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Morning Digest | China says Covid deaths down by nearly 80%; evacuees from ‘sinking’ Joshimath await pre-fabricated houses, and more : The Coverage


Evacuees from ‘sinking’ Joshimath await pre-fabricated houses

Over three weeks after NTPC Limited was ordered to construct 2000 temporary, pre-fabricated houses to rehabilitate the evacuated residents of Joshimath – the Himalayan pilgrim town which has been sinking – the power corporation has yet to take any action, a senior government official told The Hindu.

74th Republic Day parade | Strong and steady down Kartavya Path

As India woke up to celebrate its 74th Republic Day, thousands turned up on the newly-renovated and renamed Kartavya Path in New Delhi on a cold and cloudy winter morning to witness the Republic Day parade on Thursday. The parade that always has something for each one did not disappoint this year’s gathering, a mix of men and women, senior citizens and children, students and working professionals, and vendors and daily wagers.

Centre sets up multi-agency group to check drug smuggling via sea routes

The Central government has set up a committee comprising senior representatives of multiple probe agencies to review the checking mechanisms at all ports and plug the loopholes to prevent smuggling of drugs into the country primarily via maritime routes. It is learnt that officials of the agencies like the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Navy and Indian Coast Guard have been roped in. Some agencies have already submitted their observations and recommendations.

China says Covid deaths down by nearly 80%

The number of daily Covid-19 deaths in China has fallen by nearly 80% since the start of the month, authorities have said, in a sign that the country’s unprecedented infection surge may have started to abate. A wave of virus cases has washed over the world’s most populous nation since Beijing abruptly ended its zero-Covid policy last month.

EPFO’s plan to review high pension payout cases sparks concern

A circular issued by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on “re-examining” cases of higher pension for those who retired prior to September 1, 2014, has evoked concern among sections of such pensioners that they may lose the benefit they have been enjoying for the past five years or so.

India making substantial contribution to international stability and security, says Putin

Russia on Thursday acknowledged India’s contribution to ensure “stability and security” in the current world scenario. On the occasion of the Republic Day festivities here, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory message to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought increased cooperation between the two countries. “India’s achievements in the economic, social, scientific, technological and other spheres are widely known. Your country is making a substantial contribution to ensuring international stability and security and to addressing vital issues on the regional and global agenda,” Mr. Putin said in his message.

India and Egypt reiterate support for Non-Aligned Movement

India and Egypt on Thursday reiterated support for the Non-Aligned Movement. In a joint statement issued after the end of bilateral engagements for President Abdel Fateh el-Sisi, who was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade here, both countries expressed desire for exchange of technology between their defence industries. 

India’s first mission to study the Sun will be launched by June-July: ISRO chairman 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch the Aditya-L1 mission by June or July this year. Aditya-L1 is the first Indian space mission to observe the Sun and the solar corona. ISRO chairman S. Somanath, speaking at the handover ceremony of the Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VELC) payload on Thursday, said that the Aditya-L1 mission will be launched by June or July as the launch window for the mission would close by August.

In telegraphing Bharat Jodo Yatra lore, medium is the message for Congress

As the Bharat Jodo Yatra travelled from Kanniyakumari to Srinagar, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addressed 13 press conferences, with the final one expected on Sunday. Yet, Mr. Gandhi, who is the the face of the yatra, has steadfastly refused to entertain any request for a one-on-one interview with any mainstream media house. Instead, he has chosen to interact with influencers and journalists who are popular on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Bihar caste survey | Phase 1 completed, form for next stage still being finalised

Halfway through the much-anticipated Caste-Based Survey (CBS) currently under way in Bihar, the form for its next and most crucial phase where information on people’s caste and socio-economic status will be collected, is still being finalised, officials confirmed to  The Hindu.  The CBS, which began on January 7, is being carried out in two stages. The first phase was a household counting exercise, which has now been completed with district administrations expected to send in their final reports by the end of January.

Russia downplays West’s move on tanks, strikes Ukraine again

From Washington to Berlin to Kyiv, a Western decision to send battle tanks to Ukraine was hailed enthusiastically. Moscow first shrugged it off — and later launched another barrage of attacks. The Kremlin has previously warned that such tank deliveries would be a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, and it has strongly denounced the watershed move by Germany and the United States to send the heavy weaponry to its foe.

8 dead, including 6 Chinese nationals, after ship sinks near Japan

Eight people are dead, including six Chinese nationals, after a ship sank in waters off the coast of Japan, a Chinese diplomat and the Japanese coast guard said Thursday. The Jin Tian, carrying crew from China and Myanmar, sent a distress signal on Tuesday evening from a position around 110 kilometres (68 miles) west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo Islands in far southwestern Japan.

China ‘exploited’ insecurity among tribal communities on India-Myanmar border: research paper

China has “exploited” the sense of alienation and insecurity among tribal communities along the India-Myanmar border — who have been protesting against the fencing being undertaken along the border — in order to “cause insurgency and instability” in northeastern India, according to a research paper written by a police officer and submitted at a conference last week. It added that insurgents sourced their arms from China and brought them into India via Myanmar.

Hockey World Cup: Top four teams to fight it out in semis as Belgium looks to defend its crown

A circumspect Australia will be hoping to find its rhythm and keep its victory streak intact against a resurgent Germany when the two face off in the World Cup semifinal here on Friday even as defending champion Belgium takes on Netherlands in a repeat of last edition’s title clash for a final spot.


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