauge railway service in Janakpur began on Friday with the arrival of two trains to revive operation in the Janakpur-Jaynagar section.For 78-year-old Hasim Nadaf, who had come to see the train arrive on its trial run it seemed as if a “migrant family member,” was returning home after a long time.“I saw trains that ran on coal and then the steam engine and now the modern train. The phase-wise transformation is like the growth of my child whom I haven’t seen for many years. I was happy and cherished the sight of it arriving in the station,” Nadaf said.Pratap Kumar Bhagat ...
Creating a new farm ecosystem
Opinion

Creating a new farm ecosystem

With the passing of two landmark agriculture bills in Parliament, we have been able to take the next step towards our vision of transforming farmers into entrepreneurs with higher incomes and better quality of life, cementing India’s position in the global market and ensuring “Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) agriculture”. Over the last few years, the government has launched initiatives for farmers and the agriculture sector, including a ₹6,685-crore scheme for the formation of 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPOs); the one-of-its kind ₹1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF); the national Agriculture Export Policy; and the disbursal of more than ₹90,000 crore of direct benefit to farmers under PM-KISAN. Now, with The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promoti...
Taj Mahal to reopen from tomorrow, 5,000 tourists allowed per day | Check guidelines
Opinion

Taj Mahal to reopen from tomorrow, 5,000 tourists allowed per day | Check guidelines

After remaining closed for six months, Agra’s Taj Mahal will reopen its doors to visitors on September 21. Only 5,000 tourists will be allowed to visit the Taj Mahal per day. All you need to know* This was the first time that the Taj Mahal was closed for such a long period of time. It was closed on March 17 — before the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 was announced.* Agra Fort will also reopen from Monday. Only 2,500 visitors will be allowed daily.* All other historical monuments in Agra have already reopened from September 1.Also Read | Agra hotels set to welcome tourists as Taj Mahal reopens from September 21* The local administrations didn’t allow tourists at the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort because of their vicinity to containment zones.* Tourists ...
International flights: Who are eligible to fly to these 13 countries?
Opinion

International flights: Who are eligible to fly to these 13 countries?

India has already established air bubble agreements with 13 countries, while more such agreements are on the pipeline. The civil aviation ministry has released a detailed guideline on who can travel to these countries from India along with the criteria for travelling to India from these countries.1. AfghanistanFrom India to Afghanistani. Afghanistan nationals/residents and foreign nationals holding valid Afghanistan visas, if required; andii. Any Indian national, holding any type of valid visa from Afghanistan and destined for Afghanistan only. “It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Afghanistan with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger,” the mi...
Ileana D’Cruz rowing ‘away from responsibilities’ is exactly how we fantasise our 2021 travel plans
Opinion

Ileana D’Cruz rowing ‘away from responsibilities’ is exactly how we fantasise our 2021 travel plans

Fans can vouch that Barfi star Ileana D’Cruz is hands down a beach baby and there are enough pictures and videos on her social media handle to back the claim. Recently, the Bollywood actor reminded us of her Fiji trips as she gave our travel fantasies a ‘winky’ nostalgia with her video of rowing a surfing board with style.Taking to her Instagram handle, Ileana shared a snippet featuring her in an easy breesy all-black ensemble. Kneeling on a surfing board with hair pulled back in a half-knot, Ileana rowed from the ocean waters to the shore and cheekily winked at the camera as we fantasise about similar travel plans in 2021.She captioned the picture, “Me running away from my responsibilities #byeeee (sic)”. Wish we could glide out and say the same to this jinxed year. Prett...
Holiday weekend in Japan creates surge of domestic travel
Opinion

Holiday weekend in Japan creates surge of domestic travel

Train stations and airports in Japan were filled with people over this “Silver Week” holiday weekend running through Tuesday, in a sign of recovering local travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.The surge of domestic travel is a contrast to previous holidays, such as the summer Obon. Pressures were high for people living in urban congested areas not to visit families or play tourist in areas, where cases have been far fewer, with some regions having zero or a handful. The daily new cases of coronavirus infections in Tokyo have recently fluctuated at around 200 people. Japan does not have widespread testing and so many cases are likely going undetected. Baseball games, stores and theatres are back open in recent weeks with social distancing, mask-wearing, hand sanitisers an...
Riyadh-Chennai flight scheduled to bring back Indian deportees from Saudi Arabia on September 24
Opinion

Riyadh-Chennai flight scheduled to bring back Indian deportees from Saudi Arabia on September 24

The second batch of Indian deportees from Saudi Arabia will reach India on September 24 via the Riyadh-Chennai flight.“The Mission has been trying to resolve the issue of Indians in Saudi deportation centres in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs for quite some time now,” the Embassy said in a statement on Twitter.According to the statement, the first batch of around 500 deportees was sent in May, 2020 to Hyderabad. “Multiple agencies were involved at both ends and several clearances were needed besides strictly following health protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in India.”The Embassy said currently, the Mission in Riyadh, Consulate in Jeddah, and MEA are arranging flights and quarantine facilities for the second batch of deportees.“The first flight f...
HT E-Tourism Conclave: Redefining the future of tourism in India in the new normal
Opinion

HT E-Tourism Conclave: Redefining the future of tourism in India in the new normal

This World Tourism Day (September 27), Hindustan Times will shine a light on new-age travel experiences in India through a special virtual platform that showcases the country’s leading efforts in reviving its most beloved sector. After a successful first season in 2019, HT Tourism Conclave is raring to go live this year between September 24 and 25, centered on the theme: Indian Tourism – Road to Recovery ‘Refocus, Reboot, Revive’.Taking the model of discussions and conversations with top industrialists, politicos and film personalities online due to the pandemic, the e-conclave will have a total of eight sessions spread over two days. With the Indian tourism industry taking a serious blow since the pandemic, there is a need to redefine and revisit the way we think tourism,...
The Nehruvian imprint on Indus Waters Treaty
Opinion

The Nehruvian imprint on Indus Waters Treaty

Exactly 60 years ago, on September 19, 1960, the Indus Waters Treaty between Pakistan and India was signed. Despite the energy and voluminous paperwork that marked eight long years of negotiations, under the aegis of the World Bank (WB), the Treaty was largely viewed by both parties as one which gave away their respective water interests. The two leaders — Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan — for different reasons felt otherwise and soaked in the historic moment of the signing ceremony in Karachi on September 19, 1960. As a military dictator, Khan’s diktat overrode public opinion, while the democratic Nehru had to contend with domestic opposition. The Treaty partitioned the Indus system of rivers. The three eastern rivers (Beas, Ravi and Sutlej) with a mean annual flow of 33 m...
What Bihar will tell us about national politics
Opinion

What Bihar will tell us about national politics

Bihar’s assembly elections often give a glimpse into larger national political trends. In the 1990s, the dominance of Lalu Prasad was representative of the larger assertion of Other Backward Classes, the ascendance of the politics of “social justice” which essentially meant an electoral coalition of religious minorities and marginalised castes, and the deeper democratisation of the polity. At the same time, his consecutive electoral victories also showed that in Indian politics, the question of political representation and electoral arithmetic was, in many ways, more crucial than the provision of public goods and service delivery.In 2005, the defeat of the Lalu Prasad-Rabri Devi combine, and the emergence of Nitish Kumar, signalled the limits of a certain kind of identity-...
International flights: Air bubbles with 13 countries finalised
Opinion

International flights: Air bubbles with 13 countries finalised

In the ongoing process of gradually resuming international flights, the civil aviation ministry has added more destinations to the list of countries where Indians can fly. Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier announced that talks were on with 13 countries to set up air bubbles, which has now been finalised, the minister tweeted. Air Bubbles are in place with 13 countries. Others are being finalised.In addition to existing countries, people can also fly between India & Afghanistan, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Maldives, Nigeria & Qatar. Carriers of India & these countries will operate.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) September 18, 2020 List of countries:1. US2. UK3. Canada4. Qatar5. France6. Germany7. Afghanistan8. UAE9. Maldives...
Russia to resume flights with Belarus and others from next week amid Covid-19
Opinion

Russia to resume flights with Belarus and others from next week amid Covid-19

Russia will resume flights with Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan from Sept. 21 and with South Korea from Sept. 27, Russia’s coronavirus crisis centre, a government body, said in a statement on Friday.The flights will operate in both directions and will be weekly, the centre said.The centre also said that it was suspending the government’s special evacuation flights, a program launched to return Russian citizens to Russia after international air travel links were suspended in spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. (This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter Source link
Ireland advises against all non-essential travel, tightens Dublin Covid-19 restrictions as cases surge
Opinion

Ireland advises against all non-essential travel, tightens Dublin Covid-19 restrictions as cases surge

The Irish government on Friday announced strict new COVID-19 restrictions for the capital Dublin, banning indoor restaurant dining and advising against all non-essential travel, after a surge in cases in recent days.Ireland, which was one of the slowest countries in Europe to emerge from lockdown, has seen average daily case numbers roughly double in the past two weeks and significant increases in those being treated for the virus in hospitals. “Here in the capital, despite people’s best efforts over recent weeks, we are in a very dangerous place,” prime minister Micheal Martin said in a televised address to the country, announcing the restrictions. “Without further urgent and decisive action, there is a very real threat that Dublin could return to the worst days of this c...
Reform, but consult widely
Opinion

Reform, but consult widely

Nearly three decades ago, India liberalised its economy after a severe balance-of-payments crisis. The country ended its “licence raj” and has pushed a growth agenda since to unleash the potential of various sectors of the economy, barring one — agriculture. Three bills in Parliament are the first attempt to unshackle the sector. These are the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020. The first two were passed on Thursday in the Lower House.Together, these laws seek to liberalise farm trade, enable modern supply chains, allow agribusinesses and farmers to engage with one another more confi...
Here is how the Indian economy can rebound
Opinion

Here is how the Indian economy can rebound

The Indian economy is shrouded in pessimism. Despite dystopian short-term projections, India is on track to emerge as the world’s third largest economy by the end of this decade. The road ahead is long and hard but the math is incontestable. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the year ending March 2021 is expected to fall by 10%. India’s GDP of Rs 203 lakh crore in March 2020 will, therefore, decline to Rs 183 lakh crore on March 31, 2021. At an exchange rate of Rs 75 per dollar, India’s GDP in March 2021 will thus be $2.4 trillion. Real GDP growth could rebound to 5% in the year ending March 2022 on a low base. Add inflation at the current level of around 6% and nominal GDP growth (real plus inflation) would surge by 11%. Thus, by March 2022, India’s GDP is likely to ri...
Abu Dhabi makes wearing of COVID-19 tracking device compulsory for passengers at airport and during quarantine
Opinion

Abu Dhabi makes wearing of COVID-19 tracking device compulsory for passengers at airport and during quarantine

International passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi airport will now have to wear a tracking device while they complete a mandatory 14-day home quarantine due to COVID-19, according to state-owned Etihad Airways.Daily infections in the United Arab Emirates rose this month to their highest since the outbreak started, which officials have largely blamed on people not practicing social distancing.Those arriving at Abu Dhabi airport would be fitted with a medically approved wristband, which is removed after the 14-days of home quarantine, according to Etihad’s latest travel update.Those arriving from countries deemed to be a high risk may have to quarantine in a government facility, it said.A health ministry official on Sept. 10 said 12% of cases in the previous two weeks were from...
Madrid to unveil fresh restrictions as COVID-19 resurges, asks for urgent help from Spain government
Opinion

Madrid to unveil fresh restrictions as COVID-19 resurges, asks for urgent help from Spain government

Once again at the centre of a major coronavirus outbreak, the Madrid region admitted Thursday it was overwhelmed, calling for “decisive” central government action on the eve of unveiling fresh restrictions.In a country where public health services are left in the hands of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, senior official Ignacio Aguado said it was “necessary and urgent that the Spanish government get involved, and that means decisively, in controlling the pandemic”.“The reality of the epidemic in the community of Madrid is getting worse and we need to make greater efforts,” said Ignacio Aguado, vice president of the region of some 6.6 million people. Spain is currently battling a resurgent second wave of Covid-19 although the mortality levels are far lower than they were in s...