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Economic Times | 27 Apr, 2022 | 11:56PM IST

INSACOG, in its weekly bulletin of April 11 that was released on Wednesday, said the incidences of suspected recombinants and the possible public health relevance are being closely monitored.

It said a total of 2,40,570 samples have been sequenced till now.

“Based on genome sequencing analysis, very few recombinant variants have been discovered in India. So far, none showed either increased transmission (locally or otherwise) or was associated with severe disease or hospitalisation,” it said.

On the global scenario, the INSACOG said two recombinant variants — XD and XE — are being closely monitored worldwide. XD, which has an Omicron S gene incorporated into a Delta genome, is found primarily in France.

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Wrap Up: Here are the top stories of the day

  • PM Modi chairs COVID-19 review meeting with chief ministers
  • PM asks states to cut taxes on petrol and diesel
  • West Bengal announces summer vacation from 2nd May
  • Delhi records 1367 new COVID19 cases
  • Govt approves Rs 60,939 cr subsidy for P&K fertilisers for Apr-Sep
  • Cabinet okays Rs 820 cr package for India Post Payments Bank
  • Russia cuts off gas to 2 EU nations

Gujarat Titans beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets in Indian Premier League

Northern Railways cancels eight passenger trains

“To ensure uninterrupted and timely delivery of coal to power stations, priority is being given to goods trains carrying coal. Due to this, eight passenger trains have been cancelled from April 28 till further orders,” said Northern Railways, Moradabad Division, UP.

UN chief in Ukraine

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced his arrival in Kyiv on Wednesday following talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I have arrived in Ukraine after visiting Moscow,” he wrote on his official Twitter account as he landed ahead of talks with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sharad Pawar summoned in Bhima Koregaon case

The probe committee investigating the matter has summoned NCP chief Sharad Pawar on May 5th and 6th as a witness, asking him to be present as a witness during the hearing in Mumbai.

Bomb threat in Punjab

A bomb threat letter was found at Sultanpur Lodhi Railway Station, Kapurthala, earlier today. CCTV footage is being examined as part of the investigation, said police.

Very few recombinant Covid variants have been discovered in India: INSACOG

INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics) said that based on genome sequencing analysis, very few recombinant variants have been discovered in India. “So far, none showed either increased transmission(locally or otherwise)or associated with severe disease or hospitalization.” Incidences of suspected recombinants and the possible public health relevance are being closely monitored, it further added

Reliance and Viacom18 partner with Bodhi Tree Systems

  • Uday Shankar and Lupa Systems’ Bodhi Tree to become major shareholder alongside Reliance and Paramount Global
  • Bodhi Tree to invest Rs 13,500 crore in Viacom 18
  • Reliance Projects & Property Management Services to invest an additional Rs 1,645 crore

West Bengal announces summer vacation from 2nd May

Due to the searing summer and heatwave, the summer vacation has been announced early in the state. Government and private schools to go for summer vacation from 2nd May, said the govt in a notification. “It’s advised to declare summer vacation in schools with effect from May 2 till June 15 or until further instructions whichever is earlier except for schools in hilly areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, where in existing academic scheduled may continue until further order.”

All students from Class 1 to 9 in Puducherry promoted: Government of Puducherry

Fully prepared for Covid: Haryana

“We have made the wearing of masks compulsory in four districts neighbouring Delhi as Covid cases rise. We are fully prepared to fight Covid19,” said Haryana minister Anil Vij.

Telangana govt has not hiked fuel prices, Centre has no right to ask us to reduce taxes: CM K Chandrasekhar Rao

Mumbai reports over 100 Covid-19 cases for 2nd day; no new death, active tally rises to 563

Mumbai reported over 100 new COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, but no fresh death linked to the infection was recorded in the financial capital, the city civic body said.The metropolis registered 112 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest daily count since February 25, taking the overall tally to 10,59,545, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a bulletin. On February 25, the city had witnessed 128 COVID-19 cases.

Punjab fully prepared to tackle any surge in Covid cases: CM Bhagwant Mann to PTI

Delhi Covid Cases

It was the sixth consecutive day that the capital recorded over 1,000 new cases in a day. The infection tally in the national capital stands at 18,78,458 and the death toll has reached 26,170.

Heatwave continues in many states

Maximum Temperature dated 27-04-2022 https://t.co/fcPbRpwjoD

— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) 1651067973000

Delhi records 1367 new COVID19 cases

The national capital has reported 1367 new COVID19 cases, 1042 recoveries and one death in the last 24 hours. Active cases now stands at 4832.

Trinamool Congress calls PM Narendra Modi’s meeting with chief ministers “gyan baato” session

The party has demanded Centre to clear dues it owes to West Bengal govt.

Russia will respond swiftly to any interference: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned that any countries attempting to interfere in Ukraine would be faced with a swift response from Russia and said all decisions on how Moscow would react in that situation have already been taken. Addressing lawmakers in St Petersburg, Putin said the West wanted to cut Russia up into different pieces and accused it of pushing Ukraine into conflict with Russia.

IPL: Gujarat Titans opt to bowl against Sunrisers Hyderabad

Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to bowl against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday. Washington Sundar came back in place of J Suchith for SRH, while GT are unchanged.

Delhi CM and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal to hold a rally in Bharuch, Gujarat on May 1st.

He will address ‘Adivasi Sankalp Mahasammelan’ jointly with Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) chief Chhotu Vasava.

Russia expels eight Japanese diplomats

Tokyo expelled eight Russian diplomats earlier this month in a rare move it said was in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Russia announces sanctions on UK lawmakers

The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced sanctions against 287 British lawmakers in response to the U.K. sanctioning 368 members of Russia’s lower house of parliament. They are now barred from entering Russia because they “took the most active part in the establishment of anti-Russian sanctions instruments in London (and) contribute to the groundless ramping-up of Russophobic hysteria in the U.K.”

Govt likely to soon reduce gap between second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and precaution dose from current 9 months to 6 months: PTI

Mamata Banerjee on fuel tax

  • “You appreciated 5 BJP-ruled states & you give them a lot of money. They are given more money than us for a lot of schemes. You give them 50% more. So, it is not a big deal for them to give up Rs 4,000 crores-5,000 crores, you give them Rs 40,000 crores.”
  • “You (Centre) owe us Rs 97,000 cr. Right now Government of India is taxing 25% more compared to West Bengal Govt on petrol.”

Encounter underway between security forces and terrorists in Mitrigam area of Pulwama in J&K

Judge recuses himself from Ashish Mishra bail plea case

Justice Rajiv Singh, who had granted bail to Ashish Mishra which was later cancelled by the SC, has recused himself from hearing his bail plea again. First hearing of the bail plea in the Lucknow bench of HC was scheduled today. Now a new bench will be constituted to hear his plea

Mumbai reports 112 fresh infections of COVID19 today; Active cases at 563

Mamata Banerjee wants Centre to slash fuel prices

The chief minister of West Bengal said that the state has spent Rs 1,500 crore in last 3 years to give subsidy of Re 1 per litre of petrol. She added that the Centre should decrease fuel price instead.

Tamil Nadu announce compensation for Thanjavur electrocution accident victims

CM MK Stalin has announced Rs 1 lakh each to severely injured and Rs 50,000 each for the injured persons.

Interaction with PM Narendra Modi on fuel price hike was one-sided; don’t agree with him: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Ukraine War Live: Russia expels 3 Norwegian diplomats

Russia is expelling three Norwegian diplomats, the Norwegian foreign ministry said on Wednesday, weeks after Oslo expelled a similar number of Russian diplomats over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “The Russian side has no basis for accusing the Norwegian diplomats to do anything else than normal diplomatic work,” the ministry told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Stalin meets the injured of the Thanjavur electrocution incident

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin meets the injured of the Thanjavur electrocution incident. 11 people lost their lives in… https://t.co/I4SYDaeCkt

— ANI (@ANI) 1651062071000

PM Modi should first ask BJP govts in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh to reduce taxes on petrol-diesel: Congress

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “PM Modi should first ask BJP govts in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh to reduce taxes on petrol-diesel, he put highest excise duty & collected Rs 27lakh Cr, must give subsidy. During UPA, Manmohan Singh gave Rs 1lakh Cr of fuel subsidy every year.”

Russia releases US Marine vet as part of prisoner exchange

Russia and the United States carried out a dramatic prisoner exchange on Wednesday, trading a Marine veteran jailed in Moscow for a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving a long prison sentence in America, a senior US official said. The surprise deal would have been a notable diplomatic maneuver even in times of peace, but it was all the more extraordinary because it was done as Russia’s war with Ukraine has driven relations with the U.S. to their lowest point in decades. As part of the exchange, Russia released Trevor Reed, a former Marine from Texas who was arrested in the summer of 2019 after Russian authorities said he assaulted an officer while being driven by police to a police station following a night of heavy drinking. Reed was later sentenced to nine years in prison, though his family has maintained his innocence and the U.S. government has described him as unjustly detained.

Temple chariot festival electrocution: TN govt orders solatium

The electrocution of 11 people, including 3 juveniles during a temple car festival procession in Thanjavur district, echoed in the Assembly on Wednesday prompting the Chief Minister M K Stalin to pilot a condolence resolution and also announce a solatium of Rs 5 lakh each to the families who lost their kin in the mishap. Besides, he directed the officials to ensure that best medicare is provided to the injured. The Chief Minister announced a one-man commission of enquiry to thoroughly probe the incident and to put forth recommendations to make sure that such unfortunate incidents don’t happen in the future, Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji told the Assembly.

CPI(M)-led Kerala govt sends Chief Secretary to Gujarat to study dashboard system, sparks row

Kerala’s CPI(M)-led LDF government has decided to send a two-member high-level official team to Gujarat this week to study a system aiding good governance introduced by the BJP-ruled state, sparking a row in the southern state. Kerala Chief Secretary V P Joy and his staff officer Umesh NSK will visit the BJP-ruled state from April 27 to April 29 to attend the presentation on the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Dashboard system for project implementation in the western state. The Left government’s decision to send its top officials to Gujarat was criticised by the Congress and the Muslim League. The BJP welcomed the decision.

Govt approves Rs 60,939 cr subsidy for P&K fertilisers for Apr-Sep

The government on Wednesday approved a subsidy of Rs 60,939.23 crore for phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers, including DAP, for the first six months of this fiscal, as part of its efforts to provide soil nutrients to farmers at an affordable price. The Union Cabinet has approved nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic fertilisers for the Kharif season (from April 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022). Briefing media about the Cabinet decision, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the Cabinet has approved a subsidy of Rs 60,939 crore on P&K fertilisers for the Kharif season against the subsidy of around Rs 57,150 crore on these nutrients for the entire last fiscal.

Fire at govt hospital in Chennai; none injured

A fire broke out at one of the buildings of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital here on Wednesday, but no casualties or injuries were reported. Three oxygen cylinders kept in the old building exploded, triggering panic among the people. Patients undergoing treatment in wards on the floor, where the mishap occurred were quickly moved to safety, hospital sources said. According to an official of the Fire and Rescue Services department, they received a call about the accident at 11 am and immediately four tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames in one of the blocks.

Nehru-Gandhi family real powerhouse, guiding force of Cong; without them Cong won’t be acceptable to 99 pc workers across country: A K Antony.

Concerted effort to bring uniformity in every field is dangerous for country: Cong leader A K Antony.

Cabinet approves Rs 60,939 cr subsidy on P&K fertilizers for Kharif season till September: Union Minister Anurag Thakur.

German auto club: drive less to cut imports

Germany’s influential ADAC auto club is calling on its 21 million members to help reduce the country’s oil imports from Russia by driving less and taking their foot off the gas where possible. In an open letter posted on its website on Wednesday, the club’s leadership said driving more slowly and anticipating stops were among the ways drivers could reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%. They also urged drivers to consider whether they really need to take the car or could switch to walking, cycling or public transport instead.

NTPC signs MoU with Energy Vault for gravity-based energy storage technology

India’s largest power generating firm NTPC Limited on Wednesday said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swiss energy storage company Energy Vault Holdings for gravity-based energy storage technology. The objective of the MoU is to collaborate and formalise a long-term strategic partnership for the deployment of Energy Vault’s EVx™ gravity-based energy storage technology and software solutions based on the outcome of a joint feasibility study, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Power. The technology also offers beneficial utilisation of coal ash for manufacturing of composite blocks for Energy Vault’s gravity-based energy storage system.

Delhi school to remain shut for a week after fire breaks out in Bhalswa landfill

Delhi’s Gyan Sarovar School has been temporarily closed after a fire broke out at the Bhalswa landfill near the school. Speaking to ANI, Narayana, Community organiser said, “It is not safe to keep children here because of the smoke coming out of the fire. We have decided to keep the school closed for a week.” Earlier in the day, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai informed that soon after the incident, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has been instructed to inquire and submit the report within 24 hours.

LIC IPO price band at Rs 902-949 per share; offer opens on May 4

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has set its price band for the Initial Public Offer (IPO) at Rs 902 to Rs 949 per equity share. The public offer starts on May 4 and will remain open for bidders till May 9, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said on Wednesday. The size of LIC IPO is set to be the largest so far in the country. The government targets to raise Rs 20,557.23 crore by offloading 3.5 per cent of its equity stake or 22.13 crore shares of LIC. This is substantially lower than the earlier projection of about Rs 60,000 crore.

Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve on Wednesday lashed out at Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut for accusing Lok Sabha MP from Amravati Navneet Rana of links with the underworld. The Minister asked Raut to present evidence, saying mere allegations won’t work. Earlier in the day, Raut alleged that the ‘underworld’ mafia is the mastermind behind the larger conspiracy to harm the law and order situation of Maharashtra through controversies like loudspeakers and Hanuman Chalisa.

Jaishankar discusses food, health security with Madagascar counterpart

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Wednesday held a meeting with Madagascar Foreign Minister Richard Randriamandrato and discussed taking forward development partnership between the two countries. Jaishankar said their talks focused on food and health security, capability building and the digital domain. “A useful meeting with valued Indian Ocean neighbour, FM @RichardJRand of Madagascar today. Discussed taking forward our development partnership, focusing on food and health security, capability building and the digital domain,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Cabinet approves Rs 820 cr financial support for India Post Payments Bank

The Union Cabinet has approved financial support of Rs 820 crore for India Post Payments Bank, a source said on Wednesday. The support will help state-run payments bank to penetrate deeper into the country, especially in the rural area and work towards financial inclusion. “There was a proposal to provide Rs 820 crore financial support to India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). It has been approved by the Cabinet,” the source told PTI.

Russia says it’s cutting gas to 2 EU nations in escalation

Russia opened a new front in its war over Ukraine on Wednesday, deciding to shut off gas to two European Union nations that staunchly back Kyiv, a dramatic escalation in a conflict that is increasingly becoming a wider battle with the West. One day after the United States and other Western allies vowed to speed more and better military supplies to Ukraine, the Kremlin upped the ante, using its most essential export as leverage. European gas prices shot up on the news, which the European Union commission’s president called an attempt at “blackmail.” The escalation came in a memo from state-controlled Russian giant Gazprom, which said it had cut natural gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria because they refused to pay in Russian rubles, as President Vladimir Putin had demanded. The company said it had not received any payment since the beginning of the month.

Silver futures rise on spot demand

Silver prices on Wednesday rose by Rs 155 to Rs 65,123 per kilogram in futures trade as participants widened their bets on a firm spot demand. On the Multi Commodity Exchange, silver contracts for May delivery gained Rs 155 or 0.24 per cent to Rs 65,123 per kg in 4,568 lots. Analysts said the rise in silver prices was mainly due to fresh positions built up by participants on a positive domestic trend.

Gold futures gain on fresh bets

Gold prices on Wednesday marginally increased by Rs 8 to Rs 51,592 per 10 gram in futures trade as speculators created fresh positions on a firm spot demand. On the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold contracts for June delivery traded higher by Rs 8 or 0.02 per cent at Rs 51,592 per 10 gram in a business turnover of 14,016 lots. Fresh positions built up by participants led to the rise in gold prices, analysts said.

Congress party revamps Haryana unit

Cong revamps Haryana unit: appoints Shruti Choudhry, Ram Kishan Gujjar, Jitender Kumar Bharadwaj, Suresh Gupta as working presidents.

Russia cuts off gas, European prices spike

European gas prices have spiked by as much as 24% following Gazprom’s statement that it was suspending deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria starting Wednesday because it hasn’t received any payments from them since April 1. Benchmark Dutch futures traded at one point around 125 euros per megawatt hour.Fatih Birol, the executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, tweeted Wednesday morning that his organization “stands firmly with Poland.”“Gazprom’s move to completely shut off gas supplies to Poland is yet another sign of Russia’s politicisation of existing agreements & will only accelerate European efforts to move away from Russian energy supplies,” he wrote.

Despite managing the COVID crisis well as compared to other countries, we can see cases’ uptick in states now. We have to stay alert. It’s clear that the COVID challenge has yet not been surpassed: PM Modi after interacting with state CMs on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman highlights India’s steps towards digitization

Highlighting several digitization-related progressive steps in the budget this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday (local time) said that there is a continuous digital nudge by the government across different sectors. Sitharman’s remarks came during the ‘Business Roundtable: Investing in India’s Digital Revolution’ organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and co-hosted by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Palo Alto, California. Alluding to the recently announced Central bank digital currency, digital banks, and digital university, Sitharaman stated, “There is a continuous digital nudge by the government across sectors.” Interacting with the participants, the Finance Minister said that India aims to introduce digital currency by 2023. However, she added that aiding financial inclusion was not the sole purpose of the proposed digital currency, unlike in other countries. “The government and RBI are looking into its several commercial use purposes and not just financial inclusion, which is largely achieved through the JAM trinity,” she said.

PM Modi chairs COVID-19 review meeting with chief ministers

Amid rising COVID cases in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a meeting with Chief Ministers via video conferencing to assess the health situation across the nation. Apart from the Prime Minister and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, and officials from their respective Ministries are also present at the meeting. As per sources, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan will be making a presentation on the present situation of COVID, the extent of vaccination, especially the booster drive, and the trajectory of cases in certain states.

Shanghai seeks ‘societal zero COVID’ with rounds of testing

Shanghai city authorities said Wednesday they will start rounds of COVID-19 testing over the next few days to determine which neighbourhoods can safely be allowed a limited amount of freedom of movement, as residents in Beijing watch carefully on word for whether the capital city will lock down. On Wednesday, China reported 14,222 new cases, the vast majority of which were asymptomatic. The country is battling its largest outbreak since the pandemic was first reported in Wuhan in late December 2019. Shanghai’s vice head of its health committee, Zhao Dandan, announced Wednesday that the city would begin another round of testing for city residents over the next few days to determine which districts were lower risk. Areas that have been declared to have achieved “societal zero COVID” could see some measure of limited freedom.

LIC IPO press meet at 12.30 pm today

India has slashed the size of its biggest initial public offering by about 60%, pressing ahead with the sale even as the war in Ukraine continues to weigh on investor demand. The Centre will sell 221.4 million shares of LIC at Rs 902 to Rs 949 each, according to the final prospectus filed with exchanges. The offering could raise as much as $2.7 billion at the top end of the price range. Even so, the IPO will be India’s largest, surpassing the 183 billion rupee sale by One97 Communications Ltd., the operator of Paytm, in November.

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