With Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra set to kick off today, here are the top reads from our edition. We bring you reports on strengthening India-Bangladesh ties; India’s first intra-nasal Covid vaccine; BJP’s road to 2024; harms of sedentary lifestyle; and more
The Big Story
India and Bangladesh have signed an interim water sharing agreement for the Kushiyara river. This is the first such pact between them in over 25 years — the Ganga water treaty was signed in 1996.
🔴 Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is on a four-day visit to India, stated during a press briefing, “I know as long as Prime Minister Modi is here, Bangladesh and India will resolve all these problems,”
🔴 On strengthening the trade between Bangladesh and India, PM Narendra Modi stated that the two countries will soon start discussions on the Bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). We take a look at the India-Bangladesh trade and what the CEPA aims to do.
🔴 Meanwhile, Bangladesh has been asking Delhi to use its good offices with the Myanmar junta to take back the Rohingya refugees who have now been living in a settlement in Cox’s Bazar. Whether the issue came up during Hasina’s meeting with PM Modi was not immediately clear.
Only in the Express
Can physical activity for some periods of the day counter the effects of prolonged sedentariness and sitting during most of the day? Studies show sedentariness makes you a “sitting duck” for ill health. This includes heart problems, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes – to name a few. So, there is a need to avoid sitting for long periods of the day even if one practises the routine of exercise for short periods.
From the Front Page
The national drug regulator has given the green signal to India’s first intra-nasal Covid vaccine — Bharat Biotech’s iNCOVACC — for emergency use in adults. The vaccine has been approved for primary immunisation — it can be administered only to the unimmunised.
Two days after industrialist Cyrus Mistry was killed in a car crash, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that seat belt alarms for those on rear seats will now be a permanent feature in all four-wheelers. He said the Ministry is also mulling a move to make seat belts mandatory for passengers in inter-city buses to begin with.
A nationwide study carried out by the Centre in March has found that 37 per cent of students enrolled in Class III have “limited” foundational numeracy skills, such as identifying numbers, while 11 per cent “lack the most basic knowledge and skills”.
“Organisation should be their priority and without strengthening the organisation, the party will not be repeating its success.” With the Lok Sabha polls two years away, this reminder has been ringing in the ears of BJP’s top brass as they visit the 144 constituencies that the party had lost during the 2019 elections. Several Union Ministers were given the task of spending at least 48 hours in each constituency and preparing reports in a bid to find the route to victory.
In a first for the polarised and partisan world of Uttar Pradesh’s politics, an exercise by the Speaker of the Assembly to group legislators according to their professional degrees, gender and legislative stints, is helping them exchange ideas and experiences without the constraint of party whips and ideologies. So far, Speaker Satish Mahana has held meetings with at least six such groups – of doctors, engineers, management degrees, women, MLAs under 40 years of age, and those who have had five or more legislative terms.
In our opinion section today, SY Quraishi writes on the Revidi culture debate and why he believes we need freebies in India: “In my opinion, neither the EC nor the SC can get involved in this perfectly legal and legitimate democratic instrument. Even if the promises are unrealistic or absurd, it is for the rival parties and the media to expose them. And the voters do remember which promises have been fulfilled and which have not been. They are now seen constantly rewarding good performance and punishing non-delivery.”
Express in UAE: No one had expected Sri Lanka to reach this far but when on edge, they mustered rare courage to progress in Asia Cup. The shoddy defeat at the hands of Afghanistan in the group game convinced the world that they would make easy fodder for the favourites. India were one of them—and after successive defeats in the Super Four leg, their prospects of reaching the finals are slim, and not in their hands. But it’s the time to celebrate the spiritedness of Sri Lanka rather than mourn the falling of giants
Delhi Confidential: On Tuesday, celebrations on the eve of Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s birthday in Jaipur was seen as a show of strength amid the chorus from his supporters to see him as the next CM of Rajasthan. His well-wishers in Lutyens’ Delhi also sent their greetings on the occasion, wishing that he rises to the top post in the state.
🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we take a look at Hemant Soren’s rise from reluctant politician to a well-articulated leader, the latest NCRB report, and India’s first Dark Sky Reserve in Ladakh.
Rahel Philipose and Sonal Gupta