08 March 2021
A) All-women crew of MT Swarna Krishna makes history.
In an attempt to acknowledge the efforts of women in breaking down the stereotypes of the erstwhile male-dominated maritime sector, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has flagged off an all-women crew onboard Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) vessel MT Swarna Krishna, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said on Sunday. The vessel was virtually flagged off by the Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister on March 6, it said. The Shipping Corporation of India, as a part of its ongoing Diamond Jubilee celebrations and also to commemorate the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, achieved another feat when Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, virtually flagged off the ‘All Women Officers’ Sailing’ on MT Swarna Krishna – SCI’s product carrier from JNPT Liquid Berth Jetty on March 6, 2021, the Ministry statement said. This is the first time in the world maritime history that a ship is being sailed by all women officers, it added. Mr. Mandaviya acknowledged the contribution and sacrifice of the women seafarers who acted as the Indian ambassadors to the global maritime community and had made the nation proud, it said. The move demonstrated the gradual shift in the perception of seafaring as a male-oriented profession and the principles of Diversity & Inclusion that SCI upholds. SCI has been a pioneer in employing women seafarers onboard its vessels and has implemented various initiatives including age relaxations and fee concessions to aspiring female cadets through its Maritime Training Institute to promote their integration into the maritime sector, the statement said.
B) Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty joins BJP in Kolkata.
Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP on Sunday at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally. Mr. Chakraborty was welcomed into the party fold by BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and State party chief Dilip Ghosh among others. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had met the actor at his Mumbai residence last month setting off speculation that he might join the BJP. Mr. Chakraborty, a former Rajya Sabha member of the TMC, had quit the Upper House in 2016 after his name surfaced in Saradha Ponzi scam.
C) PM Modi promises to usher in ‘real change’ in West Bengal.
Prime Minister Modi headlined the weekend campaigning ahead of the coming Assembly Elections in four States, promising to usher in ‘Asol Paribortan (real change)’ by bringing in development in West Bengal. Mr. Modi was speaking at a public rally at Brigade parade grounds targeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying that this is not the same Didi that removed Left Front from power. Describing the public rally as one of biggest rallies he has ever addressed Mr Modi in his hour-long speech went on lengths to explain that Asol Paribortan real change means. From this Brigade ground he want to give you assurance of real change assurance of development of Bengal, assurance of things to change in Bengal increasing of increasing investment in Bengal and assurance that for youths, farmers and workers we will work 24 hours, the Prime Minister said. Mr Modi said that the BJP government in Bengal will draw its inspiration from the mantra of Asol Paribortan which would mean such a situation where there are jobs for youths and there is no migration for youth and industries can prosper and will have the infrastructure of the 21st century. The Prime Minister also went on which Kolkata is called city of joy and there is no reason Kolkata would not be the city of future. Mr Modi said on one side there is Trinamool Congress and the Left parties and Congress and one side there are people of the State. The PM accused the Left parties government of bringing in vote bank politics in the State and using an old slogan of the Left parties Congresser kalo haath gudie dao bhenge dao ( Break and grind the evil hand of Congress) also took the swipe of Left Congress alliance in West Bengal. Mr Modi said that after three decades of Left rule people Bengal trusted Mamata Banerjee to bring in partivartan change but she betrayed its people, insulted them.
D) Amit Shah talks up NDA ‘coalition government’ in Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah was in Tamil Nadu to launch his party’s campaign for the April 6 Lok Sabha bypoll in Kanniyakumari and exuded confidence that the party would not only win Kanniyakumari, but the NDA in Tamil Nadu would emerge victorious in the Assembly elections also next month. Launching his Vetri Kodi Eandhi (Carrying the flag of victory) campaign from Suseendiram in this district, he said he was confident that a coalition government of the NDA will come to power in the State after the April 6 Assembly polls. The party has fielded former Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan for the Lok Sabha bypoll, necessitated due to the death of Congress MP H. Vasantha Kumar last year due to COVID-19. Kicking off his party’s campaign with Mr. Radhakrishnan and senior State BJP leaders in tow, Mr. Shah said he visited 11 houses to convey Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message.
A) India, China should create ‘enabling conditions’ to settle border dispute, says Wang Yi.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday said India and China needed to create enabling conditions for the settlement of the boundary dispute, even as he reiterated China’s view that the rights and wrongs of last year’s crisis were clear. His comments came at his annual press meet along the sidelines of the on-going convening in Beijing of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the ceremonial Communist Party-controlled legislature. Mr. Wang addressed China’s relations with the United States, the EU, Japan and India among other issues. The China-India relationship is essentially about how the world’s two largest developing countries get along and pursue development and rejuvenation together, he said to a question on the on-going disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Mr. Wang reiterated the statement he made during a February 25 call with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar that the boundary dispute, an issue left from history, is not the whole story of the China-India relationship. It is important that the two sides manage disputes properly and, at the same time, expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling conditions for the settlement of the issue, he told reporters. The rights and wrongs of what happened in the border area last year are clear, so are the stakes involved. It again proves that initiating confrontation will not solve the problem. Returning to peaceful negotiation is the right way forward. China’s position is very clear. We are committed to settling the boundary dispute through dialogue and consultation. At the same time, we are resolved to safeguard our sovereign rights and interests. India has conveyed a different message, underlining that without full disengagement along the LAC, and then de-escalation, restoring normalcy in the relationship would not be possible.
B) Swiss narrowly back proposal to ban face coverings in public.
Swiss voters narrowly approved on Sunday a proposal to ban face coverings, both the niqabs and burqas worn by a few Muslim women in the country and the ski masks and bandannas used by protesters. The measure will outlaw covering one’s face in public places like restaurants, sports stadiums, public transport or simply walking in the street. Few exceptions It foresees exceptions at religious sites and for security or health reasons, such as face masks people are wearing now to protect against COVID-19, as well as for traditional Carnival celebrations. Authorities have two years to draw up detailed legislation. Two Swiss cantons, or states, Ticino and St. Gallen, already have similar legislation that foresees fines for transgressions. National legislation will put Switzerland in line with countries such as Belgium and France that have already enacted similar measures. The Swiss government had opposed the measure as excessive, arguing that fullface coverings are a marginal phenomenon. It argued that the ban could harm tourism as most visitors from well-heeled Persian Gulf states wear such veils. Experts estimate that at most a few dozen Muslim women wear full-face coverings in the country Of 8.5 million people. In the end, 51.2% of voters supported the plan.
C) At ruined Iraq church, Pope calls on Christians to forgive.
Pope Francis called on Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices committed against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches and met ecstatic crowds in the community’s historic heartland, which was nearly erased by the Islamic State group’s horrific reign. At each stop in northern Iraq, the remnants of its Christian population turned out, jubilant, ululating, decked out in colorful dress. though heavy security prevented Francis from plunging into the crowd as he would normally do. Nonetheless, they seemed simply overjoyed that they had not been forgotten. It was a sign of the desperation for support among an ancient community uncertain whether it can hold on. Traditionally Christian towns dotting the Nineveh Plains of the north were emptied as Christians as well as many Muslims fled the Islamic State group’s onslaught in 2014. Only a few have returned to their homes since the defeat of IS in Iraq declared four years ago, and the rest remain scattered elsewhere in Iraq or abroad. Bells rang out in the town of Qaraqosh as the Pope arrived. Speaking to a packed Church of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis said forgiveness is a key word for Christians. The road to a full recovery may still be long, but I ask you, please, not to grow discouraged. What is needed is the ability to forgive, but also the courage not to give up. The Qaraqosh church has been extensively renovated after being vandalized by IS militants during their takeover of the town, making it a symbol of recovery efforts. Pope Francis, dressed in white, took to a red carpet stage in a square in the north’s main city, Mosul, surrounded by the grey hollowed-out shells of four churches, nearly destroyed in the war to oust the Islamic State group from the city.
A) IPL 2021 season to begin in Chennai on April 9.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will run from April 9 to May 30 across six venues with no team getting to play at home, its Governing Council announced on Sunday. Despite COVID-19 surge, Mumbai has been named as one of the host cities and the tournament will be held behind closed doors at least in in the initial phase of the tournament. The other venues are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. The Nardendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the final on May 30 as well as the play-offs. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the tournament opener in Chennai on April 9. Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host eight matches each. There will be a total of 11 double headers where six teams will play three afternoon matches and two teams will play two afternoon matches. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 p.m. start while the evening games will have a 7:30 p.m. start. The fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk. The VIVO IPL this year at home will be played behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament, the statement read further.
B) Vinesh wins gold.
Star Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat claimed her second gold medal in as many weeks with a dominant win in the Matteo Pellicone ranking series event here on Sunday and reclaimed the top rank in her category. The 26-year-old World bronze medallist and only Indian woman wrestler to qualifiy for Tokyo Games, Vinesh blanked Canada’s Diana Mary Helen Weicker 4-0 in the 53kg title clash. Vinesh scored all her points in the first period and held on to her lead in the second to ensure a top-of-thepodium finish. Vinesh had won a gold in Kiev last week. The Indian had entered the event as World No. 3, but is back to No. 1 having collected 14 points. The Canadian was ranked 40 before the tournament but is now at No. 2. Vinesh did not concede a single point at this tournament, winning two of her three bouts by pinning her rivals while getting injury walkouts in the other two in the eight-woman field.
C) Sarita Mor had won a silver in the 57kg on Saturday.
The Indian men’s boxing team’s final campaign at the 35th Boxam International tournament in Castellon, Spain was derailed by a positive COVID-19 case, resulting in three withdrawals from summit clashes. Olympics-bound Ashish Kumar (75kg) tested positive and consequently his roommates Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) were forced to withdraw from their finals on Saturday. All three ended with silver medals. Also unable to compete in the final was Satish Kumar (+91kg) due to illness. Manish Kaushik (63kg) ended up being the sole gold winner, beating Denmark’s Nikolai Terteryan. Among women, Simranjit Kaur (60kg) was forced out of her final after her semifinal opponent — Kiria Tapia of Puerto Rico tested positive for the virus. Vikas Krishan (69kg) lost a gruelling contest to Spain’s Youba Sissokho. In the women’s draw, Pooja Rani (75kg) and Jasmine (57kg) also signed off with silvers after being beaten by superior opponents in American Melissa Graham and Italian Irma Testa respectively. India ended with one gold, eight silver and one bronze.