Contributed by Columnist Mr. Kaustav Pallav, the column provides key insights on weekly current affairs and a few selected and important news and development in recent week. (3rd April to 9th April)
The past week has been very full of events, mostly tumultuous for many of us. From construing the Sri Lankan crisis to acknowledging Pakistan’s top court declaring Imran Khan’s actions as unconstitutional, the world condemning the killings at Bucha, while also contemplating on the Indonesian palm oil crisis which shall nonetheless influence in cooking oil prices in India as well, fires in Sarishka Tiger reserve and increase in Rhino population in Jaldapara National Park, Monetary Policy Council meeting to unanimously decide on an accommodative policy while hinting to indulge in controlling inflation in the next few months, merger of HDFC Bank and HDFC Ltd. and much more…
National Dam Safety Authority
NDSA has been created by the Union Jal Sakti ministry under the Dam safety Act of 2021 as a regulatory body with a Chairman and five members. The authority will strive to resolve issues between two states and will also act as a State Dam Safety Authority when contention shall lie on such dam located in one state and is being used by another. With issues developing around the Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala, NDSA gets a temporary board.
Chinese hackers trying to cause power failure!
Chinese hackers are observed to target Indian Power plants and specifically more around areas near the LAC. An American cyber security firm confirmed observing intrusions by some Threat Activity Group-38 (TAG-38) that targeted 7 power grids, the National emergency response system, one Indian subsidiary of a MNC firm since Sept 2021. While Chinese Government calls to not support cyber crimes, Indian Defence ministry claims our systems are robust enough to deal such intrusions.
Indonesia’s palm Oil crisis
Indonesia has reduced exports of palm oil due to shortage in its domestic market. Price of palm oil has therefore soared very high. Indonesia produces almost 60% of the world’s total palm oil and is also the largest exporter. It consumes around 16 million tonnes of palm oil in its domestic market. The govt’s initiative to blend 30% of palm oil for bio-diesel has diverted supply from the edible market. Also because of the Ukraine-Russia conflict exports of sunflower oil has drastically come down because of which demands for palm oil has increased. India being largest importer of cooking oil will also be affected muchly.
MPC met on the 8th day of April!
Monetary Policy Committee met on 8th of April 2022 to unanimously decide on an accommodative policy hinting that RBI will now indulge in limiting inflation in the next few months. It kept Repo rate and Reverse repo rate unchanged at 4% and 3.35% respectively implying that the interest rates shall remain the same and that RBI is wishful for the market to have liquidity, also introduced SDF at 3.75% which will now be available throughout the week. MPC also forecasted GDP growth at 7.2% and inflation at 5.7% for the fiscal year 2022-23.
Criminal procedure (identification) bill, 2022
The bill empowers Police to collect biometrics, including iris, physical measurements of convicted persons and others. Delhi Police has welcomed the legislation for it believes it will help Police in finding culprits in much less time now. However privacy advocates have criticized the bill exclaiming such data may not necessarily be accurate always. Also the criticisms extend to the word others in the bill which is not very implicitly defined. This may have an implication that the bill extends to people convicted and beyond. This bill authorises NCRB to store data for 75 years.
Weapons of mass destruction Amendment bill 2022
This bill provides against financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. It alsoseeks to empower the centre to freeze, seize or attach funds or other financial assets for preventing such financing. While answering to questions in the parliament, EAM exclaims the bill will boost national security.
Warmest March in India after 122 years!
Warmest march has made scientists to fear grain yields which they see may be affected primarily in many wheat-growing areas of India. A typical 140-145 days wheat crop takes 90-100 days for flowering. For the wheat sown on time, before November 15, yield losses from the soaring mercury are seen to be minimal. However the problem shall be with the moderately late (mid- to end-November) to late (December onwards) sown wheat in most parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
O Henry Award to Amar Mitra for his 45 year old story
Awarded to Amar Mitra for his short story Gaonburo written in 1977. The story was almost forgotten until it was translated in 1991 which opened for the story a bigger world of appreciation. The story weaves around an old man who hankers to find answers to his questions relating life and beyond from almighty but in his search of thee he fails.
That is all for the week, with no malice and greetings. Hope to meet you next week with more news. Until then, take good care of yourselves.