Today News diary on 17 March 2021

1. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib centenary, golden jubilee of liberation begins
2. France enters third wave of Coronavirus pandemic
3. First shipment of food product from Bangladesh to India through Inland Waterways starts 0
4. Maharashtra govt. says jeans OK at office, but not T-shirt

 

News In Detail

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib centenary, golden jubilee of liberation begins

Bangladesh: 10 day long celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib centenary, golden jubilee of liberation begins

The ten day long celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman birth centenary and the golden jubilee of the liberation of Bangladesh started in Bangladesh on Wednesday. The programme started on the day of the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib on Wednesday and will conclude on 26 March marking the liberation day of Bangladesh.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the visiting dignitary President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for the ceremony held at the National Parade ground in Dhaka.

The ceremony began in the afternoon with 100 children singing the national anthem to mark the opening of the programmes. They also performed songs of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, National poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and others at the function.

Several world leaders including the Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent congratulatory messages on this occasion.

The outdoors programmes are being organised only with a very limited number of invited guests in view of the surge in Covid 19 cases in the country.

The day began with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placing a wreath on the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi area of Dhaka.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said that he was a champion of human rights and freedom and he is a hero for all Indians too.


Prime Minister Modi will arrive in Bangladesh on a two day visit to take part in the celebrations on 26 March. During his visit he will hold discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also call on President Abdul Hamid.

France enters third wave of Coronavirus pandemic

French Prime Minister Jean Castex told on Tuesday that France had entered a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the seven-day average of new cases rose above 25,000 for the first time since Nov 20.

French health authorities reported 29,975 new cases yesterday, a 4.5% jump versus last Tuesday's total and the sharpest week-on-week rise in a month and a half.

France is grappling with a steady rise of new cases, leading to a heavy strain on the country's hospital system, which prominent health experts say can be tackled only by a new lockdown. Like other EU countries, France has lagged far behind India, United States or Britain in vaccinating its population.

President Emmanuel Macron is still hoping a vaccination drive can stave off the effects of a new pandemic wave triggered by more contagious variants, and thus prevent France from resorting to a third national lockdown.

But the suspension of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, announced on Monday over safety concerns, could jeopardise the government's strategy.

With 4.11 million people infected since the start of the outbreak, France has the sixth-highest case count in the world and it has the world's seventh-highest death toll at 91,170 fatalities.


First shipment of food product from Bangladesh to India through Inland Waterways starts

The first shipment of food products exported from Bangladesh to India using the inland waterways left the Pran Industrial Park from Palash in Narsingdi on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury flagged off the ship M V Alif Lam Mim which will cover a distance of about 710 kilometers to Kolkata in 8 days.

Speaking on the occasion, Shipping Minister Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that the government has taken several steps to export goods directly to India using the inland waterways on protocol routes. He said the government is increasing the fleet of dredgers to ensure the navigability of rivers for easier transportation through inland waterway routes.

Earlier these items were being sent through trucks which resulted in higher cost and wastage of the products on the way.

In September last year, the first shipment on the protocol route commenced with a consignment of 50 tonnes of cement sent from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in Tripura on the new protocol route.

The Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit (PIWTT) was signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972 to connect the two countries through inland waterways. In 2019-2020, approx. 3.5 million MT of cargo was transported between India and Bangladesh on the protocol routes.

 

Supreme Court terms cancellation of 3 crore ration cards as serious, seeks replies from Centre, States

Ration card portability needs Aadhaar linking and biometric authentication. 

The Centre had earlier said that reports suggest that the deaths were not due to starvation.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was a “very serious” matter if the Centre has really cancelled around three crore ration cards, including those of tribals and the poor, solely because they could not be biometrically linked with Aadhaar.

 

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde asked the Centre to respond to allegation made in a petition by Koili Devi, represented by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, that such cancellations had led to starvation deaths across the country.

“The insistence on Aadhar and biometric authentication had led to the cancellation of nearly four crore ration cards in the country according to the Union of India. The Union of India casually gives an explanation that these cancelled cards were bogus. The real reason is that the technological system based on iris identification, thumb prints, non-possession of Aadhaar, non-functioning of the internet in rural and remote areas, etc, led to largescale cancellation of ration cards without notice to the family concerned,” a report submitted by the petitioner side said.

Investigation sought

Koili Devi’s 11-year-old daughter, Santhoshi Kumari, is allegedly a victim of hunger death in Jharkhand in 2017. She said the family's ration card was cancelled due to non-linkage with Aadhaar. She has sought an independent investigation into the starvation deaths, restoration of the cancelled ration cards and compensation for the death of her daughter.

Mr. Gonsalves said the government’s continued emphasis on Aadhaar was unfortunate as the Supreme Court had laid down in clear terms that “no insistence on Aadhaar can be done for statutory entitlements”.

“Tribals either do not have Aadhaar cards or the identification does not work in tribal and rural areas. Because of this reliance on Aadhaar cards, can you imagine three crore cards are gone...” Mr. Gonsalves submitted

“Three crore cards have gone?” Chief Justice asked incredulously.

“Yes, starvation deaths are taking place. Three crores ration cards have gone... I can show the Union of India’s declaration. It is an announcement of the Prime Minister,” Mr. Gonsalves responded.

 “Statements misplaced”

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi said the statements made by the petitioner side were misplaced. Issuance of ration card was not dependent on the Aadhaar card. Alternative mechanisms were in place. Besides, the issuance of ration cards was primarily the responsibility of the State governments.

Mr. Lekhi said the petitioners should ideally move the respective High Court, rather than file an omnibus petition in the apex court. He said the petitioners had come directly to the apex court without raising their issue with the grievance redressal mechanism under the National Food Security Act.

The Hunger Watch Report of the Right to Food Campaign in 2020 characterised the hunger situation in India as “grave”. India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the ‘Serious Hunger Category’.

 

Maharashtra govt. says jeans OK at office, but not T-shirt

The govt. had earlier issued an order prohibiting both in office.

After asking employees and officials not to wear T-shirts and jeans at office, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday amended the order by dropping jeans from the prohibition.
Government employees must not wear T-shirts while on official duty, the new order said.

By an order on December 8, the government had prohibited wearing of jeans and T-shirts, a fiat that had met with opposition from employees.


LAST MONTHS G.K.

January 22 : 18, 18, 01

December 21 : 30, 29, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 22, 21, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 08, 07, 06, 06, 04, 03, 02, 01

November 21 : 20, 18, 18, 18, 17, 17, 11, 10, 09, 09, 08, 06, 03, 02, 01

October 21 : 24, 23, 21, 20, 19, 18, 16, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 08, 08, 07, 06, 04, 01

September 21 : 07, 04, 03, 02, 01

August 21 : 11, 10

July 21 : 10, 10, 09, 09, 08, 06, 05, 03, 02, 01

June 21 : 08, 07, 07, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

May 21 : 29, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 17, 14, 13, 11, 10, 10, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 01

April 21 : 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 09, 08, 08, 07, 05, 03, 02, 01

March 21 : 18, 17, 16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 10, 09, 08, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

February 21 : 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 15, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10, 08, 06, 03, 01

January 21 : 27, 25, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 16, 15, 14, 12, 11, 09, 08, 07, 06, 05

December 20 : 30, 29, 28, 24, 21, 18, 17, 15, 11, 07, 03, 01

November 20 : 24, 20, 19, 18, 12, 11, 10, 09, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 02

October 20 : 31, 30, 29, 29, 27, 26, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 09, 08, 08, 07, 06, 06, 03, 02, 01

September 20 : 30, 29, 29, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 12, 11, 10, 09, 09, 08, 07, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

August 20 : 31, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 10, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 01

July 20 : 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 18, 17, 14, 13, 10, 09, 09, 08, 07, 06, 04, 03, 02, 01

June 20 : 30, 27, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20, 19, 18, 18, 17, 16, 13, 12, 11, 10, 09, 06, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

May 20 : 30, 29, 28, 26, 25, 23, 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, 16, 14, 13, 11, 09, 08, 07, 07, 05, 04, 02, 01

April 20 : 30, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 11, 10, 09, 08, 07, 07, 07, 04, 03, 02, 01

March 20 : 31, 27, 26, 25, 24, 22, 21, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 09, 07, 06, 05, 04, 04, 03, 02

February 20 : 29, 28, 28, 26, 25, 24, 21, 20, 19, 18, 11

January 20 : 13