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Morning Digest | Fewer hospitalisations in third COVID-19 wave, shows data; PM Modi to hold first India-Central Asia summit today, and more

Health workers bring a COVID-19 patient to be admitted to Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad on January 25, 2022.

Health workers bring a COVID-19 patient to be admitted to Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad on January 25, 2022.

Fewer hospitalisations in third COVID-19 wave, data from States show

On January 26, India reported 2,85,000 fresh cases bringing the active caseload to 22,23,018. States that account for a major chunk of these cases say that more than 95% of their available hospital beds are unoccupied, a far cry during previous waves when a scramble for even a single one — or having multiple occupants in a bed — was routine.

Focus on trade and connectivity as PM Modi set to host first India-Central Asia summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold the first India-Central Asia summit on Thursday, in a videoconference with five Presidents from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Government officials said the major areas of focus for the conference would be trade and connectivity, building development partnerships and enhancing cultural and people-to-people contacts.

Assembly elections | Cash, drugs worth over ₹200 crore seized since announcement of polls

Authorities in the five States where elections were announced on January 8 had seized cash, drugs, liquor and other inducements worth over ₹200 crore so far, a senior Election Commission official said. Punjab and Manipur accounted for a large amount of the illicit drugs and Uttar Pradesh for cash.

England lifts restrictions as Omicron threat recedes

Most  coronavirus  restrictions including mandatory face masks were lifted in England on Thursday, after Britain's government said its vaccine booster rollout successfully reduced serious illness and COVID-19 hospitalisations.

30% vacancies in Central offices as Government holds promotions for past six years

Nearly 30% positions are vacant in middle to senior management rank in various Central government Ministries as the Union government has not promoted officials of the Central Secretariat Service (CSS) in the past six years.

According to CSS Forum, an association of government officers, there are 6,210 officers in the rank of section officer, Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Director and Joint Secretaries with 1,839 positions of them lying vacant.

Rahul writes on free speech concerns to Twitter CEO

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a letter to Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal dated December 27 alleged that social media platform Twitter is unknowingly complicit in curbing free and fair speech in India. He has alleged that there is a shadow ban on him which restricts his tweets and the number of people who can follow him.

Padma honour to Ghulam Nabi Azad divides Congress

The divide within the Congress over the Narendra Modi government conferring Padma Bhushan on Ghulam Nabi Azad was out in the open on Wednesday, with former Union Minister Kapil Sibal claiming that it is ironic that the Congress does not need Mr Azad’s services but the nation recognises his contributions to public life.

Budget session | Curbs to restrict time slots for MP speeches in Parliament

Detailed COVID-19 protocol has been put in place for the upcoming Budget session of Parliament, which will involve time restrictions on Parliamentary speeches and also restricting access to the central hall beyond the working hours.

The time restrictions have come in place because both houses of Parliament are going to be working in shifts. Rajya Sabha will function from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. and the Lok Sabha from 4 p.m. till adjournment.

Xi offers Central Asian countries $500 million, announces $70 billion trade target

Two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, hosts India’s first virtual summit with Central Asian leaders, China’s President Xi Jinping offered $500 million in assistance to the region and pledged to ramp up trade.

U.K.’s Johnson defiant as ‘partygate’ report looms

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday defended his government’s record, vowing to fight on as he braced for a potentially damning report into lockdown-breaching parties.

The final report from an investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray has not yet been submitted to Downing Street, the government said.

Oil rises towards $89 on Russia-Ukraine tension

Oil rose towards $89 a barrel on Wednesday, within sight of a seven-year high, supported by tight supply and geopolitical tensions in Europe and West Asia that raise concerns about further disruptions. U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine.

India probes China, Vietnam over ‘dumping’ of vinyl tiles

India has initiated an anti-dumping probe against imports of a certain type of tiles, used for covering the floors in residential and commercial buildings, from China, Taiwan and Vietnam following a complaint by domestic players.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi gets maiden call-up for Windies series, Kuldeep Yadav makes comeback

Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was on Wednesday rewarded with a maiden India call-up for the upcoming Twenty20 series against the West Indies while senior wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav also returned to the white ball set up after a knee surgery.

Asia Cup | Determined Korea dethrones India

The Indian women’s hockey team’s hopes of defending the Asia Cup title went up in smoke as Korea secured a 3-2 win in the semifinal at the Sultan Qaboos Complex here on Wednesday.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 2:34:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/morning-digest-january-27-2022/article38331966.ece