Morning digest: Cyclone Amphan batters West Bengal, Odisha; MHA exempts board exams from lockdown measures, and more

Fire Services team clear a blocked road near Bhadrak, Odisha, to facilitate movement of vehicles, essential commodities and emergency service personnels.

Fire Services team clear a blocked road near Bhadrak, Odisha, to facilitate movement of vehicles, essential commodities and emergency service personnels.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

    Cyclone Amphan batters West Bengal, Odisha

    Three persons were killed as super cyclonic storm Amphan made landfall near Sagar Islands in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Wednesday, while a baby died in Bhadrak district of Odisha and a woman drowned in Kendrapara.

    MHA exempts board exams from lockdown measures

    The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday exempted the pending Class 10 and Class 12 board examinations to be conducted by the State boards and the Central board from the lockdown measures. Students and teachers will have to compulsorily wear face masks and there should be provision of thermal screening and sanitisers at all examination centres.

    Two in five COVID patients recovered, says Health Minister

    After a gap of nine days, the Union Health Ministry held its daily press briefing on COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with officials of the India Meteorological Department and the National Disaster Response Force, who were briefing on the progress of Cyclone Amphan.

    Coronavirus lockdown | Booking for 200 special trains begins at 10 a.m. on May 21

    In a relief for passengers, the Railways will begin accepting booking for 200 time-tabled trains that will be run from June 1 onwards, from 10 a.m. on Thursday.

    Birla orders review of House panels’ work

    Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has initiated an exercise to assess the effectiveness of the Parliamentary Standing Committees, from taking stock of the rate of attendance at their meetings to the list of recommendations that have not been accepted by the government

    BJP MPs praise Taiwan as ‘democratic country’ as Tsai begins new term

    As Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in on Wednesday for a second term, two Members of Parliament from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were among the dignitaries from 41 countries who sent in messages of congratulation that were played at the inaugural ceremony.

    Nationalism is not going to solve the big challenges of the day, says economist Thomas Piketty

    The seminal work of Thomas Piketty, Professor of Economics at the Paris-based School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and at the Paris School of Economics and Co-Director at the World Inequality Lab and World Inequality Database, is particularly salient at the present moment, when the first wave of the catastrophic human toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been followed by the second wave of its severe economic consequences, including loss of livelihoods, internal displacement and starvation among the poor in India and elsewhere. Edited transcript:

    Coronavirus | Vaccine will be for global public good, says U.S. health expert

    If the United States is the first to develop an effective vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19), it has to quickly share it with the world, the head of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, told AFP in an interview.

    Only 2,132 availed or being treated for COVID-19 under AB-PMJAY

    Only 2,132 people have availed or are now undergoing treatment for COVID-19 under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), India’s cashless/paperless healthcare access service for the poor and vulnerable families, at a time when India has over a lakh cases, according to figures released AB-PMJAY on Wednesday.

    60% of farmers faced losses: survey

    Most farmers managed to harvest their crops despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but 60% of them still faced losses, mostly related to the lockdown, according to a new survey in 12 States. A majority of farmers also say the lockdown has hurt their preparations for the upcoming sowing season either because they cannot afford inputs such as seeds and fertilizer or because of labour shortages.

    Cabinet approves ₹3 lakh crore funding for MSMEs

    The Union Cabinet on Monday approved additional funding of up to ₹3 lakh crore to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) that was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week as part of the ₹20 lakh crore economic package.

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    Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 1:39:18 PM |

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